Into the crystal ball we gaze...


It's pretty much out in the open now that Honda is going to gut the Blackbird and in a few seasons it will have a V-5 engine in it, perhaps with more displacement than the busa.

The busa has held the King of the Hill position since it stormed onto the scene a few years back, so what'll happen if the Blackbird eclipses the busa?  We all know Suzuki has volountarily neutered the busa in an act of self-regulation, and by no means is Honda necessarily ready to follow that path.  

(I do think Suzuki's actions at self-regulation are commendable, btw)  It's an effort to keep the attorneys at bay.  If it doesn't start happening, eventually the Fed Gov will step in and REALLY nueter the machines.  That would be bad.

Anyway, I'm sort of digressing into a second topic there.  

Will the busa lose some of it's mystique if it's eclipsed by another machine, say, next spring or the one after?  It very well may happen someday soon.  

Or am I just drunk?  
I'm sure all bikes will have a speed restriction on them starting in 2004. The Busa will probably be the last and fastest (top speed) king ever made. I mean going 190 is one thing, but stopping in time is another story.
With the new restrictions coming out, I doubt is any machine will ever beat the Busa.
Well, if you have $100K lying around, you can get something that will toast the Busa out of the box... 20 minutes at a time, anyway.

Honda has had this stuff on the drawing board since the Busa was released in 1999. I've lost the damn link, yet again, but if anyone remembers, Honda had concept drawings of the CBR-XXX, a V5 powered 1500 cc sportbike capable of 212 mph out of the box. That will never materialize. Even if they did, Suzuki has lots of goodies sitting on the shelf. Had the 12R been released before the Busa, for instance, Suzuki already had a 1500 cc busa motor ready to go.

All-in-all, though, I think things will stay pretty much the same for a few years as far as the flagship models go. The Busa hasn't changed a bit on the exterior for four years now. The Blackbird has been the same on the outside 7 years running now. Kawasaki, in all truth, doesn't really have a flagship sportbike. The 12 is just part of the Ninja line and was never distinguished from the rest, IMO. Two years have passed and it has already seen a major redesign.

My guess, 2005, maybe up to 2007 will see the Busa's replacement, whatever castrated being it may be. I doubt it will change much on the outside. Why? Mainly looking at the sales. Despite the limiters of the two last years, they still sell fast. Even Blackbirds still don't stay on the showroom floors long (although do remember that the two are each geared to a slightly market, one more touring and one more sport). The 12... well, I can still go to any local dealer and pick up a brand new 2000 model if I wanted.