You know a bike’s good if you miss it when you’re not on it. If I’m testing something else, or even riding my own KTM 1050 Adventure, I too often end up thinking ‘the Suzuki would be easier to get through here,’ or ‘I’d be happier on the lighter GSX-S today,’ or even ‘I want that buzz I get from the four-cylinder 750.’
It’s not perfect of course – what I’ve never thought is ‘if only I had the luggage capacity of my long-term test bike.’
Suzuki’s own aftermarket accessories list has fallen a little short for this machine since the launch, but it is growing; there’s now a stylish rider’s seat for £90, colour-matched cover to replace the pillion seat, graphics kit, tank pads and frame stickers. There’s also an increasing number of other companies starting to offer parts for it, which is no surprise, given that the Suzuki so easily invokes thoughts of the street fighters of the past few years. It’s the stripped-down 2005 GSX-R750 so many people tried to make a decade ago.
I reckon the GSX-S750 is a sharp-looking bike as it is, but most of us like to add a bit of a personal touch to their motorcycles. How much you want to spend doing it is entirely up to you, but if you’re after some very high quality carbon-fibre accessories, Suzuki’s own parts are a wonderful – if pricey – option.
The carbon-fibre mudguard is beautifully finished…
All in a matt finish, with a superb quality weave and very tough construction, I’ve installed the £300 front mudguard, £145 clutch cover, £120 alternator cover and £95 starter cover. They’re all cosmetic really, besides the alternator cover, which does completely shroud the metal, offering some degree of protection in the event of a slide. Suzuki doesn’t, at the time of writing, offer any crash bungs, but both Evotech Performance and R&G Racing have this well covered.
Black silicon is supplied to secure the covers to your engine
At a total of £660, they’re a hefty investment – 8.6% of the price of the bike – but if you’re buying the machine new, and fancy the styling, it’d be worth having a chat with your dealer to see if there’s anything they can do.
With the engine cleaned, the parts are stuck on before being held in place to set
The covers are easy to fit – each part comes with a tube of black silicone that glues them to the metal (one tube is easily enough to do all three parts). I first cleaned the engine cases, then dotted the silicone as it showed in the instructions. You’re told to tape the parts in place for 24 hours before riding the bike, but this is surprisingly hard to do without using the frame, which tends to see the tape try to lift the carbon away – make sure you only tape it to the engine. Insulation tape works well as you can stretch it.
The mudguard takes a bit more work to fit… a screwdriver will help you gently prize the brake lines out of the clips
The mudguard was a little more time-consuming as you need to take the calipers and wheels off, as well as gently prying the brake lines out of their clips. I just wish Suzuki had included some bolts that’d allow you to remove the large side reflectors…
Of course, there’s no real ‘need’ to fit these parts – the carbon-fibre is adding weight, not reducing it – you do it simply because you want something a little more unique. I’d like to see more carbon options, in the same matt finish, but another route could be to use a 3D matt carbon-effect wrap… I’m wondering if the blue panels would look good with this on. Let me know what you reckon in the comments below – should I go for a stealth look?
It’s not cheap, but the carbon-fibre mudguard looks much better than the original
If I need to carry a lot, I’ve always gone back to my KTM – the hard Givi luggage I have on that is easy to clip on, and gives me well over 100 litres of storage.
I tried some throw-over panniers on the Suzuki, but sadly there are no strapping points, and the sharp design of the tail seemed to make it impossible to prevent the bags from folding underneath and potentially fouling the wheel when the suspension’s compressed. I needed something more solid…
Suzuki’s tank bag needs drilling to fit the adaptor ring that clips on the bike
Suzuki offers two tank bags – the £150 large one has up to 15 litres’ capacity (11 litres unexpanded), while the small goes from five litres to nine litres, and costs £95. That’s the one I have, but to fit either, you also need the £32 tank bag ring, which bolts over the top of the filler cap.
Fitting is clearly aimed at your dealer – it’s no major hassle, but you have to drill the bottom of your tank bag to fit the mounting kit that attaches to the ring on your filler cap. The instructions aren’t that clear, seeming to guide you through drilling holes for it set forward or back, with no advice on which you should use; it tells you to pay attention to the drill template shown in ‘drawing 1’, but there are two drawing 1s! I went with it set back, to make sure I could reach the keys, though while the plastic template supplied is very useful, it says to use an 8.5mm drill. Yet only an 8mm will fit through the guide holes. Take your time and it’s reasonably self-explanatory… or just leave it to your dealer.
The bag’s compact and fits very securely to the tank ring, pulling off quickly with a useful strap at the front. A zip, who’s toggle is usefully tucked under an elastic strap, can be run around the base, which allows the bag to expand from five litres to nine – it’s just enough to get a pair of jeans, pants, socks, light shoes and a tee-shirt in.
The bag will swallow a fair amount, while the adaptor ring is unobtrusive on your tank
There’s a cable port at the front and rear (you need to cut the fabric underneath to open them up), with one elastic mesh and one zipped mesh pocket inside. There’s also a rain cover supplied, which has a draw-string to keep it in place, while the top is clear and touch-screen compatible. I’m not sure how useful this is though, as there’s nothing to keep your phone in place on top of the bag. You could shove a map under there…
The tank bag is great for a day, or overnight perhaps, but I needed more. A Ventura Evo bag and luggage rack fixed this, giving me a healthy 40 litres of space at the back. It costs about £320 all in, but really does make the Suzuki far more versatile – read the full review here.
Without the bag, the rack isn’t too intrusive, but whether you feel it spoils the lines too much will be a decision only you can make. Suzuki’s carbon-fibre parts give some real style, and if you’re not planning to spend a lot of time in the saddle, one of the tank bags will see you right. But as the GSX-S gains the hearts of more riders, it’s great to see options like the Ventura bag becoming available if you want to do more with your motorcycle.
I’ll shortly be fitting some crash protection and a tail tidy to the GSX-S750… keep an eye out for future updates…
Need to know: Suzuki GSX-S750
Engine: 749cc liquid-cooled parallel four
Power (claimed): 113bhp (84kW) @ 10,500rpm
Torque (claimed): 69lb-ft (81Nm) @9000rpm
Transmission: Six speed, chain final drive
Frame: Steel twin spar
Suspension: (F) 41mm inverted telescopic forks, adjustable preload
Damping; (R): rising rate monoshock, adjustable preload
Brakes: (F) Twin 310mm discs, four-piston radial calipers; (R) 240mm disc, single-piston caliper
Tyres: (F) 120/70-17; (R) 180/55-17
Seat height: 820mm
Kerb weight: 213kg
Fuel capacity: 16 litres (3.5gallons)
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