First Drives

25 April 2018

Suzuki GSX-S750 ridden

Suzuki’s new middleweight battle-drone is here and we’ve ridden it at the racetrack

Ashok George
Car image




You know why we’re so excited about the GSX-S750? When the GSX-S1000 came along, we didn’t know what to expect. A modern street-naked from Suzuki wasn’t something that we had experienced before. And as it stood, we didn’t know what we were in for. But the moment we sat on it, the S1000 blew us away with the kind of performance that kept you awake at night, trembling. I mean, put a legendary litre-class motor in a street motorcycle and what else do you expect? And that’s the same formula Suzuki have used for the GSX-S750. So, hell yeah! We’re excited!

To the eye
Visually, the motorcycle is very similar to the S1000. The front end still gets that sabretooth light cluster with those incisors on the side. The profile still uses lines that are angled forward for that aggressive and sporty feel. The tail is minimal and doesn’t create any fuss while remaining handsome. Some differences from the bigger motorcycle is that there is a new side panel added to get rid of the space behind the engine. Oh, and the forks are no longer painted gold.

The S750 runs the same instrumentation as the S1000 too – fully digital with RPM, speed, fuel, temperature, TC, odo, trip and range readouts. Personally, we think the blue looks best, but we’re told we’d be surprised by the number of people who are in love with the red. Oh yea, the S750 can be had in either blue or red.

At the heart
As we said before, the GSX-S750 is like its bigger brother in that it’s engine is derived from the GSX-R750 – specifically, the GSX-R750 from 2015, the K5. Yes, you may begin trembling now. But the thing is, Suzuki didn’t choose this engine just for being the K5. The engine was specifically chosen for it being the most vertically angled 750 motor they had. This means they could run a much shorter wheelbase once the engine was in. Smart, no?

Anyway, the 749cc inline four has been returned for street use and in its GSX-S750 tune, it makes 113bhp and 81Nm of torque. The gearbox has been optimised for acceleration, but the sixth gear has been designed to extract great top speed too. It gets new 10-hole injectors that Suzuki claim increase combustion efficiency. Suzuki also claims a fuel efficiency of 20.4kpl!

What is surprising though is that it doesn’t get a slipper or slip-and-assist clutch. City clutch use could be a problem. Could be…
The S750, however, does comes with a whole bunch of electronic assists. To start with, there is the Low RPM Assist that raises engine revs to keep the motorcycle from stalling on you when starting from standstill. There is also the one-touch start system that doesn’t require you to keep the starter button pressed till the engine cranks. But the REAL electronics are the new traction control and ABS. The ABS is dual channel as with all modern motorcycles but what is notable is the TC. It gets three modes with and an additional option to switch it off completely. Mode 1 is least interference and Mode 3 is most. What’s great about the system is that it calculates the attitude of the bike once every four milliseconds and adjusts air-intake and ignition to gently back off the power until optimum traction is achieved. It isn’t as advanced as the modern IMU-enabled systems you find these days, but it is super quick and not chunky in its interference at all.

The framework
Unlike the engine, there isn’t a lot in common with the K5 when it comes to the chassis. The S750 uses a new chassis specially developed for the motorcycle. It is a part tubular steel tube, part steel D-section/twin-spar unit that has been designed to balance rigidity and comfort. It uses a 41mm KYB fork up front that is adjustable for preload and compression with a preload-adjustable single shocker at the rear. Up front, there are two 310mm floating discs with radial, four-pot calipers from Nissin while a single disc does the job at the rear. Unfortunately, the GSX-S750 still doesn’t get a braided brake line. Might be a concern for high-speed racetrack use.
The GSX-S750 comes with Bridgestone’s new Battlax S21 tyres that have been specially developed to be used on the S750.

On the go
First thing you notice when you set off is how linear the power delivery is. And to have achieved this without losing usability is a big, big win. The engine develops excellent torque through the rev band and pulls cleanly all the way to the redline. So much that you keep running higher gears out of corners with every passing lap. Even on the slowest of corners, you can leave the S750 in third gear and still have an adequate drive while exiting. And the great bit is that this low end and mid-range punch doesn’t come at the expense of top end performance, the optimised sixth gear makes sure of that. On the main straight, we repeatedly saw speeds close to 240kph – lap on lap.

That said, a quick shifter would have been a nice little addition to the S750. As it is, the motorcycle isn’t a fan of clutchless upshifts. But thankfully, the other usual feature in this segment – a slipper clutch – isn’t missed all that much. Even though aggressive downshifts, the rear rarely skips and jumps.

It is a heavy motorcycle (215kg), and when you’re wheeling it around, the weight does show. But for something this large-looking, the size disappears as soon as you’re aboard. The motorcycle manages to wrap itself around you very well and once on the go, you don’t notice the weight or size one bit. You do feel the weight a tiny bit going into corners. It takes a little more effort to turn in than some of its peers. But that isn’t too much of a bother. Especially when you consider how good the S750 is around corners. It is quick to steer and holds its line with great confidence. It takes you a couple of laps to get used to how far you can push it. And you really can push it a fair bit. For tyres that are meant for road use, the Bridgestone S21s offer great traction. And with a nice neutral feel to the steering, you will be scraping your knees with next to no effort.

The sum of it all
To find things to complain about on the S750, one has to look really hard and only then will you find that the tank lacks grip when leaned over to hold on to. A bigger heel plate would have been nice too. Some wind protection would have been nice too. A little fly screen to deflect some air would have gone a long way at 200kph.

But aside from these minor complaints, there isn’t much we can find wrong with it. It handles really well, it looks great, it goes like stink and above all that, it is one of the friendliest big-bikes we have ridden. Overall, Suzuki has a winner on their hands. And the price just seals that deal. At Rs 7.45 lakh (ex-showroom), the GSX-S750 is incredible value for money. Suzuki, you should count this as a win!


Tags: suzuki, motorcycle, gsx s750, 750cc, 1000

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