R6 vs. GSXR 750 – Which is the best middleweight superbike

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R6 vs. GSXR 750

In this R6 vs. GSXR 750 review, we check out two outstanding middleweight bikes that have been dominating the biking world for decades. We compare them on a list of factors and tell you which is the better one.

If you are new to the world of super bikes then you are probably asking the million-dollar question, does displacement really matter? Is a bike that is lightweight, but with a lower displacement engine faster than one with a heavier engine?

The Yamaha R6 and the Suzuki GSX-750 have seen individual success in the biking world. Both are fantastic machines supported by an excellent engineering team that is keen on innovation. However, if you are given a chance to own only one then you need to have your facts right. In this review, of R6 vs.GSXR 750 we do just that. We compare the super bikes on a list selected factors and tell you which is better.

What are the key differences between the R6 and GSXR 750?

Model
GXSR 750
Yamaha R6
Displacement
749cc
599cc
Exhaust pipes
SAES
Single exhaust
Compression ratio
12.5:1
13.1:1
Maximum Power (HP)
148
122
Maximum Torque (Nm)
86.3
65.7
Maximum Speed
279.3
257 Km/h
Maximum Torque @rpm
11,200
10,500
Maximum Power @ rpm
12,800
14,500
Kerb Weight
163 kg
189 kg

R6 vs. GSXR 750 – How they differ

Engine capacity

The low engine cc for the R6 can cause one to underestimate the racing bike, but it is at revs of over 12,000 rpm that the engine roars to life. In fact the R6 is well able to match the peak horsepower of the higher displacement GSXR 750. The R6 offers a better ride with some innovative electronics to make the experience more pleasurable. The R6 isn’t that much a serious contender to the GSXR 750 at revs below 12,000; this is because it is designed for speed. But, at higher speeds you will really enjoy the ride with this bike. The Kawasaki feels a little bit unstable at higher speeds.

The GSXR 750 comes with a liquid cooled 749cc engine that is capable of producing 148 HP compared to the R6 122. While the engine is massive, the its made to be super-efficient hence boosting combustion and fuel combustion. To give the bike a higher compression ratio, the cylinder head has been redesigned to make it more narrower on the valve section. In a racing competition the GSXR 750 will peak very fast but once it comes to the higher rpm the R6 start roaring and have more speed. The GSXR 750 has been redesigned with steel alloy springs that are accompanied with lightweight titanium valves. As the valves are operated in with thin hallow camshafts it helps to reduce inertia and weight in the bike.

Design

The R6 literally had a complete makeover on its exterior design in 2017. It now resembles the R1 making it quite menacing in the racing track. For starters, the aerodynamics had to change by including a new aluminum fuel tank, near rear shocks, magnesium subframe, riding modes, ABS and traction control. All these additions enabled the R6 to reduce drag by up to 8%. When it comes to looks and design the R6 has a clear edge over the GSXR 750. It comes with the latest electronics in the biking motoring world.

The GSXR- 750 has a ultra lightweight frame that consists of alloy aluminum castings. It comes with a 16.5 liter fuel tank that gives you an average fuel consumption of 5.5 liters per 100Km. The dry weight for the GSXR-750 is 163kg. Various components in the Suzuki have been adjusted to boost its lightweight character. The four stroke engine is designed in such a way that it reduces overall weight distribution. At the cylinder level, the valves have been redesigned to make them more narrower while the intake/exhaust ports are configured for maximum efficiency. This redesign in the engine results in a compression ratio of 12.5:1.

The Suzuki comes with steel alloy springs and lightweight titanium valves that are all operated with hollow camshafts. The allow aluminum pistons come with short skirts and ant-friction finish. To reduce vibrations at higher rpm the camshaft is made from forged steel construction. To ensure straighter and shorter intakes, the transmission and crankshaft positions have been revised so that the engine leans more forward towards the chassis. Other innovative technologies by Suzuki include its Advanced Exhaust System (SAES), Idle Speed control (ISC) and Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) and the Suzuki Ram air direct (SRAD). The later allows for pressurized air to find its way to the airbox when you are cruising at highway speeds. It also improves the throttle response and engine efficiency.

Suspension

The suspension for the R6 is pretty impressive, you have on the front KYB 43mm inverted forks that can be adjusted three-way. At the rear you get some KYB mono-shock that are adjustable four way. For the front the Suzuki GSXR 750 is equipped with Showa 41mm cartridge forks. The suspension is fully adjustable and offers rebound damping and compression damping. For the rear the bike comes with 46mm piston that provides preload settings, compression damping and rebound damping. The Suzuki comes with an innovative RM-Z450 rear suspension that helps the shocks move in a smoother arc. It also reduces side loads. Radial mount calipers are used for the braking system with large 310mm brake discs. The rims are cast aluminum wheels with Bridgestone radial tires. The GSXR 750 does not come with the kind of electronics found in the R6 but you do get a LCD speedometer, analog tachometer, clock, dual trip meters, and gear position indicator. To improve your riding position the Suzuki has lower seat height, shorter fuel tank and adjustable footpegs.

GSXR 750 – Overview

The GSXR 750 has a had a long run in the superbike section having been introduced in the market in 1984. When it introduced it featured some innovative features never seen in most super bikes like fully adjustable shocks and forks and a durable aluminum frame.

