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Tough Love – 1997 Suzuki GSX-R750

Not far into Suzuki’s water-cooled era, Ram Air Direct became a way to extract just a few extra ponies from 748cc, and were a nice success combined with the new-to-96 alloy twin-beam chassis.  This second-owner Gixxer looks worthy of a little TLC.

1997 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

After many years of air/oil-cooled engines, the 128 hp SRAD engine had tighter cylinder spacing, crank-end camshaft drive, and even tilted forward to straighten the intake path, presented a very compact package.  Magnesium covers for the head, starter and clutch helped contain dry weight to under 400 lbs.  The frame and alloy swingarm were an eclectic mix of stampings, extrusions, and castings, and must’ve give the production welders fits.  Multi-adjustable suspension was in place front and rear, and wind-tunnel tested bodywork smoothed airflow.

After an owner who seems to have been focused on performance, this GSX-R might respond to a rolling restoration.  Complete and not much in the way of external mods, it has been kept running to a high standard.  Especially the not-so-intuitive brake modification of going to a four-pot caliper to improve feel.  A nice list of mechanical improvements from the eBay auction:

-Wiley Co. Slip-on with larger main Jets Carburetor rebuild kit.
-Steel braid lines front and rear.
-Valve adjustment is done less than 100 miles ago. 
-New Throttle cable  
-New Spark plugs 
-Replaced New fuel pump, filter, complete petcock, and base gasket.
-Replaced the OEM front six-pot (wooden feel) stock calipers for a set of newly rebuilt Nissin 4 pot with new EBC pads (100x better-stopping power over the OEM calipers).
-Replaced the OEM automatic (CCT) cam chain tensioner (known recall issues) with an APE manually adjustable one.
-Replaced the OEM Charging system, with a new stator, Regulator/ Rectifier, and battery. Charging at 14.5 volts now.
-Rebuilt rear caliper with new pistons.
-Rebuilt front forks, new seals/oil, also new bearings for the steering head.
-Racetech rebuilt rear shock new spring and cart; fully adjustable preload, compression, and rebound damping. I have added adjustable rear links for ride height adjustment.
-K/N Filter for the Ram Air.
-Battlax S21 Front and Rear tires
-Front and rear wheel bearings replaced.
-A new chain and sprocket.
-Rear solo seat cowl and passenger seat.
-The seat has been reupholstered with a back pad.
-Undertail fender eliminator.
-New Brembo 19mm RCS Radial Master Cylinder and Clutch lever
-New set frame sliders.
-Stomp Grip traction tank Pads.
-New battery

In a segment where lightness never goes out of style, Suzuki injected a bunch into the SRAD models and combined with popular pricing, had a hit.  Hopefully fans will see around the cosmetics of this example and know that the hard work of helping this ’97 survive has been done.




  • Mechanically – looks good. Cosmetically – a mess. If it were mine I’d be sorely tempted to replace that bodywork with a set of Lucky Strike fairings, repaint the tank, and call it a day!

  • I’ve never ridden one of these, but I thinks that speaks to this era GSX-R’s biggest detriment: they may objectively be a million times better a motorcycle than the previous generations of air/oil-cooled machines, but they lost their distinctive character and I stopped caring about them.

  • The oem graphics on this were my favorite of any year. Visions of Aaron Yates back in the day.

    This ones a bit rough but what is that black piece that looks like an eyebrow over the right side headlight. wTF!!!? I don’t even know what that is. some sort of reverse eye-patch, prosthetic fairing reinforcement?! Did the borg try and assimilate a gixxer?


  • am I the only one who can’t see the turn signals/indicators?

  • SRAD!!!

    On the signals, it may have an integrated taillight/signals or something. It’s a Gixxer, who needs turn signals anyways 🙂

    These were a huge step forward in performance when they came out, making 750s relevant again. Was pitiful having 600s consistently win the 750 classes in club racing for a couple years and this put and end to that. But when I first saw it, and still to this day, I wonder why they made them so damn ugly. Same on the TLR (the S was ok) and the Busa. “Bulbous” is the word that comes to mind…

  • Bulbous? Yes, but not really any more than other bikes of the same era. Take a look at the 2003 APrilia RSV Mille R Haga Replica to the right of this post and I think you will agree.

    I always liked the look of these bikes rear, especially on the TL1000R in the screaming yellow

  • Weren’t (we) just talking about cheap track bikes? Well, here it is… buy it and ride the dog snot out of it ! …as for styling – I love the look. Just sayin 😉

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