SUZUKI GSX- S750
New 750 offers decent power at a decent price, but faces a fierce fight
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