I know I'm not as young as I was, I run a "sensible" car, my hair is starting to recede, and the passage of time seems to have been compressed somehow, but it really isn't so long ago since the best sports bikes were of 750cc capacity.
From the launch of the first GSXR 750 in '85, to the launch of the first credible large capacity sports bike in Honda's Fireblade in '92, 750cc four stroke sports bikes were the daddies. 600cc bikes had steel frames and were for nervouse types, or for going to the shops on. 1000 and 1100cc bikes of the day would be called sports-tourers now, and would never be allowed near a racetrack. I remember trying to wrestle a GRXR 11 round the TT in '89 and shitting myself for most of every lap. And those were good compared to CBR 1000's or the original ZX10's.
I'm not slagging these bikes off, it's just that they weren't supposed to do what people were trying to do with them back then. Some of you will remember a racer called Ray Swan. I still chuckle when I think of him describing how going round the TT on the ZX10 that year was like going down a bob sleigh track sat in a tin bath full of water.
My point is this. Once upon a time, not so long ago, 750cc bikes were seen as the best compromise between weight, power, and agility. They spawned the class of racing we know today as "superbike". (Original WSB capacity rules were 750cc fours and 1000cc twins) and they also spawned the first generation of riders in the modern era who never raced two strokes.
As soon as I saw this years GSXR 750 being wheeled out of the van I knew it would be a good tool. For a start it looks right. Cutting edge mechanics blended with traditional Suzuki colour scheme is cock-on for me. The only things I didn't like about the styling were the wheels, I would've prefered to see five spokes instead of the rather dated looking three spokers that were fitted, and the big exhaust box thing below and behind the engine looks out of place, although to be fair this only becomes really visible when the bike is leaning away from you on it's stand.
We were lucky enough to have bone dry roads and an equally gripy Brands Hatch indy circuit to play on and really find out what the new Jixa will do. We did the on track stuff first, and within five laps I felt like I'd bonded with this bike. The engine is stronger than I thought it would be and the extra torque it has over a 600cc machine mean you can get away with less gear changes per lap, which in turn means you don't have to prod at the gear lever in the corners and unsettle the bike. But this doesn't mean you have to ride the bike on the torque and not the power like you find yourself doing on the 1000's sometimes, you can rev it without feeling that you're losing time.
Click to read the final page of Suzuki GSX-R750 K6 review.