2015 - 2017 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki keeps improving and expanding its signature supersport series, and the 2017 GSX-R carries the torch first ignited by the original Jixxer 750 all the way back in 1984 (or ’85 if you count when it actually was made available for purchase). Granted, the “late model” Jixxers dropped the steel frame in favor of aluminum, and the air-cooled engine has been replaced with a jacketed mill, but the overall mission for the bike remains the same; to provide the general public with the most race-ready production bike one could get for legal use on the street. Of course, the rest of the market has caught up to Suzuki and the supersport segment is flooded with similarly capable rides— and a good number of more capable sleds— though the most race-tastic of them are far more expensive than the $12K-ish GSX-R 750. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for the Jixxer family ever since I scared the bejeezus out of myself on one, and I always look forward to revisiting the range, so let’s get to it.
Continue reacing for my review of the Suzuki GSX-R750.
2015 - 2017 Suzuki GSX-R750
Engine:4-stroke, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Top Speed:189 mph (Est.)
Right off the bat we see that, as always, the Jixxer runs a carefully crafted, windtunnel-tested full fairing complete with a vented engine cowling and chin spoiler. The paneling leaves a little bit to the imagination and lets only a bit of the mill and transmission show, but this here is a form-follows-function bike with little of the superfluous in evidence.
An attractive cyclops headlamp housing leads the way in the blunt nose of the fairing with an over-under, high- and low-beam configuration. Rather than mold the front turn signals into the front fairing, or even worse, mount whisker lights up front, the factory went with option three and set the lights in the mirrors. I like this setup because it keeps the front end clean while spacing the signals well away from the bike where they are most visible to the cage-driving public.
Soft angles play across the fairings, fuel tank and subframe trim for a look that strikes a balance between the super sharp and completely round. Personally, I prefer the fully rounded look myself, but this is a nice compromise. Obviously we’re going to have jockey-mount footpegs and short handlebars on a bike like this, and the rider’s triangle allows the pilot to tuck right into the pocket and out of the slipstream.
The subframe carries a little rise for the p-pad, but doesn’t have too much of that dramatic nose-down look in vogue right now (with some people..). A tucked-away taillight and minimal tag-holder/mudguard completes the rear end, and keeps it as tidy as the front end. All this is fine and dandy for street use, but the factory took steps to simplify the process of modifying it for actual track use, so it’s almost a plug-n-play, closed-circuit bike.
This is where things start to get interesting. An aluminum, twin-spar frame serves as the bones of the beast, and the factory went to great lengths to keep things light and compact with only 54.7-inches between contact-patch centers. Further steps were taken to center the weight of rider, engine and fuel in order to maximize cornering abilities, and an electronically controlled steering damper helps stabilize the steering with speed-dependent variable resistance.
Suzuki pulled suspension components off the top shelf to further that objective. Showa’s racetastic Big-Piston Forks support the front end with a piggyback monoshock in back, and both ends come fully tuneable with adjustable spring preload as well as compression and rebound damping. Sure, it could be better with some electronically controlled Ohlins forks or something, but it wouldn’t be priced as it is, and that’s a fact.
Radial-mount Brembo brakes bite the dual front discs sans ABS protection/interference for honest/ straight-up brake control and feedback. Yeah that’s right, no training wheels here folks, so if you’re more interested in looking like a racer than you are in actually being one, you’d better stick to the “safety-scissor" bikes. Just sayin’.
Naturally, as cool as all this is so far, it’s the beating heart that really steals the show. The transverse mount, four-banger engine runs a significantly oversquare ratio with big, 70 mm forged pistons and a 48.7 mm stroke. Shot peen-hardened conrods resist the surface fractures that can lead to catastrophic failure, and the Finite Element Method (FEM) forging techniques provide similar protection for the pistons; all technologies developed to meet the demands of the MotoGP circuit.
By keeping the reciprocating mass low and venting the case to reduce pumping losses, Suzuki ensures that more power makes it to the pavement. As always with shortstroke engines, torque takes a backseat to horsepower, but there’s plenty of ponies to go around here. At around 11 grand, riders can expect to see 63 pounds o’ grunt, but wind that badboy out to 13,000 rpm (holy smokes, sportsfans!) and you will be rewarded with a screaming 150 ponies. In case it still isn’t obvious, this ain’t for entry-level riders, not even close.
Displacement lands exactly on the 750 cc mark, but as you can see, this thing punches above its weight. Dual over-head cams time the 16-valve head with lightened, 29 mm titanium intake valves and 23 mm exhaust poppets. Ignition control falls to the MotoGP-inspired Engine Control Module that enables the Drive Mode feature that allows for push-button control over the power curve; one for road and one for track. I’d like to say “and ne’er the twain shall meet,” but I think we all know better than that. Wink, nudge.
