THE EARLY 1990s
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