The Most Affordable Motorcycle With A Four-Cylinder Engine - SUV VEHICLE

The Most Affordable Motorcycle With A Four-Cylinder Engine 

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Summary

  • Inline-four motorcycles are rare under $10,000 due to limited options.
  • Suzuki GSX-S750 boasts a torque-rich engine with an impressive output.
  • GSX-S750 struggles against technologically advanced rivals in 2024.



Given the chance, most bikers would pick inline-fours over any other engine type for all-out performance. That’s how awesome inline-four motorcycles are! There’s a reason why we shed a tear every time a screamer goes off sale, the latest victim being the Yamaha YZF-R1. These powertrains are smooth and produce a linear power until you reach the higher rev range, where they wake up and enter hulk mode.

Unfortunately, most such bikes are quite pricey given the complexities of building them. As a result, you don’t have many options under $10,000. But if you don’t mind a slightly dated and rudimentary motorcycle, there is one great inline-four option that sells for under $9,000. Of course, we’re talking about the Suzuki GSX-S750. It inherits the K5 heart and heritage of the GSX-R750, aiming to be an apex predator in a sea of modernized beasts. Here’s everything you need to know about it.


In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Suzuki and other authoritative sources, including Motorcycle News.

Also, the QJMotor SRK600 could be cheaper than the GSX-S750, but no pricing details are available yet.

Related
5 Reasons We Love Inline-Four Motorcycle Engines (And 5 Reasons Why Parallel Twins Are Better)

One is practical, the other is fun

An Inline-Four With Supersport Heritage Like No Other

Power Output: 112 HP

Today, most middleweight nakeds have moved to parallel-twin engines, and a few are powered by inline triples. This leaves the GSX-S750 being one of the very few with an inline-four powerplant. And this one might be the best one of all, primarily because of that GSX-R750 K5 engine. The engine is smooth and lacks any surprises — in a good way — as it has proven to be super-reliable over the years.


The K5 engine delivers a torque-rich experience from low- to mid-range, and once you get going, the power delivery turns monstrous, revving up to its 11,500 RPM redline. It’s a quick motorcycle but will not scare you; the engine is tuned to be more sensible for this naked middleweight than its sports bike sibling. Yes, it does lack the sheer peppiness of some of its twin-cylinder rivals, but nothing can take away the soaring top-end grunt.

Suzuki GSX-S750
Suzuki


Honestly, the engine might be the only thing that sets the GSX-S750 apart from its rivals. It’s hard to beat an inline-four power delivery and soundtrack. The engine format is generally smoother than twins and triples, and the free-revving nature makes it fun to wring at every opportunity. Considering the latest emission norms, the GSX-S750 may be the only way of experiencing an inline-four on a budget without looking at the used market.

Engine Highlights

  • Oversquare engine architecture produces a strong low-end and punchy top-end
  • Ventilation holes on each cylinder’s bottom reduce pumping loss, improving power and fuel economy
  • Camshafts tuned for a wave of smooth torque and strong acceleration
  • Ten-hole, long-nose fuel injectors for finer atomized fuel, improving combustion efficiency
  • Engine Control Module (ECM) tuned for better throttle response
  • Throttle bodies mated to the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV), improving throttle response at low to mid RPM
  • Compact, lightweight Suzuki Throttle-Body Integrated Idle Speed Control (TI-ISC) stabilizes idle speed and lowers emissions
  • 4-2-1 exhaust ensures a stronger mid-range with a soaring soundtrack
  • GSX-R-style close-ratio transmission features vertically staggered shafts to reduce overall engine length


Engine And Performance Specifications

Engine Type

Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, inline-four

Displacement

749cc

Compression Ratio

12.3:1

Torque Output

59.7 LB-FT

Top Speed

120 MPH

Tank Range

150 miles

(Specs sourced from Suzuki and Motorcycle News)

Hardware Underpinnings You Wouldn’t Change A Thing About

Chassis Type: D-section And Round Tubular Steel

Suzuki GSX-S750
Suzuki


Call it old-school or unique, you can’t question the handling capabilities of the GSX-S750. The inline-four engine is housed in a chassis that combines the best qualities of a tubular girder frame and a twin-spar frame. This gives the motorcycle sharp handling, but more importantly, a street-friendly riding triangle. The handlebars are easy to reach, the footpegs don’t bend your knees too much, and the seat is roomy enough for most riders.

This frame is suspended on KYB suspension with preload adjustment on both front and rear. Yes, Suzuki should’ve given fully adjustable suspension — it’s 2024 — but it’s not a bad setup per se. The suspension and frame give this bike precise handling that feels secure and composed when ridden hard. Never too frantic or unsure, even if you have your knee dragging.