A butterly valve in the exhaust allows for variable backpressure control, a feature that opens up the powerband a bit so it isn’t as narrow as a fixed-backpressure setup. Finally, we have a slipper clutch to couple the six-speed transmission to engine power. Not only does this provide a lighter left-hand pull, but it offers some wheel-hop prevention during aggressive downshifts. Good thing, ’cause a bike like this has a tendency to incite bad behavior, and it’s way too easy to get going way too fast without realizing it.
Base MSRP on the 2017 GSX-R 750 is the same as the previous two years at $12,299. Not surprising considering that the paint is the only changes across this span.
The 750 bracket seems to have fallen out of favor a bit, with many manufacturers jumping from 600 cc straight up to the liter bikes, but Suzuki stands fast with the displacement that launched a genre. Casting about, I found a close-enough ride that comes from almost half-a-world away in the Daytona 675 from Triumph.
Both rides come with fullish, windtunnel-tested fairings— just as you’d expect from bikes that straddle the line between street and track— and both run aluminum twin-spar bone structures to stay light and flickable. In the looks department, it comes down to a matter of preference, but I’d point out that the Trumpet fits well into the Japanese sportbike mold, and doesn’t really reflect its British origins at a glance. Not sayin it’s a bad thing, just that it is.
Brembo got business from both manufacturers as its calipers are present at both ends of both bikes, but Trumpet opted for the Öhlins NIX30 stems up front with an Öhlins TTX36 monoshock in back. No matter which you prefer, you get full adjustability all around. Unlike the Jixxer, the Daytona comes with switchable ABS so you can take it or leave it at your leisure.
OK yeah, the Daytona falls 75 cc shy of the Jixxer, and it runs a three-cylinder mill against the four-banger Suzuki, but what it puts out is close enough for government work. At 12,500 rpm, the Trumpet cranks out 128 ponies with 55 pounds of grunt that come on at 11,900 rpm, not far short of the 150/63 from the Jixxer, and certainly not enough to make much of a difference on the streets. Granted, that difference is liable to make itself felt on the track, but I would offer that rider skill can be enough to offset the offset.
Unsurprisingly, Suzuki manages to keep the price low, and lets go of the 2017 GSX-R 750 for $12,299 versus the $14,000 tag on the Daytona. Not a huge jump, but enough to keep Japanese bike fans from looking to the Daytona for an alternative to the Big Four.
“Yeah so, it’s a Jixxer, and not just any, but the displacement that brought the family and genre to the world. It feels like a direct connection to the original as long as you ignore the lack of steel frame and air-cooling, which seems to give it a little extra coolness. Anyone looking at this bike should remember that it rides more like a liter and less like a 600 in spite of a displacement that falls closer to the lower bracket, so be ye careful ’cause this bike will surprise you.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I’m not a stupid-fast bike fan, so the Jixxers aren’t usually on my radar. I’m not saying they’re bad; just not my cup ’o tea. The GSX-R750 is no exception, however, let me look at it for what it is. It’s a bike for an experienced rider. It is definitely on the (GSX-R)1000-powerband side rather than the 600, and oddly enough, the sensation is speed isn’t there. Without looking at the speedometer and just judging by feel, you could end up over the speed limit, so be aware."
|Engine:||750cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC|
|Bore x Stroke:||70.0 mm x 48.7 mm (2.756 in x 1.917 in)|
|Compression Ratio:||12.5 : 1|
|Fuel System:||Suzuki Fuel Injection|
|Transmission:||6-speed constant mesh|
|Final Drive:||Chain, RK525ROZ5Y, 116 links|
|Suspension Front:||Inverted Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped|
|Suspension Rear:||Link type, coil spring, oil damped|
|Brakes Front:||Brembo, Disc, Twin|
|Tires Front:||120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless|
|Tires Rear:||180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless|
|Fuel Tank Capacity:||17.0 L (4.5 US gallons), 16.0 L (4.2 US gallons) CA model|
|Ignition:||Electronic ignition (Transistorized)|
|Dimensions and Curb Weight:|
|Overall Length:||2030 mm (79.9 in)|
|Overall Width:||710 mm (28.0 in)|
|Wheelbase:||1390 mm (54.7 in)|
|Ground Clearance:||130 mm ( 5.1 in)|
|Seat Height:||810 mm (31.9 in)|
|Curb Weight:||190 kg (419 lbs)|
|Warranty:||12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty.|
|2015:||Metallic Triton Blue / Pearl Glacier White, Glass Sparkle Black / Pearl Mira Red|
|2016:||Metallic Triton Blue, Metallic Matte Black No. 2 / Glass Sparkle Black|
|2017:||Metallic Triton Blue, Glass Sparkle Black / Marble Daytona Yellow, Pearl Glacier White|