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Incoming: Suzuki GSX-8R set for 2024

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Incoming Suzuki GSX-8R for 2024


It’s always been clear that Suzuki has big plans for the 776cc parallel twin engine that powers the GSX-8S and the V-Strom 800DE and now it’s clear that a ‘GSX-8R’ is heading to the range in 2024.

The bike’s existence has been rumoured ever since the GSX-8S was launched, but the first hard evidence of its existence has emerged in UN-ECE type-approval documents – the ones needed to for new models to be sold in mainland Europe and the UK – that confirm its key technical specifications.

These documents list the bike as ‘GSX800 (8R)’ and also show a 47hp, A2-licence restricted version as the ‘GSX800U (8R)’. In comparison, the standard, unfaired GSX-8S is simply approved as the full-power GSX800 and restricted GSX800U.

If the ‘8R’ suffix wasn’t enough to confirm the new bike is the GSX-8R, there’s more evidence in the detail of the documents. They show that the engine is identical to the GSX-8S, with 61kW (82bhp) at 8,500rpm and 78Nm of torque (57.5 lb-ft) at 6,800rpm for the full-power model and 35kW (47bhp) at 6,800rpm and 64Nm (47 lb-ft) at 4,600rpm in A2-compliant form. However, even without extra power, the GSX-8R is faster than the GSX-8S. In unlimited form its top speed is 215km/h (133.6mph), up from 210km/h (130.5mph), and the A2-class version maxes out at 174km/h (108.1mph) instead of 170km/h (105.6mph). A small difference, but one that’s to be expected with the addition of an aerodynamic fairing.


2024 Suzuki GSX-8R_2

Suzuki Recursion, above, could be the template for the GSX-8R’s styling.


Other changes in the type-approval add more evidence to the addition of a fairing. The 8R’s overall length remains identical to the 8S at 2115mm, and there’s no change to the wheelbase which stays at 1465mm – confirming that the chassis, like the engine, is a direct carry-over from the GSX-8S.

What does change is the overall width, which drops by 5mm to 770mm – surely a result of narrower, lower, clip-on bars – and the height, which rises from 1105mm to 1135mm, reflecting the addition of a front fairing and windscreen.

The bike’s weight also reflects the addition of bodywork, rising by 3kg from 202kg to 205kg (the type-approval documents actually say the GSX-8S is 277kg and the 8R is 280kg, but they add a notional 75kg to represent the mass of a typical rider).

In terms of appearance, the dimensions in the approval documents suggest that the rear end of the GSX-8R will be identical to the GSX-8S, with the same seat unit and number plate bracket, and the unchanged wheelbase suggests there won’t be any changes to the suspension either. The fuel tank is also likely to be shared by both bikes, but with new panels attached to its sides to replace the bolt-on plastics of the GSX-8S.

The big difference will be at the front, where a fairing is all but guaranteed. The stacked headlight setup of the GSX-8S is likely to be retained as a signature look for the model range (the V-Strom 800DE has a similar setup), but of course the lights will be set into a fairing. Whether that’s a full fairing, giving a race-rep look, or a half-fairing remains to be seen, but it’s possible that Suzuki will take some cues from the Recursion concept bike, which first hinted at the company’s plans  for a middleweight parallel twin model a decade ago.

It's diving into an increasingly competitive class for affordable sports bikes. While the Yamaha R7 is almost unrivalled at the moment, Triumph will soon launch a faired Daytona 660 based on the Trident platform, with near-finished examples already spied on test, and Honda is widely believed to be preparing a faired version of the CB750 Hornet, potentially carrying the CBR750R name.

Other Euro type-approvals have previously confirmed that a street-oriented version of the V-Strom 800DE is also coming as part of Suzuki’s 2024 range. This model will simply be called the V-Strom 800 (losing the ‘DE’ of the current version), and gains alloy wheels, with a 19-inch front instead of the DE’s 21-incher, wrapped in a 110/80-19 tyre instead of a 90/90-21. The rear wheel stays at 17 inches, with a 150/70 tyre. This base version of the V-Strom will be 7kg lighter than the V-Strom 800DE and have a shorter, 1515mm wheelbase, down from 1570mm. It’s also 70mm narrower at 905mm, suggesting different bars, and 45mm taller despite the smaller front wheel, a clear indication of a larger windscreen. Its overall length drops by 90mm, indicating the suspension is lower.

Both bikes are sure to be officially unveiled within the next couple of months when Suzuki takes the wraps off its 2024 model lineup.


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