New 750 of­fers de­cent power at a de­cent price, but faces a fierce fight

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jon Urry MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

New naked is af­ford­able and fast

Af­ter spend­ing a day rid­ing the new GSX-S750, I grilled one of Suzuki’s test rid­ers about its evo­lu­tion, and he ex­plained how they had con­cen­trated on mak­ing it a re­ally good road bike. This may sound ob­vi­ous, but many ma­chines fall short of such sim­ple tar­gets, and get the ba­sics such as sus­pen­sion and throt­tle re­sponse wrong. Hap­pily for Suzuki, the de­vel­op­ment team has nailed it; the GSX-S750 is a very good road bike. But is that enough?

Tak­ing over from the GSR750, the GSX-S uses the same GSX-R750 K5de­rived mo­tor but, thanks to a bit of in­ter­nal re­work­ing, it now boasts an ex­tra 8bhp, trac­tion con­trol and a more spir­ited char­ac­ter and sound thanks to a re­vised air­box, ex­haust and one-tooth larger rear sprocket. This mo­tor is then hung in the GSR’S frame but with new swingarm and sus­pen­sion, ra­dial brakes and ABS. A cool set of 10-spoke wheels com­plete the trans­for­ma­tion.

I was never a fan of the GSR750. I found its inline-four a bit lack­lus­tre, but the re­vised en­gine de­liv­ers the same lin­ear drive as the GSR while adding wel­come zing. This is mainly thanks to its new raw sound­track and im­proved top-end kick. The throt­tle re­sponse has a slight hint of the abrupt, go­ing from closed to par­tially open, but it’s not bad (cer­tainly noth­ing like the GSX-S1000), and once the tap is open it’s won­der­fully fluid. We rode the new GSX-S in some very damp con­di­tions and the throt­tle’s clear con­nec­tion to the rear wheel made it a very easy bike to ride quickly in the wet, aided by im­pres­sive trac­tion con­trol, and sus­pen­sion firm enough to of­fer feed­back but not so stiff that it’s harsh. Which is a good thing as you only get preload ad­just­ment on the GSX-S, un­like some of its ri­vals.

The rid­ing po­si­tion is as ex­pected for any naked; com­fort­able for slower jour­neys, but miss­ing wind pro­tec­tion on faster rides – and the seat is just the right side of firm. Even in the treach­er­ous launch con­di­tions, the ABS never made it­self known de­spite some fairly hard brak­ing, and there isn’t much wrong with the new ra­dial brakes’ per­for­mance, al­though ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers may crave more ini­tial bite. So why am I not more ex­cited about the GSX-S750?

There is noth­ing fun­da­men­tally wrong, and it is a step for­ward in terms of han­dling, power char­ac­ter­is­tics, tech and brak­ing com­pared to the GSR750. But by the same to­ken it fails to stand out.

If you like the look of the GSX-S, and inline-fours are your thing, you won’t be dis­ap­pointed. But if your heart isn’t set on the Suzuki, it of­fers lit­tle to tempt you. It doesn’t have a quick­shifter, char­ac­ter­ful con­fig­u­ra­tion or fully-ad­justable fork – like the Yamaha MT-09. The new Tri­umph Street Triple is smaller, lighter and just as pow­er­ful for not a lot more cash, and the Kawasaki Z900 de­liv­ers more poke to help jus­tify its higher price. So where does that leave the GSX-S? Pretty much where Suzuki have been for a while – in the back­ground hop­ing that buy­ers will take an in­ter­est, rather than stand­ing up and de­mand­ing to be no­ticed.

‘It now boasts an ex­tra 8bhp and a more spir­ited char­ac­ter’

The new GSX-S750 looks mean and pur­pose­ful

Wet roads didn’t spoil the fun thanks to trac­tion con­trol and a sweet throt­tle

The GSX-S750’S swingarm is all-new

Full LCD dash from the GSX-S1000

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