1985 To 1987 — The First Modern Race-Replica, Suzuki GSX-R750

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Suzuki GSX-R750 Model History 1985 — 2012

1985 to 1987 — The First Modern Race-Replica, Suzuki GSX-R750

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1985 Suzuki GSX-R750

In 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 offered race-bred technology and performance at an affordable price . — Suzuki

A Legendary Motorcycle is Born

The illustrious history of the series begins with Suzuki’s concept for first-generation GSX-R750 in March 1985: Born on the circuit, returning to the circuit. The GSX-R750 was designed to challenge global championships while fulfilling the sporting aspirations of non-professional riders.

Hiroshi Fujiwara, who was in charge of the basic layout of this first model, vividly recalls the excitement of his team at the beginning of the project. This pure Supersport model was our first 750cc bike featuring an aluminum frame of unprecedented light weight and superb torsional rigidity. We had no real competitors in the market, other than factory racing machines.

The oil-cooled 4-stroke, 4-cylinder engine of the GSX-R750 delivered more than 100PS — far more power than any previous 750cc motorcycle. The exceptionally low dry weight of 179kg (395 lbs.) was equivalent to that of a 400cc-class model. Isamu Okamoto, engineer of engine design recalls: We knew that reaching our goal of the world’s best power-to-weight ratio required to realize overpowering performance would be an enormous challenge.

The GSX-R750 was a natural sensation among motorcycle enthusiasts and the press at a time when the capacity limit for Formula One and endurance racing had just been dropped from 1,000cc to 750cc. Suzuki’s new 750 performed admirably in the AMA Superbike Championship and FIM World Endurance Championship and quickly became the racebike of choice among private riders worldwide, thanks to durability and affordability.

When American rider Kevin Schwantz rode the GSX-R750 into second place at the 1986 AMA Daytona 200, his name became synonymous with the machine. Schwantz’s unique riding style on the GSX-R750 demonstrated an incredible man-machine interface that quickly engendered a legend. Victories in AMA Championship and the Le Mans and Bol d’Or 24-hour endurance events soon followed, to anchor the beginning of GSX-R750’s winning history.

The Champion Grows Up

Following several model changes in the early years to raise performance and stay in the lead, Suzuki changed the engine of the 1992 GSX-R750 from oil-cooled to liquid-cooled and adopted a more rigid frame with a large, pentagonal cross-section. Hiroshi Iio, chief engineer of the GSX-R series, reveals a secret episode.

We development team members shared a clear goal to realize higher performance, lighter weight and more compactness that facilitated agreement on technical matters, Iio recollects, But aesthetic matters such as engine’s appearance did cause some arguments. For example, we asked Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force to show us various aircraft power units as inspiration for the fin shape on our ’92 GSX-R750.

For the 1996 model, engine designer Masahiro Nishikawa strove to figure out the most desirable characteristics for a new-generation Supersport. I frequently visited major superbike championship circuits to collect on-the-spot information, he says. The answer was an entirely new engine with three-piece crankcases and a side camchain.

Combined with the all-new twin-spar frame inspired by the Grand Prix race bikes, this version achieved 19kg weight reduction from its predecessor.

The highly evolved GSX-R750 adopted the catch phrase ‘The most advanced GSX-R ever’ in 2000. That model’s totally redesigned engine featured a new electronic fuel injection system with dual throttle valves — a rider controlled throttle valve and an electronically controlled valve — that enabled optimal fuel injection for greater torque and power, as well as higher combustion efficiency with lower emissions. The new main frame was lighter, with a longer swing arm than the previous model.

Together, the innovations offered 2000 GSX-R750 riders overpowering performance approaching that of a one-liter model.

Yukihiro Takasaki has been dedicated to development of the electronic fuel-injection systems in all GSX-R series models since 1999. As a private race team mechanic I had a close contact with GSX-R750 when I joined Suzuki two decades ago, says Takasaki, so I was eager to take charge of GSX-R development. Our team was thrilled to complete a new fuel-injection control system that helped to exceed performance of carburetor-equipped competitors.

I’m happy to say that Suzuki’s fuel-injection technologies are still leading the industry today.

The Unrelenting Mission of Excellence Continues

The GSX-R has steadily expanded the lineup for the last 20 years. In the year following the 750’s debut, Suzuki launched another GSX-R with a 1,052cc engine boasting a maximum of 130PS at 9,500rpm with a dry weight of only 197kg (434 lbs.). Like the 750, the GSX-R1100 ruled the racetracks and the roads until 1998.

For riders who want the GSX-R experience in a middleweight machine, Suzuki introduced the GSX-R600 in 1997. Kunio Arase, project leader for this new member of the GSX-R family, says he started development with a mission: The mission shared by every engineer for succeeding models of the legendary GSX-R line has been to surpass the performance of any existing model in its class.

We determined to achieve the fastest top speed and starting acceleration, yet the production model had to be transformable to a winning circuit racer with minimal modification. Indeed, the first GSX-R600 realized a top speed faster than that of the GSX-R750 two years earlier, taking the World Supersport Championship for two consecutive years.

In 2001 the youngest member of the family was born, the GSX-R1000. Thrilling all riders and garnering one racetrack victory after another, the 1000 has become the flagship of the GSX-R line with its phenomenal potential. This year, the third-generation of the GSX-R1000 is going to the market with an even bigger displacement engine to deliver more power, torque and acceleration, as well as a totally redesigned body with less weight and higher aerodynamics.

