Setting the New Standard

Story by Costa Mouzouris// Photos by Kevin Wing
March 19 2024

Competence on the street and the track.

The 2024 GSX-8R is the latest model to be built around the new parallel-twin engine that Suzuki introduced last year in the V-Strom 800DE adventure bike and GSX-8S naked bike. This latest middleweight is the first Suzuki to brandish GSX call letters that isn’t powered by an inline four. And despite its link to Suzuki’s multi-championship winning GSX-Rs, this latest sport bike is designed with much broader capabilities for the street rider.

A day spent on the roads in southern California revealed that this new GSX is ready for the daily commute, for weekend jaunts along your favourite twisties, and is comfortable enough to cover longer distances as a middleweight sport tourer. However, despite not being specifically focused on racetrack outings, another day spent thrashing it at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway revealed that it is a surprisingly competent track-day companion.

The Engine

The GSX-8R is based on the 8S, at the heart of which is a 776-cc, 270-degree liquid-cooled parallel twin. It claims 82 horsepower and 57.5 lb-ft of torque. Just for comparison, the SV650 claims a respectable 75 hp and 47 lb-ft. However, from about 2,500 rpm on, the 8R produces more torque than the SV’s maximum, and it peaks 1,300 rpm sooner at 6,800 rpm, giving it a strong bottom-end to midrange punch.

The engine uses a patented biaxial balancer system that has one balancer located at the front of the crank, and another that is 90 degrees below, under the crank. Each balancer cancels vibration for each cylinder independently, and the system works very well, as the engine is smooth throughout its rev range.

Frame and Suspension

The 8R uses the same steel-tube perimeter frame, subframe, and cast aluminum swingarm as the 8S, and has identical steering geometry, with 25 degrees of rake, 104 mm of trail, and a wheelbase of 1,465 mm. Seat height is 810 mm, which is a bit tall. While the 8S is equipped with KYB suspension, Showa provides the fork and shock on the 8R.

Like the 8S, suspension adjustment is minimal: the 41-mm separate-function inverted fork is non-adjustable; the shock is adjustable only for preload. The Showa suspension is a bit firmer, and the diameter of the fork’s outer tubes is 3 mm larger for a more rigid front-end assembly. Nissin provides the brakes, with radial four-piston front calipers squeezing 310-mm discs. The bike weighs only 3 kg more than the 8S, at 205 kg.

The tank holds 14 litres of fuel, which is a bit small, and premium fuel is required. Suzuki has not yet released fuel numbers for North America, but claimed European fuel consumption is 4.2L/100km, which would give the bike a theoretical range of 330 km, though we got nowhere near that, with the fuel light coming on a…


Copyright ©2002-2024 Motorcycle Mojo | Privacy Policy | Built by Gooder Marketing