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Review – Suzuki GSX-8R

February 22, 2024

The new Suzuki GSX-8R combines a superbike look that evokes instant riding pleasure with appealing performance. The GSX-8R shares much technology with the naked bike GSX-8S, but the riding position and chassis are different. You notice this immediately when you fold your fists around the narrow clip-on aluminum handlebar. You sit more forward than on the 8S. In short, the seat is more sporty. Not as extremely forward as the famous GSX-1000R of yesteryear, but you still get the idea of being on a super sportsman.

More forward-facing seat

The lower, more forward placement of the clip-ons allows you to lean over the handlebars. This makes sporty rides all the more fun. The long wheelbase provides a good balance of straight-line stability and maneuverability. Thanks to the machine’s compact size, Suzuki has positioned the rider’s hip point far forward. This allows you to shift your weight forward and make the GSX-8R easier to steer in tight turns.

Gives a lot of confidence

The Suzuki GSX-8R handles tightly. We discover it on delicious asphalt slingers in the Algarve in Portugal. For each turn, you smoothly dock and accelerate away again smoothly. The handling gives great confidence. Showa’s upside-down front fork swallows big bumps just fine. The rear shock had a little more trouble with the sometimes punchy bumps. The suspension is then quite hard and as a result you sometimes come loose from the saddle. But okay the 8R is more sporty than the 8S, so then that’s allowed. And if you do want a little more smoothness in the suspension, you can adjust the spring preload of the rear shock (also Showa).

776 cc parallel-twin

Like the Suzuki GSX-8S, the GSX-8R uses the 776cc parallel-twin. This engine is also in the new V-Strom 800 and 800DE and excels with smooth, controllable power delivery from low revs. The two-pitter also climbs eagerly in the revs and then you get a big push.

Also check out this test of the Suzuki GSX-8S

Sounds like V-twin

The 270° crankshaft configuration, in which the crank journals are at a 270-degree angle, contributes to the engine’s agility. Additional benefit: a very pleasant rumble. The engine character and sound is even comparable to that of a V-twin. The maximum output of the liquid-cooled twin-cylinder comes out to 61 kW (82.9) hp at 8,500 rpm. Maximum torque of 78 Nm is available at 6,800 rpm. A 35 kW variant is also available for A2 license holders.

Suzuki GSX-8R full of rider assistance

The Suzuki GSX-8R features the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.) as standard. This suite of driving assistance systems better supports you in matching performance to road conditions or your preferred driving style. There are three driving modes: Active (A), Basic (B) and Comfort (C). A principle Suzuki applies model-wide and, in this case in the 8R, ensures the degree to which the Suzuki Traction Control System (STCS) and ABS intervene. The traction control can also be turned off completely, by the way, for the purists. The GSX-8R comes standard with Suzuki’s Quick Shift system for faster, smoother and more confident upshifts and downshifts without operating the clutch lever while riding.

Super that Suzuki Easy Start

Starting and driving off is child’s play. With the Suzuki Easy Start System, the engine starts with one quick push of the start button. Suzuki’s Low RPM Assist feature also helps maintain the engine’s idle speed for smooth and easy starting. The engine speed goes up automatically as soon as you let go of the clutch lever. Very nice when you are on an inclined plane! The front brake system consists of dual radially mounted four-piston calipers that bite onto 310 mm discs. At the rear, the GSX-8R has a 240 mm brake disc with single caliper.

Suspension with Showa

So the GSX-8R has an upside-down Showa front fork, which listens to the designation SFF-BP* (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston). At the rear, a Showa monoshock was chosen. The naked GSX-8S uses KYB suspension all around. Like the 8S, the 8R also has a lightweight aluminum swingarm.

Design Suzuki GSX-8R

The Suzuki GSX-8R stands out thanks to its sporty bodywork. As with the GSX-8S, the light units are superimposed. The side mirrors are mounted on the front fairing for lower drag. On the GSX-8S, these are mounted on the handlebars. Both front and rear Suzuki applies LED lighting. The sleek LED indicator light is beautifully incorporated next to the fairing. The GSX-8R’s front fender is painted in color as standard.

Large 5-inch TFT color display

Suzuki equips the GSX-8R as standard with a multifunctional 5-inch color TFT display that is clearly readable even in sunlight. The control switches on the left side of the steering wheel make sense. We got the principle quickly, which is not the case with all engines right away. Funny thing: the tachometer of the 5-inch color TFT display also functions as a programmable shift indicator. It flashes when you reach the set speed with the engine. The screen also has an automatic or manual day or night setting.

Three colors

Suzuki delivers the GSX-8R in three colors, starting with Metallic Triton Blue (YSF). This color represents the brand identity of Suzuki’s supersport. The GSX-8R is also available in Metallic Matte Sword Silver (QKA), which we like best, and Metallic Matte Black (YKV).


The Suzuki GSX-8R is a fine motorcycle in the mid-range segment. The brand thus emphatically put itself on the map in the sportier genre. That’s fine because in recent years Suzuki has lacked a strong factor relative to, say, the Yamaha R7 or a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Only the GSX-8R is more suitable for daily use. The seat is sporty but not extremely fatiguing forward. The suspension is also not rock hard. The two-cylinder block is also fine when driven quietly. We think Suzuki is making a good move with this new -R-. Especially when you look at price starting at 10,999 euros. You get a very complete machine for that, including quickshifter as standard! Plus 6 years warranty and you don’t get that from any brand in motorcycle country.