Suzuki introduces new GSX-S750, baby GSX-R and fresh V-Strom adventurers
It's only natural that Suzuki's new superbike would steal the spotlights, yet the company's Intermot booth hosted some other interesting debuts. The new GSX-S750 and GSX-R125 both represent scaled-down versions of current 1,000 cc models, as the adventurous V-Strom family undergoes a generous make over.
We should probably expect a very exciting 2017 World Superbike Championship, with most companies fielding new weaponry. Suzuki warned us last year with the concept GSX-R1000R, to honour its commitment with a final production version that on paper seems exactly as promised – variable valve timing and all.
Beside the whole superbike hype, Suzuki also introduced three new models and some important updates. The GSX-S750 is a new streetfighter that clones the GSX-S1000's styling around the frame and engine of the 2005 GSX-R750. There's also a new mini GSX-R with a single-cylinder 125 cc motor, filtering some of Suzuki's racing heritage down to the entry-level rider.
In the adventure front, Suzuki tended to the V-Strom family karma with fresh uniform looks – restoring the legacy of the first-gen models (2004-2011). The process required a complete makeover for the third generation of V-Strom 650 in order adopt the refreshed looks of the bigger model, while the latter profited the most under the hood.
The name is not exactly new, as this motorcycle represents the next step of a model that's been in the market since 2011; in some countries is was called GSR 750, in others GSX-S750.
The 2017 model relies on the basic gear of the current GSX-S750, with the engine and frame of the 2005 GSX-R750. Suzuki announced that the updated, Euro 4-compliant version of this engine generates more power, 112.6 hp (84 kW) at 10,500 rpm and approximately the same maximum torque, 81 Nm (59.7 lb-ft) at 9,000 rpm. The extra power was reportedly enough for Suzuki to shorten the final gear ratio for stronger acceleration without losing any top speed.
Things are kept simple with a basic set of electronic aids, including a four-way adjustable (three levels and off) traction control, ABS, easy start system, and low rpm assist. No inertial units and racing brake systems are employed here, just the conventional safety kits to be found on most road bikes. Astonishingly enough, there are no selectable ignition maps either.
The suspensions are handled by KYB, featuring a set of inverted 41 mm forks – supporting new radial four-pot Nissin brake calipers – and a link-type rear shock, both adjustable only for spring preload.
Apart from the more aggressive styling that obviously reflects on the bigger GSX-S, the new 750 retains most of its precursor's basic characteristics, with more or less identical specs except for a smaller fuel tank, reduced in capacity from 17.5 to 16 liters (4.6 to 4.2 gal).
Prices and availabilities have not been communicated yet, although Suzuki Motors of America offers a clue in its website, displaying it as a 2018 model for the US market.
Suzuki's adventurers have been around for almost 15 years, initially launched with identical looks and continuing like this until 2012. That was when Suzuki decided to put it through an extensive revision, while the 1000 had been left unchanged and gradually discontinued in several markets due to conformity issues with emissions laws. In 2014 Suzuki returned with a brand-new V-Strom 1000 – or, more precisely, the same engine and frame duo updated and complemented with new gear. This time the two V-Stroms didn't look much alike, but Suzuki has just revealed the fix.
The 2017 V-Strom retains the characteristic beak design in the front – a tribute to the DR Big 750 and 800 cc single that raced at Dakar in the 1980s and 90s – with work concentrated in refreshing the design while enhancing aerodynamic protection.
The engine has not been tampered with, apart from the typical fiddling to bring it up to date with emission norms, so it still produces the same 99 hp (74 kW) as before. Suzuki introduced its first traction control system with the 2014 V-Strom 1000 and this continues through to the new model, adjustable in three levels (including the off function).
The special gift for the new big V-Strom comes in the face of an advanced cornering ABS, or, as Suzuki calls it, the Motion Track Brake System which relies on a five-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) to ensure optimal braking force even mid-corner. This system also incorporates a combined function, where input from the rear brake is automatically dialed-in where needed to contribute towards the safest possible result. It does sound a bit strange though that Suzuki invested in the advanced IMU, but doesn't appear to couple it with the traction control as well.
The standard support kits also include a slipper clutch, and the easy start and low rpm assist systems that seem to spread across Suzuki's line-up.
The V-Strom 650, on the other hand, enters its third generation with brand new looks, precisely transferred from the bigger model. Creating a family identity is apparently what Suzuki targeted, so the 650 gets exactly the same design and instrument panel as the 1000.
Mechanically the smaller V-Strom is more or less the same as the current model, as no changes are reported in frame, suspension and brakes. The engine has been tuned to the latest norms, by changing the camshafts to those of the latest SV 650 roadster and setting up appropriately the motor's intake and exhaust systems.
Suzuki also adds to the mix the same traction control of the V-Strom 1000, as well as the typical easy start and low rpm assist kits, rounding off with the ABS used in the current 650.
A new addition that is introduced with the 2017 V-Strom is the XT version, which simply rolls on spoke wheels that are compatible with tubeless tires. Both 1000 and 650 XT are fitted as standard with hand guards and plastic engine protector, but have absolutely no other difference compared to the standard models.
The entry-level addition to the GSX-R family runs on a liquid-cooled single-cylinder 125 cc engine with two overhead cams and four valves feeding an oversquare piston. Suzuki doesn't disclose performance figures or the bike's weight, although does make sure to communicate that the GSX-R125 is the lightest and most powerful bike in the 125 cc sportbike class. However, we guess that the 15 hp (11 kW) maximum horsepower for the European A1-class license is a limit that Suzuki will logically respect in order for the new model to be eligible for its main target group.
As expected, the mini GSX-R is styled after the bigger members of the same family, featuring equipment that can be considered as luxury in its class, such as keyless ignition, big LCD instrument display, LED headlight and easy start system.
Suzuki makes a strong entrance in the modern 125 cc sport field with a well-equipped motorcycle, going up against fierce competition in the face of a variety of models from Honda, KTM, Yamaha and several other manufacturers.