Suzuki GSX-8R 2024 Review

If you’re a fan of sporty riding, and you’ve seen the current influx of mid-capacity sports bikes on the market, you’ll know it’s a truly brilliant time to be on two-wheels – with the introduction of this Suzuki GSX-8R, there has never been a better time for a rider who has a hankering for tucking in and unleashing their inner Joan Mir (of course, I have to note a Suzuki rider here…).

However that doesn’t mean it’s strictly an out-and-out sports bike. Notably, our esteemed pals at MCN held a recent group test consisting of all of the bikes in this category for 2024, and the Suzuki came out on top as the best – not necessarily as it’s the quickest, or sportiest, but because it’s the best at an all-round approach.

We spent two weeks riding this GSX-8R to see just how good it is, and if this motor is best suited to the sporty GSX-R moniker that holds so much weight amongst sports bike fans – or is it just too well-rounded, and not aggressive enough?

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Riding

What is the Suzuki GSX-8R?

With the introduction of the new 776 cc parallel-twin a few years back, Suzuki kicked off a new generation of mid-capacity machines initially with the launch of the naked GSX-8S, and adventure V-Strom 800DE, followed by the V-Strom 800RE that I reviewed on the launch for BikeMatters, and now this GSX-8R. Riding this 8R completes the four, for me, and having now ridden them all it’s plain to see that this torquey motor and its uses in varying configurations are simply sublime.

Suzuki has been quite tactful with these launches, as ultimately they are four bikes based on two foundations, built outwards to suit 4 variations of riding – naked, sports, touring, and adventure. This GSX-8R is based heavily on the GSX-8S, with the same engine configuration, frame, and tank – and even the same bare tail unit, the rear lights and indicators mounted to the licence plate holder extended far out to the rear wheel.

Notable differences are the introduction of Showa SFF-BP USD front forks and Showa link-type mono-shock with preload adjuster, with a sportier edge over the 8S’s KYB forks and positioning a touch more weight over the front wheel.

The ‘rider triangle’ is also tweaked slightly with the forged aluminium separated handlebars mounted on top of the top yoke and footpegs low down - so despite offering a sporty ride, still provides rider comfort somewhat equivalent to a naked bike.

Finally is the GSX-R-inspired front fairing and stacked headlight arrangement. It may divide opinions, but to me, it looks spectacular. Outside of the above changes, it’s evidently clear that the 8R and 8S are quite closely related – but is the relation too close, does the sporty character do enough to thrill?

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R blue

Suzuki GSX-8R Price, Colours and Availability

You can pick up the Suzuki GSX-8R in dealerships now, and there are 3 distinct colours to pick from: Metallic Trion Blue (as ridden), Metallic Matt Black No. 2 (very nice), and Metallic Matt Sword Silver (not very nice, in my opinion). Lucky riders in other countries may get other colour options, namely the United States who get a stunning Yellow colour option not available to us across the pond… it’s nice that the colour options add nothing to your total, too.

Accessories can be added, naturally, including a bonus USB socket up front for £40 (you can see the hole where it would go on the rider’s side of the fairing), anodised levers, a single seat cowl, luggages options, sliders and protection, and even heated grips for £350.

A word on the style, during a quick stop in town I had a Suzuki fan walk over to chat about the bike, noting that he loves the homage to the Gixxers of old, distinctly in the fairing design – something the designers will be chuffed about as they note the 35+ year heritage is embodied in the fairing, as well as elsewhere.

If bought from new, youy get a 3-year warranty, plus if you keep servicing the bike with Suzuki you’ll continue to carry the warranty through to the next service until 7 -years-old or 70,000 miles are covered. You’ll also get 1-year of roadside assistance from the AA.

Suzuki GSX-8R parallel-twin engine

Engine: 776 cc Parallel-Twin

Forget what you may think of parallel twin motors, this one is absolutely brilliant to work with. Liquid-cooled, DOHC, Euro 5 compliant and 776 cc – the supremely torquey and power-rich twin is given stats of 82.9 PS / 81.8 bhp and 78 Nm of torque to play with. Torque is found instantly, yet smoothly, and finding an open bit of road to stretch your legs on is sheer bliss.

That torque is the key to the formula in my opinion, and it proved superb off-road with the V-Strom 800DE, and great fun with the GSX-8S and V-Strom 800RE – but in this application you can really push the bike into corners and allow the torque to pull you through the corners. The top-end power does taper off a bit, but even in high gears at low revs there is plenty of torque to be found – you can be quite lazy with your shifting, and allow the seemingly seamless standard-fit quickshifter to do the brunt of the gear change work for you.

I’m not quite excited by the exhaust note, here, though I feel like this is most likely down to the ever-tightening standards for Euro5 (and up) standards. The bike has the bite, but feels to be lacking a bit of bark – an aftermarket exhaust could solve this, but otherwise the underslung exhaust does at least look tidy.

GSX-8R on the road

Also featured here is the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which is the title given to the group of electronic assists here, and consists of: Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, Traction Control, Ride-by-wire electronic throttle, bi-directional Suzuki quick shift, easy-start and low RPM assist. It’s not fed by a fancy 6-directional IMU, though it doesn’t need to be as this works effectively.

Smooth running is ensured by the innovative Suzuki Cross-balancer system, and at consistent RPM it really does run extremely fluid – despite an uneven firing order from the 270-degree crank. What I found most impressive was the variety of character on offer via the drive mode selector, easily set through the 5-inch colour TFT display and up/down and mode buttons on the left handlebar.

