No other sportbike brand offers the legacy and racing heritage as Suzuki does with its one-of-a-kind 2013 GSX-R750 ($12,199). The 750-powered Gixxer ushered in the modern era of replica racers and has been produced continuously for almost 30 years. Updated two years ago, today’s 750 continues to employ a 600-style chassis stuffed with an oversized Inline Four yielding faster acceleration without a weight or handling penalty—a recipe for success, right?
Given that the 750 Gixxer is based on its 600cc brother, it’s no surprise that it shares identical dimensions behind the windscreen. The 750 is a very neutral-feeling bike with a low seat height and more relaxed handlebar position that isn’t as racy as the Ducati or MV, yet it’s still plenty adept at fast laps. The ability to adjust the height of the footpegs is a nice touch, too.
“It’s very similar to its brother the 600 but those extra ponies make a difference,” Dunstan admits. “Everything feels the same – the chassis, the turn-in, the ergonomics it just has a little more grunt power.”
The GSX-R750 offers nearly identical handling to that of the 600. Mid-pack handling scores didn’t give it any help on the scorecard. (Center
) The GSX-R750 cockpit isn’t as tiny-feeling as the Honda but worked well for all of our testers. (Bottom
) The Suzuki 750 registered the highest braking forces into turns.
Tip the 750 into a corner and it doesn’t offer the extreme agility of the Honda or even the Kawasaki or Triumph. Yet it’s still no slug. Weight-wise the added 150cc of engine displacement equate to a bike that weighs eight pounds more than the GSX-R600 (425 pounds with a full tank of gas) but more importantly, eight less than the Ducati.
“It feels really neutral,” says Zemke, who like Pridmore, used to race the 750-powered GSX-R during the era of the AMA’s 750 Supersport class. “It didn’t do anything real bad. It’s a very even-feeling bike. It was easy to ride with no surprises.”
Steering through the slower right/left sequence of Turn 8 and 9 showed that it transitions from side-to-side in the exact amount of time as the 600 (60 degrees per second) positioning it ahead of only the Ducati and MV . Leaned over on its side it felt virtually identical to the 600. It was stable and generally delivered pleasing mid-corner feel, but its corner speeds were nothing extraordinary and when averaged the 750 fell toward the tail-end of the group. Another strike against the GSX-R was that it couldn’t carry as much lean angle through the Bowl, even compared to its own 600cc sibling.
“If I had to really find a flaw with the GSX-R750 I’d say that it lacks that edge,” says Colton. “But at the same time it’s so friendly to ride that you’re really nit-picking for problems. You always know what you’re getting with either Suzuki. It’s all business with no surprises.”
Under braking, the GSX-R’s fork was well damped and offered ample attitude control during trail braking exercises. The action of the shock complemented the front suspension resulting in great balance through all parts of a turn. It also handled the extra horsepower and torque load of the engine with no complaints. The only strike against it is it didn’t offer the same feel-every-bump-in-the-road feedback that we experienced with the Ohlins-equipped Triumph or even the Showa fork on the Honda.
All of our testers were pleased with the Suzuki’s handling,
Suzuki GSX-R750 Settings:
Preload: 4 (Turns in)
Compression: 5 (Turns out)
Preload: Standard 181mm spring length
Low-Speed Compression: 2.25
High-Speed Compression: 3
but it was the extra ‘oomph under the hood we found most exciting. Pulls on the dyno show that it’s indeed the most powerful bike in this competition, generating 126.65 horsepower at 12,600 rpm. That’s nearly 26 more than the CBR and 12.4 hp ahead of the 636-powered Ninja. It also handily trumps the Ducati in spite of the Italian mount’s 99cc advantage. An additional 1100 rpm of over-rev remain, serving as an extra cushion when deciding whether to upshift or hold onto a gear before braking for the next corner.
“It definitely has the power advantage,” says Zemke. “It feels like a 600 that’s got a built race motor in it, but it's stock. There’s definitely a lot more torque in the motor so there is less shifting involved. With the 600 you’d be catching extra upshifts and downshifts at different places
) Like its little brother, the GSX-R750 failed to excite in any one category. No doubt it’s a great bike but it lacks the edgy performance that makes a great bike excellent. (Center
) The Suzuki’s Brembo monoblocs function well but suffer from a degree of brake fade during moderate use. (Bottom
) Even with the extra displacement of its engine the GSX-R750 is one of the lighter bikes in this contest with the highest power-to-weight ratio.
on the track. Whereas with the 750 you can either just leave it in that gear or you can carry a gear higher and use the torque of the motor to pull you off the corner.“
As Zemke mentions, the 750 has a noticeably more robust torque curve. Although it’s over seven lb-ft less than the 848 EVO, it sure doesn’t feel that way as it offers a much broader and consistent spread of torque. This allows the rider to run the GSX-R a gear high (similar to the ZX-6R) and equates to fantastic drives off turns. The GSX-R750 recorded the second-best acceleration force off Turns 10 and 13 and the highest top speeds, too. Like the 600, however, the transmission didn’t upshift as cleanly as the other non-quickshifter equipped bikes, which hurt it in the Drivetrain category.
Since it carries so much more mph down the straightaways, the 750 is theoretically going to require more braking force to slow down for the following corner. The data confirms this with it registering the highest g-force into Turns 1 and 8. However the braking components weren’t as universally loved as the other Brembo monoblocs or even the Tokico and Nissin set-ups on the Honda and Kawasaki, highlighted by inconsistent lever feel as the brakes build heat with use.
“I’ve got a lot of time on one of those and without a doubt it’s one of the most fun sportbikes that’s out today,” says Neuer.” It does everything great. It’s kind of been the same for a while and some of the other bikes are catching up to it as far as technology goes, but the 750 holds its own and it’s fast.”
“To me, it’s probably one of my favorite bikes that I have ridden,” agrees the ’97 750 Supersport champ, Pridmore. “At this test it kind of shone through itself again. It was a bike you could go fast on really easily. That said again, if somebody else jumped into the class and made Suzuki make that bike better, there’s still room for improvement.”
"Hard to find fault with the GSX-R750… it may just be the best sportbike you can buy," added Carruthers. "Not a 600 and not a 1000. The perfect sportbike?"
You’ll be hard pressed to ride a more versatile or easy handling bike than this three-quarter-liter Suzuki. A broad
- Broad powerband
- Predictable handling
- Ergonomics fit a wide range of riders
- In-between many racing classes
- Can be hard to upshift under load
- Suffers from brake fade
powerband, predicable steering, and friendly cockpit allow fast laps to come at ease as proven by its Superpole times, at or near the top of the timesheet. Despite competence in many categories it’s missing that special something that separates great bikes from truly excellent ones. Still, if you’re seeking a well-rounded racer, then the GSX-R750 will be just what you’re looking for.