suzuki’s latest naked middleweight is not just fun but also very approachable
Suzuki have had a strong presence in the indian premium bike market and their flagship hayabusa has found many takers in the subcontinent. Other imported offerings from the Japanese company include the behemoth M1800R intruder cruiser, the adventurous v-Strom 1000, the track-focused GSX-R1000, and its naked, litre-class cousins, the GSX-S1000 duo. Suzuki had so far neglected bikers looking for entry-level premium bikes at a reasonable cost, but all this changed last week with the launch of the GSX-S750.
Taking design cues from the larger GSX-S1000, the 750 is definitely an attractive motorcycle. The sharp headlight and twin position lights, ensconced within that aggressive bikini fairing, give this motorcycle a striking face, while further back those plastic tank extensions that taper down to either side of the radiator add bulk, giving the Suzuki a broad-chested look. The 16-litre fuel tank is wide up top and tapers down sufficiently towards the spacious seat to make room for the rider’s knees. The riding position borders on aggressive, with a slight forward lean to the blacked-out handlebar and foot-pegs that aren’t so high as to cause discomfort over longer rides. The upswept tail section concludes in an understated LeD taillight, while the exhaust is a lot betterlooking than some of the other euro 4 systems we have seen this year.
The instrumentation consists of a rectangular LCD display, with a bartype tachometer running along the top edge, above the large, central speed display. The dash also includes a gear indicator, temperature gauge, clock, odo and trip meters, and a traction control mode display. The traction control has three modes plus off, and switching among modes or turning the control off completely has never been this easy: the dedicated mode button on the left handlebar allows you to switch among any of the four modes on the fly and it doesn’t switch back to a more conservative setting even after the key is turned off. Just select the level of intrusion you desire and roll off the throttle; the bike immediately makes the switch with zero fuss. We would love to see such easy-to-use systems on more motorcycles.
at the heart of this motorcycle is the 749-cc in-line four-cylinder powerplant that first did duty on the legendary k5 GSX-R750 back in 2005. Back then, this fire-breathing engine made 87 Nm of torque at 10,800 rpm and 145 PS at 12,800 rpm before going on to hit its lofty 14,000-rpm red-line; numbers that intimidated some of the litre-class motorcycles of the day. Suzuki decided to use this engine due to its compact nature and near-vertical orientation, enabling them to endow the GSX-S750 with a relatively short 1,455-mm
The bike is fast, handles well and loves being ridden aggressively
wheelbase, necessary to create a nimble motorcycle. Now reworked for naked streetbike duty, with a wider, more usable torque spread and euro 4 compliance, this engine makes 81 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm and 114 PS at 10,500 rpm; enough to breach 200 km/h rather quick on the long back straight at the Buddh international Circuit (BiC) while still in fourth gear. On my warm-up lap i noted that the engine was extremely flexible, allowing
me to putter along at less than 40 km/h in sixth gear without protest, although it does start to spin up rather quickly from about 4,000 rpm when that strong midrange kicks in. There are no flat spots in the power delivery through the revrange and post 7,000 rpm there is a rush of acceleration that continues unabated all the way to the 11,500-rpm red-line, accompanied by that typical fourcylinder hum and addictive intake roar. Some vibrations did make their way through the handlebars and tank at high rpm, but not so much as to bother me or take away from how much fun this bike was around the circuit.
Power delivery was always smooth and predictable and although this is definitely a fast motorcycle, it never does anything to scare the rider. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox with a first gear that is tall enough to pull past 100 km/h, while the subsequent gears feel somewhat shorter and well-spaced, delivering excellent acceleration all the way through the ’box. The fuelling, however, could have been slightly more linear; i found it a bit abrupt when rolling on from a closed throttle, especially while negotiating slow corners.
The engine is mounted within a steel perimeter frame which, in turn, is supported by a 41-mm kYB inverted fork up front and a link-mounted kYB monoshock unit at the rear. There is preload adjustability at both ends and, although there are no further settings for compression or rebound, i was quite impressed with how well-damped the set-up felt, lending the bike a planted feel as i made my way around the racetrack. Sure, there was a bit more fork dive under extreme braking than i would have liked, but the bike remained extremely composed even when hard on the anchors from 235 km/h at the end of the back straight, before tipping in towards the apex of the downhill third corner.
When riding hard, the bike feels taut and corners accurately, the Bridgestone Battlax hypersport S21 tyres providing excellent confidence to dive into corners faster and faster each lap. With a 215-kg kerb weight, this is by no means a light motorcycle, but on the move it feels quite nimble and eager to turn in; the only time i felt its heft was during the two fast side-to-side transitions, where it took a bit of effort to flip the bike from full lean to full lean.
One of the things that really impressed me during this ride and which, therefore, deserves a special mention here was how well the brakes that Suzuki have given this motorcycle worked lap after lap. a pair of radiallymounted Nissin four-piston calipers grip 310-mm wavy discs up front, while a single-piston caliper grips a smaller disc at the rear. although the system uses conventional rubber brake lines rather than steel-braided ones, i have no complaint with regard to the bite, feel, feedback, and overall braking performance. i found myself braking progressively deeper into corners as
the day progressed and at no time did the reach-adjustable lever feel wooden or vague; the aBS is also well-tuned, only kicking in when the rear wheel threatened to leave the tarmac.
a few quick laps around the BiC made it apparent that the Suzuki GSX-S750 is a competent motorcycle and a worthy choice for someone in the market for a naked middleweight. The bike is fast, handles well and loves being ridden aggressively, while always feeling friendly, approachable and forgiving of mistakes. its excellent chassis, suspension, and brakes inspire confidence when riding hard and the electronics work well, doing their job behind the scenes and keeping you safe, but never taking away from the riding experience.
The bike comes across as a sharp, well-built streetfighter and Suzuki have done well to bring this motorcycle to india barely a year after its international launch. This will be the second big Suzuki (after the hayabusa) to hit our shores via the CkD route and, as such, it is priced competitively at Rs 7.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), taking the fight to the established players in the segment. i would love to see how this motorcycle rides in the real world and, judging by my time with it at the track, i’m sure i will not be disappointed.
LCD dash is informative and easy-to-read
Compact engine fits snugly into the frame, while the upswept exhaust complements the sharp tail section