Did anyone know, or realise, that Suzuki stopped production of their super-famous GSX-R750 two years ago? Well neither did I, so don’t flay yourself. But yes, it is true and for reasons that had more to do with that Euro draconian emission crap than anything from the Suzuki factory, possibly? But two years have passed and for whatever reason the stunning GSX-R750 is back and for sale in South Africa once again- hurrah!
But the first big ‘hurrah’ appeared way back in 1985 when Suzuki shocked the world with THE first ‘true’ Japanese supersports motorcycle that went on to dominate all forms of racing. Unfortunately after that the designers ate too many pies an’ chips and transferred their expanding mass into the GSX-R range. It became as fat and heavy as a teenage American Bookface expert and stayed that way for way too many years, until the mid/late 90s when it regained its status with the very fast ‘duck-tailed’ version, then later with added fuel injection. I remember top speed testing these things in the 90s with SuperBike UK and they always went past 170m/ph (272km/h), often quicker than anything with bigger engines. Then various changes saw the 750 look the same as the 600 and 1000 version until 2011 when the bike came to halt regarding styling. Now we have this 2019 version, which claims to be the same machine as two years ago, but weirdly feels more refined and complete. Suzuki says it’s the same but it does feel more ‘polished’ in all areas, and it can be all yours for only R161,500.Now before you fall off your bar-stool you’ll notice we have a pristine 1978 GS750 here (not a GSX-R), which is the first of Suzuki’s sporty 750s, and was indeed the ‘king’ of the sport bikes in its day. This one is over 40-years old and still rides like it did in 1978, except it has a pipe and air filter additions. I just thought you’d like to see where it all came from and ridden on the same day, in action, and to enforce the reliability of the 750cc Suzuki engine. The same goes for the 2019 bike’s engine, which will never let you down in any way, because I’ve never heard of one exposing it’s internals, if you know what I mean?
Another tribute to the GS and GSX-R here is the superb gearboxes, which have always been a Suzuki attribute. This old GS still has a supreme gearbox and far better than many of the bikes we have today, no manufacturer names mentioned but some of ‘you’ need to ride either bike here. On the other hand the 2019 GSX-R is equally slick and impressive, but has no quick-shifter as standard. Some might frown on this modern day device missing, but not once during riding did I think it needed one, the gearbox is that good and a pleasure to play with. You could easily fit one if you fancy but personally I wouldn’t waste my money, I’d rather spend it on a tasty Yoshimura silencer instead.
If you desire a bit of electronic intervention there isn’t much to be seen on those instruments. But you do have a stopwatch/lap timer, programmable shift-light, and S-DMS (Suzuki Drive Mode Selector), giving two power modes, and the usual fuel/trip metres. Comically Suzuki says they’re for highway cruising and/or country lane riding, not sure which is for what but it does clip the power to make the 750 into a 600, in power terms. Either way the 190kg (wet) GSX-R is arguably the most exciting adrenalin rush for 160k on the market. No traction control or ABS ‘keeps-it-real’ and I for one enjoyed spinning the rear tyre and locking up the back wheel, so there, and of course the odd wheelie or five.
I touched on the handling aspect earlier and it is, as you’d imagine, excellent. Just point where you want the bike to go and it’ll go there with very little effort and rewarding stability, a truly great chassis on all counts attached to top quality Showa components. There’s also a steering-damper and one of the most comfortable seats I’ve had the pleasure of squashing on a superbike, to keep the rider even more contented.
So the GSX-R750 is back and available in either this gloss black or a matt black/white option, shame there’s not a blue/white option though? If you desire a superbike and not sure which one, because the 1,000cc variants are becoming horrendously expensive, then maybe this is what you’re after. It’s way cheaper and not that much slower and will never let you down, perhaps Lady Gaga should write song about one, she has for everything else….
Go to www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za to observe the full 2019 range and dealer details.