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Suzuki GT 750 model history
1972—1977

Suzuki's 750 cc water-cooled triple was launched in 1971 as their answer to the super bikes of the day, bikes like Honda CB 750 and Triumph Bonneville. The GT 750 was more a sports touring machine (the GT standing for Grand Tourismo) and was, basically, a T 500 with an extra cylinder and liquid cooling crafted on.

The GT 750 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 Suzuki's, 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 ”Water bottle” in Australia.

Although smooth, quiet and comfortable, the GT 750 was big and heavy. This huge, wide engine bike, which weighed in at 482 lbs dry weight, was about 30 lbs heavier than a Kawasaki Z 1. The 739 cc engine was an inline water-cooled triple with 70 x 64 mm 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 GT 750 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 GT 750 J, had a double sided, twin-leading shoe, 200 mm drum front brake. The rear was a 180 mm drum. The bike came with fork gaiters as standard issue, painted radiator side covers and bulbous side panels emblazoned with ”Water Cooled GT 750” 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 carburetors were 32 mm Mikuni slide type. Power output was a claimed 67 bhp 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 restorers, the riding position was too upright making the high-speed cruising unpleasant.

It didn't handle particularly well and the brakes were criticized (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 color scheme on the tank.

Launched in Japan in September 1971.
Colors: Candy Lavender, Candy Yellow Ocher, Candy Jackal Blue.
Starting frame number: 10001.  Engine #:  GT 750-10001.


GT 750 pre-launch version
Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)

Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)

Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6,500 rpm, 7.7 kg-m/ 5.500 rpm.

 

GT 750 J 1972


GT 750 J 1972
Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)

Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6.500 rpm, 7.7
kg-m/ 5.500 rpm.
units made are:72 J 21,252 Frame #: GT 750-10001
Engine #: GT 750-10001 Price was $1699.00.

1973 Suzuki year code: K

For 1973, the GT 750 K 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 295 mm 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 tries fitted on the 18 and 19-inch wheels.

Presented in Japan in October 1972.
Colors: Blue/White, Gold.
Starting frame number: 31253.
Engine #: GT 750-31357.

 

Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6.500 rpm, 7.7
kg-m/ 5.500 rpm.
Units made are:73 K 8,994
Price was $1752.00

1974 Suzuki year code: L

The 1974 GT 750 L had slimmer side panels that just read ”GT 750”. The ”Liquid Cooled” badges were moved to the side of the cylinder barrel. Carburetors changed to 40 mm 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 constructor of the Suzuki GT 750, Etsuo Yokouchi, who also constructed
the T 250 and T 500, as well as the 1974 Grand Prix racer RG 500, visited
Europe in the autumn of 1973 hearing what the general agents had to say about the GT 750. He could hear that most GT 750 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 bike better road clearance in form of larger leaning angle. The engine was slightly tuned up, giving now 70 bhp. Another change was the pattern in the seat cover from a diamond pattern to a rectangle one.

Presented in Japan in January 1974 (first version) and in August 1974
(revised version).
Colors: Flake Orange, Flake Blue.
Starting frame number: 40247
Engine #: GT 750-43041
Engine #: GT 750-43041

Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6.500 rpm, 7.7
kg-m/ 5.500 rpm. Price was $2095.00

 

1975 Suzuki year code: M

In many countries, the changes made to the improved GT 750 L (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. And again the seat was changed this time the removal of the logo GT.

Presented in Japan in October 1974.
Colors: Jewel Gray Metallic, Candy Gipsy Red, Candy Gold.
Starting frame number: 52823
Engine #: GT 750-57533
Engine #: GT 750-57533

 
Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 67 hp/ 6.500 rpm, 7.7
kg-m/ 5.500 rpm.
Units made are:74 L 12,576

Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 70 hp/ 6.500 rpm, 8.5
kg-m/ 5.500 rpm.
Units made are 75 M 8,906 Price was $2195.00

1976 Suzuki year code: A

The gearing was raised (again) for the 1976 GT 750 A and it also got a
lockable cover over the fuel filler cap.

Presented in Japan in May 1975.
Colors: Maui Blue Metallic, Flake Orange.
Starting frame number: 61729
Engine #: GT 750-67558
Engine #: GT 750-67558

GT 750 A 1976
Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (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.
Units made are:76 A 14,010 Price was $21.95

1977 Suzuki year code: B

Many details look different on the GT 750 B. In its final year the GT 750 B
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 light bulb instead of
two in all the previous models.

Presented in Japan in March 1977.
Colors: Red, Blue.
Starting frame number: 75739
Engine #: GT 750-82605


GT 750 B 1977
Overall Length: 2 215 mm (87.2 in)
Overall Width: 865 mm (34.0 in)
Overall Height: 1 125 mm (44.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 460 mm (57.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Dry Weight: 214 kg (482 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 738 cc inline-3, 2-stroke. 70 hp/ 6.500 rpm, 8.5
kg-m/ 5.500 rpm.

Units made are:77 B Not totally sure but suspect around 10,000
Price was $2,095.00, however closeout prices saw them go for as little as
$l895.00.

©2006 KnK Cycles