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When it comes to middleweight naked motorcycles, the Suzuki GSX-S750 and the Yamaha FZ-09 are two popular options that riders often consider. Both bikes offer a thrilling riding experience and have earned a reputation for their performance and handling. In this blog post, we will compare these two middleweight naked bikes in various aspects to help you make an informed decision if you’re in the market for one.

1. Design and Styling

The design and styling of a motorcycle play a crucial role in attracting potential buyers. The Suzuki GSX-S750 boasts a sharp and aggressive look with its angular lines and muscular tank. The dual exhausts further enhance the sporty appeal of the bike. On the other hand, the Yamaha FZ-09 features a more minimalist design with its exposed engine and slim profile. It has a modern and edgy appearance that appeals to riders looking for a sleek and urban aesthetic.

2. Engine Performance

One of the most critical factors to consider when comparing motorcycles is their engine performance. The Suzuki GSX-S750 is powered by a 749cc inline-four engine that delivers smooth power delivery across the rev range. It produces 113 horsepower, providing ample acceleration and top speed for most riders. In contrast, the Yamaha FZ-09 comes with a 847cc inline-three engine that offers a high torque output of 64 lb-ft. This results in exhilarating acceleration and an impressive powerband, making it a thrill-seeking rider’s dream.

3. Handling and Suspension

When it comes to handling, both the GSX-S750 and the FZ-09 excel in their respective ways. The Suzuki GSX-S750 features a well-balanced chassis that offers precise handling and stability. It has a comfortable riding position, making it suitable for long rides without compromising on agility. On the other hand, the Yamaha FZ-09 is known for its nimble nature and lightweight feel.

It has a more aggressive riding position, which enhances the bike’s maneuverability in tight corners and city traffic. In terms of suspension, both motorcycles come equipped with adjustable components. The GSX-S750 utilizes KYB inverted forks at the front and a link-type rear suspension, providing a sporty yet comfortable ride. The FZ-09 features an inverted fork with adjustable preload at the front and a monoshock rear suspension that can be adjusted for both compression and rebound damping.

4. Braking System

A reliable braking system is crucial for any motorcycle, especially when it comes to high-performance naked bikes. The Suzuki GSX-S750 is equipped with dual front disc brakes and a single rear disc brake, providing excellent stopping power. It also features an advanced ABS system to ensure safe braking in various road conditions. Similarly, the Yamaha FZ-09 comes with dual front disc brakes but has a larger rear disc for enhanced braking performance. It also includes an ABS system as standard, offering confident braking control.

5. Technology and Electronics

In terms of technology and electronics, both motorcycles come well-equipped to enhance the riding experience. The Suzuki GSX-S750 features a full LCD instrument cluster that provides essential information at a glance. It also includes advanced rider aids such as traction control and multiple riding modes to suit different road conditions. On the other hand, the Yamaha FZ-09 has a digital instrument cluster with an analog tachometer for a classic touch. It offers adjustable throttle response modes, allowing riders to customize their riding experience according to their preferences.

6. Price and Value for Money

Price is undoubtedly an important factor when deciding between two motorcycles. The Suzuki GSX-S750 has a slightly lower price point compared to the Yamaha FZ-09, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious riders. However, both bikes offer excellent value for money considering their performance capabilities and features.

7. Aftermarket Support Of Suzuki GSX-S750 and the Yamaha FZ-09

For many riders, customization options and aftermarket support play a significant role in their decision-making process. Both the Suzuki GSX-S750 and the Yamaha FZ-09 have a wide range of aftermarket parts available, allowing riders to personalize their bikes according to their preferences. Whether it’s upgrading exhaust systems, installing performance-enhancing components, or adding aesthetic modifications, both bikes offer ample options to make them unique.  