The 2020GSXR 750 comes with various additions like the chin spoiler and vented engine cowling. At the front you have some attractive looking Cyclops headlights that give the bike that aggressive look. The GSXR 750 as a 749cc engine that is capable of producing 148 HP @rpm of 12,800 and torque of 86.3 Nm @rpm of 11,200. The transverse four cylinder DOHC engine is four stroke and has four valves per cylinder. To improve airflow the bike comes with a large trapezoidal shaped radiator. The radiator helps cool the engine with a compact cooling fan. The Exhaust system is courtesy of Suzuki Advanced exhaust system (SAES) and the Suzuki Exhaust timing system (SET).

When it comes to producing superbikes, one key factor you need to be on the lookout for is weight reduction. The GSXR-750 firstly, comes with a redesigned cylinder head where the valves have been made narrower and this has made the combustion chamber a bit compact. The end result is you have a higher compression ratio of up to 12.5:1. To improve efficiency during combustion the exhaust and intake ports have been made larger and the valve output bucket diameters have been expanded to accommodate a more aggressive camshaft.

The Suzuki GSXR 750 features lightweight titanium valve that are not only durable but they are superefficient. This are operated by thin hollow camshafts. For optimal performance the bike comes with SDTV throttle valve system. Each cylinder has twin multi-hole-type injectors.

Superbikes can be quite noisy and vibrate a lot at higher rpm. This can make your ride a bit uncomfortable and unstable. The GSXR-750 is equipped with forged steel constructed crankshaft and a secondary balance shaft. Noting has been left behind when it comes to technology for the Suzuki. You have Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET), Suzuki Advanced Exhaust System (SAES), Idle Speed Control (ISC) and the innovative Suzuki RAM air direct (SRAD). All these technologies are supported by high Ram air intake that stabilizes the engine at idle speeds while improving cold starts.

The chassis for the GSXR-750 has been built from aluminum alloy castings and this has made the bike very lightweight while ensuring maximum rigidity. For the suspension, the GSXR-750 comes with Showa 41mm inverted forks that are fully adjustable for the purposes of spring preload. They also support rebound damping and compression damping. For the rear you have 46mm piston and Showa shock absorber. The braking system for the GSXR-750 is greatly improved from what was there, you now have 310mm brake discs that are supported by radial mount calipers. The rear brake caliper is made to be slightly lighter than the front one by 100 grams.

The electronics on the superbike are consists of LCD Speedometer, analog tachometer, gear position indicator and dual trip meters.

What we liked:

  • Great suspension system
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Redesigned aerodynamic body for drag reduction
  • Fast acceleration
  • LCD speedometer

What we did not like:

  • Analogue tachometer

R6 – Overview

The R6 has seen a lot of success in the 600cc super bike category. The bike looks good and it has the power to take on some of its competitors like the Suzuki GSX-R600, Honda CBR600F4i and the Kawasaki Ninja GSXR 750. The bike was unveiled to the general public in 1999 and has been updated ever since to the current 2017 model. In 2003, the R6 followed the trend with other super bikes to become fuel injected and in 2006 it was incorporated with Yamaha’s revolutionary YCC-T ride by wide engine management system. This system optimizes engine power and allows higher rpm. Nothing changed much through the years until 2006 when Yamaha announced that the R6 can hit 17,500 rpm on its redline. This proved controversial as the bike is known to hit a high of 15,800 rpm.

The new 2017 R6 has received some changes to its aerodynamics so that it now resembles the R1. You have to realize that the R6 is not a beginner kind of bike. It has a high rev that surpasses even the larger engine Kawasaki GSXR 750. Under the seat you have a liquid cooled 599cc DOHC engine with sixteen titanium valves. The horizontal inline four offers an impressive 116.7 worth of horsepower @ 14,500rpm. This adds to 45.5 foot of torque @rpm of 10,500. The massive R6 engine enables the bike to hit a top speed of 160 miles per hour.

In 2017 Yamaha responded to competition and redesigned the bike to now spot a magnesium frame, new aluminum fuel tank and front three way inverted KYB 43mm forks with KYB mono-shocks for the rear. All these had a positive effect of reducing drag by up to 8%. You also got some improvements in technology with the R6 now spotting traction control, riding modes and ABS brakes. You can get the R6 in either intensity white/matte silver, team Yamaha blue, or matte gray.

The R6 is a Yamaha middle-category level bike that is suitable for those who are tired of beginner bikes. The R3 is Yamaha entry level bike that comes with a liquid cooled 321cc twin cylinder engine that is capable of producing 42 HP @rpm of 10,750 and torque of 21.8 foot pounds. It has a top speed of 111 mph. Once you are done with the R6 and are contemplating more horsepower then the R1 is your ideal choice. The R1 is Yamaha flagship brand and capable of producing more than 200 worth horsepower. The 998cc engine offers 82.9 foot pounds of torque.

What we liked:

  • It has a very high rev
  • Impressive looks borrowed from the R1
  • Reduced drag
  • Improved electronics

What we did not like:

  • Lack of diagnostic mode for the OBD port

Conclusion

Choosing between the Suzuki GSXR 750 and the Yamaha R6 isn’t simple. While the Suzuki gets more displacement, the R6 performs better in higher rpm. The R6 is better looking as it borrows a lot from the R1. It also comes with a better set of electronics that the GSXR 750. The latter features a mixture of analogue and digital instruments. If you are looking for a bike that makes a presence then we would recommend you go with the Yamaha R6.

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