Bore x stroke:
Valves per cylinder:
Front tyre dimensions:
Rear tyre dimensions:
Weight including oil, gas, etc:
The 1980s were BIG: chunky trainers; leg-warmers the size of small alpacas; towering stadium rock music with never-ending guitar solos; and planetary-damaging amounts of hairspray. To remedy these transgressions, the world needed to stay at home. To aid this heroic effort of being figuratively glued to the couch was an incredibly sexy woman barely wearing a red swimsuit running very slowly on a beach. Unfortunately, Pamela Anderson’s vivacious earth-saving body was a year away, and in the interim, the world had to simply watch the sublime curves of a GSX-R 750. <Ed – next catch up, let’s talk about laboured introductions!>
The iconic GSX-R family is considered (according to Shepster Towers!) the first affordable, modern race-replica motorcycles suitable for road use. In the mid-eighties they pioneered the four-cylinder, full-fairing, aluminium framed superbikes that became à la mode. Although starting out life as a 400CC, the GSX-R exposed itself many a time, flirting with everything up to the colossal 1300 Hayabusa, that had a top speed of 320 km/h and was reportedly used to sling rockets at the moon. Incidentally, if you’re ever alone in the house and feeling saucy, the stunning all-black bantam weight 1987 GSX-R250 is hot-under-the-collar, not-now-Pamela, trouser-tightening stuff. Seriously.
By 1988, three years since launching, the GSX-750 was in its first major revision. And Suzuki didn’t hold back! Known as the J model, the Japanese bought in a new stiffer frame, new chassis design and new styling, improving the aerodynamics to reduce drag by 11% (if you believe those boffins at head office), with twin sexy little black pipes. More power was achieved out of the four-stroke, sixteen valve engine through a shorter stroke and bigger bore, resulting in a very respectable 112 horses. The livery on the tail end of the 750 hailed the new carburettor design with vacuum operated slides; the slide cross-section resembled the shape of a slingshot which gave this particular model its nickname. The carbs even had lightweight throttle valves for increased responsiveness. Far from the mowsheeenn being a Mötley Crüe, it rode on brand new sexy 17-inch snow-white wheels, redlining at a colossal 13,000 RPM.
Later versions off the GSX-R750 would gradually become more powerful and, thankfully, a damn sight lighter - although some proper guffawing must have occurred when rolling out the GSX-R1100 with a dry weight of 231kg. That’s like a quarter of a hippo. Less the svelte Pamela, more Mama Cass. Later there were racing homologation models (racing sanctioned for those bereft of a thesaurus) and a brand-new intake system, the Suzuki Ram Air Direct (SRAD), that came de rigour in the late 90’s. However, as with most things, you’d be very hard to beat the passion and power of the early days. Don’t even get us started on Baywatch Nights.