So the new-and-improved GSX-R600 comes in and wins the street section of our 2011 Supersport Shootout. Then how does the GSX-R750 stack up in this middleweight battle? Well, take the shootout winner’s confidence-inspiring chassis and street-friendly ergos, then add another 20 horsepower. Doesn’t take a doomsday prophet to foresee how this one ends…
Its lineage wrought in the original 750cc Superbike class, the GSX-R750 is the last of its kind and remains a fixture in the Suzuki lineup (excepting that missing 2010 line, of course…). Suzuki dutifully refreshes it in tandem with the 600’s development cycle. And we’re glad they do, as the 750 offers a thrilling middle ground between the traditional Superport and now liter-class Superbike offerings.
It all starts with the Inline Four. The larger Gixxer punches out the 600’s bore 3mm to 70, with stroke elongated from 42.5 to 48.7mm. Those extra 150cc generate 21 more horsepower than its little brother, with its 125.42 peak an even six up on the Ducati Twin. While 54.85 lb-ft of peak torque at 10,900 rpm gets eclipsed by the Ducati (by nearly eight lb-ft), the 750 covers each of the 600s by a good 10 lb-ft.
Take a comparison winner and add another 20 horsepower. Yes, the Suzuki 2011 GSX-R750 is a cheater... So what!
On the street this extra oomph translates into one wickedly fun mount. Down low the power is easily managed, and quite similar to its smaller-displacement sibling. Crank that throttle and the power delivery is thankfully smooth, not punchy, but boy does it come on quick. Mid-range blows away the 600s and top end as the 750 spools up has things blurring posthaste.
“It’s like a 600 on steroids,” confirms Adam. “Right off the bottom it feels about the same as a 600 but get the revs up past five grand and you’ll feel that its got more steam under the hood. Throttle response and the engine’s overall character ranks right up there too.”
Our testing crew hailed the bigger is better mantra when it came to the GSX-R powerplants. “To me it had that little extra to really get up and go quick when you exiting corners,” deems Simon. “It just hauled ass all around and I felt like I couldn’t ride that bike enough. You could also hear the horsepower in this engine. It was really throaty and strong sounding.”
The Suzuki GSX-R750's 125.42 peak horespower topped the dyno charts, the extra 150cc delivering terrific performance.
Curiously the 750 registered much lower decibel readings than the 600 (79 at ide, 95 at half the 14K-and-change redline). Revved out, however, the 750 emotes an intake howl and exhaust reverb similar to, though not as deep sounding as its brother.
Performance testing shows the high-horsepower Gixxer 750 on top, with its 10.45 quarter-mile and 3.15 0-60. Says Adam: “Launching the Suzuki 750 is almost like cheating. It has a hair more torque down low which helps you get rolling forward more easily than the 600s. It's still not as fool-proof as the Ducati but it's certainly better than the 600s.”
Sixty to zero braking saw the Suzuki a mere foot behind its 600 doppleganger at 123. Utilizing the same Brembo monoblocs, the near identical result is to be expected. The extra foot could be the six-pound heavier weight difference, as the 750 tipped the scales at 421 pounds fully fueled.
We shall forego repeating the details on the riding position and ergonomics, as they are identical to the 600 and class-leading for street use. The same could be said of the chassis upgrades, yet our testing crew, particularly the more experienced riders, claimed the 750 suspension setup felt a hair stiffer and more communicative. This shifted its ranking from very good to best, as the larger Suzuki engine goaded its operator to press a little harder, where the Showa Big Piston Fork’s stability only distinguished itself further.
Extra power equals an even more ivigorating experience with the 750. Fortunately, the Gixxers share the same street-friendly ergonomics, top-rated brakes and stable handling.
The 750 proved surprisingly agile for newer riders too, even if they are a tad apprehensive at first. “The GSX-R750 I hated immediately… up until I took my first corner,” says sportbike initiate Agustin. “Holy crap, that thing felt great! It just sat in the turn like a dream. I thought I could take my hands off the bars and it could drive itself.”
So where does the 750 fall short? Well, its 30.1 mpg was easily lowest, as was the 135.4-mile range (4.5 gallon tank). Boohoo, right? Granted these traits are important when factoring street capabilities, but slightly more pain at the pump will be forgiven just seconds after firing up that raucous Gixxer.
For all its great performance edges, the most impressive feat of the 750 is its MSRP. At $11,999 it’s the same price as the Triumph and only…. $400 more than the GSX-R600! It almost does a disservice to its smaller sibling, as unless racing in a displacement-limited class is on the agenda, the 750’s charms are hard to resist (how much would finding an extra 20 hp on a 600 cost going the aftermarket route…).
We introduced this GSX-R750 at the beginning of the test as a full on cheater entry, and it confirmed our expectations – but to a level we did not expect. Had it been included in the scoring, the result wouldn’t have even been close. Showing up the comparison winner and costing a measly extra $400? No wonder the GSX-R750 has stuck around so long.