25 Years of GSX-R Models
Sportbike fanatics that have been around for a while will remember how much of a stir the original GSX-R750 created when it was introduced in 1985. Built with racing in mind and a primary mandate of reducing weight, the GSX-R was truly a racebike with lights. Just as sportbikes were dabbling with liquid-cooled engines, the Suzuki 's air/oil-cooled mill was housed in an equally innovative aluminum chassis. Few considerations were made for street use, which helped the GSX-R to scale in at a flyweight (for the time) 464 pounds wet, or about the claimed dry weight of its main competitor, the Yamaha FZ750. Emissions requirements, the International Trade Commission tariff on bikes over 700cc and worries that the bike was too sporty kept the bike from American consumers for a year, but journalists from the U.S. still attended the world introduction at Suzuki's Ryuyo test track in early 1985. Jeff Karr attended for Motorcyclist magazine, and summed up his report as follows: "The GSX-R750 put on an impressive show at Ryuyo. When recently shod and ridden well, it's a tremendously fast race bike, which should make it a wickedly fast bike on a racetracklike road." While sales did in fact start slowly in the U.S. in 1986, the introduction of the GSX-R cup series late that year kickstarted the racing/streetbike relationship that grew to define the model and was responsible for launching many racing careers.