I have always been in awe of superbikes. The very concept that these will not work in a crowded country like India is what sets the tone. However, given the rise in sales of superbikes in our country, it is but natural that people are finding a way around this. To see how much useable a superbike will be on a daily basis, we decided to start this Daily Rider series. The plot is simple. We pick a superbike, use it for at least five days in varied riding conditions and decided whether its useable as a daily rider or not. The first motorcycle that we have put through this test is the Suzuki GSX-S750. This is a 2018 model as the 2019 one hasn’t reached our shores yet.
Day one with the Suzuki GSX-S750
We picked up the bike from the Andheri store in Mumbai. A quick inspection revealed that the motorcycle had a dry chain. Luckily, the service centre is next door and a quick treatment was done. That been accounted for, the motorcycle had got new OE tyres. Since this was the first time I was riding the GSX, certain amount of caution was maintained. First thing that impresses you is the fact that the engine is so smooth. The throttle isn’t tiring even in traffic and modulating it is easy as well.
I had a friend give me company on this ride and initially he took over. I was the pillion. This gave me time to think on how the pillion comfort is. The seat is decently soft, however there isn’t anything to hold on to. Even if the rider is redlining the engine, there are minimal vibes from the footpegs. Moreover, the throttle action is such that even if the rider pulls its a tad aggressively, the pillion will not feel the jerk. This being said, long distance isn’t comfortable for two up riding. Any aggressive braking input will have the rider squirming uncomfortably.
We tanked up the motorcycle (16 litres capacity), reset the trip meter and went on for our journey home (40km away). This journey also gave a glimpse into the heat management of the motorcycle. It is just brilliant. More often than not, the owner of such a motorcycle, given that this is in India, will be wearing shorts and flip-flops. These wont be disappointed with the Suzuki GSX-S750. The pillion’s legs may feel some heat and even the rider’s thighs will but not in an alarming fashion. I remember riding a twin from an Italian maker and the motorcycle had my thighs medium cooked. Luckily, the Suzuki GSX-S750 doesn’t have any such issues.
Day two with the Suzuki GSX-S750
Day one taught us that with superbikes, a blip of the throttle is enough to let jaywalkers or those on their phones while riding that you’re right behind and want space to pass. This may annoy some riders but dont let it affect you. If they aren’t following rules, its not your mistake. You can also see their dismayed faces in the rear view mirrors. Speaking of which, these mirrors are of decent size and provide a good vision. They are also unfazed at high speeds.
Speaking of which, day two was to check the touring capabilities of this motorcycle. I set off at around 6.30am to Nashik from my place in Dombivli. I wanted to leave even earlier but the underlying er…fear of stray dogs chasing me took over. The GSX750 doesnt create a racket but then it does have that rumbling bass that alerts the dogs. Understood it the hard way at 9pm when I reached home the day before.
Today was when I got to unleash the 114 horses. Why not the full potential? That is because I was on public roads. There are certain sections that you can see for a couple of kilometres ahead on the Nashik highway. This is where I saw around 163kmph creep up on the speedo. The seemingly calm engine doesn’t break into a sweat at these speeds and looks like it can keep going for ever. The motorcycle builds speeds rapidly and still retains its buttery smoothness. That being said, there are some vibrations coming in from the tank and foot pegs if you rev the engine too hard.
The handling part on the twisties of Kasara ghat too could be explored. The GSX though feels slightly heavy while pushing it through the corners. Nonetheless, you get used to the motions pretty quick. Straight line stability is commendable, as discussed before. The brakes too are sharp, shedding speed in no time. If you use just the rear disc, you will feel it is a bit wooden in operation. Dual channel ABS though helps one not to lock the rear brake.
Day three with the Suzuki GSX-S750
After seeing my V-Strom 650XT video review, a friend had called up. He wanted to know if the motorcycle will suit his requirements of an ADV. Moreover, he used to own an Inazuma at one point of time. So, it was a no-brainer. He bought the V-Strom 650 on my recommendation. At the Suzuki showroom, I learnt that the V-Strom and GSX-S750 are priced quite close. So, when I went to meet this friend, I posed the same question to him that you guys too have. “Why not the GSX” His answer was that he needed more ground clearance and a comfortable pillion seat, both of which the GSX doesn’t offer. It though brings in much more nimble handling as well as power. The service cost is nearly the same too.
The first service happens at the 1,000km interval and the next one at 5k. Both the services will cost less than Rs 5,000. Anything major like the brake pads or any components damaged due to a crash, you got to wait for around 15-20 days. The 20k km service too will set you back by around Rs 12,000. This in our opinion is fantastic value for money.
With this friend’s help, we also have pictures of how two-up riding on the GSX is over speed breakers. With just the rider on-board, if you are a tad faster over the breaker, chances are that it will not hit. However, if you are someone who tends to go a bit slower, try taking the motorcycle in a cross fashion. Two riding too follows the same pattern. However, if you tend to go faster, chances are more that the underbelly scrapes. Technicians tells us that no motorcycles have been reported so far with broken sumps or the belly pan being cracked. Truth be told, the coolant reservoir in the GSX sits quite low. This however never proved to be a hindrance in everyday riding conditions.
The secret is to brake well before the speedbreaker and accelerate the moment the front wheel is over the hump.
Day four with the Suzuki GSX-S750
This was a Holi-day. Both for the bike and me. Cos, it was the festival of Holi on that day. A friend has just bought a used Ninja 650. So, late night, on the eve of Holi, we decided to ride down to CST. You must have seen the Facebook live video we did from down there. A distance of close to 60km from where we started, was attained in just an hour and 15 minutes. That is a bit faster than even a local train. This journey helped us check out the suspension. The suspension, as can be expected, is stiff. However, the bigger of them potholes, at higher speeds dont pose a problem at all. I have a habit of standing over breakers or potholes and this habit ensures that the 133mm ground clearance doesn’t pose any problem at all.
We clicked a good couple of pictures with the cops stationed out there. Luckily no frisking or anything happened. We had a late night snack and scampered back. This journey also gave time to ponder over the fuel efficiency. In the city, the GSX returns 14kmpl while out on the highway, the number increases to 21.9kmpl.
Day five with the Suzuki GSX-S750
Superbike owners do tend to drop their kids to the school on their steeds. I too tried this with a friend’s kid. The distance from his place to the school was around 3km. The kid had a helmet strapped on. During the journey, I was constantly asking her if she was ok or felt scared. She wasn’t Probably because she couldn’t see anything ahead because of my frame. Her arms though were securely locked around my waist. She also had bragging rights that she was dropped off on a superbike today.
All in all, the Suzuki GSX-S750 proves that it can be a daily useable bike. Since the styling is somewhat similar to the much smaller Gixxer 150, not to mention the colour scheme, you wont find people meandering about the motorcycle. So a decently safe parking is somewhat guaranteed as well. Like a close friend says, “treat it like a superbike and it will reward you.” At no point is the friendly power delivery to be mistaken and it can bite you where it hurts the most. At Rs 8.35 lakh, on-road Mumbai for the 2018 model that we used here for the test, the Suzuki is one of the most affordable 4-cylinder offerings in India. Its competition includes the Kawasaki Z900 and the Triumph Street Triple, both being priced around the Rs 10.7 lakh on-road mark.
Images by Lijo Mathai and Sushil Jaiswal