Confirmed Suzuki GSX-8R pricing puts it in the Yamaha R7's crosshairs

Featuring much of the same components as the GSX-8S but in a sportier, fully-faired package, the GSX-8R looks like a strong rival to the Yamaha R7 and Aprilia RS660

Suzuki GSX-8R

Suzuki's all-new GSX-8R sports bike is priced from £8,899, the Japanese manufacturer has confirmed. That figure will pitch the bike into battle with all sorts of sporty middleweight options, but taking a closer look at the bike's genetic makeup, it stands a good chance of mixing things up in the segment. 

The 8R shares much in common with the GSX-8S, using Suzuki’s first all-new frame and fresh engine in years. That involves a tubular steel frame with a separate aluminium subframe, within which lives a 776cc parallel twin featuring - you guessed it - a 270-degree crankshaft, giving a V-twin-like offset firing order. Suzuki’s Cross Balancer keeps everything nice and smooth.

From there, though, the 8R starts to deviate. Let’s start with the obvious - there’s now a full fairing with a windscreen, albeit integrating the double-stacked headlight arrangement of the 8S. There are now separate forged aluminium handlebars bolted to the triple clamp to give a sportier, forward riding position, but one that looks more akin to the Aprilia RS660 than the Yamaha R7 with its R6-like ergonomics. 

Suzuki claims the riding position offers a “plugged-in riding experience, while also offering comfort”. Given the additional wind protection of the fairing and windscreen, you might well be able to tour on the GSX-8S without regretting your bike choice. 

Talking to Visordown shortly after the bike’s reveal at the EICMA show, Suzuki Product Planning Manager Steve Hacklett explained the choice of riding position. 

“From our point of view, Yamaha R7 is still the most relevant competitor. But [we] 100 per cent acknowledged from a chassis point of view they've got more sophisticated adjustable forks and a much aggressive riding position,” he said, adding, “From a factory perspective and from a dev point of view, we absolutely could have gone that route.”

So why didn’t Suzuki? It’s so the 8R can appeal to more riders, Hacklett says. “It's about trying to bring the motorcycle to as many people as possible and making it as accessible to to those customers.”

The new rider’s seat is said to be “designed for sporty riding,” supporting the rider at its rear edge while giving good freedom of movement. The height of the seat remains the same at 810mm.

To go with the updated ergo and new bodywork is a more focused suspension setup tuned for the increased front weight bias, with the KYB arrangement of the 8S switched for one from Showa. At the front is the company’s catchily named Separate Function Fork - Big Piston (or SFF-BP), while at the rear there’s a preload-adjustable monoshock from the same firm. 

Sticking with the chassis, the brakes are the same as those fitted to the 8S, comprising twin four-piston Nissin callipers at the front working on 310mm discs, with a single, 240mm disc and a single-piston calliper at the rear. The cast wheels are shod in Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tyres measuring 120/70ZR17 at the front and 180/55ZR17 out back. 

Like the 8S (you’re sensing a theme here, aren’t you), there’s a Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) with settings modes - A, B and C - for different throttle responses, three modes for the traction control and basic (not cornering) ABS. An up-and-down quickshifter is fitted as standard. 

The GSX-8R’s price tag makes it slightly more expensive than the £8,700 Yamaha R7 and £8,599 newly updated Honda CBR650R, but cheaper than an £10,300 Aprilia RS660. It'll be in dealerships by Februry 2024.