Here’s the first of our ‘Best of 2018’ motorcycles – the Suzuki GSX-S750. Ever since its launch in India this year, it has continued to impress us. We first tested it at the BIC during its launch and immediately fell in love with its handling and engine performance. Then, more recently, we rode it in and around the city, and it never felt cumbersome or uncomfortable on public roads. Now, with all this information available beforehand, we were certain that the Suzuki would be one of the top contenders in our annual test. Suffice it to say, yet again, it exceeded our expectations.
Now, of course, the GSX-S750 is not the last word in the world of cutting-edge technology, but it is right up there. Its roots go all the way back to the 2005 GSX-R750 K5, since it shares the same 749cc in-line-four cylinder unit with that super-sport legend. Sure, the engine has been heavily tweaked and modified over time, but the essence of that motor can still be felt. Some might scorn at this ‘outdated’ aspect of the bike, but the truth can’t be more different! Simply put, the in-line-four motor is a masterpiece. It develops 113bhp and 81Nm of torque, all of which is served in a linear, creamy and progressive manner. Don’t, however, be fooled into thinking that it has no thrills to offer – for it has plenty. Once the tach needle crosses the 5,000rpm mark, all hell breaks loose, as it darts forward like a tiger out for a hunt. But, wait, the excitement doesn’t end here – it becomes even more intense as you go around corners.
As you prepare the motorcycle to turn, you can’t help but be astonished by its superb brakes. And the moment you lean the bike to enter a corner, it sticks to the intended line and stays glued to the tarmac – thanks to the superb suspension setup and Bridgestone Battlax S21 tyres. The front end has a lot of feel, and you never feel that you’re lugging around a 215kg motorcycle. The best part is, even if you make mistakes – braking mid-corner, changing lines or abruptly opening/closing throttle – the GSX-S750 still saves the day by always staying calm and composed. It’s a super sweet and forgiving motorcycle.
We were desperate to see it lap the circuit in the able hands of Sarath, but it never happened – owing to the fact that the motorcycle arrived late to the BIC, and by then our expert racer was already on his flight back home. That said, we reckon it could well have been the fastest motorcycle of the day. As it stands, this is just a speculation. But, despite not getting any points for a lap time, this Suzuki still managed to sneak into the top-three.
The GSX-S750 does have a few areas of concern though – its quality levels aren’t as good as its rivals, there are perceptible vibrations from the handlebar at high engine speeds, and it misses out on a lot of goodies. However, at `7.45 lakh (ex-showroom), it’s a steal. Period.