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1976 Suzuki GT750A
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People either love or hate Suzuki's 750 three-cylinder stroker. Andy Jones, as you might expect, loves his...

It was extremely difficult to ignore the Suzuki GT750 when it was launched in 1971; the 738cc two-stroke triple's unusual design, striking styling and impressive acceleration made sure of that. Today, Andy Jones has made sure that his 1976 GT750A stands out from the crowd too - you'd almost be able to see it down a coal mine with your eyes closed…

At some point during the GT's development it must have become obvious to Suzuki's engineers that the power-to-weight ratio of the new-fangled watercooled and highly silenced 750 wasn't working in their favour. So it was presented as a grand tourer rather than a sports bike, one of the first superbikes which stayed in production for five years. It was heavier and more ponderous than the air-cooled super-sports opposition but it also offered brisk acceleration and extremely comfortable high-speed cruising.

1976 Suzuki GT750A - Standard 1976 Suzuki GT750A - Standard

The three-cylinder engine was positioned across the frame - an arrangement which tends to let the middle cylinder overheat, hence the need for the finless water jacket and socking great radiator. The cooling system was pretty advanced for its time with a thermostat-controlled 'cold start' operation which blocked the flow of coolant until the engine had reached optimum operating temperature.

The original GT output 67bhp at 6500rpm but weighed a whopping 525lb, which restricted its top speed to 110mph or so. It was initially fitted with a 4ls drum brake at the front which was barely adequate given the GT's ton-up potential - it needed 35-feet to stop from 35mph so a runway would probably have been required to slow down from highway speeds. The K-model was the first to be fitted with a disc brake at the front end in 1973, although this was only an improvement in dry conditions. In wet weather the first disc brake was truly terrifying…

Development continued, influenced by tightening emission controls and a multi-cylinder horsepower war. The A-model arrived in 1976 when the formula was as good as it was going to get, and this version was the best-selling GT in the UK and Europe. Later GT750s of this type have more power but less low-rev torque, which demands a little more use of the throttle around town.

Andy Jones' outrageous 1976 Suzuki GT750A took the RealClassic concours award at the recent North-West Classic Car and Motorcycle Show at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire. He bought the bike in 2001 for the princely price of £600, when it was in 'poor condition; non-standard, and running on only two of the three cylinders.'

1976 Suzuki GT750A - Before its latest rebuild... 1976 Suzuki GT750A - Before...

If you're considering buying a Suzuki GT750, then Andy suggests that you buy the very best one you can afford 'unless you're happy to work on a project. Take it on a long and thorough test ride to establish that the crank seals are OK. If the seals have been done recently then check the receipt.'

(You may also want to call on the Kettle Club for more expertise…)

Suzuki GT Stuff on eBay.co.uk

1976 Suzuki GT750A - And after... 1976 Suzuki GT750A - After...

Andy initially rebuilt the bike to standard trim in 2002, and then spent the winter of 2005 creating the customised special which has probably just caused your screen to go on the blink. Absolutely every chassis part was renewed or restored, with Andy wielding the spanners and only calling on professionals for help with chroming, powder-coating and painting.

This picture sponsored by Ray Ban

The GT now bristles with upgrades and improvements - this is one Kettle which will actually stop in wet weather! It uses 6-piston calipers to grip floating discs which were a special order from EBC, with braided hoses and a modern Bandit master cylinder. The Dresda box-section swinging arm attaches to Hagon shocks, while the front end uses progressive springs and the wheels are CMA period three-spoke alloys. The carbs have been tweaked and Micron exhausts fitted. Even the instrument faces are customised, and the seat is a one-off made to Andy's design. You name it: he's tweaked it…

...And this one by Tango.

The result is a bike that Andy says is 'faultless.' It's never let him down and even returns between 30 and 45mpg. He just loves the GT's 'torquey, smooth engine' and its 'looks and road presence'. And he doesn't just tootle along country lanes with the GT, either. Andy's best experience was at Cadwell Park last autumn when he got to 'take it right to the limit.' What was that like?

'Just awesome!'

-speechless-

Discuss...

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Show Off!

If you'd like to win an RC concours award then you can enter your bike into any of the forthcoming Mark Woodward or Transtar classic shows. If you pre-book early then you'll also qualify for discounted admission - but if you turn up unannounced on the day then you can still enter your classic into the concours competition.

There's a full calendar of events throughout the summer and across the country, so check www.transtarpromotions.co.uk and www.markwoodwardclassicevents.com for all the info.

The next shows are:

  • Sunday 17th June: Ragley Hall Classic Car & Transport Show, Alcester, Warwickshire. 01922 643385

  • Sunday 24 June: Raby Castle Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, Staindrop near Darlington. 01253 407779

  • Sunday 24th June: 6th Sheffield Festival of Transport, Graves Park, Sheffield. 01922 643385

  • Saturday 30th June / Sunday 1st July: 7th Motoring Pageant, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent. 01922 643385

  • Sunday 1st July: Garstang Classic Vehicle Show & Autojumble, Hamilton House, Garstang, Lancs. 01253 407779



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