Used Review: Suzuki GSX-R750

A classic headbanger's bike, the SRAD and 750Y models of the legendary GSX-R were once giant killers. But how do they stand the ravages of time?

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By Bertie Simmonds on Sun, 28 Sep 2008 - 04:09

Visordown Motorcycle News


SUZUKI'S seminal GSX-R range has always offered two things: value and performance. Oh, and reliability and kudos, too. So that's four things.

Either way, how else have so many bikers been offered so much performance and pose for so little outlay? The SRAD and 750Y versions of the ubiquitous Gixxer range both came about when the fashion for 750s was seemingly over.

At the end of 1995, the FireBlade was just entering into its third incarnation, which made the bike a tad softer and easier to ride. From Suzuki, in came the GSX-R750WT SRAD. Out went the old double cradle frame and in came a new aluminium beam frame. The bike was also equipped with a rev-happy motor and the dimensions from Kevin Schwantz's 1993, 500cc championship winning RGV...

Performance wise, it was close to the 'Blade with 122 claimed bhp and an altogether more fiery disposition. For years it stayed the same (save for fuel-injection in 1998) before again transmogrifying itself into another litre-beater sportsbike, the GSX-R750Y.

But this time it wasn't the Honda FireBlade Suzuki had to beat. By now Yamaha's YZF-R1 had taken the top sports bike slot.

Once more the GSX-R750 was hailed as a bike which could 'do the business' up against the litre tools, despite losing out around 250cc. Once more it had everything going for it: looks, price, performance and pose, although now it was facing a two-way battle against not just the bigger bikes, but the sportier 600cc class, too.

Since the inception of both bikes, each model has stayed popular on the second-hand front, with both the SRAD and the 750Y. From £1500 for an SRAD track bike to almost £6000 for a mint late model Y, there's a little piece of biking history that's affordable to all.

Steering damper

The 750Y has a naff unadjustable damper making slow-speed work a chore. Bin and forget or fit a trick adjustable one

Loose bolts

Some owners complain of bolts coming loose, despite having been checked often. We know half-a-dozen people who have reported problems, with most adamant they check things regularly. Problem areas include the shock area and frame bolts

Throttle valve cables

The secondary throttle valves are opened via cables which were originally made without a smooth lining. In some cases the cables have snagged or broken causing the FI light to
come on. Ask if the owner has had any problems with this

Front brakes

Surprisingly fairly poor compared to R1s and Blades of similar vintage.
The SRAD had six pots and the 750Y four pots, but both lack feel. EBC HH or Carbone Lorraine pads, plus braided hoses, are recommend

Gearbox

Some owners had gearbox problems seen to under warranty. Ask if this was the case. When test riding see if it jumps out of gear under hard acceleration

Tyres

Dunlop D207s and D208s are well thought of, as are Bridgestone's BT010s and the newer 014. Pirelli's Dragon Evo Corsa is a fave. Normal use should see 3-4000 miles on a rear, double that at the front

Finish

Not the best. Major probs include soft paint, peeling stickers, gear and brake pedal pivots seizing and discs warping

Shocks

Some are interchangeable between models and aftermarket ones can be swapped between 600/750 and 1000 GSX-Rs, but you need to check if it fits. As a rule of thumb, if the top and bottom mounts fit, it should be okay. If they don't, spacers are easily made. Do remember that even though it may fit, if the shock is considerably shorter it will lower the back end and slow the steering, so a ride height and yoke/fork adjustment may need doing. Many owners suggest keeping the linkages from your bike, not the donor bike and that some fiddling with the settings may be required to get the feeling just right. Of course, you could simply buy an aftermarket shock when yours finally cries 'enough' at around 30,000 miles

Ignition retarder

Some owners by-pass the limiter in the lower gears by cutting the pink and black wires between the gear position sensor and the white three-pin plug and soldering in a different resistor (15,000 OHM). Some say it reduces low-rpm stutter, others claim it makes the bike even more snatchy...

Engine

Both are rev-monsters with respectable mid-range, taking off from 10,000 to the 13,500rpm redline . The later Y has a little more low down and more top end. Generally both are very reliable, but the secret to big mileages is regular servicing - the bike can start to run rough when it's not regularly checked over. Service intervals are every 4000 miles

Fuel consumption

The fuel light flashes slowly at first then more frequently until it stays on. The handbook says the light flashes when there are 4 litres in the tank, then stays on when there's 2.5 litres left

Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD (1996-'99)

Price new: £9249

Pay now: £2500-£4000

Colours: red/black/silver, blue/white, yellow moonstone/ purple, yellow/black, silver

A breath of fresh air when it arrived. In came a new motor, new frame (beam, not double cradle) as well just 179kilos in weight - just about the same as the original GSX-R750 from 11 years before.

Suzuki GSX-R750Y (2000-'03)

Price new: £7849

Pay now: £3300-£6000

Colours: blue/white, silver/black/red, yellow, black, silver, Corona Alstare replica

Another shot in the arm for the-then flagging 750 class. New look, while an updated engine and chassis package made this a bike which once again took the class to new heights.

Suzuki's seminal GSX-R range has always offered two things: value and performance. Oh, and reliability and kudos, too. So that's four things.

Either way, how else have so many bikers been offered so much performance and pose for so little outlay? The SRAD and 750Y versions of the ubiquitous Gixxer range both came about when the fashion for 750s was seemingly over.

At the end of 1995, the FireBlade was just entering into its third incarnation, which made the bike a tad softer and easier to ride. From Suzuki, in came the GSX-R750WT SRAD. Out went the old double cradle frame and in came a new aluminium beam frame. The bike was also equipped with a rev-happy motor and the dimensions from Kevin Schwantz's 1993, 500cc championship winning RGV...

Performance wise, it was close to the 'Blade with 122 claimed bhp and an altogether more fiery disposition. For years it stayed the same (save for fuel-injection in 1998) before again transmogrifying itself into another litre-beater sportsbike, the GSX-R750Y.

But this time it wasn't the Honda FireBlade Suzuki had to beat. By now Yamaha's YZF-R1 had taken the top sports bike slot.

Once more the GSX-R750 was hailed as a bike which could 'do the business' up against the litre tools, despite losing out around 250cc. Once more it had everything going for it: looks, price, performance and pose, although now it was facing a two-way battle against not just the bigger bikes, but the sportier 600cc class, too.

Since the inception of both bikes, each model has stayed popular on the second-hand front, with both the SRAD and the 750Y. From £1500 for an SRAD track bike to almost £6000 for a mint late model Y, there's a
little piece of biking history that's affordable to all.

Continue the Suzuki GSX-R750 Used Review

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