2023 Suzuki GSX-8S – finally a new middleweight Suzuki


Price: £7,999 + OTR | Power: 81.8bhp | Weight: 202kg


Way back in 1999 – when the millennium bug was still a thing and the first few early-adopters were just discovering a new search engine called ‘Google’ – Suzuki changed the face of motorcycling by launching the SV650. Suddenly there was a modern, twin-cylinder middleweight on the market that was affordable, fast enough to be fun and could take everything from winter commutes to summer track-days in its stride. Customers lapped it up and the SV remains a cornerstone in Suzuki’s range to this day but after nearly quarter of a century the firm is revisiting the idea with the launch of the GSX-8S that debuts a brand-new parallel twin engine that will underpin a range of future models.

It's been a long time coming. Suzuki first teased the possibility of a new parallel twin with the Recursion concept bike back in 2013, followed up two years later by the reveal of the XE7 prototype engine. Both those projects were turbocharged, and while the GSX-8S’s twin doesn’t have a turbo it’s visually a close match to the 2015 XE7 design. In the intervening years Suzuki has filed a host of patent applications related to both the boosted and normally-aspirated versions of the engine and the bikes its likely to appear in.

The GSX-8S has a fraction more capacity than the 700cc that’s been expected over the years, coming in at 776cc. Whether it can repeat the success of the SV650 will depend on the ability to overcome a much tougher set of rivals in the middleweight class, though. It splits the Yamaha MT-07 and MT-09 on size and power and the new Honda CB750S Hornet will be a key rival, while the Triumph Trident 660 is also a close match for the GSX-8S’s package.


Pros & Cons
  • The 776cc twin promises a useful combination of power and torque
  • A strong package of tech including a quickshifter and multi-mode traction control as standard
  • GSX-S1000-inspired looks make it more aggressive than most rivals in the class
  • Honda’s ultra-affordable new Hornet offers more power and less weight, and it's cheaper
  • Where’s the turbo gone?!
  • Pointy styling might put off traditionalists
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S | Technical Review
After years of development the all-new 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S parallel twin is here at last. We spent a bit of time with Director of Suzuki GB, Paul de Lusignan, and Product Planner, Steve Hacklett, to find out every juicy detail in this Technical Review


Review – In Detail

Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension
Comfort & Economy


2023 Suzuki GSX-8S price

* UPDATE (12th December 2022) - OFFICIAL UK PRICE ANNOUNCED: £7,999 and it'll arrive in the spring.

Although we don’t have an official price tag for the GSX-8S yet the word is that the bike will arrive at around the £8250 mark. If that’s right, it’s likely to be closer to the Yamaha MT-09 than the MT-07 and substantially more expensive than the stunningly affordable, £6999 Honda CB750 Hornet that’s also new for 2023. Until an RRP is officially announced we’ll have to reserve judgement on that front, but Suzuki is keeping the old £6999 SV650 in the range for 2023 and the GSX-8S is sure to cost more than the smaller twin.

For your money, you do get a bike that’s more overtly modern than most of its competitors. The GSX-S1000-inspired styling comes complete with stacked LED headlights flanked by slices of LED position lights each side of the vestigial nose cowl, and the wheels and seat subframe a colour-matched in blue, with plastic front and rear panels in either the same hue or a contrasting white.

There’s little of the parts sharing that’s evident on the lower-cost Hornet, and the belly-mounted exhaust and short, high tail make for a much sportier look than that rival, even if the two bikes are close in terms of on-paper performance.



2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Engine & Performance

When it comes to numbers, the key figures for the GSX-8S are 81.8bhp (61kW) and 57.5lb-ft (78Nm). The former arrives at 8500rpm, the latter at 6800rpm, and those figures show a key difference in Suzuki’s philosophy compared to the one Honda has deployed in creating the new Hornet.

While the Suzuki’s 776cc parallel twin is 21cc larger than Honda’s 755cc take on the idea, the Honda is revvier and more powerful, managing 90.5hp at 9500rpm, but it has less torque than the Suzuki (55.3lbft). That’s largely due to a substantial difference in internal engine dimensions. The Suzuki engine has a relatively long 70mm stroke and smaller 84mm bore, compared to 63.5mm and 87mm respectively for the Honda, which should make for more low and mid-range grunt, differentiating the two machines more than the bare figures suggest.

Like the Hornet and MT-07, the GSX-8S has a 270-degree crankshaft, giving a firing interval that approximates a 90-degree V-twin for more character and traction. On the Suzuki, the uneven pulses are tempered by a patented twin balancer shaft layout, with a separate balancer shaft – one in front of the crankshaft, the other below it – to cancel out the primary vibration of each of the two cylinders.

The engine features ride-by-wire throttles fed from an airbox mounted under the seat rather than in the more common, under-tank position. Unequal length intake pipes tailor the power delivery, while at the other end the engine breathes through a compact exhaust setup that’s completely packaged in the bike’s belly. The engine drives through an assist-and-slipper clutch to a six-speed transmission with a standard up-and-down quickshifter with electronics that automatically blip the throttle on downshifts.