“New” Old School:

The GSX-S and FZ have some distinct differences in ergonomics, even though their overall appearance is similar. And there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The Yamaha’s handlebar is set higher and wider than the Suzuki’s comparatively narrow handlebar (not to mention a difference in build: The FZ’s handlebar is a nice tapered aluminum unit, while the GSX-S’s handlebar appears to be a standard steel piece). The reach to the Suzuki’s bar is longer, putting the GSX-S rider’s torso forward a bit more. Conversely, there’s more legroom with the Yamaha, in addition to more room fore and aft on the seat compared to the Suzuki’s two-piece

rider/passenger setup. The Suzuki’s seat has more padding and is slightly comfier than the FZ’s comparative plank, though the Yamaha’s much narrower midsection enhances the FZ’s lithe feel and allows you to plant your feet easier at a stop. Suzuki definitely raided an older parts bin to get the Tokico two-piston slide-pin calipers for the GSX-S750. Despite only having adjustable preload, the fork worked well with dialed-in damping and spring rates. Taking off from a stop, the FZ’s far superior torque output, nice clutch, and quick-revving engine mean you can holeshot traffic with ease, and while the Suzuki’s retuned GSX-R engine provides decent low-end and midrange power that doesn’t require any clutch-slipping antics, it needs more revs to achieve the same immediate acceleration of the Yamaha from lower speeds. Out on the highway, the inline-four of the GSX-S generates some vibration around 5,000 rpm; the FZ does too, but its three-cylinder vibes are more easily tolerated. The Yamaha’s more upright seating position combined with the lack of wind protection will have you tiring of being a windsail after about 30 minutes on the highway.

Granted, long highway stints aren’t exactly in the FZ’s repertoire, not with its 3.7-gallon fuel tank; the Suzuki’s slightly more aggressive riding position makes the wind blast a little more bearable, and you’ll get farther on its 4.6-gallon tank. The Yamaha’s four-piston Advics calipers and 298mm discs provide good stopping power and decent feel. Unfortunately, damping and spring rates remain flaccid in the suspension.

The first section of twisty pavement is where we quickly found out that Yamaha has thankfully banished the majority of the abrupt throttle response that plagued the original FZ-09. Now you can run the FZ in Standard or even A mode without requiring the deftness of a brain surgeon when getting on the gas. “Every once in a while I get greedy and am ever-so-slightly reminded of this bike’s quirky throttle, but those moments are few and far between,” says Associate Editor Bradley of the Yamaha’s newfound smoothness.

There’s still a hint of abruptness in A mode, but for the most part you’re freed from the specter of throttle-induced chassis instability in the middle of a corner, letting you truly enjoy the responsive and robust character of the FZ’s crossplane-crank triple. Staying true to its GSX-R lineage, there’s no such throttle response issues with the Suzuki. It doesn’t matter where or how aggressive you are with the throttle; the GSX-S’s 749cc inline-four simply delivers power when you ask without any added drama.

The GSX-S750’s two-piece rider/passenger seat setup is more comfortable than the FZ-09’s one-piece seat, but it also restricts the amount of fore/aft room rider. But you could say that lack of drama is one of the Suzuki engine letdowns Compared to the lively power and acceleration of the Yamaha, the GSX-S’s powerplant revs slower and lacks the responsive torque of the FZ’s three-cylinder, making the Suzuki feel almost lazy by comparison. And instead of getting better as the rpm rises like you’d expect with a GSX-R, the GSX-S just continues building power in a steady and linear manner—which is not a bad thing, mind you. It’s just not as thrilling to ride as the Yamaha.

Also not helping in the acceleration department is the Suzuki’s added heft; the GSX-S weighs almost 50 pounds heavier than the FZ, with Suzuki weighing in at 466 pounds wet. Steering characteristics between the two bikes mirror the engine differences in a way. The Yamaha is agile, light on its feet, and seemingly makes mid-corner line changes with the effort of a bicycle. The Suzuki requires firmer input at the handlebar to initiate a turn, and while the steering effort tends to give an air of stability, it comes at the cost of needing much more effort to tighten up a cornering line or flick the bike through a fast transition.

