This year Suzuki is retaliating in the mid-size sportbike segment with the brand-new GSX-R600 and GSX-R750. Suzuki's engineers pulled no punches to make the new Gixxers the best of the current crop. Redesigned, lightened and optimized down to the slightest detail, these bikes are determined to whoop some serious ass.
The smaller of the two, the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600, proved up to the challenge on track, to the point where it outstripped most of its rivals and even went head to head with the last year's supersport comparo winner. Its big brother, the GSX-R750, didn't shine as brightly, however, during our one-on-one track test at the demanding Autodrome St-Eustache.
Make no mistake
Though it seems identical to its smaller sibling, and on paper it promises the same engine and frame evolutions, the new GSX-R750 proves quite distinctive in its own right, both in terms of feel and track performance. It's as if Suzuki wanted to divide the Gixxers into two camps, one for the track and one for the road.
A veritable icon, the GSX-R750 pursues its solo career in a class where the occasional Triumph Daytona 675 or Ducati 848 unexpectedly joins the fray. It has been named best sport model for the road innumerable times, but it does admirably well on track days as well even though it has never run in any official race.
On the go & at the track
The engine is very willing, with good throttle response at the low and mid-rpm range, and it's really robust at the top end. You can feel the grunt from the get-go. No doubt about it, the 750 has a lot more guts than its little brother and requires a lot less finessing to get the most out of it.
Though not as agile as the 600, the GSX-R750 navigated the St-Eustache bendies without too much trouble. The rider has to work a little harder here, forcing with the upper body to set proper corner entry trajectories. The engine's inertia is part of it, even though Suzuki did a good job reducing its unwanted effects thanks to lighter internal components and the 15-mm shorter wheelbase.
On the flip side, the 750 proves extremely stable at high speed and in the sweeping corners of the Autodrome. The Gixxer really inspires confidence, though it's obvious that despite the healthy dollop of power, it can't really compete with the little 600, which truly showcases all the improvements of this latest vintage.
The rider has to work a little harder here, forcing with the upper body to set proper corner entry trajectories. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Moto123.com)