Other electronic elements of the powertrain include a drive mode selector offering three throttle response curves, and it’s tamed by a traction control system that also has three settings, as well as the option to switch it off entirely. It’s not a cornering traction control, though. Suzuki’s easy-start system – allowing one-touch starting without the need to pull the clutch in – is standard, as is the firm’s low RPM assist, which helps prevent stalls.



2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Handling, weight and suspension

The all-new engine might be a focal point for the GSX-8S – after all, we haven’t seen Suzuki launch a completely new powertrain since the GSX-R1000 in 2017 – but the frame is also a clean-sheet design.

It’s a steel chassis, with box-like sections around the swingarm pivot welded to round tubes that attach it to a braced headstock, with a bolt-on tubular subframe at the back. Despite the GSX-8S’s aggressive looks, the geometry is slightly more relaxed than the Honda Hornet’s, with an identical 25-degree head angle but 5mm more trail at 104mm and a 45mm longer wheelbase at 1465mm. Suzuki says it combines stability with agility. At the front, KYB supplies the upside-down forks, and the same brand provides the rear monoshock, which acts on an aluminium swingarm. The front tyre is the usual 120/70-17, while the rear is a 180/55-17 – 20mm wider than the 160/60 used on the Hornet.

At 202kg including fuel, the GSX-8S is in the same ballpark as its rivals, but a little heavier than the 190kg Hornet, 189kg Triumph Trident or 184kg Yamaha MT-07.



2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Comfort & Economy

While we’ll have to wait until we’ve ridden it to pass judgement on comfort, the essentials are there to make the GSX-8S an accommodating ride. Wide bars, an upright riding position and a relatively low, 810mm seat height should make it a one-size-fits-most proposition.

As is the norm on new bikes, there are colour TFT instruments with ‘day’ and ‘night’ modes that provide all the info you’d expect as well as a few bonuses including a programmable shift reminder that makes the tacho flash when you hit a pre-set rpm. Somewhat surprisingly, though, there’s no mention of Bluetooth connectivity in Suzuki’s documentation. Purpose-made bar controls give access to the riding modes and menus.

An extensive range of options increases the comfort and practicality proposition, including a stubby wind deflector that can be fitted ahead of the gauges, heated grips, soft side cases, a USB socket, and two expandable tank bags, as well as cosmetic kit from rim decals to LED indicators, a pillion seat cowl, and billet levers. Other options include lever guards, frame sliders and a bellypan.

Economy is a strong suit thanks to the engine’s efficient design, achieving a claimed 67.23mpg (WMTC), a fraction ahead of the Hornet’s 65mpg, but the 14-litre tank is smaller than the Honda’s 15.2 litres. The Suzuki should squeeze 207 miles from a full tank based on those figures.


2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Review Price Spec_17


2023 Suzuki GSX-8S brakes

Nissin four-pot, radial-mount calipers act on dual, 310mm discs at the front – a similar setup to the Hornet, but with 14mm larger discs – while at the back there’s a single-piston caliper and 240mm rotor.

There’s ABS, of course – it’s a legal requirement – but Suzuki hasn’t gone to the lengths of adding a cornering ABS system.



2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Rivals

The Suzuki GSX-8S jumps straight into one of the most competitive markets in motorcycling and faces some fierce competition.


Honda CB750 Hornet | Price: £6999

The all-new Hornet has sent tremors through the bike industry with its remarkably low price, and on paper looks like a combination that’s hard to beat. We haven’t ridden it yet, though.

Power/Torque: 90.5bhp/55.3lb-ft | Weight: 190kg


Yamaha MT-07 | Price: £7200 (2022 model)

The current default choice for riders looking for a simple, twin-cylinder roadster – and for good reason. The MT-07 offers a great value-for-money package and has few shortcomings.

Power/Torque: 72.4bhp/49.4lb-ft | Weight: 184kg


Triumph Trident 660 | Price: £7695

A characterful three-cylinder engine in a field of twins combines with retro-inspired styling to make a compelling argument for the Trident in this part of the market.

Power/Torque: 80bhp/47.2lb-ft | Weight: 189kg


2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Review Price Spec_19


2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Technical Specification

New price

£7,999 + OTR



Bore x Stroke

84 x 70mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

Four-stroke, DOHC, dual balancer shafts


81.8bhp (61KW) @ 8500rpm


57.5lb-ft (78Nm) @ 6800rpm


6 speed, chain final drive, up/down quickshifter, assist and slipper clutch

Average fuel consumption

67.23mpg claimed

Tank size


Max range to empty


Rider aids

Quickshifter, three-mode traction control, three riding modes, low RPM assist, Suzuki Easy Start System, ABS


Steel, tubular

Front suspension

KYB upside-down forks, 130mm travel

Rear suspension

KYB monoshock

Front brake

Dual 310mm discs, four-piston Nissin radial-mount calipers

Rear brake

240mm disc, single-piston caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Cast aluminium / 120/70ZR17 Dunlop SPORTMAX RoadSport2

Rear wheel / tyre

Cast aluminium / 180/55ZR17 Dunlop SPORTMAX RoadSport2

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2115mm x 775mm x 1105mm



Seat height



202kg (dry/wet/kerb)





MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated




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2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Review Price Spec_22


What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.