DRIVE TIME: 2010 Suzuki GSX-R750 – `a race bike

DRIVE TIME: 2010 Suzuki GSX-R750 – `a race bike
DRIVE TIME: 2010 Suzuki GSX-R750 – 'a race bike
with a horn and lights added'
Published: June 24, 2010 3:00 PM
Updated: June 24, 2010 3:08 PM
by Rob Beintema
The 2010 Suzuki GSX-R750, the middleweight super sport, is even more potent than the first racer that debuted 25 years ago.
As tested here, in a unique shade of Glass Midnight Brown offset by elements of Metallic Matte Titanium Silver.
"That's a nice bike in black," I said.
Sportbikes are never shy about exploring colour. The no-holds-barred palettes of manufacturers'
screaming yellows, bright blues, hot reds, you name it, are often complemented by the even wilder neon
splashes of aftermarket add-ons.
You just have to compare the vibrant hues of any sportbike gathering with the mainly dark, somber
sameness of the conformist cruiser crowd to notice differences that go beyond age and attitude.
And yet, I've always had a soft spot for sportbikes in black.
Black adds that edge of menace to a motorcycle.
It's subtler, more serious. And black brings with it all the Hollywood baggage and storybook imagery of
lurking evil and things that go bump in the night. It's midnight ninjas with machine guns on motorcycles,
it's Darth Vader "join me on the dark side", it's . . .
"It's not black," Jason from Suzuki said. "It's brown."
"What?" I said.
"Here, look," Jason said and pushed the GSX-R750 into the sunlight.
The stronger light lifted the ebon curtain and revealed metal flake shimmering in the depths of paint, the
brown tones shifting and moving with the motion of the bike, the angles and play of light. Officially, it's
called Glass Midnight Brown, set off by contrasting tones of Metallic Matte Titanium Silver with carbon
fibre-like accents.
"Now, that's different," I said.
"Yeah," Jason said. "When we first heard about a brown bike, our initial reaction was 'What?' But when
we saw it, well, this is pretty nice."
I don't normally spend this much space writing about colour but this was one of those almost-Mystic
paint jobs that would constantly surprise me depending on light conditions, angle of viewing, on whether
I was wearing sunglasses or not.
Even my photos didn't show the true colour and I had to resort to a supplied shot. Owning this
motorcycle would be almost like having two bikes in the stable - a daytime colour different from the
nighttime shade.
This GSX-R750 takes the sum of all the parts that make a handsome new bike like this and adds an extra
element of coolness, a hand grenade moment with your audience when they eventually discover that,
tick, tick, tick, boom! "Hey man, that bike is brown! Cool."
The GSX-R750, or "Gixxer" as its nicknamed, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and this
sportbike is the direct descendant of that first 750cc even though that early ancestor started with an aircooled engine mounted inside a steel frame.
If you want to delve into the history a little deeper, Suzuki has created a dedicated website at where you can follow the year-to-year evolution of the bike.
This 750cc version is the middleweight of the lineup, centred between the 600cc and 1-litre GSX-R
There are only miniscule differences in dimensions and weights between the three bikes, the main
choices having more to do with rider size, displacement demands for more bottom launch and low-end
torque, and price tolerance. The GSX-R600 is Suzuki's best-seller listing for $13,299 while the GSX-R750
costs $13,899 and the GSX-R1000 tops out at $16,599
The riding position on the GSX-R750 is about as comfortable as a sportbike can be with an assist from
adjustable three-position, die-cast footpegs. Everything is tucked in nicely and there's some protection
from a miniscule windscreen set behind an easily-readable instrument pod with analog tach, LCD
speedo, dual trip meters, a clock and gear position indicator.
Between the thighs, the engine wails forth with about as much excitement as you can stand, bellowing
out back with a raucous exhaust note that rasps out of the large-volume, triangular muffler.
You can explore the high-tech componentry of the engine at leisure on Suzuki's website but one thing
worth noting is Suzuki's trademark S-DMS engine management system.
It works with the 32-bit ECM to allow the rider to match riding conditions with three engine mode
settings, making changes on the fly via a handlebar mounted switch.
This is roughly the same system you'll find on the Hayabusa and B-King.
I'm pretty sure the "A" setting stands for "All Hell's breaking loose" and it unleashes full power across
the entire power band.
The "B" setting probably stands for "Better be a little more careful" and it will soften the initial launch as
the throttle first opens. The "C" setting is also known as the "Chicken setting" but it is worth considering
in rain or other slippery conditions, smoothing power application across all throttle ranges.
The GSX-R750 that I tested was fresh out of the box with less than a dozen klicks on the clock, so I
confess to following the prescribed break-in routine with varied revs usually limited to 7500 rpm, only
halfway to redline.
But it's amazing how much fun you can have on a bike like this with the quick shifting six-speed, even
without hitting the screaming-meemie limits of the engine. I rode 230 kilometres before the low fuel
indicator began blinking and filled up 20 kilometres later with 13.4 litres of gas.
That works out to a combined fuel economy average of 5.4L/100km and theoretical full tank range of
315 kilometres. Although I'm sure enthusiastic riders could do worse if they applied themselves.
Die-hard Gixxer fans should take note that a special 25th anniversary, numbered collector's edition of
the bigger GSX-R1000 bike will be available soon, probably in white, with prices to be announced and
with only 20 bikes slated for Canada.
But for a more reasonable price with plenty of unreasonable power, the GSX-R750 fills the middleweight
slot in the lineup very nicely. Suzuki likes to say that the Gixxer is really a race bike with a horn and
lights. And with its nimble chassis and willing engine enhanced by three-mode engine mapping, that's
certainly no empty boast.
Keep an eye out for corporate and dealer demo rides in your area.
And make mine brown.
Engine: 750 cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh with chain final drive
Suspension Front: Inverted, telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Disc brake, twin
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Overall Length: 2040 mm (80.3 in)
Overall Width: 715 mm (28.1 in)
Seat Height: 810 mm (31.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 130 mm (5.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1405 mm (55.3 in)
Curb Weight: 198 kg (437 lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.0 L (3.7 Imp gal)
Colours: Blue & White; Brown
Price: $13,899
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