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The Launch

Motor Cycle Magazine

Wednesday 4th November 1970 (Price 1s (5p))!!


SUZUKI have stepped into the big league with what must be the most complex super sporting roadster ever built. Powered by a 750 cc transverse in line three cylinder engine with pump assisted water cooling, the gleaming prototype is top two wheeled crowd puller at this year's Tokyo Show, which opened to the general public on Saturday.

Performance and technical specification are being kept secret. However, while the figures may mean little, the machine's speedometer is calibrated to 150 mph and the rev meter's red zone starts at 7,000 rpm. With vertical front fining on its polished light-alloy water jacket the engine is equipped with four reverse cone exhausts , the pipe from the middle cylinder dividing into two. To ensure adequate cooling when at a standstill, it has an electric fan , operated by a handlebar switch, to draw air through the radiator mounted on the front down tubes.

Suzuki personnel at the Tokyo Show refused to say whether the three was destined for production or what it might cost. (* see below) However, as American sales of their 500 cc twin are suffering from the popularity of the three-cylinder Kawasaki, it seems probable that the seven-fifty, or something very much like it , may be marketed in a determined bid to restore Suzuki fortunes in the USA.

In the same issue this is an example of the competition from dealer ads.

  • BSA 650 Lightning - £409

  • BSA 750 Rocket 3 - £614

  • Honda CB750 -£700

  • Norton 750 FB - £525

  • Triumph 650 Bonnie T120 - £423

  • Triumph Trident - £617

Cycle World Magazine

February 1971 - BY YUKIO KURODA


One of the eyepoppingist machines to be seen in a long time was unveiled by Suzuki at the 17th Tokyo International Motor Show. Behold the wondrous 750, powered by a transverse, three cylinder, two-cycle engine, in unit with a five speed transmission. No horsepower figures were given, but if you study the Titan 500 which has 46 horsepower, divide by half, and add that onto 46, that gives 69 plus with maybe five or six more thrown in for water-cooling and electronic ignition. Seventy-five horses sounds about right. You can bet it won’t be much less, for Suzuki knows they will have to build a screamer to flee from the swiftest Honda Four and Mach III. The vitals: three carburettors fitted with short rubber tubes onto the engine, feeding mixture through a piston-port induction system. Lubrication by Suzuki CCI. A capacitor discharge electronic ignition system, similar to the ignition on Suzuki racing cars. And kick starting, which shows that Suzuki has a lot of faith in their cdi to fire up before your leg wears out. The most unique feature of the engine is the water-cooling, this is the only water-cooled motorcycle to appear since the famous Scott two-strokes of the late 1930s. A polished aluminium water jacket surrounds the three cylinders, and is cast with rows of stubby vertical fins for what could strictly be called an air/water cooling system. Short intake and exhaust stubs are also cast on the cylinders.

Coolant is circulated through a small radiator set in front of the engine. An electric fan is enclosed in a small shrouding behind the central part of the radiator, presumably it is switched on automatically at a certain critical engine temperature (as when idling too long or moving in slow stop-go traffic). The engine exhausts through three pipes, the right and left pipes fit into huge mufflers that end with black reverse taper cones. The centre pipe is siamesed at a point under the engine and feeds into two smaller mufflers. Their total volume is supposedly equal to that of one of the big ones. The reason for the split exhaust system for the centre cylinder is said to be the symmetrical styling it allows on the machine. Indeed, the swept-up angle of the pipes does seem to resemble the Honda CB750, generally regarded as a styling standard in Japan. The exquisite engine is carried in a twin-cradle frame of broad beam and sturdy gusseting. Large webs at the point where the down tubes meet the top rails provide reinforcement. The front forks are sturdy telescopics, and the front brake is, surprisingly, not a disc. A 750-cc two-stroke of such potential (and a near 500lb. Weight) is going to need super good brakes to stop it, and the most logical guess would have been a disc braking system for maximum stopping power. Suzuki has not had as much practical experience with disc brakes as Honda, and this is probably the reason for sticking to drums for the 750. And such a brake ! It’s a four-leading-shoe unit of about nine-inch diameter. It has integral air scoops and looks like it would lock up the front wheel at the speed of sound. Hopefully it will be able to stop briskly without that deadly feather-touch of some of the larger four-shoe Italian units. And one advantage it will have over the Honda disc is weight: drum-brakes are lighter than discs. Styling is an important factor in the design of the new 750. Suzuki styling has dramatically improved over the past few years, and the 750 is quite well proportioned and beautiful to look at. The colour scheme of the tank and side covers is extended to small shell-type caps that fit over the end of the radiator. A chromed “crashbar” also protects the radiator from minor damage, but it looks more decorative than protective, and wouldn’t be much help if you actually had to lay the big bike down at speed. Polished engine cases further accentuate the styling, and an instrument panel is canted back toward the rider, and consists of a central ignition switch, water temperature gauge, 240-kph speedo and 9000-rpm tach with its redline at 7000. The new 750 should go into production during the late winter, and will probably be in the showrooms sometime in the Spring of 1971. Actually, the story of the new Suzuki three-cylinder 750 begins with the story of the Kawasaki Mach III. That sound weird to you ? It shouldn’t. Suzuki introduced their own two-stroke 500, the swift Titan Twin, several years ago. When sales failed to reach expected levels, they came to the conclusion that most motorcyclists weren’t in the mood for a large displacement two-stroke. But then a year or so later Kawasaki brought out the swifter Mach III, and the subsequent success story of that machine was enough to inspire Suzuki to give it another try with a big stroker, but this time in a wilder configuration than before. The new 750 is designed to lure the attention of riders who might otherwise be inclined to choose a Mach III or (at a higher price) a Honda 750 Four. And if Suzuki prices the 750 right smack between the aforementioned behemoths, it will be like turning loose a wolverine in a rabbit hutch. Because of its timing, the Motor Show is primarily a car show: it ends in the middle of November, and the chilly and often rainy Japanese winter so near at hand doesn’t do anything for sales of new two-wheel machines. Consequently, the other motorcycle manufacturers had displays instead of new machines. Honda exhibited their engines mounted along a wall, as objects of art, which they certainly are. They had a thundering waterfall in the middle of their display, and a closed-circuit TV rider safety education program. Honda’s only surprise was a delicious chocolate coloured CB750, which should attract more riders with a sweet tooth to this popular tourer. Kawasaki showed a one-off kneeler touring outfit, very smartly built by a Tokyo firm, and powered by – get set – a Mach III engine. They also had new colour schemes for the WISS 650-cc Twin, now sold on the domestic market only, and a couple of A-Series bikes that were painted in psychedelic colours from stem to stoplight. Yamaha had happy little bears and dwarfs riding around on little bikes and going ho-ho. I looked around for Snow White but they told me she was up in her room with a customer. There were a million and a half people at last year’s Motor Show. There seemed to be twice that number the day I went there, so I took one last look at the big Suzuki 750 and checked out.

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