HomeBike Reviews2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Launch Ride

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S Launch Ride

The highly anticipated Suzuki GSX-8S Streetfighter has landed down under, making an immediate impact and for good reason. Offering affordability, versatility and a feature packed option for riders seeking their first big bike or alternatively experienced riders taking a step back from the litre class.

Suzuki’s GSX-8S is an important bike for the Japanese marque, branded dawn of a new era, the marketing gobbley speak has hit the nail on the head when we put some thought into the relevance and presentation of the 2023 GSX-8S.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

We headed to Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for the kick off of the Australia/New Zealand media launch of the GSX-8S. As we reached our digs for the evening we were greeted with the new model in each of the 3 available colour ways, Metallic Matt Black, Pearl Tech White and the hero colour of the model Pearl Cosmic Blue.

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All the colours matched to the styling of the GSX-8S looked sharp and modern with aggressive front cowling design and LED lighting, however we found ourselves gravitating towards the Pearl Cosmic Blue bike to begin our road ride on the first morning of testing.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

As we mounted our steeds, Suzuki staff gave us a quick navigation through the easy to read and use 5 inch full colour TFT dash. It is very intuitive to use and easily navigated via the left hand switch which works a treat even when wearing thick gloves.

The TFT dash is the control centre for three riding modes – A (Active), B (Basic) and C (Comfort) which all work in conjunction with the ride by wire throttle system to vary how you deliver the 61kW and 78Nm of torque to the bitumen. Add to this the 3 selectable levels of traction control and the value and tech available on the GSX-8S can be considered well above it’s price tag.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

The 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S adopts a collection of technologies that they refer to as Suzuki’s Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S) which includes the above selectable ride systems and ride by wire throttle system as well as a nifty feature called low RPM assist which helps the rider get away with zippier starts from standing still situations such as traffic lights and effectively makes the bike harder to stall for less experienced riders.

The Sunshine Coast provided a cracking sunny morning to the begin testing and soon enough it was time to hit the road and head a little further north, making our way through the morning commute to our first photo stop. The size of the GSX-8S is easily manageable through traffic and in our limited opportunity and was very nice for lane filtering due to its seat height of 810mm and dry weight of a smidge over 200kgs (202Kgs).

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

The parallel twin motor is a dream through the low to mid range and is matched to a six speed gearbox with bi directional quick shifter as standard kit.This new Suzuki power plant is a 776cc DOHC 4 valve per cylinder engine. It utilises a 270 degree crankshaft and power delivery is smooth and linear.

Once clearing suburbia we headed for the hills, our first venture out of suburbia would see us hit some more open sweeping bends before encountering some tighter twistier terrain where enthusiasm levels of both bike and riders would rise.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

Sweeping bends proved the perfect testing ground to become familiar with the new model and to realise how planted it felt with it’s 180mm rear wheel which was shed in Dunlop Roadsport 2 rubber. The GSX-8S felt really good and even for a larger gent such as yours truly the rear shock did a reasonable job. Surprisingly the GSX-8S only comes standard with one tyre option unlike one of it’s other main competitors.

Tight twisties with switch backs were next on the GSX-8S testing menu, again with the bike providing a ton of grins as it was thrown through the corners at varying degrees of speed by the media contingent.The Suzuki handled itself well, being engaging and more than enough bike with more than enough mumbo to have a real good time on. The short stubby exhaust looks the goods, but we would be headed for an aftermarket unit to enhance the soundtrack if the bike were ours.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

With photos done and dusted it was time to head to our accomodation at Mt Mee for the night. A spirited ride on some nice roads would see us make our destination in good time and settle in with a few beers and a technical presentation before being left with our reflections on a great day of road riding and our initial experience with the GSX-8S.

After completing close on 300 klms on Day 1, we felt the ergonomics of the GSX-8S were pretty good. The seat became a little firm as the afternoon progressed, but in all honesty that is more a bi product of the style of bike, ergonomics and reach to the handlebars was good and we found the footpeg position to be spot on. If we had any gripe at all it would be the non inclusion of self cancelling indicaters which was a little bit of a let down.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

After a goods night rest it was up and at them the next morning, with plenty of excitement as we were headed to Lakeside raceway to test the mettle of the GSX-8S on the track. I immediately made a beeline for my Pearl Cosmic Blue bike from the day before as I had uncovered a giant man crush for the colour.

We arrived at the track and were keen to get into it. A quick safety briefing and we were greeted by Shawn Giles to do some sighting laps before we were set free to our own devices.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

Lakeside raceway would be the ideal scene to push the GSX-8S and test the new chassis, braking performance and front end suspension. The technical high speed flowing track conditions provided a great test for the GSX-8S to showcase its stopping credentials and without the Nissin brake setup which features ABS being mind shattering brilliant they are up to task and the setup works very well.

The non adjustable 43mm KYB inverted forks on the front of the GSX-8S also handled themselves admirably as we pushed hard around the track, combined with the new steel frame which has been designed to provide rigidity as well as providing sporty geometry, the Suzuki GSX-8S provides an all round tasty package.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

With the conclusion of our track time, the launch had drawn to an end. It was now time to collate our thoughts and rationalise our emotions of exactly how much fun the Suzuki GSX-8S had brought us over the last few days.

Pricing starts at $14,190 ride away and is backed by a 2 year factory warranty that can be extended to three for a limited time as long as all servicing is carried out within manufacturers guidelines.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

The Suzuki GSX-8S is an absolute grin machine. With it’s aggressive styling, sensational looking range of colours and the pure joy it offers riders at an exceptional price point.

This mid capacity naked Streetfighter market is hotting up and now has to be just about the best bang for buck sector of the market.With competitors such as Honda’s new CB750 Hornet and Yamaha’s MT-07, potential buyers are going to be spoilt for choice and buying decision will come down to pure emotional choice although the Suzuki and Honda are now leading the pack from the former king the Yamaha in this market segment.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

Either way it doesn’t take a rocket science to work out with the quality of offer on the Suzuki GSX-8S and its smile inducing qualities that Suzuki are on a winner and the bike will win a lot of hearts.

Our test bikes were provided by Suzuki Motorcycles Australia as part of the Australia and New Zealand media launch. To find out more about the 2023 Suzuki GSX-S8, contact your local Suzuki Motorcycles dealer. Pictures courtesy of Ikapture.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkinhttp://twowheeladdicts.com.au
Andrew Jenkin is the founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, a contributor to BikeReview and Drivetribe as well as being a panel judge of Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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