Final: Suzuki GT 750
A buffalo to fall in love with
In the early 1970s, Suzuki dared a lot: the first Japanese motorcycle with water cooling was born.
Seven hundred and fifties were the biggest machines that could be bought back then. A 125cc was something, a 250cc really fast and even a 500cc, my dear Scholli, hell.
The time had come 35 years later, but let’s stay with that time for the time being. It quickly became clear that even the mighty Suzuki would have a difficult time with its three-cylinder two-stroke engine. Honda set the standard with the CB 750. 67 hp, four-cylinder, four-stroke, rumbling sound. The GT 750 only delivered 52 hp, less than the 500cc Kawasaki Mach III. So a tourer, also in terms of weight. The GT was never a big seller, only when a significantly improved successor model with 67 hp came on the market did it perform better for a year or two. MOTORRAD presents here one of the first machines that came to Germany. The colleagues from MOTORRAD CLASSIC lovingly restored it for a year and returned it to its original condition. In 1973, the then importer Fritz Röth in Hammelbach in the Odenwald had the trendy purple paintwork painted over in gold. He believed that purple motorcycles would not be for sale in Germany.
But the heavy Suzuki already has a double disc brake at the front, but still has the 52 hp engine, recognizable by the funny black end pieces on the seemingly endless exhausts. For reasons of symmetry, the Suzuki men even gave the middle cylinder two smaller pots. What an effort and not guaranteed to be performance-enhancing. Just like the always leaky interference pipes between the manifolds at the front of the engine. Bring nothing but trouble. Open the fuel tap, pull the choke lever on the handlebar, one or two powerful kicks on the sturdy kick starter, and the treble starts babbling. If you emit blue clouds like a dying Golf Diesel, you need a few thrusts to run properly. After ten seconds of cold running, such an oldie emitted more unburned hydrocarbons than a new Mercedes did in the whole year. At least it looks like that. You’re a little ashamed. So drive off immediately. Enjoy the gentle trigger and skilfully implement the power that is available almost from idle.
Two-stroke with charisma
52 HP can make you so happy. Especially when they are so cultured and yet emphatically served as by the Suzuki three-cylinder two-stroke.
Such a two-stroke works damn simple. The joke is: only the piston controls the gas exchange. While it is hammered down on its upper side after ignition and is exposed to combustion gases, its underside pushes fresh gas through the overflow again. Or: when it moves upwards, it compresses the mixture in the combustion chamber and at the same time sucks fresh mixture into the crankcase with its underside. It’s not easy for a piston like this in a two-stroke engine. Not even in the GT 750, despite water cooling. The driver does not notice any of this. He enjoys the silky smooth running of the engine, which the three pistons conjure up. Thanks to the 120 degree crank pin offset, the firing order is perfectly regular. The willing torque is also wonderfully present when the engine needs almost no gas at 2500 rpm and still marches like a buffalo. This is what gave the Suzuki its nickname. Power like the cloven-toed ungulate, and since it is water-cooled, water buffalo.
Although 52 HP at 250 kilograms of live weight does not seem exactly lush, the GT 750 can be moved quickly on country roads. The low center of gravity of the two-stroke engine and the upright seating position with wide handlebars pay off. Modern Metzeler tires and Icon struts, which replace the lax original parts, help calm the once shaky load. You have to get used to anticipatory driving with early braking. The low-friction two-stroke engine creates almost no braking effect, the lever for the double disc has to be pulled like an ox. After a few hours you don’t want to miss the roaring sound and the smooth engine. You are transported back to the wild 70s, when 130 km / h were still fast. And still feel fast on the GT 750 today. You can feel how the whole machine is working, making every effort and working solidly. Where she feels most comfortable and what was maybe a little cocky. What a good animal! The driving experience on such a classic car is very present and direct.
And one wonders why a motorcycle needs 15,000 revolutions and 180 hp, but doesn’t have a gram of chrome and polished aluminum. Why not a single manufacturer has stuck to the two-stroke principle when it is so nicely structured. And why everything has become so much more hectic and faster, when motorcycling also means pure relaxation and letting your mind wander. The value that the Suzuki offers is great. The beautifully restored GT finally had to leave us and went to a knowledgeable collector for a good 6,000 euros. For example, there is a 650 bandit at Suzuki today. Undoubtedly a good, modern and successful motorcycle, but not one with the charisma of a water buffalo.
Technical data Suzuki GT 750
Lots of polished aluminum and chrome, a powerful kick starter and a metal choke lever: when motorcycles were still machines.
Three-cylinder two-stroke engine, slot-controlled, water-cooled, bore x stroke 70 x 64 mm, 738 cm³, 38 kW (52 hp) at 6800 rpm, 66 Nm at 5300 rpm, electric and kick starter
Double loop frame made of tubular steel, non-adjustable telescopic fork, icon struts with adjustable spring base and damping, double disc brakes at the front, drum brakes at the rear, wire-spoke wheels, 3.25 H 19 and 4.00 H 18 tires
Measurements and weight:
Wheelbase 1455 millimeters, seat height 760 millimeters, tank capacity 17 liters, weight with a full tank of 250 kilograms
6690 marks (3420 euros)
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