Meet the all-new 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S, the latest entry into the popular middleweight naked sportbike class from the folks in Hamamatsu. And we mean new—a new chassis, styling, and engine. The GSX-8S strutted into this year’s EICMA show in Milan, decked out in Suzuki’s latest designs.
Powered by a freshly engineered 776cc parallel twin, the GSX-8S and its ADV cousins, the V-Strom 800DE and V-Strom 800DE Adventure, have the fine distinction of introducing a new engine that the Japanese firm says will define the brand’s future sportbikes. That is big enough news in itself, but we’ve got a new platform to explore.
The 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S will join the current sportbike range as an addition to, rather than a direct replacement for, the beloved V-twin-powered SV650 in the United States; other markets may differ. The Japanese brand has announced a competitive $8849 MSRP and the new naked motorcycle will be available in June. Now, we’ll hit you with the Fast Facts.
- An all-new 776cc DOHC parallel-twin engine is powering this naked machine. We’ll have to hold fast for horsepower and torque figures, though Suzuki shed light on its new mill’s technical aspects. The DOHC engine features four valves per cylinder and uses the increasingly popular 270-degree firing order to mimic a V-twin engine’s robust torque characteristics, pleasing throb, and exciting exhaust note. Forged aluminum pistons spin to a 9250 rpm redline. Suzuki introduced its patented Cross Balanced counterbalancing on this motor to combat unwanted vibrations. The design features a dedicated counterbalancer for each piston, positioned in a 90-degree orientation to the crankshaft.
- The reason for a p-twin instead of a V-twin is all about size and packaging. Parallel-twin engines have advantages over other engine configurations, as they can be quite compact. A parallel twin’s narrow profile and short length improve mass centralization and allow them to fit into various chassis designs more efficiently. Above all, p-twin-powered motorcycles are relatively svelte and help shorter-inseamed riders saddle up on them.
- Three ride modes help manage the rider aids on the 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S. Those familiar with modern Suzuki motorcycles will recognize the A (Active), B (Basic), and C (Comfort) riding modes found on the GSX-S1000, GSX-1000GT+, and Katana sportbikes. Three-level traction control can be disabled, while ABS performance is fixed. Other niceties include Suzuki’s low-rpm assist and an up/down quickshifter. An IMU is missing from its repertoire, so there’s no cornering ABS and lean-angle-detecting TC. Cruise control is not available, either.
- A five-inch full-color TFT display and LED lighting are standard. The GSX-8S does well with a dash unit reminiscent of its liter-bike siblings but with a revised interface specific to this model. If past experiences ring true, then we expect the dash to function well out on the road. LED lighting is also a nice touch and a solid step forward.
- A six-speed transmission with all the sporting fixings is standard. Suzuki has added a slip-and-assist clutch to the package, which is always appreciated for easy clutch pull around town and hard downshift mitigation when riding aggressively. We are seeing Suzuki’s up/down quickshifter unit that has received much deserved praise on the Hayabusa, GSX-S1000, and GSX-1000GT+ inline-fours, and we hope that it’s up to snuff on a twin.
- An all-new steel-trellis frame and aluminum swingarm are in store. The GSX-8S features a 57.7-inch wheelbase and an approachable 31.9-inch seat height. Claimed curb weight is 445 pounds, which would put it on the heavier side of the class, though the Kawasaki Z900 and BMW F 900 R are the porkiest in this vast class.
- KYB handles suspension duties. It’s difficult not to draw comparisons to the venerable SV650, even though the GSX-8S isn’t its replacement in the U.S. market. That said, the GSX-8S has undoubtedly upped the suspension ante with a non-adjustable inverted KYB fork and a linkage-assisted shock with spring-preload adjustability.
- The 17-inch wheels are cast aluminum and shod with Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 rubber.
- Braking is by Nissin. Radially mounted four-piston calipers clamp onto 310mm rotors in the front and are controlled by an axial master cylinder. In the rear, a single-piston caliper grasps a 240mm rotor.
- Numerous accessories are available, from luggage to protection. The GSX-8S’s versatility is already being promoted by Suzuki, with various luggage options being made available from its release. The brand plans to release expandable 20-liter side cases and two tank bags (large and small). In addition, frame sliders are available. Those living on the sportier side might opt for the single-seat cowl.
- Three color options are available. Your choices include Pearl Cosmic Blue, Pearl Tech White, and Metallic Matte Black No.2 with Glass Sparkle Black.
- The 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S price is $8849 and is expected to arrive in dealerships by June.
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Specs
- Type: Parallel twin
- Displacement: 776cc
- Bore x stroke: 84 x 70mm
- Compression ratio: 12.8:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC; 4vpc
- Fueling: EFI w/ two 42mm throttle bodies
- Cooling: Liquid and oil
- Transmission: 6-speed w/ quickshifter
- Clutch: Wet multiplate w/ assist and slipper functions
- Final drive: D.I.D O-ring chain
- Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable KYB inverted fork; 5.1 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-assisted, spring-preload adjustable KYB shock; N/A
- Wheels: Cast aluminum
- Tires: Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17
- Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
- Front brakes: 310mm floating discs w/ 4-piston Nissan calipers
- Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ single-piston Nissin caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 57.7 inches
- Rake: 25 degrees
- Trail: 4.1 inches
- Seat height: 31.9 inches
- Fuel tank capacity: 3.7 gallons
- Curb weight: 445 pounds
- Pearl Cosmic Blue
- Pearl Tech White
- Metallic Matte Black No. 2 / Glass Sparkle Black
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Price: $8849 MSRP
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Photo Gallery