Email Print Suzuki GSX-R

While the rest of the world received the Suzuki GSX-R750 in 1985, America didn’t receive the ground-breaking sportbike until 1986. But although the Suzuki GSX-R750 is honored as the prototype of modern sportbikes, there was another Suzuki GSX-R that preceded it. Launched only in the Suzuki’s domestic market of Japan, the 1984 liquid-cooled GSX-R400 is officially the original Gixxer.

Nonetheless, the Suzuki GSX-R750 symbolizes the beginning of the modern sportbike. Based on Suzuki’s works endurance racer, the no-nonsense, purpose-built GSX-R was the first production race-replica from a Japanese OEM. The Suzuki GSX-R’s combination of light weight (387 lbs. dry) and power (100 hp at 10,500 rpm) was a performance package unmatched by other sportbikes, while its aluminum frame, clip-on handlebars, rear-set footpegs and full-fairing with twin headlights completed the GSX-R’s distinctive, made-for-racing architecture.

Unlike its 400cc counterpart and other contemporary sportbikes of the era, the Suzuki GSX-R750 was powered by an air- and oil-cooled engine, the same engine format powering the 750’s big brother, the Suzuki GSX-R1100, also launched in 1986. Cast from essentially the same mold, the Suzuki GSX-R1100 upped the 750’s horsepower (125 hp) and top speed (155 mph) figures. Both models became the bike of choice for privateer motorcycle road racers competing in respective displacement classes.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R750

For the next five years Suzuki GSX-Rs would receive performance tweaks to keep the bike competitive against new models from Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki. A lot of these tweaks, however, increased the bike’s weight, thus defeating the original design mantra of light makes right.

In 1992 (’93 for the U.S.) the first major change to the Suzuki GSX-R was the adaptation of a liquid-cooled engine. The new engine produced nearly the same power as the previous oil-cooled motor, but exhibited a much broader power curve. A sleeved-down version of the 750 was on showroom floors in 1992, but the overweight Suzuki GSX-R600 failed on the racetrack and to lure customers. The 600 was discontinued after 1993.

The last remaining component from the original Suzuki GSX-R, it’s double-cradle frame, was replaced in 1996 with a new twin-spar frame. The Suzuki GSX-R1100 continued for one more year using the old frame and received the new twin-spar frame in 1997, the same year Suzuki reintroduced the GSX-R600. The new twin-spar-framed Suzuki GSX-Rs returned to the original formula of low weight and high horsepower.

For a decade, with the exception of Nicky Hayden riding a Honda RC51 in 2002, Mat Mladin and Ben Spies won every AMA Superbike championship riding Suzuki GSX-Rs. The 750cc class was replaced by 1000cc superbikes in both AMA and World Superbike racing series, and most manufacturers have abandoned producing 750cc sportbikes. Currently, the Suzuki GSX-R750 is the last remaining three-quarter-liter sportbike in production.

Suzuki GSX-R Reviews

Suzuki GSX-R History

We take a look back at nearly three decades of GSX-R, highlighting some important milestones along the way. Thanks largely to the 1985 GSX-R750, today’s sportbikes are often considered “racebikes with lights.”

2013 Suzuki Motorcycle Lineup

Suzuki is celebrating its golden anniversary in 2013, and to commemorate the milestone, it’s releasing five new additions to its lineup, including two brand-new bikes. Suzuki also teased us with an updated V-Strom 1000 which is in the pipeline.

2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Review - Video

Suzuki has given its GSX-R1000 sportbike some notable tweaks for 2012, including improvements to the engine’s low-end power and some new Brembo brakes. We had a chance to test it out at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R750 Review

Suzuki’s 2011 GSX-R750 is a compelling package for anyone enraptured with the idea of owning the best inline-Four middleweight sportbike around. Its not quite as flickable as its little brother, the GSX-R600, but the Gixxer 750’s power is enthralling.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 Review

While the engine in the new Suzuki GSX-R600 is probably more potent compared to the previous model, what’s more significant is the bike’s unmistakable handling agility. Can the latest Gixxer knock the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R off the supersport throne?

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 Revealed

American Suzuki surprised the industry last year by deciding not to import 2010 streetbikes while it tried to clear inventory in a depressed market. But for 2011, it’s rebounding in a big way with the revamped GSX-R600 and the GSX-R750.

2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 Unveiled

Here it is, the first new sportbike released from Suzuki since the introduction of the revamped GSX-R1000 in 2009. It’s a new GSX-R600, which will again share its platform with the 750cc version to also be sold in 2011.

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Review

Suzuki gives its flagship sportbike, the GSX-R1000, its first full model change in years for 2009. Read all about the sweeping updates to the highly venerated Gixxer as we take our first ride. We’ll test it against the world’s top literbikes soon.

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 Unveiled in Paris

At Suzuki's 2009 model launch held in Paris an all-new GSX-R1000 K9 model was unveiled, alongside the new Gladius 650 naked standard. The new GSX-R1000 has an all-new compact engine, shorter wheelbase and updated styling.

2008 Suzuki GSX-R600 Review

Duke takes us on a ride of the revamped GSX-R600, America's favorite sportbike, around the Misano World Circuit

Progressive Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance Quote

Get A Motorcycle Quote
  • Insuring more motorcycles than anyone else
  • Customized Motorcycle Insurance
  • Coverage For Different Types Of Bikes

Suzuki GSX-R Comparisons

2012 Japanese Superbike Shootout - Video

Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha have all tweaked their respective contenders for 2012 – the CBR1000RR, GSX-R1000 and YZF-R1, have significant changes, while Kawasaki returns for 2012 with the same traction-control-equipped machine it introduced last year.

2011 Supersport Shootout - Street [Video]

We awarded the all-new Suzuki GSX-R600 top position in the racetrack specific portion of the 2011 Supersport Shootout. Who will win when we take these 600cc sportbikes to the street?

2014 Suzuki GSX-R

2013 Suzuki GSX-R

2012 Suzuki GSX-R

find Suzuki GSX-R Specs

Choose your Suzuki GSX-R to build, configure or compare

Looking for a specific make, model or year of Suzuki GSX-R, and how it compares to the competition? Looking to design your own Suzuki GSX-R? Use our Motorcycle Finder, below, to get everything you need on 2004 to present Suzuki GSX-Rs.
  • Manufacturer
  • Category
  • Year
  • Model