Suzuki’s promise of a great ride

South Western Times - - Wheels - RALPH-LEAVSEY MOASE

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.

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