Suzuki has launched a fourth model based around its 776cc parallel-twin motor, which was introduced last year on the V-Strom 800DE adventure bike and GSX-8S roadster. Called the GSX-8R, it’s a fully-faired version of the naked 8S, aimed at Yamaha’s R7 in the developing lightweight sports class.
Using the same basic package as the GSX-8S, the GSX-8R runs lower handlebars and revised suspension, as well as the full fairing for a sportier look and feel.
The 83bhp 270° crankshaft motor has been widely acclaimed in the more roadster, making it a popular addition to a developing class which includes Honda’s CB750 Hornet, Yamaha’s MT-07 and the Kawasaki Z650. The faired spin-offs, although not quite as common a sight on the roads, are becoming increasingly popular as entry level race bikes, where they compete in the Carole Nash Supertwin TT and, from 2024, the new Sportbike class at the British Superbike Championship.
The GSX-8R joins the V-Strom 800RE, which we reviewed recently, and the GSX-S1000GX as Suzuki’s new models for 2024. The high spec includes Showa Big Piston Forks, which have been modified to accommodate the more front biased weight distribution, and a solid electronics package which includes three selectable power modes, three-setting traction control and a bi-directional quickshifter. Like the ‘S’ the ‘R’ version features a 5” colour TFT dashboard, which is controlled through a single button on the left hand switchgear.
Brakes come from Nissin, with radially mounted four-piston calipers up front, while Dunlop Roadsport 2 tyres are specified as original equipment. Three colour options: metallic blue, matt metallic silver and matt metallic black, will be available at launch.
The GSX-8R is expected to land in British dealerships in February 2024. There’s no word on price, but we’re expecting it to be around the £9000 mark.