It's getting difficult to use a full-blown sportsbike on the streets, so these mid-capacity Street Sports bikes make more and more sense. We take the new GSX-8R and put it to the test...

In my opinion Suzuki has dropped the ball in recent years in regards to bringing out exiting road models, so I was looking forward to seeing for myself what the new parallel-twin delivers in terms of performance, handling, but more importantly, fun factor. Here’s my GSX-8R test.

Sales for proper sportsbikes and big superbikes have dwindled over the years, you can see this for yourself when you pull into your local hangout and it’s filled with adventure bikes and nakedbikes. So Suzuki bringing out a bike with sporty looks, without the extreme riding position and intimidating 200hp engine can only be a good thing in my opinion. At BikeReview, we’ve named the category Street Sport.

Check out our video review on the naked version, the Suzuki GSX-8S, here

The look of a bike is always subjective, but in my opinion Suzuki have done well here, the GSX-8R based on the naked S8, looks aggressive with its full fairing, especially in the metallic blue colour. It’s vertical dual headlights and large air scoops at the front, along with the narrow tail section and underslung exhaust only add to the bikes purposeful stance. The finish on the components for an inexpensive bike seems great, from the quality of the paint to the welds on the frame.

“The finish on the components for an inexpensive bike is great, from the quality of the paint to the welds on the frame.”

Suzuki have also done a good overall job on providing a good quality bike, but at the same time managing to keep the price affordable at $14,990 ride away. Suzuki Australia is offering the 8R in three colours, Metallic Triton Blue (pictured above), Metallic Mat Sword Silver and my favourite, Pearl Ignite Yellow (both pictured below). I would have liked to have seen black wheels instead of the silver on the blue and yellow bikes or coloured wheels like on the Blue 8S, but that’s just personal preference.

Suzuki haven’t just added a fairing to the 8R to distinguish it from the 8S that the R is based on, but you now also get SHOWA SFF-BP forks that replace the KYB units on the 8S model. However, they are non-adjustable, as for the rear, you get a SHOWA preload only adjustable only shock. This is obviously a cost saving measure, but in saying that, the bike is sprung really well and Suzuki have dialled in a great setup for the road, with an emphasis on the sporty side of riding.

“The bike is sprung really well and Suzuki have dialled in a great setup for the road, with an emphasis on the sporty side of riding”…

That being said, the ride position is in between naked and sportsbike, what I mean by that is it’s not too extreme in the ride position, with just the right amount of your weight forward to make you feel you’re on something a bit sporty, but not enough to be a pain in your wrists and neck after a long ride, so well done Suzuki. The cockpit area is also roomy with quite low footpegs, a fairly low seat height of 810mm and a highish set of handlebars, all making the 8R a pleasant place to be.

Talking of the cockpit area, you also get a really nice clear and uncluttered TFT dash, which has three rider modes, adjustable traction control and there is an up and down quickshifter – not a bad level of kit for this price point. The dash and functions are super easy to navigate around even while riding. On the left bar you get an easy to operate (even with winter gloves) toggle switch that lets you go between A, B and C modes, this affects the throttle response. The same set of buttons also lets you set four options for the traction control, three, two, one and then off completely in case you want to pop a wheelie. This can also be done on the move.

Above the toggle switch gear you have the headlight switch which operates the vertically stacked pair of hexagonal LED headlights that have a bright mono-focus light, which gives the bike a distinctive and modern look. The dash itself is pretty minimalistic, but modern at the same time, you really have on there just what you need, the only thing I would have liked to have seen is ambient temperature.

One thing I did like was the shift light option, this can be adjusted from a range between 4000rpm to 9750rpm. The display also offers manual or automatic switching between day (white) and night (black) display modes, I preferred to leave it in black mode as my personal preference. There are also real time functions on the dash you can toggle through such as riding range, voltage, fuel consumption, dual trip metre and so on.

Rugged steel frame.

“A kerb weight of 205kg, which I found hard to believe because the 8R feels super light, more like 160kg when riding or just pushing it around.”

The frame and sub-frame are made from steel and have been designed to offer the right amount of flex to make the bike nimble and agile to ride, but also make the bike stable at higher speeds, the swingarm is made from alloy and gives the bike an overall wheelbase of 1465mm and an kerb weight of 205kg, which I found hard to believe because the 8R feels super light, more like 160kg.

I always feel blessed to be able to ride these new bikes and get flown to some amazing locations to do so and the Great Ocean Road and surrounding mountain ranges in Victoria is right up there, in regards to amazing locations, and what a great place to test the 8R.

