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Suzuki GSX-R750 v Kawasaki ZXR750 112bhp and 195kg v 107bhp and 205kg

Hav­ing seen off the FZ750, the GSX-R750 faced its sternest test so far in 1989 when Kawasaki rolled out the ZXR750. Like the FZ, the ZXR was wa­ter­cooled, but it brough an alu­minium beam frame, 17in wheels and race-rep looks to the party. Not to men­tion gen­uine track pedi­gree. The GSX-R might have taken the odd na­tional ti­tle, but aside from World En­durance it hadn’t made any im­pact on the world scene. The ZXR, how­ever, was mak­ing waves.

This work­ing man’s su­per­bike from Kawasaki was tak­ing on, and de­feat­ing, ex­otic spe­cials such as the Honda RC30 and Yamaha OW-01 in WSB. Track suc­cess and an af­ford­able price saw the ZXR’S rep­u­ta­tion grow while the GSX-R’S halo slipped. Even wa­ter-cool­ing in 1992 wasn’t enough to stop the rot and when Scott Russell took the 1993 WSB ti­tle on a ZXR, the GSX-R was in des­per­ate need of a com­plete over­haul to re­vive its flag­ging for­tunes.

The 1990 GSX-R750L was the first gen­er­a­tion to fea­ture in­verted forks.

Re­sult: Vic­tory to the ZXR750

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