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Suzuki GT750
Suzuki GT750
UK
Suzuki GT750
Manufacturer Suzuki
Also called Le Mans (USA & Canada)
Production 1971 - 1977
Predecessor T500
Engine 739cc two stroke water cooled three cylinder engine
Top speed 110 mph (claimed)
Power 67bph @ 5500 rpm 
Torque 55.7 lb-ft at 5500 rpm
Transmission 5 speed unit gearbox w/chain final drive
Tyres FR 3.25 x 19; RR 4.00 x 18
Wheelbase 57.5 inches (146 cm)
Dimensions L 87.2 inches (221 cm)
W 34 inches (86 cm)
H 44.3 inches (113 cm)
Weight 482 pounds (219 kg) dry
Fuel capacity 3.75 gallons (17 litre)

The Suzuki GT750 was a Japanese water cooled three cylinder two stroke motorcycle made by Suzuki between 1971 and 1977.

Development

The prototype Suzuki GT750 was shown at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show in October 1970 and launched in Japan in September 1971 as a sports tourer (GT standing for Grand Tourismo) and was developed from the Suzuki T500 with an extra cylinder and liquid cooling. Marketed as the "Le Mans" in the US and Canada, it was nicknamed the "Kettle" in Britain and the "Water Buffalo" in the United States. The GT750 was heavy at 550 lbs, with a 739cc two stroke three cylinder engine with 70 x 64mm bore and stroke. It had a five-speed gearbox and three into four exhaust. The first model year (1972), the GT750J, had a double sided, twin-leading shoe, 200mm drum front brake with 180mm drum rear. The Exhaust Coupler Tube System (ECTS) that connected the left and right side exhausts together was designed to boost low end torque. Carburetors were 32mm Mikuni slide type and power output was 67bhp at 6,500 rpm. Two color schemes were offered in most markets however a rare gold color would occasionally appear in some countries. Also included was Suzuki's SRIS (Suzuki Recycle Injection System)which was a method for lowering the visible exhaust smoke by collecting and burning residual oil/gas laying in the bottom of the crank chambers. This was a "first" for ANY two stroke from ANY manufacturer. 

In 1973 Suzuki the GT750K was announced with extra chrome plating and two 295mm discs replacing the drum front brake. No other manufacturer was offering dual front disc brakes at this time so this was quite a marketing coup for Suzuki. The paint schemes were revised and three colors were still manufactured but most markets received 2 options. The following year the GT750L gained unitized/rack mounted 40mm Mikuni CV type carburetors,
a gear position indicator added to the instrumentation and redesigned side covers along with other detail changes. Paint schemes were again revised but were reduced at two choices. The connecting pipe between the exhausts was removed and the exhausts redesigned to improve road clearance. The engine was also re-tuned with an increase in power to 70 bhp for the Japanese domestic market starting in January, 1974. The rest of the world received these changes with the introduction of the 1975 Suzuki GT750M with the new silencers without connecting pipes, raised gearing and power output increased by 3 bhp now giving a top speed of 120 mph. Handling and performance were thus improved. The 1976 GT750A model pretty much stayed the course with only minor changes to trim items and the obligatory paint colour change. The final 1977 model GT750B had black side panels regardless of tank colour, black headlamp holders, brown faced instruments instead of blue, updated turn signal indicators/lights and taillight assembly.

As with all big two strokes of the late 1970s, the GT750 was a victim of stricter emission regulations and competition from technical developments of four stroke motorcycles.

GT750 History

Suzuki's 750cc water-cooled triple was launched in 1971 as their answer to the super bikes of the day, bikes like Honda CB750 and Triumph Bonneville. The GT750 was more a sports tourer (the GT standing for Grand Tourismo) and was, basically, a T500 with an extra cylinder and liquid cooling crafted on.

The GT750 was the first Japanese serial manufactured motorcycle with a liquid-cooled engine. It was a unique engine construction in its day and today considered one of the classic Suzukis, loved by its owners. Known as the Le Mans in America, it received soon a nickname ”Water Buffalo”, and other nicknames in other countries. It was generally known as ”Kettle” in Britain and ”Waterbottle” in Australia.

Although smooth, quiet and comfortable, the GT750 was big and heavy. This huge, wide engined bike, which weighed in at 550 lbs, was about 30 lbs heavier than a Kawasaki Z1. The 739cc engine was an inline water-cooled triple with 70 x 64mm bore and stroke. The cylinder block was alloy with cast iron liners.

It had a five-speed gearbox and three into four exhaust. An unusual item in its day was the handlebar mounted choke lever.

The GT750 has apparently been sold in many countries all over the world looking virtually the same. However, the exhaust noise and pollution regulations are the reason why there are some differences in the engine performance. Also, there are more differences between countries. For instance, some model years don’t have the grab rail behind the seat in some countries, when other countries may have it. And so on.

1972 Suzuki year code: J

The first model, the GT750J, had a double sided, twin-leading shoe, 200mm drum front brake. The rear was a 180mm drum. The bike came with fork gaiters as standard issue, painted radiator side covers and bulbous side panels emblazoned with ”Water Cooled GT750” badges, which only added to the bulk of the machine.

