There are reasons why the Suzuki GSX-S750 is nicknamed the "Apex Predator"
Let's get one fact straight - crotch rockets are fun. It's even more fun to go through all the learning processes on the road to becoming better, faster, and safer riders. In Malaysia, there are many options to choose from, but the go-to for a lot of folks would be naked bikes - something that can be fun on the weekends and decent enough to tackle everyday riding scenarios like going to the office.
The latest bike that we got to test is the Suzuki GSX-S750. The takeover by Suzuki Malaysia Sdn Bhd presented us with the opportunity to ride the Gixxer's naked sibling, and we threw ourselves into riding situations where the majority of naked bike owners would normally go through. In short, the GSX-S750 can be quite beneficial for riders of all skills IF you don't jump the gun too fast, particularly those who are still new in the middleweight scene.
First and foremost, we simply can't deny that the Suzuki GSX-S750 is one hell of a great-looking bike (apart from those turn signal lights, though). Priced at RM40,989 (excluding insurance, road tax, and registration), this middleweight Japanese four-banger has the right formula for those looking to upgrade from entry-level sports bikes ranging from 250cc to 500cc - great design, exciting yet reliable engine, and a very reasonable price point for a bike of its nature.
Speaking of power, the Suzuki GSX-S750 is fitted with a 750cc inline-four DOHC liquid-cooled engine that churns out around 112hp at 10,500rpm and 81Nm of torque at 9,000rpm. Weighing in at 213kg (kerb), its power-to-weight ratio offers quite an exciting riding experience no matter which RPM or gear you're in (we just wished that it had a quickshifter fitted as standard). Handling is quite nimble despite its weight, especially thanks to its short stance and even shorter handlebar. To gymkhana? Not a problem for the GSX-S750.
Matted to a six-speed manual transmission, this naked middleweight Gixxer is indeed wonderful to ride, but it requires a bit more finesse in order to wring out the most it can offer. The lack of electronic riding aids means that the rider must pay more attention to every single movement, but the GSX-S750 does come with a three-mode traction control system and ABS which helps adjust the bike's overall reactions based on the riding conditions.
There's an eagerness to go fast when you ride this Suzuki, but since the nature of most naked bikes means that you'll be facing the strong wind head-on, a good-quality helmet with the correct fitment is needed in order to help cut that wind the faster you go. If this is not in your arsenal of riding gear, you'll find yourselves struggling to cope with higher speeds (especially important when you want to overtake other cars and vehicles on the road).
These 'limitations' have quite a profound effect once you're able to 'tune in' with how it reacts to your every input. At first, most folks might feel that things are a bit on the sensitive side (particularly its throttle response and clutch work), but this bike carries a very important character most fast riders and racers understand all too well - "slow is smooth, smooth is fast".
In other words, you can't be heavy-handed with the GSX-S750 and be fistful with the throttle at any given opportunity. Respect is needed if you want the best out of it and once you understand that, the GSX-S750 is a very, VERY fun bike to ride from carving corners like an 'apex predator' that it is, right down to the usual commute to and from the office.
Smooth on the throttle, smooth on the brakes, lean with confidence, and it won't be long before you'll notice a huge grin on your face. The fact that it comes standard with a set of Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 rubbers makes a whole world of difference. You can feel the bumps quite significantly on uneven roads (suspension is only available for preload tuning, unfortunately), but once you hit the smooth tarmac, it's game on despite it being a bit dated in some departments. Luckily, the price point is able to soothe the idea of owning one.