First Ride Review: The Suzuki GSX-S750 Should you buy it?
Can the Suzuki GSX-S750 hold its own against rivals
When it comes to the middleweight naked segment, global bikemakers make it a point to put their best foot forward. Everybody wants to grab a pie of the most popular segment of them all and even the bikes are mandated to have multifaceted personalities, to stand out. They should be able to rough it out on track, be friendly in cities and even be comfortable for touring. Kawasaki’s Z series of street fighters has been popular among the masses followed by the Triumph Street Triple. However, what we’ve sampled at the Buddh International Circuit coming from Suzuki’s stable is sure to unsettle things a bit. Behold the Suzuki GSX-S750, a derivative of the GSX-R750, Suzuki’s middle weight super sport that debuted almost 13 years back. The real catch here is its price – at just Rs 7.45 lakh, ex-showroom it undercuts its rivals by a fair margin. But can it hold onto its own given the masterful company? Let’s find out.
If flashy is what you like, the Suzuki GSX-S750 isn’t for you
The GSX-S750 derives a lot of elements from its big brother, the GSX-S1000 which isn’t a problem at all. The stance is very masculine, although it does not stand out unlike the Street Triple or the quirky MT-09 or even the other worldly Z900. The designer’s pitch clearly seems to be coming from a traditionalist point of view, with minimal clutter and maximum function. There’re a lot of elements painted in black which are camouflaged in both, the red and blue shades. Even the 10-spoked alloys are carved beautifully but hidden thanks to their black theme. Same is the case with the belly pan as well as the sculpted swing arm. The theme here is to keep everything understated without being showy unlike the Europeans. Not everyone likes the bug-eyed headlamps or triple organ exhaust pipes, right? Sometimes it’s best to stay humble suggests Suzuki.
What else does the Suzuki GSX-S750 have to offer?
Suzuki has put lots of man hours on the power train as well as the electronics. The twin spar frame is carried over from the GSX-R family. However, the engine is mounted in a slightly inclined manner, allowing for the wheelbase to be shortened. There’s also an all-new airbox with two inlet hoses allowing the bike to breathe better. There’s also an added tooth to the rear sprocket for quicker acceleration although the final ratio has been optimised for better top speed, resulting in the same figure as that of the super sport sibling.
Even the three-level traction control adjusts the fuelling according to the rider’s inputs and can be completely switched off. Level 1 is suited for sporty riding, level two caters to urban conditions while level three is the most intrusive and keeps you alive in wet conditions. Finally, you get top drawer Bridgestone Battlax S21 rubber, developed specially for the Suzuki. Remember, most of the other Japanese adversaries are still running inferior S20s.
How is the Suzuki GSX-S750 to ride?
Suzuki seems to have taken the ‘Apex Predator’ tagline way too seriously, we believe. The ride was held at Buddh International Circuit, a massive 5.14km long track with superfluous corners, suitable for Formula 1 cars. Although, the GSX-S750 is quick, no second thoughts about that, the track is still overwhelming for a non-faired bike with quarter litre capacity. Also, the riding impression is based on a total track time of hardly 20 minutes, so if you are looking for a detailed report, please do wait for a few more weeks as Suzuki has promised to send the bikes to us for a proper road test.
As you swing a leg over the saddle, you notice how everything falls to hand so easily. The bars aren’t so wide as on the Brutale 800 or even the MT-09. There’s no ride by wire, so there are no riding modes to choose from. We began the ride with TC adjusted at level 1. The tacho can be set in five different ways though including a mode that displays the RPM at which the previous gearshift was made. Slot into first and the ‘Low RPM assist’ start working work, allowing you to surge forward without stalling the bike. The feature could prove to be a boon in city riding conditions. The cluster looks dated as compared to the Street Triple RS’ but displays a plethora of information. Switching between traction control levels is easy too with a switch on the left, allowing you to toggle between the modes. Exit the pit lane and pass C1, open the throttle in second gear and the front suddenly starts pointing upwards. Get onto the back straight and whack open the gas and the Suzuki starts going forward with great urgency.
The power delivery is linear all the way to 7.5k after which the in-line four starts showing its true colours. Get to 8000rpm and the GSX gets bonkers, as the airbox breathes even more air giving out a loud and bassy note, which continues all the way to to its 12000rpm redline. Remind you, the exhaust note is addictive and you’d seldom want to get out of the ‘zone’ once you’ve heard it. 81Nm of twist is generated at 9000rpm which catapults you into the horizon and before you know, you’ve hit speeds in the range of 230kmph. There is massive wind blast as it does not come with a fairing but the bike is raring to go faster yet. However, your brain asks you to shut the gas to allow you survive another lap. The power delivery is creamy smooth and there are very few vibes felt which makes it even more addictive. 232 on the next lap in the sixth cog and after that my mind asks me to give up. Gosh, this is a fast motorcycle.
The Kayabas at the front and the rear weren’t really tested to their limits as we rode only on the track although they performed really well. The suspension is aptly tuned for track but how does it fare in the real world conditions? That’s a far more important question which will be answered sooner or later. On the track though, there was nothing much to complain about as the ‘apex predator’ danced its way through the corners. It may not be as agile as the Street Triple or the Brutale 800 but it’s not really bad either. It’s heavier than the European adversaries, which adds to its woes. The suspension is well behaved even under heavy load of braking. Speaking of which, the 310mm front disc was tested to its full potential today. The ABS worked in correct doses with minimal fuss. Summing it up, braking is definitely confidence inspiring and there’s nothing to nit-pick here.
Should you buy the Suzuki GSX-S750?
The Suzuki GSX-S750 doesn’t look as exotic looking as the MV Agusta Brutale 800. It doesn’t have the dynamic capabilities of the Triumph Street Triple RS (or even the S), heck, it isn’t even the most powerful of the lot as that title goes to the Kawasaki Z900. And guess what, with a price tag of Rs 7.68, ex-showroom Delhi, the Kwacker is dearer by just Rs 23,000. Then why is Suzuki bringing down CKD units of the GSX-S750 to India?
The answer is simple. Suzuki understands that there’s no dearth of buyers upgrading from their 390 Dukes or Ninja 300s to something bigger and more powerful. The GSX-S750 slots in very comfortably here as it is an extremely friendly machine to start with, yet when given beans, it has enough grunt to leave you smiling. And Indians are sold when a motorcycle sounds nice; case in point being the Benelli TnT 600i. Need we say more?