Suzuki’s all-new new GSR750 has already hit the UK dealers, but how does it stack up to the competition? Kevin Ash went to find out.
It would be very easy to have completely the wrong expectations of Suzuki’s new GSR750. Look at the engine’s DNA and the aggressive, minimalist styling, and you’d be justified in thinking this is going to be a wild, high performance wheelie monster in the vein of Triumph’s Speed Triple of the Ducati Streetfighter.
The motor is derived from the 2005 GSX-R750 after all, a bike which for many riders was the perfect sports machine of any capacity. And it was ferociously quick… But it’s been tamed for the GSR, with narrower inlet tracts, smaller valves, less valve lift and opening duration, a reduced compression ratio, all designed to sacrifice the classic GSX-R top end horsepower kick in favour of more torque at low and medium revs.
And while the frame is a sporting twin spar design, it’s made of steel rather than the lighter but costlier aluminium.
The styling is the styling though, and whatever the intent, it does look good, with an array of edges and lines all angled to draw your eye down and forward to the front wheel and upside down forks, with a light-looking tailpiece exposing plenty of air above the rear tyre.
Ride the bike and a different character is revealed: this is a machine for inexperienced riders, possibly even those getting their first ever large capacity motorcycle. It’s not for every new rider as it is still a very quick motorcycle, capable of threatening 150mph even, which will intimidate some before they’ve swung a leg over it.
There’s no real need though as it’s a very easy bike to ride. Unlike the old GSR600, which the 750 replaces, the fuelling is flawless. There’s no GSR600-type hesitation when you open the throttle, no surging or anything else except exactly the torque that you’ve demanded with your right wrist, exactly when you want it.
This is thanks to significant changes in the fuel injection system with re-angled injectors and a new nozzle design that makes the fuel mixture consistent and predictable. You can ride the bike slowly around town on a whiff of throttle or open it up on a motorway or country road and the motor responds obediently.
That’s not to say it’s especially exciting though: the gains in mid-range power aren’t especially impressive considering some 40bhp has lost at the top, and while you can let the revs drop and it does pull okay, there’s little vivacity from the engine. It’s pretty quick and it’s a nice engine to be in charge of, but the character of the GSX-R hasn’t be changed, it’s been lost, replaced by a generic Japanese four that does the job.
That isn’t necessarily such a bad thing, there are plenty of riders who’ll find it more than enough, but the bike isn’t going to satisfy the many sports bike riders who in the last few years have started to look for alternatives to their wildly high performing superbikes. They’re being satisfied by Aprilia’s Tuono, the Speed Triple, KTMs, even the softer Ducati Monsters, but that’s not where the GSR sits.
The story is similar when it comes to the chassis. The bikes invokes plenty of confidence in the rider with its stability and sure-footedness in corners, even when things get bumpy, and swinging it through a series of turns is fun. But it’s not sports bike agile by any means, preferring more measured inputs through the bars and a rider who’s more comfortable with safe than sharp handling.
You won’t be caught out by the ground clearance, as you can be on some entry level bikes if you push them too hard in corners, but there is one quirk that’s a little unusual. If you have to brake while still leaning over, the bike does have something of a tendency to stand itself up and move off the line you were taking. This used to be more common a few years ago but these days it’s relatively rare, although it’s not something to worry about, it’s not severe and might never be noticed by a lot of riders.
Ergonomically the bike works well for a wide cross section of riders. The small screen takes the sting out of the windblast at higher speeds, but cruise for long at a high motorway speed and you will start to notice some strain from hanging on. But there is some buzzing vibration through all your contact points with the bike in the upper half or the rev range, and on a steady long run this will get uncomfortable for some riders.
You won’t be thanked for taking a passenger too far though, the seat is very small and rather firm with nothing but the rider to hold on to. Best use it for luggage storage instead, and you’ll find some handy tough material loops that pull out from under the seat for attaching bungees.
One modern concern is fuel consumption, and while it’s difficult to make anything but a broad judgement on a first press test, Suzuki claims 10 per cent improved economy over the GSR600 – impressive given the bigger capacity – and that wasn’t bad, so the 3.9 gallon (17.5 litre) tank should be good for up to 200 miles and 50mpg.
The GSR750 then is not a bad bike. It behaves itself well with regards to the throttle and the chassis, it’s pretty quick and it looks good. But there are rivals out there which match it in those respects that bring a whole load of fun, character and excitement to the party.
Get Suzuki motorbike insurance for the suzuki gsr750.
|MODEL TESTED||Suzuki GSR750|
|PRICE||£7,124 on the road (ABS version not available in the UK)|
|ENGINE||inline four-cylinder, liquid cooled, dohc 16v, 749cc|
|POWER||105bhp @ 10,000rpm|
|TORQUE||59lb.ft @ 9,000rpm|
|TANK/RANGE||3.9 gallons (17.5 litres)/ 180 miles|
|TRANSMISSION||Six gears, wet clutch, chain final drive|
|CHASSIS||Steel twin spar|
|SEAT HEIGHT||32.1in (815mm)|
|RAKE/TRAIL||25°20’/ 4.1in (104mm)|
|WEIGHT||463lb (210kg) (kerb, full tank)|
|PHOTOS||Eric Malherbe, Lionel Beylot|