2015 Suzuki GSX-S 750 Review: The Kinder, Gentler Gixxer

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The lore of the Suzuki GSX-R lineup is widely known: these fully-faired sportbikes are scalpels for the street, race-bred animals designed to go from A to B as swiftly as possible. In that pursuit of speed, ergonomics and everyday usability tend to take a back seat to handling, acceleration, and braking. Among the GSX-R 600, GSX-R 750, and GSX-R 1000, the middle child 750 is arguably the most balanced-- which makes it a fitting subject to be converted into the GSX-S 750, a more approachable, naked style bike.

Turning Down the Volume

The 2015 Suzuki GSX-S 750 is priced at $7,999 in metallic matte black, or $8,149 in traditional Suzuki blue and white, a $4,000+ discount compared to its edgier GSX-R750 stablemate. For your eight grand or so, you get a 749cc engine that’s based on the 2005 GSX-R750, with revised timing, lift, and intake/exhaust ports to produce focus torque on the low to midrange levels (while producing less horsepower.)

Suzuki says the new bike also offers 11 percent better fuel economy, but the real draw here is revised ergonomics in the form of an upright riding posture that replaces the GSX-R’s stretched out posture. Swing a leg over the GSX-S 750’s saddle (which sits 32.1 inches above ground), and you’ll find the bars don’t demand excessive upper body strain. My knees were still folded a bit due to the rearward pegs (I’ve got a 32-inch inseam, and some of my shorter colleagues reported a more comfortable leg position), but the bend is comprehensible given the GSX-S’s positioning as a milder-yet-still-sporty ride.

The 749cc mill feels and acts like a more even-tempered version of its superbike self, with a surprisingly mild throttle tip-in at low rpms that becomes an even, long-reaching swell of torque that extends well into the middle of the powerband. The clutch takes a bit more effort to work than the shifter (which is delightfully light and “clicky”), but the clutch isn’t heavy enough to cause significant fatigue unless you’re used to considerably smaller displacement bikes. No traction control or ABS puts the onus on rider technique and caution, versus relying on electronics systems for safety.

The GSX-S 750 tips the scales at 463 pounds and handles well considering its footprint; the rake and trail produce a steering feel that’s precise enough without demanding too many corrections, and the bike feels stable in corners. Though the twin-disc front brakes demand a bit more lever effort than I’d like, applying the rear brake noticeably helps the slow-down efforts.

Bottom Line

The Suzuki GSX-S 750 does everything it aims to do effectively, combining a smooth, torquey engine with capable handling and a strong overall sense of cohesiveness—that is, the engine feels well-suited to the chassis, and the moving bits feel like they work well together in that stereotypical Japanese bike kind of way. The competition, however, is stiff, namely in the form of the $6,990 Yamaha FZ-07, which offers a sharper and arguably more intriguing three-cylinder engine. Also up for consideration is the pricier Triumph Street Triple ABS ($9,399), which brings a dash of British flair to the middleweight party.

At the end of the day, the battle for naked middleweights depends more on your personal preference than anything else; the GSX-S 750 is sharply styled and feels well-engineered, taking a more balanced, smoothly refined approach to the middleweight formula. If you’re looking for a more thrilling ride, alternatives exist—but if you’re more interested in a day-to-day bike that’s comfortable and capable, Suzuki’s latest fits the bill rather nicely.

Specifications

Price: $7,999 (metallic matte black), $8,149 (Suzuki blue and white)

Engine Type: 4-stroke, inline 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC

Engine Displacement: 749 cc

Bore x Stroke: 72.0 mm x 46.0 mm

Compression Ratio: 12.3 : 1

Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh

Overall Length: 83.3 in

Overall Width: 30.9 in

Overall Height: 41.7 in

Wheelbase: 57.1 in

Ground Clearance: 5.7 in

Seat Height:  32.1 in

Curb weight: 463 lbs

Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped

Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped

Brakes Front: Disc, twin

Brakes Rear: Disc

Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless

Tires Rear: 180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless

Fuel Tank: 4.6 gallons

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