Suzuki GSX-S750 Petal Discs


Then, there are the brakes. Unlike the GSX-S1000, this one gets Nissin calipers good enough to slow this beast. At the front, you get radial-mount dual four-piston calipers, clamping on wave-style rotors, and a single caliper at the rear. The braking feel is strong, reassuring, and consistent. A few upgrades to the braking setup, like better brake pads and braided lines, could make the braking even better.

Unless you’re taking the GSX-S750 to the track or purely riding it on the twisties, you wouldn’t want to change a thing about this motorcycle. Yes, it’s not a compact motorcycle, but it carries its weight well, predictably, and stably. Just remember one thing — it has a limited steering lock, which can get REALLY annoying sometimes. Other than that, it’s as good as you’d expect a middleweight naked to be.


Chassis And Suspension Specifications

Front Suspension

41mm KYB inverted forks, adjustable spring preload

Rear Suspension

Single shock, 7-way adjustable spring preload

Front Brake

Dual 310mm discs, four-piston Nissin radial calipers

Rear Brake

Single 240mm disc, one-piston caliper

Front Tire Size

120/70×17

Rear Tire Size

180/55×17

Seat Height

32.3 in

Curb Weight

469 lbs

(Specs sourced from Suzuki)

Fierce Yet Obsolete Styling

Suzuki GSX-S750
Suzuki


Styling is subjective, and this motorcycle tests that phrase like few other bikes can. The aesthetics are influenced by the old-gen GSX-S1000, and it hits the mark for us. It’s aggressive and wild but does not resort to transformer-esque edges and razor-blade flyline. It’s got curves, still, and has a mature aura about it in a segment that’s often riddled with gimmicks.

That being said, the design looks outdated today primarily because we’ve been seeing it for so long. The one pictured above is the ’17 GSX-S750, and the MY24 hasn’t seen many updates over that! Suzuki has moved to a more futuristic design philosophy with the new GSX-8S model that does away with smooth lines and brings a new edgy fascia. You’ll also notice the outdated design hides some outdated features, like the halogen headlights, basic rearview mirrors, and a hideous fender.


Design Highlights

  • Inline-four headers look classy, peeking out between the radiator and lower cowl
  • Gold anodized forks and blue wheels (on the 2023 model) add a pop of color to the bike
  • Curvy flyline is a rarity these days
  • Headlight nacelles provide a visual focal point
  • Under-cowl connects the chassis styling to the engine and exhaust system

It’s Too By-The-Book, And Not In A Good Way

Starting MSRP: $8,549 ($9,149 for GSX-S750Z ABS)

Suzuki GSX-S750Z
Suzuki

Should you buy the GSX-S750? It’s a tempting offer, but the question is difficult to answer. There is nothing wrong with this motorcycle; it ticks the essential boxes — stops, goes, handles, and sounds well. Perhaps that’s the problem with the bike — it doesn’t do anything extraordinary to make itself stand out, except the ancient inline-four engine.


The bike also pales in comparison to its rivals. The Yamaha MT-09, Kawasaki Z900, and Triumph Street Triple 765 RS look like technological marvels in comparison. The KTM 990 Duke is also another fierce rival. Lastly, there’s the Ducati Monster, which looks supreme and handles like a dream. Where does the GSX-S750 stand? Not in a very good spot and it’s honestly hard to look past its age in 2024.

There are also other bikes offering a purer inline-four experience. These motorcycles come with contemporary features, sometimes adjustable suspension, much higher-revving screamer engines, and radical designs. The Ninja ZX-4R even produces middleweight levels of power while being a sub-400cc motorcycle! It’s much better value for your money. The proper list is given below for reference.

Other Affordable Inline-Four Motorcycle

  • Honda CB650R: $9,399
  • Honda CBR650R: $9,899
  • Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: $9,399
  • Kawasaki Z 900: $9,699


Related
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R: Why Small Displacement Inline-Fours Make Sense In 2023

These ferocious little motorcycles have a loud voice that simply needs to be heard

We understand why Suzuki may not be updating the motorcycle. The inline-four segment is dying, and it’s simply not worth investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in making the aged engine meet Euro 5+ emission norms. Plus, like it or not, the middleweight segment has moved to parallel twins. While we’re glad something as good as the GSX-S750 exists, it’s hard to ignore its obsolescence. It’s a relic from the past that screams at the redline but falls silent in front of modern twins.

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