Ridden – Suzuki GSX-R750

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Suzuki’s GSX-R 750 has been some 25 years in the making and this is the result – a bike that’s as close to Japanese sportsbike perfection as it gets.

Put simply, the 750 is the best bike in the Gixxer family. It has the sweet, lightweight chassis of the 600 without the need to be revved hard at every opportunity, and while it’s still frighteningly quick – it’s good for some 170mph – it doesn’t have the outright  urgency of the 1000. What all this does is put the rider firmly in control, allowing them to concentrate more on the road and exploiting what’s on offer.

Swinging a leg over the bike the first thing that becomes apparent is just how familiar everything feels and just how comfortable it is. The seat is wide and plush, the bars come almost perfectly to hand, the mirrors work and the clocks are simple and easy to read. I’m 6ft 2in tall and it easily accommodates my lanky frame. This isn’t a bike dripping in tech screaming look at me, this is an understated, subtle bike which demands to be ridden, hard.

Turning the key and firing up the engine, you’re greeted with a satisfying bark from the free revving lump. Leaving town behind and heading for the open roads, the pace increases and the Suzuki starts to shine. On the move the grunty engine reveals just how good it is – it’s just as happy screaming like a 600 as it is bimbling along in top at 4000rpm. This means you’re not having to work the box hard like you would a 600, and you feel like you’re using a lot more of the bike’s potential compared with the 1000.

Another area where the 750 excels is its suspension. The ride quality is brilliant. The 750 is set-up as soft straight out of the crate, and it’s spot on for Britain’s bumpy, pot hole ridden road network. Those Showa big piston forks devour everything in their path, and riding it quickly is effortless – it’s brilliantly agile yet feels planted in the corners.

Some 130 miles later and the fuel light comes on, and as we stop for fuel I cast my eye over the bike. It’d make a decent tourer – that wide tank would easily swallow a tankbag and there are are plenty of bungee points on the tail. But the more I look at the 750 the more I feel let down by it. It looks too similar to its 600cc and 1000cc siblings, and it’s starting to look a bit dated. It looks very much like a Japanese sportsbike; it looks anonymous.

As the day continues I’ve already forgotten about its questionable styling – I’m simply having too much fun. I’m even enjoying the notoriously wooden brakes – yes, they’re not the strongest, but this isn’t really an issue as the lack of initial bite simply means the front never feels flustered.

So, it’s good, comfortable, plenty quick enough and it’s easy to ride. But, why is it so good? A lot of that is due to the WSB rule changes in 2003 which allowed 1000cc four cylinder machines to compete, freeing Suzuki to develop the 750 as a more road focused bike. They’ve created a belter. This is the best road bike in Britain today. And with Suzuki currently offering £800 cash back and some cheap finance deals, this is a real world bike that even more of us can enjoy.

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