Suzuki unsuccessfully tried to counter the FZ8, FZ-09 and Z750 with the small SFV 650 Gladius. Now, after a long wait, the highly anticipated 2015 GSX-S750A naked bike is ready to hit the Canadian market.
Did you take a good look at it? Most direct competitors are probably already feeling the heat after dominating this increasingly popular segment. The new Suzuki GSX-S750A is totally different from the old Bandit, sporting unique, racy styling from nose to tail. Pay attention to the chiseled fuel tank, triangular muffler, and textured side panels -- everything reminds you of Suzuki's racing heritage as a multi-time endurance champion.
Good fit and finish add to the quality feel of the GSX-S750A, although some wires could be better concealed. The instrument panel displays all the info you need including a fuel gauge, gear indicator, trip computer (with fuel consumption), analog tachometer, and coolant temperature gauge. Elsewhere, there's an integrated LED taillight and engine immobilizer system with a coded key.
A proven powerplant
Derived from the 2004-2005 GSX-R750, the 749cc inline 4-cylinder engine benefits from a revised intake manifold, injectors that belonged to the 2011 GSX-R, and camshafts that improve mid-range torque. A 32-bit ECU (identical to the one on Suzuki superbikes) handles ignition and injection.
Suzuki's Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) contributes to cylinder charging efficiency and combustion efficiency for better throttle response and torque in the low- to mid-rpm range, while Idle Speed Control (ISC) improves cold starting and stabilizes engine idle. Equipped with a 6-speed transmission (using a chain final drive) that's designed to get the most out of the engine, the new 2015 Suzuki GSX-S750A produces 106 hp at 10,000 rpm and 57 lb-ft of torque at 9,000 rpm.
A chassis that means business
While the footpeg mounts are made of aluminum, the entire frame and swingarm rely on steel, which explains the heavy curb weight of the Suzuki GSX-S750A (213kg) compared with sportier bikes. The 41mm inverted front fork and single rear shock offer spring preload adjustment only, but the whole setup was cleverly designed and tuned which could give the GSX-S750A an edge versus competitors with cheaper suspension components. Meanwhile, the Antilock Brake System (ABS) comes with a compact control unit that monitors wheel speed up to 50 times per rotation, and matches stopping power to available traction.
A wide handlebar mounted right above the top clamp, a fairly low seat (815mm), and high footpegs contribute to a sporty riding position that's not overly taxing. However, prepare to bend your knees a bit more than with other naked bikes.
The new 2015 Suzuki GSX-S750A sounds like a serious machine. As far as the chassis (ground clearance included) and powertrain are concerned, it has no reason to envy the competition. A low price ($8,699), attractive styling, and the promise of easy, dynamic handling are sure to sway many potential buyers.