The Exhaust Coupler Tube System (ECTS) that connected the left and right side exhausts together claimed to boost the low torque had black end cones. Many owners reported that the Exhaust coupler started to leak after some time. The carburettors were 32mm Mikuni slide type. Power output was a claimed 67bhp at 6,500 rpm.

It was by no means a match for the super bikes against which it competed. Many testers were quite unexcited about this huge lumbering ”tourer” and were not impressed by its performance. In tests it only made about 110 mph, but in fairness its high speed cruising was praised. However, in common with many today’s retros, the riding position was too upright making the high-speed cruising unpleasant.

It didn’t handle particularly well and the brakes were criticised (even then) for their lack of feel and sponginess. The 42-45 mpg fuel consumption was considered poor.

Although the general finish was good, the Achilles heel was the rust trap under the seat. The seat pan was already rusting badly on a test bike less than a year old. Restorers take note, if the seat base was corroding then, you can bet replacement seat bases are in short supply today.

The pre-launch models that were presented in motor shows around the world during 1971 were slightly different from the actual production models (see the pictures below), the most obvious difference being the different graphics on the tank.

Launched in Japan in September 1971.
Colours: Candy Lavender, Candy Yellow Ocher, Candy Jackal Blue.
Starting frame number: 10001.

GT750 - Pre-launch version
GT750 - Pre-launch version Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 7.7 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.
GT750 - Pre-launch version
GT750 - Pre-launch version Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 7.7 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.
GT750 J 1972
GT750 J - 1972 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 7.7 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.

1973 Suzuki year code: K

For 1973, the GT750K gained large amount of chrome plating. Previously painted radiator side covers were chromed, as was the chain guard on the last of the K models.

Two 295mm discs replaced the drum front brake. These, in typical seventies fashion, worked well in the dry but were hopeless in the wet. A common feature of the OE Bridgestone tyres fitted on the 18 and 19-inch wheels.

Presented in Japan in October 1972.
Colours: Blue/White, Gold.
Starting frame number: 31253.

GT750 K 1973
GT750 K 1973 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 7.7 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.

1974 Suzuki year code: L

The 1974 GT750L had slimmer side panels that just read ”GT750”. The ”Liquid Cooled” badges were moved to the side of the cylinder barrel. Carburettors changed to 40mm Mikuni CV type and the air cleaner polyurethane instead of paper. The forks lost their gaiters.

The air box had chrome-plated sides. The radiator got a plastic grill and the cooling fan became an optional extra. The instruments gained a gear position indicator.

The constructer of the Suzuki GT750, Etsuo Yokouchi, who also constructed the T250 and T500, as well as the 1974 Grand Prix racer RG500, visited Europe in the autumn of 1973 hearing what the general agents had to say about the GT750. He could hear that most GT750 buyers wanted more power and better leaning angle. The exhaust and the central stand were scraping at the tarmac all too soon. Well at home he made some required changes to the model that could be seen in the revised L model version that was presented in August of 1974. The connecting pipe between the left and right exhausts, that had caused leakage in the earlier models, was removed and the exhausts redesigned giving the bik better road clearance in form of larger leaning angle. The engine was slightly tuned up, giving now 70 bhp.

Presented in Japan in January 1974 (first version) and in August 1974 (revised version).
Colours: Flake Orange, Flake Blue.
Starting frame number: 40247.

GT750 L 1974
GT750 L - 1974 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 7.7 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.

1975 Suzuki year code: M

In many countries, the changes made to the improved GT750L (August 1974) could be seen in the 1975 M model. The silencers were changed, the gearing raised, compression ratio upped and porting revised. Power output increased by 3 bhp, top speed now about 120 mph.

It went better, handled better and stopped better than previous models. What it did have in common with earlier models was the superbly smooth engine and comfortable high-speed cruising capabilities.

Presented in Japan in October 1974.
Colours: Jewel Gray Metallic, Candy Gipsy Red, Candy Gold.
Starting frame number: 52823.

GT750 M 1975
GT750 M - 1975 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 70 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 8.5 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.
GT750 M 1975
GT750 M - 1975 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 70 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 8.5 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.

1976 Suzuki year code: A

The gearing was raised (again) for the 1976 GT750A and it also got a lockable cover over the fuel filler cap.

Presented in Japan in May 1975.
Colours: Maui Blue Metallic, Flake Orange.
Starting frame number: 61729.

GT750 A 1976
GT750 A - 1976 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 70 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 8.5 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.

1977 Suzuki year code: B

Many details look different on the GT750B. In its final year the GT750B had a different front mudguard without stays, black side panels, different turn signals with new design and no reflectors attached to the sides, black head light shell and restyled rear light, with only one lightbulb instead of two in all the previous models.

Presented in Japan in March 1977.
Colours: Red, Blue.
Starting frame number: 75739

GT750 B 1977
GT750 B - 1977 Overall Length: 2,215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1,125mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (470 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 70 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 8.5 kg-m/ 5,500 rpm.
Suzuki GT750 gallery


Categories: Suzuki motorcycles