2018 Suzuki GSX-S750 Review | 50 States of Updating
After sitting out a year, the Suzuki GSX-S750 is back. With a motor based on the GSX-R750 K5 powerplant, its calling card is superbike-lite power and handling, matched to an attractive price point and forgiving nature. We rode the 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750 and here are a dozen essential facts we discovered.1. The Suzuki GSX-S750 is now a 50-state bike. Onerous environmental regulations kept the previous generation GSX-S750 out of California, but the 2018 GSX-S750 is now available in the Golden State, an important market for sport motorcycles.
2. The Suzuki engine has been modified for more power, better fuel economy, and lower emissions. Those are all good things, and riding the bike tells you this is no modest power increase. Rev the inline-4 up to 10,500 rpm—something that is not that difficult to accomplish—and you are rewarded with nearly 113 horsepower. That’s eight more horses than the 2016, and you can certainly feel the rush up top.3. Suzuki found those eight horses via a variety of techniques. The big change to the engine is the introduction of crankcase ventilation holes, which reduce pumping loss. Additionally, there is a new 4-2-1 exhaust system, new 10-hole long-nose fuel injectors, and a larger capacity airbox.4. The GSX-S750’s extra power is further enhanced by lower final gearing. Shorter gearing gives the 2018 GSX-S750 outstanding acceleration, while the top speed remains unchanged due to the additional power being capable of pulling higher in sixth.5. Traction control helps tame the upgraded power and lower gearing. Although there’s nothing fancy like an IMU (inertial measurement unit), it is still a three-level system, plus off for the hooligan crowd. I usually like more traction control on the street, as I prefer to play it safe, but the least intrusive Mode 1 worked fine for me. If the road gets sketchy or it starts raining, it is nice to know that Modes 2 and 3 are there. I wouldn’t turn it off, but I won’t judge you if you do.6. The previous GSX-S750 chassis was spot-on, so it didn’t need much help to handle the power uptick. The big news is the new 41mm KYB inverted fork, but don’t get too excited. Like the linkage-assisted shock, the only adjustment is spring-preload. As I am fairly standard in weight and performance demand, I was completely happy with the damping settings the engineers decided upon. The 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750’s suspension takes care of bumpy urban streets, yet is nicely composed while pushing through the canyons. As long as you aren’t an outlier, you will be fully satisfied.7. New brakes help slow down the faster GSX-S750. Radially mounted Nissin calipers do the deed up front, with something new—larger 310mm petal-style rotors. The front pads have a nicely soft initial bite, yet plenty of stopping power if you want to pull the lever in more aggressively. This makes the braking perfect for runs through the city and the twisties. If you want ABS, you’ll need to step up to the all-black GSX-S750Z and cut loose with an extra $600.8. It may be naked, but the 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750 feels great at extra-legal freeway speeds. I won’t talk about how fast I was going or where, but you can get up to 90 mph without feeling any undue windblast. The new headlight and bodywork, along with the sit-in ergonomics of the GSX-S750 makes it feel like it has a bit of a windscreen (Suzuki sells a true accessory windscreen). Sure, I’d like to see a GSX-S750F with a full fairing, but this bike is sport-touring ready, as is.9. The GSX-S750 is a great canyon carver. With a bit of a focus on stability over outright agility, the 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750 is confidence inspiring when getting aggressive on tempting backroads—a relaxed 25.2 degrees of rake and roomy 57.3-inch wheelbase helps. The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 tires more than meet my needs, providing great feel at both ends. There are also new 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels—no big deal, but they look good with the new rotors.10. With easy power delivery, the GSX-S750 is a stylish urban mount. Even if you just use it to get around town, the GSX-S750 is a good choice if you like to have more than enough power on hand, plus a substantial chassis. Lane splitting is effortless, and the mirrors do show you what’s happening behind you, not that anyone is going to be passing you unless you want them to. At stoplights, people look over and admire its striking looks. I like the Red/Black version the best, even if it means I have to pass up getting ABS.11. This isn’t a bike for newer riders, but it has novice-friendly features an experienced rider can appreciate. While some may scoff at the Low RPM Assist feature that adds a few revs when letting out the clutch, it can save you if you get careless as the light turns green. Also, the starter just requires a touch of the button to fire up—it’s not a big deal, but you’ll like it once you get used to it.12. What was a great all-around naked upright is markedly improved. I was a big fan of the previous iteration of the GSX-S750, and the 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750 is measurably better. For just $200 more than the ’16 it replaces, you get more power, improved suspension, better braking, and traction control. Plus, don’t forget—it’s now in California dealerships.Photography by Enrico PaviaRIDING STYLE
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