More than 30 years have passed since the launch of the iconic GSX-R750 ‘slabbie’ – so called thanks to it’s flat rear side panels, and based on Suzuki’s GS1000R endurance machines.

Bike development has come such a long way since then, and that’s why in their December 2016 issue Performance Bikes have been testing the original ’85 machine against the very latest GSX-R750 complete with MotoGP inspired paintwork.

Casting an eye over the spec sheets, these two bikes are worlds apart – the new machine has an extra 50bhp thanks to years of fine tuning. Brakes, aerodynamics, fueling – they’ve all come changed so much.

One of the other big changes since ’85 is the improvement in tyre technology. The new bike uses standard 120/70 and 180/55 size radials now common on many bikes, but the original Suzuki came on 18″ wheels and used cross-ply tyres.

Thankfully for Performance Bikes and test rider Michael Rutter, we now produce an 18 inch classic endurance race radial in the form of the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR – and that’s exactly what the bike was wearing when they pitted the two machines against once another at Mallory Park.

18 inch radial motorcycle tyresSpeed is the biggest advantage that the new bike has – it’s lighter and more powerful, giving it a big advantage every time the pair top 90mph on the straight line sections of the East Midlands circuit.

That aside the 1985 bike still gave an excellent account of itself, posting a best lap of 59.64s in the hands of Michael Rutter, whereas the latest model got down to an impressive 57.28s. Better brakes and a stiffer rear shock, and Michael thinks that gap would be even closer – but you’d never match it, that’s physics for you!

Of course lap times don’t tell the whole story of how far we have come, so for the in depth story and all the back to back test data, pick up a copy of Performance Bikes.

You can find out more about the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR here.