750 fours were once top-class racers – but can they now make top-class nakeds?
YOU HAVE TO credit Suzuki for sticking to a plan; making 750cc bikes. It’s been producing three-quarterlitre machines since the mid-1970s with bikes like the GT750, a water-cooled two-stroke triple, though more recently its 750s have all been inline fours. And it’s not done yet, because this year we got the new GSX-S750.
Well, we say ‘new’: the GSX-S750 actually replaces the GSR750, Suzuki’s last urban naked. Both share a steel twin-spar frame and use a 749cc four-cylinder powerplant based on the 2004/5 GSX-R750. But the new-for-2017 GSX-S has received a few tweaks to make it Euro4 compliant and more powerful.
Other manufacturers have been slowly increasing the capacity of their middleweights to offset emissions-related power degradation, or flirting with new configurations to help them stand out. But Suzuki has persevered with its inline-four 750, counting on a few fuelling and mapping tweaks and saving itself a tonne of development costs in the process.
The question is whether this 12-year-old engine design manages to be cleaner without compromising performance – or is Suzuki’s trusty 750 in danger of getting left behind.