Suzuki finally joined the parallel-twin melee when it introduced the 2023 GSX-8S at EICMA 2022. While the platform’s 270-degree crank, angular styling, and modern electronics suite adhere to category conventions, the House of Hamamatsu finds its own middle ground in the middleweight segment.

Flaunting an all-new 776cc, the GSX-8S whips up 81.7 horsepower (at 8,500 rpm) and 57.5 lb-ft of torque (at 6,800 rpm). Those figures top parallel-twin stalwarts such as the Yamaha MT-07 and Kawasaki Z650. On the other hand, the new GSX wouldn’t think of competing with heavy middleweight contenders like the KTM 890 Duke or Yamaha MT-09.

By positioning the parallel-twin-powered naked bike between the two poles of the middleweight spectrum, Suzuki has carved out its own niche in an overcrowded market. As a result, the 2023 GSX-8S arrives in France with an €8,899 (~$9,300 USD) MSRP. That’s a lot of coin by mid-size standards. However, the brand hopes the GSX’s performance ambitions will justify that MSRP.

After all, an inverted KYB fork, link-type KYB monoshock, and bi-directional quickshifter outfit the roadster in stock form. Not to mention, the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System offers three ride modes (Active, Basic, and Comfort), multi-level traction control, and a clutch assist system. Compare those preparations to the MT-07 and Z650, and the GSX-8S clearly boasts the highest performance potential.

As a counterpoint, we should look to another parallel-twin newcomer: Honda’s CB750 Hornet. Unveiled at Intermot 2022, Big Red’s twin-powered Hornet buzzes up to 90.5 horsepower (at 9,500 rpm) and 55.3 lb-ft of torque (at 7,250 rpm). Here’s the kicker, though, Honda lists the 2023 CB750 Hornet with a €7,800 (~$8,200 USD) starting price.

The Hornet is every bit the GSX’s counterpart as well with its 41mm Showa SFF-BP USD fork and Pro-link monoshock. Users can also control the model’s four ride modes (Standard, Sport, Rain, and User), engine brake settings, traction control, and wheelie control via Honda’s five-inch TFT panel.

As with all bikes, the spec sheet and price tag only tell half the story. A test ride is the only way to truly determine the value of each model; insights we hope to provide in the near future.

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