“I’m a bit over the extreme ride position superbikes so getting on a bike like this with slightly higher ‘bars and lower ‘pegs feels great”…

When I first sit on the 8R, the bike fits like a glove, it feels narrow and really light beneath me and the ride position is also great. I’m a bit over the extreme ride position superbikes so getting on a bike like this with slightly higher ‘bars and lower ‘pegs feels great, even the seat feels comfy and after a full day in the saddle I had no complaints about the bikes comfort.

Pearl Ignite Yellow.

Hitting the start button the parallel-twin fires to life and even though the emissions police have had their way with spoiling the fun, you still get a nice burbly note from the underslung exhaust, but my bike customiser’s mind is already thinking how good it would sound with a full system.

Selecting first gear and heading off out of town, the clutch is nice and light, not that you need to use it much with the bi-directional (up and down) quick-shifter. The quick-shifter works pretty well, but is not as smooth as some I’ve used and it seems to prefer a bit of engine load on it to get the best results, but it’s nice to have it at this price point. The mirrors are pretty good and offer reasonable vision behind and are not too blurry, even at higher speeds, which is nice on a twin-cylinder.

Carving our way through traffic and lane splitting is a breeze due to the narrow design of the 8R. One of the bikes had the optional panniers fitted and even following that bike between cars it was narrow enough to make it look easy. As we headed out of town it started to rain and the roads were wet, this is always annoying on a launch, mainly because we were heading up into the mountains to some amazing twisty roads, but it did give me a chance to test the traction control and super smooth throttle mapping.

The MY24 GSX-8R is estimated to go on sale locally in April 2024 for $14,990 Ride Away*.

The MY24 Suzuki GSX-8R is on sale now for $14,990 Ride Away…

Under the trees it was dark, wet and slippery and smooth tight turns, a nervous situation for anybody to ride in, however I just selected C Mode and level 3 on the traction control and after a few kilometres I had faith in the bike and Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres, that offered a surprising amount of grip in the wet conditions and I only saw the traction control light flicker half a dozen times. As we went along, luckily the road dried out and we were treated to around 30 kilometres of switchback mountain road twisties. This is the sort of road that we as true motorcycle lovers travel a thousand kilometres for and this is where the 8R really shines.

“This is the sort of road that we as true motorcycle lovers travel a thousand kilometres for”…

I really can’t fault the 8R, it really is that much fun in this environment and I imagine this is the type of riding the Suzuki engineers had in mind when this bike was being designed. After trying out all the Ride Modes I settled on B mode with traction control and level 1, this gives full power with smooth throttle delivery. Tipping the bike from side to side on these incredible smooth and tight corners is almost effortless, like I said previously, the bike feels super light and really agile and flicking on change of direction is easy.

“After trying out all the Ride Modes I settled on B mode with traction control and level 1″…

The suspension is pretty much non-adjustable apart from the preload on the rear, but I never heard one person complain about wanting a bit less rebound or more preload or scraping the ‘pegs etc. Suzuki seems to have got the suspension pretty much right for the road. Track work may be different, but we didn’t get the opportunity to take it to the track so I can’t comment on that too much. Even when the road gets a bit rougher and more choppy, the 8R’s suspension does a good job of keeping the bike in line and tracking well. We should get a GSX-8R back soon, and we will go and track test it for you.

“I’m a fan of parallel twins and this one with its 270-degree crankshaft design and counter balancer is great”.

The engine performance really complements the chassis, you get 61Kw (82hp) and 78Nm of torque, this may not seem like much in these days of 200hp+ bikes, but when riding on this twisty mountain road in the real world, it’s more than enough to have a massive amount of fun and using the twin’s healthy torque, you don’t even need to wring its neck.

I’m a fan of parallel twins and this one with its 270-degree crankshaft design and counter balancer is great, the power is linear, but has a nice deep pulse feel when you twist the throttle, giving the bike its character. There is also smooth power seemingly from the start of the rev-range building all the way to the 9500rpm redline where peak power tapers off slightly so shifting a bit before that at around 8500rpm will see the best results.

Tony rates the handling of the Street Sports GSX-8R, saying it is a fun little mid-capacity bike in the twisties.

Using the quickshifter popping up through the gears and following some mates through a mountain pass, this is an incredible bike to be on. Suzuki have also fitted a slipper clutch, which works well and with the clutchless downshifts, at no time did I have a hint of the rear wheel hopping or locking up. The brakes are Nissin items, four-piston at the front and a single-piston at the back and for road use they work really well, the levers are span adjustable for easy reach and offer a reasonable amount of power and feel. The ABS system works well, because I witnessed first hand when the journalist in front of me had a massive moment and needed to stop himself from taking a tour of the bush and the bike pulled up great from a pretty high speed, with zero lock up!

