Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Suzuki GS750T

Fri, June 25th, 2010

Featuring a different Suzuki street bike each day.

1982–83 Suzuki GS750T
The engine/transmission unit of the 'T' model was unchanged from the standard 16-valve GS750 mill. Despite being little more than a sleeved-down GS1100, which made it a bit portly (even by the day's standards), it's still great fun in comparison to today's much higher output bike engines.
Though the GS lost a disc brake from each wheel as part of the transformation to 'T' spec, the supposedly lower-grade brakes didn't make much difference in the real world; it was for the most part still an excellent handling bike for the era.
The GS-T has a very classy, refined, conservative yet distinctive look that was uncommonly well done. Part of the credit goes to the use of two-tone paint that highlighted the shape of the tank and sidecovers. The '83 model had a nice balance of chrome and black accents.
The only deductions are for age. Though the T model was fairly rare, nearly all the parts that are likely to need replacing were used extensively on other models.
The cruisers of the day were clearly popular with buyers, but universally blasted by the motorcycle press for being less capable and much less comfortable than their plain-jane standard UJM sisters. The T-model was an admirable attempt to combine cruiser style-consciousness with standard efficiency and utility. It managed to hit nearly all the right notes with a unique blending of surprisingly elegant bodywork, bars were high but not pulled back, a seat that was not drastically stepped, and no serious functional compromises.
As you can tell from my longer-than-average comments, I really like the GS-T, but even I forget about it most of the time. Today it's just another, fairly ordinary UJM, but it was perhaps the most elegant and mature-looking bike to come out of Japan up to that time, and it has aged well.
The fact that the GS750T only lasted two seasons proves that most buyers went into Suzuki dealers with preconceived notions of what they wanted and foolishly walked right past the T's tweedy brand of subdued cool without a careful look.