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Ram Air Direct: 1998 Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD for Sale

"Ram air" was a very 90s gimmick with dubious benefits, especially on the road, but they gave bikes of the 1990s like this Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD a distinctive style, with oversized fairing nostrils and large intake tubes that curved through the rider's view and into the top of the tank to pressurize the airbox. Well "ram air" implies airbox-pressurization at least, but the reality in this case was more form than function. But that minor point aside, the new model was a significant milestone in the history of the Gixxer, and there are very few remaining in this kind of clean, low-mileage condition.

After generations that saw Suzuki's range of sportbikes getting more refined, but ever heavier and slower, the 1996 GSX-R750 SRAD and the smaller 600cc version finally reversed that trend. Suzuki's new Ram Air Direct model was really a complete overhaul of the existing GSX-R: an entirely new aluminum beam frame with claimed ties to Suzuki's GP bike replaced the cradle design, the liquid-cooled engine was narrowed by moving the cam-chain to the end of the block, and basically everything was made smaller and lighter, more compact. It debuted with a bank of carburetors, but the 1998 version seen here added fuel injection.

The result? A bike that was, marketing hype aside, as light as a contemporary 600: 395lbs dry, almost 45lbs lighter than the previous version, with a screaming, 128hp rev-monster motor and a very slick six-speed box that you really needed to abuse if you wanted to make good progress up to the new Gixxer's near 170mph top speed. But that wasn't a problem because the new Gixxer liked abuse. Fully-adjustable upside-down forks helped the bike handle and the six-piston calipers up front may have fallen out of fashion, but certainly look pretty trick.

No one I know seems to be able to clarify for me: do you say "es ar ay de" or do you say "srad" when talking about these bikes? When I ask people keep looking at me like, "Hey, I thought you were supposed to be the expert." However you say it, the SRAD is a nearly classic sportbike with the handling, if not the outright power, to take the fight to modern machines. But throw on some fresh rubber, modern brake pads, and a set of steel-braided lines, and this could be one fun bike with the performance to go with all that nostalgic 90s style.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Suzuki GSX-R750 SRAD for Sale

1998 Suzuki GSX-R750 fuel-injected with only 8,000 actual miles! 100% stock. Adult owned! Looks and drives like new! Never dropped! Always in a garage! Has a factory Suzuki bike cover, rear seat, tie-down strips, color-coded tank bra. This is a must see! Turns heads wherever it goes!

I've spared you the all-caps listing and deleted a whole bunch of extraneous exclamation points. You can thank me later. The seller's enthusiastic writing style aside, this is a very clean bike with a clean title and just 8,000 miles. It'd probably be even more desirable in classic Suzuki blue-and-white, but I'm sure the more subtle red-silver-black seen here has its fans.

-tad

 

18 Comments

  • You know what kills me, is that little hoops on the tail where you can hook bungee cords for luggage. Super sports bikes of the 80s and 90s, they really were made to be pretty versatile. It’s so hard to mount a luggage on today’s super sports.

  • The selling term “adult owned” always cracks me up. Just to weed out all the GSXR750s owned by what? Middle schoolers?

  • Auction is already ended showing unsold?

    • Maybe sold locally and ended early? There should have been plenty of time left on the auction and I can’t imagine no one was interested.

  • seller looks to have been a dealer so someone probably called in and said they would buy. Dealers will often then pull the listing so they don’t have to pay the ebay % fee of the sale.

  • Who else? – Squids… (just sayin’) ergo, the term “…likes abuse.” would apply (heh) All that aside, it is (was?) a pretty darn nice, clean bike ! … and I like the Red/Black livery too. Good luck to new Owner…

  • These were ubiquitous not that long ago but finding a nice one today is harder than locating an original slabby.

  • And it’s “s radd”! You can’t overstate how much better this gen is, from a performance standpoint, compared to any previous version. The earlier gen 750s we’re getting spanked by the 95 ZX6Rs in club racing at the time, but that all changed with this one.

    My issue with them has always been the shape – fat and ugly to my eye, but I understand that’s just one guys opinion and there’s no arguing how well these work.

    • So you say it’s pronounced like “S-RAD”? Interesting. Hadn’t thought of that. I’ve never been a huge fan of the headlight, but I saw a feature a while back on a classic GSX-R racebike that had been campaigned in the UK and was struck by how much better it looked stripped of all road equipment. Some bikes look good set up as racing machines, others [like my Daytona 675] look better in street trim, and some manage to look good with track bodywork or with lights and signals and mirrors.

  • Agree with Billy. l got whipped by 600s on my 92 750.

    l rode this model and it’s a different beast, very fast….far better than the earlier series. Quicker than zx7s too.

    Becoming rare in decent original condition now. They’re a unique style though which looks suspect will become popular over time.

  • I’ve got two of these, both 98s in the blue/white paint job. One with a minty set of white Marvics that really set it off and a Corbin seat that make it feel like a cruiser (at least for your butt!)

    I can’t think of a better “modern classic” than these Fuelly SRADs. They’re simple yet still extremely reliable, other than cam chain tensioners which I’m convinced plauged every 90s Japanese 4 cylinder. The EFI system isn’t as refined as anything in the last ten years but a Power Commander with custom maps (there are every combo of mods or stock available) helps immensely.

    Aesthetics are a personal preference but I love the blue/white, it’s classic Suzuki. Although I’d love a 1996 “Duracell” black/gold. The tail section suffers from the same syndrome as 90s cars: make everything round and bulbous; especially with the solo cowl on but it does look like it means business. I prefer it to the paper thin after thought looking tails on modern bikes. The ram air vents, with their carbon fiber print tubes, remind me of a time goneby

    Ok enough words for 7am.

    -G

  • Great find! Yes, it’s pronounced “ess-rad” 🙂

    I’ve always really liked this model, probably due to its inspiration – Suzuki’s RGV500 GP missile. I even like the bulbous seat hump that came in for so much criticism back in the day! And yes, blue/white is the superior colour way – the only better one would be full Lucky Strike livery with number 34!

  • Future classic for sure. Get one while you can.

    I worked at the Suzuki dealer in high school when these came out (mostly just cleaning stuff, so fun!) We all loved em after years of the heavyweights. The tail bump was so ‘track-derived’ and trick at the time. I know the look fell out of favor pretty quick, but was echo’ed in the Hayabusa years later.

    Pretty sure “S-Rad” is how most people say it.

  • Should have made the speedo read to like, 250 mph, that way the squids would have gobbled ’em up off the showroom floors like so much popcorn! Great bikes, for diesels, that is… Next 2 stroke please…

  • Why did you have to post this?!?! Now I’m having a hard time not buying a minty-looking ’96 ‘Duracell” model just up the road from me. Hmm…

  • Ok. You spiked my curiosity “Duracell” model?

    • There was a black and coppery-gold version. I’m guessing he means that one.

  • Right, the 96 came in an unusual black/copperish gold scheme. A pal of mine ran an endurance team in WERA and Suzuki gave him 2 of these when they first came out. I remember standing in his garage right after he got them, talking about how ugly they were, especially that black/copper one. But good God they were a whole different level of “everyman’s 750” compared to everything before them.

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