Some of the Suzuki’s comparatively sluggish steering characteristics are likely due to its narrower handlebar, as well as the choice of OEM rubber; the OEM-spec Bridgestone BT-016 EE tires fitted to the GSX-S don’t have nearly the same quick-steering habits as their off-the-shelf BT-016 brethren. It’s not all wine and roses in the Yamaha camp though. While the original FZ’s throttle response issues were sufficiently addressed, apparently the first contract for OEM suspension bits isn’t over yet because the same overly soft spring and damping rates from the original model haven’t changed for 2015.

Even with rebound damping cranked in to maximum at both ends, as soon as you begin to get aggressive with the controls or your pace in turns, the Yamaha begins pitching and wallowing on its suspension, forcing you to back off and wait for things to settle down. And yet, when you hit sharp bumps or nasty pavement on the FZ, a lot of the initial impact gets transmitted into the chassis. We’d say it’s pretty easy to see where Yamaha saved some money in constructing this bike… By contrast, the Suzuki’s suspension (adjustable for spring preload only) has damping and spring rates that are dialed in much better for overall street and canyon work. Aggressive riding doesn’t fluster the GSX-S like it does with FZ; with chassis, suspension, and tires all working together, it provides a nice planted feel in corners. There’s good control throughout suspension travel, and front-end feedback is surprisingly decent.

Although Suzuki’s instrument panel with analog tachometer and LCD info panel is clean and easy to read, it looks rather dated and could use a refresh. But all this canyon competence doesn’t come at the expense of ride over highway superslab or imperfect urban pavement either. Despite suspension rates being decidedly firmer overall than those of FZ, Suzuki doesn’t punish you over sharp bumps in the city or frost heaves on highways. Braking from Yamaha’s dual four-piston Advics calipers/298mm discs combination is much stronger, with better initial bite and overall feel than that of GSX-S’s old parts-bin-refugee Tokico two-piston slide-pin calipers clamping on 310mm discs.

The Suzuki’s brakes require much more lever effort to achieve strong stopping power, and feedback is pretty numb compared to FZ’s setup, though we surprisingly noticed a little bit of fade in Yamaha’s brakes during more spirited canyon sorties. Interestingly, neither bike is equipped with ABS; another cost-cutting measure we’re sure.  

A Tough Act to Follow

Despite its still-lingering soft suspension issues, the Yamaha FZ-09 continues to prove that its combination of great performance, quality build, and astonishingly low sticker price is very hard to beat. If the FZ never existed, we would be looking at the Suzuki GSX-S750 in an entirely different light, especially with its low $7,999 MSRP. However, when compared to the Yamaha triple, the Suzuki’s cost-cutting construction becomes readily apparent—and most of these parts affect its performance.

It seems that some upper management brass at other OEMs will have a tough time figuring out how to build a bike for around $8,000 that can surpass the Yamaha FZ-09. Good luck with that.   Test Notes: Suzuki GSX-S750 + Good chassis, suspension + Low sticker price + Smooth throttle response  Engine kind of boring  Needs to lose weight  Needs better brakes, different tires = If the FZ-09 didn’t exist, the GSX-S would look a whole lot better

Test Notes: Yamaha FZ-09
+ Abrupt throttle response gone + Revvy, torquey engine + Agile handling  Suspension still flaccid  Small fuel tank  Seat needs better padding = Still the best bang for the buck in motorcycling

SR Ratings

Bike Suzuki GSX-S750 Yamaha FZ-09
Fun to ride 8 9
Quality 7.5 9
Instruments & controls 8.5 8
Ergonomics 8.5 8
Chassis & handling 8.5 9
Suspension 8 7
Brakes 8 8.5
Transmission 9 9.5
Engine power 8 9
Engine power delivery 8 9
Ratings total 82 86

SR Opinions

Kent Kunitsugu Age: 54 Height: 5’8” I must say that I’ve been impressed with Yamaha lately In these past few years, the company has been new models that generated a lot of excitement in the marketplace. This is something Yamaha badly needed. The buzz surrounding these new models wasn’t just because they were priced far below the competition; their superb performance also played a significant role. The FZ-09 was the first of these new-generation models, and it’s no surprise that the bike continues to sell so well. The recent fueling update has only made it even better.

