25 January 2024
It’s been a bit of a while since we heard anything from the team at Suzuki in the sports bike stakes.
The end of the Gixxer 1000 era coincided with a V-Strom that felt a little dated, even though it was brand new.
The most exciting thing of the last few years has been the ‘new’ Hayabusa, and that was first launched over two decades ago.
So when I saw the all new GSX-8R in Milan at the EICMA show I might have been just that little bit sceptical.
Now, as with a lot of the newer bikes coming to the market, we have a parallel twin motor which puts out an impressive 82 bhp.
While the styling nods its head to the glory days of old, we have a machine with a taller screen, higher bars and significantly more comfortable ergonomics than the sports bike to which it nods its head.
Ducati’s new Scramblers look the part, Honda’s new Hornet is selling in large numbers and the Tracer 700 from Yamaha is the standard to beat.
All produce a similar amount of power, all are unintimidating, all are easy to ride and all are, or can be, A2 licence friendly.
What the GSX-8R does have is a full set of electronic toys.
These include three power modes and three traction control settings. Suzuki have made that last one a mode which allows the rider to switch it off. The easy start and low rev assist are here as standard. There’s even a bi-directional quickshifter.
All the details are displayed on a TFT screen.
The lighting – front, rear – and even the indicators, are LED affairs
The engine features a 270 degree crankshaft. This, along with a longish stroke, creates a decent amount of torque with 78Nm on tap.
Both the engine and the exhaust are designed and built to be compact as well as light. A simple steel frame is complemented with an aluminium swingarm and subframe.
The front suspension is a big piston affair with Showa in the USD forks. Showa also manage the rear spring. Nissan brake calipers and Dunlop Roadsport 2s are standard.
It’s available now in Metallic Matt Black No.2, Metallic Matt Sword Silver or Metallic Triton Blue.
For more details and a first hand look, click here to find your local Suzuki dealer.