If you're in the market for an in-line four-cylinder naked streetfighter motorcycle, there aren't many options. The latest entrant to this space is the Suzuki GSX-S750, which was showcased at the Auto Expo 2018 in February. The motorcycle has now been launched at an attractive price of Rs 7.45 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi and at this price the motorcycle will compete with the Triumph Street Triple S/RS, Kawasaki Z900, Honda CBR650F and the upcoming Ducati 821. While things look great on paper, actual performance can be quite different at times. Best way to find out was to ride the motorcycle and what better place to put the bike through its pace than a former F1 circuit. We rode the Suzuki GSX-S750 at the Buddh International Circuit recently and here's why you should consider it and why its competitors should be worried and start thinking of price-cuts.
Now once I headed out on the track, the first thing I noticed and fell in love with was the way this motorcycle sounds!
The exhaust has a deep bass and combined with the reworked air intake, the overall aural effect is immensely satisfying. Powering the GSX S 750 is a 749 cc in-line four-cylinder motor with a power output of about 113 hp @ 10,500 rpm and 81 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm. Response from the motor at low revs is good and while we are yet to ride the motorcycle on roads, the drivability shouldn't be an issue.
On the track, it hardly took any time for me to get used to the dynamics of the GSX S 750 and by the second lap I was committing myself completely into corners and by the third lap, my braking distance too had reduced significantly. The ABS kicked in regularly to control things but having an option to switch it off would have been better.
The engine offers impressive acceleration once past about 5,000 rpm and this meant that powering out of corners was never a challenge. Mid-range and top-end turned out to be impressive on the motorcycle and on the back straight, I was able to touch a top whack of 232 kmph as indicated on the speedo.
The six-speed gearbox is slick and worked perfectly on the track and its well-matched ratios should make it a treat to use in real-world conditions as well.
Despite being one of the oldest engines in its segment, the engine impressed a lot and can hold firm against any of its competitors in the country.
The other impressive aspect of the motorcycle was the handling. Despite weighing 215 kg, the motorcycle was flickable and leaned into corners with ease. With the KYB inverted forks in front, monoshock at the rear and Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 tyres, grip through the corners was easy to find and always more than reassuring even when pushing hard. Helping matters further was the traction control system, which allows for three modes with varying level of intervention.
Now with 200 kmph being breached regularly through the evening, brakes had a critical role to play and boy oh boy they did impress! Initial bite is excellent and feedback from the lever and pedal is good, allowing for more confidence in the machine. Even after 7 flat-out laps in our first session, brake fade was quite less and almost ignorable. Plus, this is a motorcycle designed for the street, not for the track but doesn't fail to impress even here.
Menacing and purposeful, just like a naked streetfighter should be! The Suzuki GSX-S750 to my eye is possibly the best-looking naked motorcycle south of Rs 10 lakh. The small and sharp headlamp looks straight out of the Transformers movie and the edgy and chiselled plastic bits along with a muscular fuel-tank add a fair bit of drama to the already purposeful design. The big exhaust can on the side is the only bit that doesn't look dramatic and eventful. In a nutshell, if you're looking for a motorcycle that will get you a lot of jealous and admiring looks then the GSX-S750 has little competition. It not only sounds brilliant, it looks too!
Instrumentation includes an LCD display that offers a wide range of readouts including speed, engine revs, odometer, trip meter, time, gear indicator, Distance to Empty, average fuel-efficiency and traction control settings. There are three intervention levels to choose for the traction control and it can be turned off too but the ABS is not switchable. Suspension at the front and rear is adjustable for pre-load and modes for traction control can be selected on-the-fly so you don't need to stop or slow down to make any changes.
How the motorcycle performs in the real world is something we'll find out soon but considering the initial observations, Suzuki has launched the right motorcycle at the right price of Rs 7.45 lakh. Kawasaki Z900 and Triumph Street Triple now have a reason to look behind their shoulders in the form of the Suzuki GSX S 750. A handsome-looking motorcycle that can be great fun for both, the seasoned as well as maturing rider without trying to kill him/ her. At under Rs 7.5 lakh, this actually sounds quite a bargain!