Parallel twins have dominated the mid-size naked bike category as of late. Simplicity, ease of use, and cost of manufacturing stack the chips in the configuration’s favor, but Suzuki has long clung to its V-twin-based SV650 to contest today’s middleweight class. That all changes in 2023, as Suzuki lifts the covers off the parallel twin-powered GSX-8S at EICMA 2022.
The new naked utilizes the House of Hamamatsu’s built from-the-ground-up 776cc twin. The modern mill touts an 84.0-mm bore, 70-mm stroke, and 12.8:1 compression ratio. Like many of its category rivals, the GSX-8S benefits from a 270-degree crank, which mimics the power pulses and character of a V-twin.
Suzuki doesn’t establish horsepower or torque figures for the U.S. model, but its European counterpart claims 81.7 horsepower (at 8,500 rpm) and 57.5 lb-ft of torque (at 6,800rpm). We can neither deny nor confirm the same output for U.S. version but those numbers should give customers a general idea of the parallel twin’s potency.
Gallery: 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
As a stressed member of the chassis, the torquey twin dangles from a steel backbone frame, which Suzuki pairs to a steel subframe and an aluminum swingarm. The inverted KYB fork prioritizes nimble handling while a link-type KYB monoshock favors both comfort and feel.
Dunlop’s Roadsport 2 rubber wraps the 17-inch wheels, meeting all conditions and circumstances with excellent grip and extended tread life. A Nissin braking system—featuring dual four-piston radial-mounted front calipers mated to twin 310mm discs and a two-pot binder biting a 240mm rear rotor—bring the 445-pound naked bike to a stop.
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The Suzuki Intelligent Ride System complements that competent chassis with a host of electronic aids. Three ride modes (A, B, and C) yield Active, Basic, and Comfort throttle responses, while multi-level traction control, a bi-directional quickshifter, and Suzuki’s clutch assist system cater to performance-minded riders.
Users can adjust all the electronic settings through the GSX-8S's five-inch, full-color TFT panel. With Day and Night modes adapting to lighting conditions and LED indicators framing the new display, riders can easily collect data at a glance.
Suzuki will offer the 2023 GSX-8S in Pearl Cosmic Blue, Pearl Tech White, and Metallic Matte Black/Glass Sparkle Black color schemes. The firm hasn’t announced the model’s MSRP just yet, but we expect the new contender to remain aggressive on that front.