Suzuki GSR750 | First Ride

A sheep in wolf’s clothing

I'd been keen to add some excitement to the ride, but not like this. We'd stopped at a turnout near Seville in southern Spain to shoot some photos when a Guardia Civil van arrived with blue lights flashing. The pistol-wearing policeman leapt out, confiscated our passports and booked one rider for pulling wheelies.

Performing stunts in front of the law is rarely a bright idea, but it’s particularly inappropriate when you’re riding a Suzuki GSR750. You wouldn’t think so, to look at it. This aggressively styled, stripped-down GSX-R750 gives every impression of being a snarling streetfighter that has trouble keeping its front wheel on the ground.

But the GSR is not like that at all. Despite its sharp looks, this unfaired Suzuki is a sensible roadster. The bike’s 749cc 16-valve engine is based on the 2005 GSX-R, but incorporates numerous modifications aimed at improving midrange response. Unlike the aluminum-framed GSX-R, this new 750 makes do with a steel frame. Suspension is a fairly basic blend of 41mm inverted fork and single shock from Kayaba, both ends adjustable for preload but not damping.

Bold press-conference comments about “going wild” were echoing in my ears as I approached the GSR, but it didn’t take long to realize that the bike didn’t match the hype. Its footpegs and one-piece handlebar give an upright riding position, and the bike pulls away with a very docile feel. Midrange throttle response is excellent, though it doesn’t make for easy wheelies. The power delivery is gentle enough to make the GSR ideal for relatively inexperienced riders, while more confident pilots are likely to find the bike a bit bland, with no real power kick to get the adrenaline flowing.

The day became distinctly more exciting when we turned off the freeway and headed north on smaller roads. Suspension at both ends worked pretty well, with a reasonable balance between being compliant enough for a comfortable ride yet taut enough to give good control. In tighter turns the GSR needed a firm nudge on the bars to push it down. Mass has something to do with that, as the bike’s 463-lb. curb weight is about 40 lbs. heavier than the latest supersport model.

The GSR is right in the mix with similarly priced middleweights including the $8490 Yamaha FZ8 and $8899 Triumph Street Triple. Buyers with cash to spare have the option of livening up its look with Suzuki’s accessory dark screen and belly pan.

Both of those accessories add to the bike’s aggressive image, but potential owners should not be confused by those parts any more than by the GSR750 itself. Our group of moto-journalists managed to get in trouble with the law, but there are far more suitable bikes for stunting than this one. Despite the sharp styling, imaginative publicity materials and its GSX-R origins, the GSR750 is a capable, slightly ordinary naked bike that makes up in all-round performance, rideability and competitive price what it lacks in speed and excitement. Who’d have thought so to look at it?

tech Spec

Price na
Engine type l-c inline-four
Valve train DOHC, 16v
Displacement 749cc
Transmission 6-speed
Claimed horsepower 106 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Claimed torque 59 lb.-ft. @ 9000 rpm
Frame Steel twin-spar
Front suspension 41mm Kayaba inverted fork with adjustable spring preload
Rear suspension Kayaba shock with adjustable spring preload
Front brake Dual Tokico two-piston calipers, 310mm discs
Rear brake Tokico single-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front tire 120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone Battlax BT-016
Rear tire 180/55ZR-17 Bridgestone Battlax BT-016
Seat height 32.0 in.
Wheelbase 57.0 in.
Fuel capacity 4.6 gal.
Claimed curb weight 463 lbs.

Verdict 3.5 out of 5 stars
An excellent all-rounder. Why try to hype it up?

They say:
"Thrilling performance stimulates aggression!" We say: "We'd rather avoid the traffic ticket."
Hard lines and simple styling make the Suzuki GSR750 a sharp-looking bike. Unfortunately, American Suzuki has no plans to import the bike at this time