Hiroshi Iio, the engine designer of early-1990s GSX-R750s, is now working as the chief engineer on the 2005 GSX-R1000. Every GSX-R in history has been created to become the best and strongest sportbike of its time, he recalls. Of course, the latest GSX-R1000 brings the original GSX-R concept to an even higher level. The 1000 is the most nimble, powerful and lightweight one-liter model yet, as well as an especially rider-friendly bike.

I wanted to achieve a charming machine that give every rider exceptional joy of ownership. The chief styling designer and I collaborated to create functional yet attractive styling worthy of a new-generation sportbike.

2005 was a year-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of Suzuki Motorcycle’s legendary Supersport GSX-R, which has dominated global racing circuits since a sensational debut in 1985. The company has aggressively evolved the series from the first-generation GSX-R750, to maintain a consistently spirited expression of Suzuki’s racing technology. To deliver the pure excitement of race-winning performance to more riders, Suzuki has also expanded the series into larger- and smaller-displacement engine models.

The 20th anniversary of the glorious GSX-R in 2005 is a time for Suzuki to celebrate, while mapping out even further advances of Suzuki’s superb industry-leading motorcycles. The legend continues.

1985 Suzuki GSX-R750

1985 Suzuki GSX-R750F

The 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 weighed in at a mere 179kg. Mounted on an aluminum double-cradle frame dubbed the MR-ALBOX, the 4-cylinder DOHC engine used the Suzuki Advanced Cooling System (SACS), cooled by forcibly pumping in oil. With tuning by companies such as Yoshimura, the GSX-R750 turned in spectacular performances at both domestic and overseas circuits.

The 1985 model featured a lightweight aluminum alloy frame, flatslide carbs, twin discs with 4-pot calipers and 18 inch tires both front and rear. An oil-cooled engine was made to save weight as compared with the heavier water-cooled engines of the time.

With the introduction of the 1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma, Suzuki was the first manufacturer to bring a true racer replica using race-bred technology to the public. With the RG250 Gamma a success, the next step was to build a 4-stroke 400cc machine for the Japanese home market and a year later a 750cc machine, with the Suzuki’s racing experiences in the World Endurance, AMA Superbike and Championship.

At the 1984 IFMA Cologne Show in West Germany the GSX-R750 was introduced; a street legal bike with a design to compete in the various Worldwide Championships. It would go on sale in March 1985.

In 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 offered race-bred technology and performance at an affordable price. The design philosophy centered mainly on weight reduction. Suzuki went counter to the conventional engine design by developing a computer designed packed with SACS (Suzuki Advanced Cooling System) where the cylinder head and the pistons are oil cooled via the engine oil injection, achieving cooling efficiency as good as water-cooling with 10% weight decrease.

The GSX-R750 also featured DAIS (Direct Air Intake System), TSCC (Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber) cylinder head, flat side carburetors, six-speed gearbox and hydraulic clutch. The chassis offered multi-rib extrusion molded aluminum box section piping and cold-cast aluminum alloy components, MR-ALBOX frame (that weighted 8,1 kg less than half of the conventional steel frames).

These and other weight reduction measures gave the bike a low dry weight of 179 kg, 20% lower than the competing 750s, resulting a superior power-to-weight ratio for much easier power control and quicker handling. Completing the GSX-R750 design was the endurance racer theme: dual headlights on the aerodynamics full fairing and 18-inch tyres both front and rear.

1985 Suzuki GSX-R750 Specifications

Engine Type: 16-valve, 4-stroke, DOHC in-line four

Power: 106.00 HP (79.04 kW) @ 10500 RPM


Torque: 73 N.m (53.8 ft. lbs.) @ 10000 RPM

Displacement: 749cc (45.71 cubic inches)

Compression: 9.8:1

Bore x Stroke: 70.0mm x 48.7 mm (2.8in x 1.9in)

Fuel System: Carburetion

Ignition: Full transistor

Cooling System: Air-Cooled

Front Brakes: Hydraulic twin disc with dual opposed piston calipers

Rear Brakes: Single disc, hydraulic

Fuel Capacity: 19 liters (5.02 gallons)

Colors: White/Blue.

1985 to 1987 — The First Modern Race-Replica, Suzuki GSX-R750

Considered one of the very first street-legal racers in a class of its own. The GSX-R750, not only a street bike but also a race bike.

A legendary motorcycle with over 100 horsepower weighing less than 180 kg dry, a 55 leaning angle, light weight alloy double-cradle perimeter frame, 18-inch wheels and streamlined design.

The air/oil-cooled engine had cylinder dimensions of 70 x 48.7 mm and was equipped with 29 mm flat slide carbs. In racing trim (there was a tuning kit available for competitive racing) the Suzuki GSX-R750 engine provided 130 bhp. The new high-tech engine was narrower than earlier inline-fours (except the Yamaha Seca line) and materials like magnesium was used to keep the weight low.

The Suzuki GSX-R750 was a street-legal and detuned version of the Suzuki GS1000R racing bike. The flat slide carburetors gave faster response to the throttle compared to the vacuum carburetors of the day but were more twitchy to riders. There were no compromises, the GSXR-750 was very quick in hands of a skillful rider but could be nervous and even dangerous in the wrong hands.

The GSX-R750 entered the market in March 1985. The evolution of modern sports bikes started with the GSX-R750. Its a real classic.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Specifications

Engine Type: 16-valve, 4-stroke, DOHC in-line four

Bore x Stroke: 70.0 x 48.7 mm (2.8 x 1.9 inches)

Fuel System: Carburetion

Ignition: Full Transistor

Cooling System: Air/oil Cooled

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