Suzuki’s promise of a great ride
ON one of Melbourne’s finest bitterly cold winter mornings I signed in for the launch of Suzuki’s mid-sized naked GSX-S750.
I’m happily subscribing to the less is more scenario for today, especially as the roads are as slippery as my 10-year-old son’s tongue when downing chocolate icecream. I wouldn’t like my ride to end up like the extremely messy aftermath he leaves.
Less power, less weight, less bulk than a big-hitting litre monster add up to more fun (even though many Australian riders would never believe that) and more control.
There’s maybe even added safety on this traction-reduced day belting around the western outskirts of our single digit temperature southern capital. This is of course if you are comparing the latest 84kw 750 against a bucket load of 100kW plus 1000cc true naked muscle monsters.
As Lewis Croft, Suzuki’s Marketing Manager said while giving the rundown on what is a heavily revised GSR, we are in the “sweet spot” of naked motorcycling here. I’m happy to agree. Five minutes aboard tells me that there is certainly enough power and grunt and best of all there is great feel with the changes to chassis and suspension.
An hour in and the brakes and the looks are just as good as the LED dash, which is a trickle-down from the GSX-S1000. The thing I appreciate most is the traction control calibration and even the well dialled-in ABS. Both are good enough to be out of sight and out of mind.
Weight and size seems appreciably tighter for a mid-sized naked and the feel of only having to shuffle around 213kg (wet) fills me with gratitude as we belt away from the urban sprawl and into the first set of decent corners. Responsiveness and control are all you would want once the clutch is fed out and a few revs are added. Suzuki has included ‘Low RPM Assist’, although I didn’t notice this along the engine modes.
Road speed picks up quickly and there is plenty of mid-range power. You only need to call upon the funfilled upper mid-range to the frenetic top end if you are in the mood for some serious fun. Suzuki has added power and a slight increase in torque to the 2107 model and has even achieved Euro 4 obligations, along with better fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
If you have any fears that the 750 may not be fast enough, don’t worry, it is. The 750 doesn’t want to wheelstand everywhere but does have a very linear drive with a fabulous throttle connection (much better than the 1000) and an appropriate accompanying soundtrack through the airbox.
Hauling down from ‘race-track’ speeds the twin, four spot calipers have abundant feel and are well calibrated with the safety-net ABS system. While I didn’t call on ABS because of the more than adequate feel, it is a good system. I gave it a good work out in a clinical fashion just to confirm.
The GSX-S displays the evidence of much reworking from the old GSR and is now a better and more modern version – truly a scaleddown 1000. Via the airbox there is a bit of mongrel in the nostrils although the rest of the bike is refined and sophisticated.
I liked the gold front forks, petal discs and the easy to scroll menu switch on the left hand switchblock. Distinct looks with quality hardware from the tapered handlebars to the taillight means the neutrally balanced 750 is a great compromise, fitting in well with commuter, sporting and even touring roles.
Add in sensible pricing ($11,490 (plus on-road costs) and Suzuki really is offering something special by putting looks and performance together with a real value-formoney edge.
Suzuki is offering something special by putting looks and performance together in a great-value package.