You can adjust the traction control through modes 1-2-3-Off and engine modes A-B-C whilst riding, and in mode A it feels like an absolute weapon with a ridiculous amount of power on tap, perfect for that countryside blast at the weekend – or, as I’ll allude to later, could it be a proper track-day bike? B is perfectly set for average road rides, and C is a muted mode for rain rides and gentle rides. Effectively, stick it in A and traction control ‘interference’ in low/1 (if you’re up to it) and you’ll unleash an absolute animal, here – particularly with an exciting road laying in wait.

GSX-8R suspension, brakes, tyres

Handling – Suspension, Brakes, Frame and Tyres

With a steel tube frame tuned in for this motor paired with Showa forks, the handling found with the GSX-8R is nothing short of sublime.

With that tiny bit more of your rider weight on the front wheel, you have immense feedback in the corners, and the suspension (despite not being adjustable) is a perfect blend of comfort and sporty-stiff to really get your lean on – and with the headlight assembly being mounted directly on the fairing, your steering input feels perfectly in tune with the bike with no added weight to the front forks.

The exposed sub-frame adds a bit of character and continues the sporty and sleek appearance of the 8R – with a rear shock found tucked in underneath. The preload is adjustable at the rear, though it won’t be a quick 30-second job to tweak it mid-ride as it’s a bit tricky to get to.

GSX-8R side on view

All in, the suspension here is sporty and true, though that does mean on some of the bumpier roads it can feel a little firm – nothing that spoiled my MotoGP dreams, mind (well within the speed limit don’t you worry).

Moving to the brakes and wheels, you’ll find twin radially-mounted Nissin calipers up front on twin 310 mm discs, and a single 240 mm disc at the rear, matched to a dual-channel ABS setup. Braking power feels true, here, and sharp enough to allow for excitable riding, and when the ABS kicks in there is a bit of squirm from beneath you, but it does the job nicely.

Last up, standard fit Dunlop Roadsport 2 tyres are fitted to 17-inch wheels front and rear. They felt quite washy in wet weather when cold (but don’t they all), and in good conditions are supremely grippy.  

Suzuki GSX-8R cornering

Sports Bike for Commuters?

Even with a 205 kg kerb weight, it feels truly agile both at speed and in the corners, yet staying stable and smooth on longer runs on the motorway thanks to the 1465 mm wheelbase that does feel quite long – you can happily sink miles here in the 810 mm saddle, even without cruise control, thanks to the low pegs and relatively tall handle-bar mounts. My only niggle here is the front fairing doesn’t feel like it does a whole lot of wind protection, but perhaps this is due to the rider triangle being more upright.

To that effect, the sporty nature of the bike is somewhat undone. Despite the aggressive styling cues and raucous motor, when sat in the saddle it doesn’t feel all too different to the GSX-8S of which it is based. Some riders may then feel let down that it isn’t the out-and-out sports bike they are after, with Suzuki clearly prioritising rider comfort for this sports bike over a true tucked-in (and potentially cramped) ride that could equally turn people away.

This leaves the GSX-8R in a place that will attract gentle riders and commuters after a sporty style and comfortable ride that may often ‘let their hair down’ and take the long way home in the evenings or go for an afternoon ride in the countryside at weekends. It’s not a bad thing to accommodate for the average rider, here, but sports fans may be left wanting a bit more. Though I’m not complaining, my 6’3” frame rarely fits so comfortably on a sports machine.

Having spoken to Suzuki when returning this test bike, I pondered whether an ‘RR’ sports-focused version could see the light of day, with lower clip-on bars and raised rear footpegs, adjustable suspension and in-depth electronics package. They weren’t able to confirm or deny anything, as is the PR world, but we happily spoke about what a truly tempting prospect that would be. Taking this bike on track seems to be well-regarded from the launch reports, and I’m keen to see if anyone has dived into making this a track-focused weapon.

Suzuki GSX-8R screen

Tech and Gadgets

Moving to the tech and specs, Suzuki keep it nice and simple.

The 5-inch TFT is clear and easy to read, with one main screen that will auto switch to day/night (if you allow it in the settings) whilst displaying all of the required information – revs, gear indicator, fuel gauge, estimated range remaining, odo with trip 1 and 2.

With the 14-litre fuel tank, your range will very much depend on how much you want to push on when riding, and how taken in you are by Mode A riding… if you’re somewhere in the middle you’ll get around 150 miles per tank happily, the quoted fuel consumption figure sitting at 67 mpg.

Suzuki GSX-8R Pros and Cons


  • Torquey twin motor.
  • Great in the corners.
  • Style is a big positive.


  • Exhaust note
  • Perhaps not ‘sporty enough’ in its positioning.
  • Screen doesn't do much wind protection.
Suzuki GSX-8R 2024 Verdict

Verdict: Suzuki GSX-8R 2024

Simply enough, and to answer the initial question, the Suzuki GSX-8R makes a beautiful place for itself on a busy mid-capacity sports bike market with plenty of options. The motor and riding character are pure joy to ride with, and there is no sacrifice to the rider comfort and day-to-day riding on offer – and all for a pretty good price.

Yes, you may want it to be a tad sportier with more weight on your wrists, but it’s a double-edged sword. Granting more day-to-day comfort with less weight directly on your wrists and ample leg room does open the door for more riders to get on, though that also takes away from the dedicated track potential of this bike (without modifications).

It was a fantastic two weeks with the GSX-8R, I’d highly recommend a go-on one if you want the stunning sporty styling and nouse with a bit of rider comfort thrown in. Big thanks to Suzuki for the loan, head to their website for more information and specs.

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Suzuki GSX-8R 2024 Review