Suzuki's GSX-R750 snapped up the TWO Bike Of The Year Award 2004 last month. To mark the occasion, we celebrate 20 years of three-quarter litre lunacy with every generation of GSX-R 750
1992-1995 | Generation 3 GSX-R750WN, WP, WR & WSCaught, and passedIt seemed Suzuki was losing its magic touch with these bikesAs the GSX-R750M shuffled off to be replaced by the WN (the 'W' is for the watercooling that appeared in a bid to up power), the cracks were showing.
First and foremost, Suzuki seemed to have its head stuck in the sand as it persevered with the GSX-R's trademark cradle frame. Revolutionary in 1985, this was now old hat.
Everyone else was using beam frames wrapped around the engine, instead of going over the top which allowed motors to be angled forwards and down-wards, leaving room above for the airbox which in turn meant a shorter wheelbase and the handling benefits that came with it.
Hamstrung by the ageing frame, no matter how stiff or light it was, Suzuki was stuck with a motor that had to stay fairly upright regardless of how cleverly they squeezed everything in. Sportsbike design was changing and the GSX-R's frame meant she couldn't keep up as Yamaha's YZF750, Kawasaki's ZXR750 and, of course, Honda's FireBlade all queued up to give the Suzuki a bloody nose before nicking its dinner money.
As if to add insult to injury, the WN and WP were also the heaviest GSX-R750s of all time. Things weren't looking too rosy.
In fact, despite the motor still remaining a revvy hoodlum that needed constant stoking and attention in true racer style, the bike's weight against the competition meant it was becoming the softer choice for the road in the class. What was happening?
GSX-R life didn't get any better with the WR and WS models that followed. Once again the cradle frame remained, and once again Suzuki's engineers worked their socks off on the rest of the bike in a last-ditch bid to keep it somewhere near the money. Their endeavours may have seen the motor hitting 104bhp with a 13,500rpm redline, but sadly their suspension tweaks now made the bike too harsh on the road.
As for the WR riding experience today, it's really not so bad. Close your eyes and the feel is little different to the previous model. The long tank still feels as if its coming up under your chin, the bars are still a long way away and the pegs are higher.
The brakes are still as impressive as the M's while the suspension is in the same league providing adequate levels of control and damping. This bike is the least GSX-R of all our bikes here, lacking that final X-factor that turns a fast bike into a blinding one.JAMES WHITHAM'S SECOND OPINIONI raced a WN in '92 and it was a piece of shit. All that styling was a stopgap while they worked on the new bike. We were trying to race it in superbike against Honda RC30s and Yamaha OWO1s, and I was just thinking, "We're fucked!" It was like a 20-year-old dinosaur against the rest. Mick Grant worked his nuts off to get it as good as it could be, but we should never have gone racing on it - it got to a point pretty quickly where you knew if you rode any it any harder, you'd be in the crowd.Click to continue to the Generation 4 GSX-R750WT, WV, WW & WX
Posted: 13/10/2013 at 08:10
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