Enter The Wu-Busa


I was idly motorcycle shopping in the Southwest a week or so ago and I came across this $8,499 Hayabusa for sale. Let me tell you a secret: I’ve always wanted a Hayabusa. From the moment I saw the first one on a showroom floor many years ago. But I’ve also always understood that the suppository-shaped Suzuki was Not Our Kind, Dear. If sportbikes are the trashiest motorcycles — and they are, really, they have the same image that Triumphs had in the Brando era — and Suzuki is the trashiest sportbike manufacturer — and can there be a particle of doubt about this anywhere in the universe? — then the Hayabusa is the worst of them all, the “Die Antwoord” of motorcycling. It’s totally zef. It’s the motorcycle you ride when you have checked out of society, when you are comfortable being at the bottom of things, in the gutter.

Suzuki knows this. They have long since stopped marketing the bike. It markets itself, to the right kind of people. It’s like a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Each year’s Hayabusa has bigger kanji on the fairing and less subtle detailing. But some people, obviously, aren’t satisfied. They want to paint lightning bolts and clouds and… what the hell is that, now?


While I want to believe that this is Joel Grey in the outstanding Fred Ward film, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, I think it probably has something to do with the Wu-Tang Clan. I think this because the Venn diagram of

* Hayabusa owners
* Wu-Tang Clan listeners

is a circle.

What possessed a motorcycle dealer to take this on trade, anyway? Well, it was in the ABQ, home of Breaking Bad and a thousand multi-ethnic sportbike gangs, so maybe that had something to do with it.

I want to buy it, and ride it. I want to become zef, to meet the disapproving eyes of the civilized world with a thousand-yard stare, to live in rental property, to have different baby mommas, to quit jobs when someone vaguely disrespects me, to own some sort of “vaping” device, to be conversant with various strains of marijuana, to be truly itinerant. To be, as the man said, hard to get to know, but near impossible to forget.

Wait a minute, something like this has been said before:

Learn to work
The saxophone
I’ll play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whiskey
All night long
And die behind the wheel

This is the day, of the expanding man.

15 Replies to “Enter The Wu-Busa”

        • AvatarDomestic Hearse

          I linked that a couple weeks ago when Ronnie said he didn’t dig SD. Called them like too clinically perfect or something, which is the whole point, as the video goes to great lengths to prove.

          Also, had to look up zef. It is my new word of the day and I must inject it at some point into a conversation, somehow.

          And a good airbrush artist could turn the Clan Man on the bike into JB with little effort. Change the hair and beard color to dark brown and the jacket to gold. Meta motorbike.

  1. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    I work for some Detroit area motorcycle clubs and I’ve embroidered Hayabusa seats and embroidered custom Hayabusas on patches and vests. Sportbikes are real big with the brothers. The clubs are multi-racial but mostly black.

    For a lot of the ‘Busa riders, form doesn’t necessarily follow function.

    One guy I know has a fully chromed and custom ‘Busa with an aftermarket long swingarm for the drag strip, but it’s rarely out of his storage locker, let alone taken to the strip. Some riders remove one of the front brakes so you can better see the custom wheels. They add trim with pointy ends because they think it looks cool, never mind that they’ll make any accident worse.

  2. AvatarRambo Furum

    This Venn diagram statement is slightly off, as I highly doubt all WTC listeners can ride. Surely they are concentric circles, with the Butt Ugly Speed Accessory riders as the inner ring.

    • AvatarShaolin Six Sigma

      Yeah, given that the Wu have gone quintuple-platinum just based on albums sold, with a healthy multiple of that number listening to pirated or streamed Wu, not all of us are ‘Busa owners.

  3. AvatarCdotson

    I thought that the only true zef bike was a Ninja. A mother f’in Ninja.

    I also thought the wizard dude was Jack with white hair.

  4. AvatarRobert

    “to own some sort of “vaping” device”

    That made me laugh. I guess my 69 year old mother is a honorary member of the counter culture. She’s smoked my whole life, much to my increasing concern. At my insistence and with her tepid consent, I took her to the vape store to get setup. It was a cool spring day so they had the front door propped open. A billowing cloud of white vapor drifted lazily out onto the sidewalk, like a scene from a Cheech and Chong movie. Had I not been standing firmly behind her when she saw the shop full of tats and piercings, I’m sure she would have run right back to the car!

    More hilarity ensued later when she and her husband were passing it back in forth in my car, I just started laughing.

    “What’s so funny?”

    “Well, the last time something to smoke was being passed around in my car, you sure as hell weren’t there!”


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