Suzuki GSX 750F - 1995
Suzuki GSX 750 a bikers bike.
Are bikers snobs? The sportbike world may have elements of constant one-upmanship, with certain types of rider talking up the benefits of their own particular 180bhp guided missile over another. All done of course from the safety of knowing that their brand new R1, firelblade, etc. will never see a racetrack, or for that matter rain, any month between October and May or much more than 2k a year. A coffee with sportbike snob can be fun “You’ve gotta have the R1 mate, Suzuki’s are crap in WSB and Ducati’s are just not at the top level anymore”....yeah and my names Ben Spies.
Then there is middle aged Harley couple who appear a few sunny weekends a year in pristine matching gear. The gleaming chrome bike wobbles to a stop as 20k worth of Milwaukee's finest engineering has been taken out of its garage and for once sees its natural habitat of the open or in this case bank holiday congested road. The is rider getting some rare practice. The couple are friendly they smile and say hello, fellow bikers say hello back, but they soon feel out of place. There are no other Harley’s and everyone else is on Euro or Japanese bikes with minimal chrome. They don’t know anyone as they’d just heard from someone in work that this is where bikers met up.
I am being very tongue in cheek with these descriptions. Everyone rides for their own reasons and in four years of riding I can say that biking is one of the most diverse and friendly areas of life. I am now on my second Suzuki GSXF. I Started with a 1995 600 and this year changed to a 750. It is also a 95 model. The best bit is the price I paid. £1500 for machine with around 90bhp, 14000 miles on clock and good for 150mph.
It’s a great bike, it’ll tour and is comfortable for well over 100 miles before the bum starts to get sore. At 209 kg dry it is heavy and treat it as a race rep sports bike and it will feel its weight. This is the bikes biggest drawback. It's an in-line four detuned GSXR engine with great midrange and top end which starts to get lively after 6000 rpm. It asks to be thrashed like a sports 600, but there isn't quite the light modern chassis of a more recent sportbike to be able to flick it around. The gearbox is slick though I find under heavy usage it jumps between gears rather more than I would like.
This is however more than compensated for by the 50lb/ft or so of torque available. Overtaking is possible in any gear, and when having to pass traffic on urban roads, moving between 40 and 60 mph, gloriously fast and smooth. £1500 of 14 year old Japanese engineering is more than a match for most cars on the road and a lot of bikes as well. If you like company its brilliant two up. There's a decent pillion seat and loads of room for two. This bike is from an era when bikes, were made a decent size and you didn't need Dani Pedrosa's physic to ride one.
I like to ride fast, and use my bike both for recreational riding and for general transportation too. The GSX 750 will not trouble anyone on a track but then nots really the point of it. Other bikers realise this. A bike like this is bought because biking is a big part of the riders life. It's something their passionate about and do year round. It'll get them to work on day's when riding there is possible and be perfectly home on rideouts or race meetings etc during weekends or days off. Alternatively for those who find themselves out of the daily grind or between jobs, through choice or otherwise, its priced at a level that does away with the need for credit checks, payment plans and other such tedium. Don't always have access to a garage? No problem, a centre stand makes maintenance easy and the GSX isn't a £10,000 depreciating asset. If your bike must be parked outside it is less likely to be an obvious theft target.
Simply hand over the cash, pay £120 a year insurance (for a 30 year old male with clean license), 60 quid or so for tax and then ride all you like. What it certainly isn't is a lifestyle statement.
Review by Andrew Higgins