Suzuki should have realized that it needed to have everything in order with the GSX-S750 if it ever wanted to stand a chance against Yamaha. Sadly, renaming a four-year-old European model just for its low price isn’t going to cut it. Bradley Adams Age: 26 Height: 6’3” The more time I spend on the FZ-09, and the more bikes I ride that are supposed to “compete” with it, the more amazed I am by what Yamaha has achieved. A bike that costs around $8,000 should not look or perform this well. I give credit to Suzuki for recognizing what Yamaha had accomplished and wanting to challenge its position in the category. However, just by looking at and sitting on the bike, you can see where Suzuki missed the mark.

The GSX-S is noticeably heavier when balanced between your legs, and the fit and finish simply do not match up to what Yamaha offers. Suzuki clearly relied on cost-effective components throughout the bike. Sure, the suspension is better, but that doesn’t make up for what Yamaha offers in terms of steering quickness, styling, and, most importantly, fun factor.  


Bike Suzuki GSX-S750 Yamaha FZ-09
MSRP $7,999 $8,190
Type Liquid-cooled, transverse, DOHC inline-four, 4 valves/cyl. Liquid-cooled, transverse, DOHC inline-three, 4 valves/cyl.
Displacement 749cc 847cc
Bore x stroke 72.0 x 46.0mm 78.0 x 59.1mm
Compression ratio 12.3:1 11.5:1
Induction SDTV, 32mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl. Mikuni EFI, 41mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
Front suspension KYB 43mm inverted fork, adjustment for spring preload, 4.7-in. travel KYB 41mm inverted fork, adjustments for spring preload, rebound damping, 5.4-in. travel
Rear suspension KYB shock, adjustment for spring preload, 5.3-in. travel KYB shock, adjustments for spring preload, rebound damping, 5.1-in. travel
Front tire 120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone BT-016F EE 120/70ZR-17 Dunlop Sportmax D214 F
Rear tire 180/55ZR-17 Bridgestone BT-016R EE 180/55ZR-17 Dunlop Sportmax D214
Rake/trail 25°/104mm (4.1 in.) 25°/103mm (4.1 in.)
Wheelbase 57.1 in. (1450mm) 56.7 in. (1440mm)
Seat height 32.1 in. (815mm) 32.1 in. (815mm)
Fuel capacity 4.6 gal. (17.5L) 3.7 gal. (14L)
Weight 466 lb. (211kg) wet; 438 lb. (199kg) dry 418 lb. (190kg) wet; 396 lb. (180kg) dry
Fuel consumption 40–49 mpg, 45 mpg avg. | 38–49 mpg, 43 mpg avg.
Quarter-mile 11.52 sec. @ 119.83 mph 11.29 sec. @ 123.71 mph
Roll-ons 60–80 mph/3.57 sec.; 80–100 mph/4.12 sec. 60–80 mph/3.22 sec.; 80–100 mph/3.57 sec.


In conclusion, both the Suzuki GSX-S750 and the Yamaha FZ-09 are exceptional middleweight naked motorcycles with their unique strengths. The GSX-S750 offers a balanced combination of performance, comfort, and affordability, making it suitable for riders seeking a versatile daily ride. On the other hand, the FZ-09 delivers thrilling acceleration, nimble handling, and modern styling that appeals to riders who crave excitement.

Ultimately, your choice between these two bikes will depend on your personal preferences, riding style, and budget. We recommend visiting your local dealerships to test ride both motorcycles to determine which one suits you best. Regardless of your choice, you can’t go wrong with either of these impressive middleweight naked machines!  






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