If you haven’t noticed, there is a very strong trend toward middleweight bikes that fill class gaps in the motorcycle industry. There is the 350 cc KTM motocrosser that spans the gap between the 250 and 450 MX classes, the Ducati Monster 796 that slips between its 696 and 1100 cc siblings, and Yamaha is bringing their Fazer 8 (rebadged as the FZ8) to the US – a bike that sites nicely between the 600 cc FZ6 and 1000 cc FZ1.
Now Suzuki is entering the fray with the GSR750, a street-naked bike that should compete directly against the FZ8 and somewhat more peripherally against the more expensive, up-market Ducati Monster 796. These “street-nakeds,” historically known as “standards,” have streetfighter styling cues like single exposed headlights, riser bars, and upright ergonomics. Like the FZ8, the Suzuki GSR750 will be powered by a sportbike engine, albeit de-tuned for better streetability and midrange performance. An altered camshaft profile will allow for better low-end torque, easing wheelies, and the basic engine platform will be sourced directly from the company’s middleweight sportbike, the GSX-R750. In a time when many street-nakeds receive a “hand-me-down” engine from an older version of the company’s leading sportbike, this will be a plus for many riders. Horsepower should be in the 120 hp range, and many up-market GSX-R parts should be readily transferable to this platform – a big plus for streetfighter builders and other hot-rodders.
Another plus will be the GSR750 price: it should cost significantly less than single-minded sportbikes displacing the same engine size, and Suzuki motorcycle insurance should be significantly reduced in comparison to a GSX-R750. For prospective SV650 owners now saddened by the standard version of that much-beloved bike being dropped from the Suzuki lineup in favor of the disappointing Suzuki Gladius, the GSR750 might be the answer. It’s a torquey and affordable factory streetfighter that can be easily modified for greater performance.