SUZUKI GB had a bit of a trackday shindig for owners last month, so I popped along to Silverstone on the GSX-S750 for a bit of a day out. Get out of the office for a day, say hello to the good folks at Suzuki, have a quick thrapp round the big track, and home in time for the school run. What could be better?
We were just the right side of the nasty hot weather – Suzuki had picked the cool week in between July’s blazing episodes of Sahara-like temperatures. So slipping into my leathers and schlepping up to Silverstone was all fine. As ever, the 750 works really well on the street, although the M40 isn’t its natural hunting ground. But then no naked bike really excels on the motorway, does it?
I arrive at Silverstone, and just miss a session, so get to hang about for 40 mins. It’s a very serious day, with Suzuki’s various BSB teams and riders here testing, plus the Classic Race team with their gorgeous XR69 and Katana racebikes. Brad Ray, Richard Cooper, Billy McConnell, John Reynolds, Bob Collins – all the top guys are here on their full-bore race Gixxers too.
I’d prepped the hell out of the GSX-S750 too of course. Well, I’d fitted some decent tyres and flung on an end can and a Power Commander… The Michelin Power RS rubber was filling me with a load of confidence actually – they’re awesome tyres, which were amazing at the launch in Qatar last year on 200bhp litre superbikes. So they’d be fine on the 750, right?
Well, yes, the tyres were spot-on. But they did show up the rest of the bike a tad. I was tossed into the fast group, meaning I was sharing the (very fast) Silverstone National Circuit with some of the fastest guys riding in the UK today. On bikes with twice the power and 30kg less than the little GSX-S, which was still wearing its numberplate and mirrors, ha.
Never mind – just get on it! I had a ball at first actually, screaming the 750 motor to the redline, using the rev-limiter as a quickshifter, reminding myself what way Silverstone goes… The Michelins have loads of grip, and though the streetbike suspension was getting overwhelmed a little, there was more ground clearance than you might think.
As the session went on though, things got a bit stressier. The brakes were getting a hammering from the high speeds at this F1/MotoGP circuit, and the lever was coming further and further back to the bar. The suspension had also had enough, and the 750 was starting to wallow a bit through the bends.
I’d forgotten to have a quick fiddle on the preload adjusters, or even drop any air out of the tyres, gah, so I only really had myself to blame. My main gripe though was the brakes: they really did take a pasting, and were still a bit spongy all the way home. The pads don’t seem to be up to hard track use (why would they be??) and if you’re taking the 750 out for a track blast, I’d definitely recommend a pad and fluid change before you set off.
I’d thought a quick session would be fine on the 750, but I ended up not really enjoying it much at all. Surprise! A lightly-prepped budget-friendly road bike isn’t going to set the world alight at a MotoGP track, being buzzed by the fastest of the fast group… The following week I spent a day at Donington on the Suzuki GSX-R1000R and the rest of the litre superbikes, and the difference was, of course, incredible.
Back home, though, and I’d had a delivery. The good folks at Givi UK have sent me some luggage for the 750 – woo! Regular readers will know how I hanker after a top box on all my bikes, so I can’t wait to get this V47 chappie bolted on the back, with the supplied Givi mounting kit. The Italians have got a load of kit for naked bikes like the GSX-S of course, so they also popped over a set of sweet semi-hard panniers, which will give a huge amount of carrying capacity.
Stay tuned for all the dirt on how to fit this panoply of sweet luggage…