MID-90S POWER GAMES MAK­ING UP FOR LOST CA­PAC­ITY

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features -

Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD v Yamaha YZF750R v Kawasaki ZX-7R 122bhp, 179kg v 125bhp, 195kg v 122bhp, 203kg

In 1996 Suzuki pulled out all the stops and re­leased the GSX-R750 WT – or SRAD as most know it. This was an odd pe­riod in time for the 750 as Honda’s 1992 Fireblade had changed the game. The GSX-R’S main ri­val, the YZF750R, was do­ing spec­tac­u­lar things in WSB thanks to Nori Haga, and its brash paintschemes and sharp look was bang on trend for the style-blind 1990s. But 1996 also saw the launch of a new model from Kawasaki, the ZX-7R.

Suzuki played on the fact the GSX-R750 had the same sil­hou­ette as Kevin Sch­wantz’s ti­tle-win­ning RGV500 to give the SRAD the track cred it needed. This, cou­pled with the fact Kawasaki had ov­erengi­neered the ZX-7R and made it far too heavy, made the SRAD the 750 to own.

The SRAD won four World Su­per­bike races, one in 1998 at Sugo thanks to wild­card rider Kei­ichi Kita­gawa while Frankie Chili took two and Akira Ryo one in 1999.

Re­sult: Vic­tory to the GSX-R750

Suzuki GSX-R750 v Honda Fireblade v Yamaha YZF-R1 122bhp, 179kg v 126bhp, 180kg v 150bhp, 177kg

In 1996 where Suzuki had trimmed down the GSX-R and fo­cused on light weight and power and agility, Honda’s 900cc Blade was be­ing dulled to make it more prac­ti­cal. On track the SRAD ran rings around the bloated Blade and in the sports­bike-ob­sessed 1990s that gave the GSX-R huge cred­i­bil­ity. For two years the SRAD was the top in­line four sports­bike for per­for­mance fiends, but then the YZF-R1 landed and dec­i­mated all be­fore it. The fu­ture had ar­rived and it was 1000cc, Like the orig­i­nal Blade, the R1 demon­strated that rac­ing prow­ess isn’t nec­es­sary to secure show­room suc­cess – per­for­mance sells and the R1 weighed less than the SRAD but made 28bhp more power. Un­sur­pris­ingly, it sold in huge num­bers.

SRAD stands for Suzuki Ram-air Di­rect and was Suzuki’s first forced air in­duc­tion sys­tem.

Re­sult: Vic­tory to the YZF-R1

‘I’m not over­weight, it’s my hor­mones’ The ZX-7R still looks like it’ll bite your arm off Re­sult: Vic­tory to the GSX-R750 Pierre Terblanche’s styling was a bit way out for the time

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