FIRST RIDE: 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750

Mid­dleweight naked charged with de­cent ex­po­sure By Don Canet

Cycle World - - News -

Suzuki’s mod­ern naked gets re­dressed, re­formed, re­fined, and a new lease on life in the pub­lic eye

Suzuki in­tro­duced its GSX-S750 to the US mar­ket in 2015 and although new to our shores the mid­dleweight sport naked had seen no sig­nif­i­cant change since its 2011 Euro­pean de­but. And while the GSX-S pos­sesses a de­gree of GSX-R DNA , it is not by any means (or in­tent) a high-bar GSX-R stripped of plas­tic. The per­for­mance dis­par­ity be­tween Suzuki’s S and R plat­forms left wish­ful en­thu­si­asts who hoped for a gen­uine Gixxer naked want­ing more.

A host of re­vi­sions ap­plied to the 2018 GSX-S750 aims to close that gap while re­tain­ing the per­for­mance value this plat­form has of­fered all along. New styling akin to its larger 1,000cc sib­ling, along with pow­er­train, elec­tronic, and chas­sis im­prove­ments are front and cen­ter, but per­haps the most sig­nif­i­cant up­date to the GSX-S750 is now for the first time it’s 50-state le­gal and can be sold in Cal­i­for­nia.

We re­cently got a first hands-on taste of the new GSX-S750 when Cy­cle World As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor Will Steen­rod at­tended a Suzuki press ride along the Pa­cific Coast High­way in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Cost of own­er­ship aside, rel­a­tive com­fort is a sport stan­dard’s strong­est ap­peal when com­pared to a su­pers­port coun­ter­part.

“Er­gos are very comfy, even for my large frame,” 6-foot-2 Steen­rod reports. “Legroom is pretty am­ple as sport­bikes go, while up­per­body er­gos are a smidgen on the ag­gres­sive side as you’d ex­pect. The new ta­per-style bar is nice and wide, mak­ing di­rec­tional changes easy, and even though the seat is shaped for sport rid­ing, not com­fort, it’s soft enough for daily use.”

While this ap­peal­ing as­pect of the GSX-S750 hasn’t changed, up­dates to the 2k5 Gsx-r-based en­gine equate to a claimed 8-hp in­crease over its pre­de­ces­sor. Ac­count­ing for this are newly added crank­case ven­ti­la­tion holes for re­duced pump­ing loss, a larg­er­vol­ume air­box, new 10-hole fuel in­jec­tors, and a re­vised 4-2-1 ex­haust fea­tur­ing a freer-flow­ing cat­alyzer.

Suzuki’s Easy Start Sys­tem that pre­miered on the GSX-S1000 is now in­cluded on the S750, al­low­ing one­touch auto-start that doesn’t re­quire the clutch to be

dis­en­gaged when the bike is in neu­tral. It also gets the Suzuki Low RPM As­sist fea­ture that in­creases idle speed by a few hun­dred revs as the clutch is en­gaged with the bike in gear. This clever rider aid re­duces the chance of stalls when leav­ing a stop and proved ef­fec­tive when we de­lib­er­ately botched throt­tle/clutch co­or­di­na­tion.

Now hooked up with the times, the new GSX-S750 in­cludes trac­tion con­trol, of­fer­ing three lev­els of sen­si­tiv­ity that can be changed on the fly via a mode but­ton and rocker lo­cated on the left grip. The sys­tem can also be switched off (for unadul­ter­ated wheelie ac­tion) with­out com­ing to a stop, and your se­lected set­ting is re­tained for the next ride. We found TC Level 3 kept a tight rein on horse­play, while the other two modes al­low the GSX-S to put its lin­ear spread of power to pave­ment with vigor while hav­ing your back.

Although our test­bike was non-abs, an­tilock brakes are a defin­ing fea­ture of the GSX-S750Z priced $600 more than our $8,299 base model. The new Nissin ra­dial-mount four-pis­ton monoblock calipers and 310mm petal­type ro­tors up front should put a stop to crit­i­cism the pre­vi­ous gen’s dated brake sys­tem has gen­er­ated. Power and feel is very good, and for those pre­fer­ring more bite, sim­ply po­si­tion­ing the mas­ter a bit in­board on the new ta­per-style han­dle­bar is eas­ily done.

Spring preload re­mains the sole sus­pen­sion ad­just­ment front and rear. Damp­ing is cal­i­brated on the sport­ing side, pro­vid­ing re­spon­sive han­dling feel and stead­fast sta­bil­ity at the ex­pense of ride com­fort when en­coun­ter­ing sharp bumps.

I’ve al­ways seen the GSXS750 for the at­trac­tive per­for­mance value it rep­re­sents and have judged it as such. My ver­dict on this newly re­formed edi­tion re­mains un­changed with even greater ev­i­dence to sup­port its case. Time will tell if mod­ern style and fea­tures at a fair price hold up in the court of pub­lic opin­ion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.