It’s pretty obvious that Yamaha has had a sales hit on its hands with the FZ-09 since the bike’s 2014 debut. The all-new crossplane-crank three-cylinder-powered naked bike offers excellent performance, but what really sealed the deal back then was its unbelievable $7,990 sticker price. Consumers snapped up FZ-09s before they ever saw the light of a showroom floor, and Yamaha reportedly had a difficult time keeping up with the demand. And even with the price going up to $8,190 for 2015 (and it stays the same for 2016), the 847cc triple continues to be the company’s best-selling motorcycle.
That success certainly hasn’t been lost on Yamaha’s rival manufacturers. The only problem is the FZ-09’s price advantage. We’ve been told that senior management from one of those competitors has been flummoxed in its efforts to figure out how Yamaha can produce the FZ-09 for such a low price.
Suzuki has been the first to challenge Yamaha’s midsize standard bike supremacy with its “new” GSX-S750 for 2015 (“new” being a relative term, as the bike is basically the GSR750 that has been on sale in other world markets since 2011). With it selling for almost the exact same price—$7,999—as the 2014 FZ-09, we had the opportunity to sample Hamamatsu’s latest challenger (“Suzuki’s New Standard,” June/July ’14), though rain at the press launch washed out any chance of really putting the bike through its paces.
So once we had the chance to get our hands on a GSX-S750 for a full test, we didn’t hesitate to pit it against the current king of the midsize budget standards.
“New” Old School
The GSX-S and FZ have some distinct differences in ergonomics, even though their overall look appears the same. And there are advantages and …read more