2015 Suzuki GSX-S750: Budget Standard

Text: Florian Neuhauser • Photography: Suzuki

Suzuki has a long history of 750cc, four-stroke motorcycles starting with the GS750 in 1977. In the mid-1980s, the “X” was added for the gen four iteration, which ushered in liquid cooling. Over the years, they evolved leading us to the current generation 10, GSX-S750, making it one of the longest running model lines.

Austin, TX, was the chosen testing ground for this standard bike. And who’s better to lead a bunch of unruly motorcycle journalists than legendary motorcycle racer Kevin Schwantz. Temperatures hovered in the 60s and 70s, but overcast clouds and a constant sprinkle left the roads wet for the entire duration of the test ride. The route leading west out of Austin offered plenty of tight corners through the Balcones Canyonlands and an open highway at high speeds on the return. 

Engine and Transmission

There’s something undeniably appealing about a Japanese four-cylinder. It’s smooth, powerful, and doesn’t make too much noise. The GSX-S750 is no different. The 749cc power plant is well mannered throughout the rpms, building power at the low end and providing predictable torque and throttle response all the way to the redline. Vibration is a nonissue, but the typical buzz is present and most notably felt on the grips and pegs as the rpms climb.

The engine is derived from the GSX-R750K5, which is the track-born sportbike in the family. In the standard, however, it’s tamer but still features great acceleration and a power curve matched to street riding. It also gets 10 percent better gas mileage (48 mpg, claimed) than the GSX-R.

The six-speed transmission is a great match, and we were pleased with the close ratios of the gears. This, and the effortlessly actuated clutch, further underlines the easiness about this motorcycle and why it’s fun to ride.

Chassis and Handling 

We found nothing too exciting or technologically advanced about the frame, suspension, or brakes, but then again it’s a ,999 motorcycle. 

The frame combines a steel tubular girder street bike chassis with a twin-spar frame used in sportbikes. It works well for the GSX-S750. The strongest selling point is the upright seating position with a slight forward lean. The handlebar is wide and the foot pegs are high, all suitable for a full day of very spirited riding without the neck and back aches. The lightweight 17-inch front and rear wheels contribute to the lively handling.

The suspension is comprised of an inverted KYB fork and a single rear shock with adjustable spring preload. This typical setup, while it doesn’t boast the latest electronics, certainly boosts its reliability and keeps maintenance costs low. The threaded bosses for a service stand are a welcomed feature, but riders will have to buy the spools themselves.

The dual 310mm floating discs with two-piston calipers in the front and the 240mm disc with a single-piston caliper in the rear provide sufficient braking services. Even though it’s a budget motorcycle, we feel that ABS should have been included, even if only offered as an option. 

Models and Instrumentation

The GSX-S750 model is black and costs ,999. The GSX-S750Z is the blue and white version, which looks really good and still only costs ,149—0 well spent in our opinion. 

Yoshimura, one of Suzuki’s long-time partners, offers performance items that add some more grunt. The Yoshi exhaust sounds impressively robust, and it’s legal in all 50 states (noise and emissions).

The instrument panel displays an analog tach on the left and a digital LCD readout on the right. During testing conditions everything was easy to see. Readouts include a gear-position indicator, coolant temperature gauge, fuel gauge, clock, selectable odometer, dual-trip meter, and fuel consumption meter.

Flo’s Lowdown

At this price point, Suzuki will certainly get the budget conscious rider’s attention. It’s a solid motorcycle that handles very well and is entertaining to ride. It will appeal to the sport rider, the commuter, and also the minimalist tourer. We like the 4.6-gallon fuel tank that ensures one will be riding more than stopping for gas. While the small passenger seat won’t win over a significant other, it will serve more as a place to secure luggage.

As a long-legged 6-foot-2 guy, the legroom is uncomfortably cramped. Riders below the six-foot mark will find this machine more comfortable. 

Within an hour I started to squirm on the seat. It’s very soft, and I suspect it will be the first item replaced with an aftermarket one.

Japanese marques are known for their reliability and quality construction. The GSX-S750 makes a great first bike but is also a good addition to the stable of a long-time rider. Bottom line: It’s an effortless and enjoyable ride, it’s powerful, and it’s very affordable.