Classic Motorcycles – The Suzuki GT750

The 1970s saw rapid change in motorcycling, building on the likes of Honda’s benchmark CB750 of 1968, and then Kawasaki’s Z1 response in 1974. The Suzuki GT750, or the “kettle” as it was affectionately called, was a 738cc, water cooled, two stroke triple.

Similar to Kawasaki’s brutal 750H2 in that the Suzuki also sported three exhaust pipes, but there the similarity ended. The GT750 was fast, but not excessively so, with a top speed of “only” 115mph. It was also fairly heavy, with a dry weight of 214kg, a result of all the various bits of plumbing for the water cooling system.

However, the machine had torque in spades and superb mid-range acceleration, together with an impressive 40mpg – important especially in the UK where fuel was getting close to the one pound sterling a gallon mark. The strength of the GT750 lay in its comfort, its ability to easily cruise all day at high speeds with the rider staying perfectly comfortable. In many ways, the GT750 was the first modern sports-tourer. In fact, it was almost as if Suzuki were not at first quite sure what this machine was for. It was aggressively styled for its time, and yet not really a sports bike.

However, there is no doubt Suzuki could have created a monster. The GT750′s engine was very similar to the TR750, Suzuki’s racing bike ridden so successfully by the likes of British rider Barry Sheene and American Ron Grant. The TR750 had about 110bhp at the wheel as opposed to the 67bhp produced by the GT750, so there was technically a possibility of something in the middle, which may well have resulted in something very special indeed.

However, the GT750 was a big hit with the bike riding fraternity, offering as it did, good economy, a smooth and comfortable ride, and the opportunity to own one of the first mainstream two stroke water cooled engines.

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