After doing over 200km, the fuel indicator was telling us we needed to fill up, which I thought was pretty good out of a 14 litre tank, considering the pace we were going. Suzuki claims 4.2 L/100km which should give a range of 333km if you ride very frugally. After a day in the saddle I must say I had way more fun than I thought I would, even after a big 400km ride the day before on the GSX-S1000GX. I found the seat pretty comfy for a Street Sports bike and the ride position great. At $14,990 ride away I can see these bikes selling like hot cakes if Suzuki can get customers in the seat for test rides and we as customers can get over our egos and realise we don’t need 200hp monsters to have fun on…

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Key Tech Features

  • 776cc parallel twin DOHC engine with 270-degree crankshaft producing 61kW of power. 
  • Suzuki Cross Balancer, is a patented biaxial primary balancer that contributes to smooth operation and a compact, lightweight engine design
  • Bi-directional quickshifter

  • Ride-by-Wire Electronic Throttle – linked to (x2) 42mm Throttle Bodies
  • Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) 
  • Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) with 3 modes settings, better supports the rider in matching performance to the conditions of the riding scene, road conditions, or preferred riding style

  • Suzuki Traction Control System (STCS) with 3 mode settings (+OFF) enables greater control over the bike’s behavior under diverse riding conditions at the touch of a button
  • Custom 5-inch colour TFT LCD multi-function instrument panel with day and night modes to clearly display information to the pilot, with a glance


  • Hitachi Astemo (SHOWA) SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston) inverted front forks
  • Hitachi Astemo (SHOWA) link-type rear suspension (note GSX-8S is equipped with KYB suspension front and rear)

  • Rugged steel frame
  • Forged aluminium separate handlebars 
  • Dual radial mount front calipers with ø310mm discs

  • Cast aluminium wheels
  • Uniquely shaped lightweight aluminium swingarm with enhanced torsional rigidity

  • 14L fuel tank features a stunning slim design
  • New cowl-mounted mirrors enhance aerodynamic performance and wind protection


  • Advanced styling pays tribute to Suzuki’s sportbike heritage while aiming to create a new look that symbolises the future of Suzuki sportbike design
  • The bodywork features flat surfaces and sharp lines that emphasize the GSX-8R’s compact, slim and well-balanced proportions

  • Characteristic short muffler pipe accentuates the slim, compact design
  • Compact LED rear combination light and LED license plate light mounted on the slim rear fender make the GSX-8R rear end look even shorter and slimmer
  • Unique colours paired with coloured wheels

Available in three liveries consisting of: Metallic Triton Blue, Pearl Ignite Yellow and Metallic Matt Sword Silver. The MY24 GSX-8R is available now for $14,990 Ride Away.

Customers can reserve their GSX-8R by selecting options from the wide range of Suzuki Genuine accessories available for this model via the Build Your Bike online tool on Suzuki Motorcycles Australia. Items include billet brake and clutch levers, bar ends, engine and bodywork protection, heated grips, single seat cowl and a meter visor.  

Metallic Matt Sword Silver.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Specifications

Price: From $14,990 Ride Away
Warranty: Two-years unlimited km
Colours: Metallic Triton Blue, Pearl Ignite Yellow and Metallic Matt Sword Silver
Claimed Power: 61kW@8500rpm
Claimed Torque: 78Nm@6800rpm
Wet Weight: 205kg
Fuel capacity: 14L
Fuel Consumption Claimed: 4.2L/100km
Fuel Consumption (measured): N/A

Engine: Four-stroke, two-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 84.0mm x 70.0mm bore x stroke, 776cc, 12.8:1 compression, EFI with 42mm throttle-bodies two-into-one exhaust Gearbox: Six speed Clutch: Wet, multiple disc slipper

Chassis: Frame: Steel Frame
Rake: 25 degrees Trail: 104mm
Suspension: SHOWA SFF-BP inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped, adjustable (f), travel N/A, SHOWA, preload adjustable(r), travel N/A.
Brakes: Twin 310mm discs(f) with radial-mount four-piston Nissin calipers, Single 240mm disc (r) with two-piston Nissin caliper, ABS.
Wheels & Tyres: Cast aluminium wheels, 120/70ZR17M/C and 180/55ZR17M/C 69H Dunlop SPORTMAX Roadsport2 tyres.

Seat height: 810mm
Ground clearance: 145mm
Overall width: 770mm
Overall Length: 2155mm
Overall height: 1135mm
Max lean: N/A

Instruments & Electronics: Full-colour TFT dash, Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.), LED lights all round.

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