A friend is on vacation, so I'm storing his Hayabusa until he gets back.
Which is which? One of these bikes is designed for maximum performance on ultratwisty roads. The other one is a sportsbike.
I've ridden it a little, not too much. The two bikes are universes apart, about the only thing they have in common is two wheels and a motor.
The Vulcan, as we all know, is comfortable for all-day rides, especially with an aftermarket seat. The Hayabusa is cramped, although not as bad as a CBR. The biggest difference, from the little saddle time I've had, is the absolute requirement of throttle control.
Imagine: You are riding along, 70 on the freeway. You twist the throttle to max for two seconds. The bike is now going 75-80 mph. On the Busa, that same two-second twist would have you well over 100. The entire feel is different. On residential streets, it feels like riding a caged beast; the bike is under control, but given the chance will attack without mercy. The feeling of raw power, untapped, waiting, is always there.
Did a test. 10 mph, second gear, full throttle. 5 seconds later, the Vulcan was doing 50. The Busa did not make the five seconds; had to chop the throttle at 90. The Vulcan comfortably cruises at 75-80 all day long. The Busa doesn't wake up until 100. My Vulcan's top speed, 104. People have gotten Busas to 180+ on racetracks.
But enough about speed. Of course the Busa is faster, it's a street legal race bike. The Vulcan is a cruiser (debatable). What's it like to ride? What's the feeling?
Cons: Can't see much out of the mirrors, arms block the view. Uncomfortable position. Weight on arms becomes fatiguing after a while. Poor throttle control gets very dangerous very quickly. Dropping it = big $$$ to fix the fairings. Insurance rates are very high. Theft magnet.
Pros: Always have power. Designed for maximum performance, so it'll lean even further than the Vulcan (which, for a cruiser model, can lean pretty far). It's a beautiful bike.
All told, they really aren't directly comparable. Each has a different purpose. Within their range, each is the best. Got enough money? Buy both!