Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeBike Reviews2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Launch Ride

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Launch Ride

The Great Ocean Road beckoned with the opportunity to indulge in Suzuki’s latest middle weight parallel twin offering the GSX-8R. An attractive looking proposition, the nimble and sporty persona of the sports middleweight was destined to endear itself to the tight switchbacks and of course the open sweeping bends that laid before it.

We were introduced to the new model which the brand is dubbing the new standard of sport at the technical presentation briefing on the 6th floor of the Oakwood Hotel in Melbourne. All three colour options were presented on the balcony and caught the eye immediately with the GSX-8R’s modern and contemporary design matched to the sensational and vibrant colour offerings.

Day One of Suzuki’s double launch would see us climb aboard Suzuki’s sports crossover the GSXS-1000GX and head inland until we made our way back to the coast to the Great Ocean Road and eventually Warrnambool for the night, before throwing a leg over the GSX-8R for the return trip on Day 2.

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2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

A big day on day one of the Suzuki double launch covering just over 400klms did nothing to dampen yours truly enthusiasm for day 2 aboard the GSX-8R. To tell you the truth after having such a great time at the launch of the GSX-8S last year and having experienced some of the great tarmac we were about to ride the day before, to be honest this reviewer was jumping out of his skin a little to climb aboard and hit the road.

We managed to nab ourselves a Pearl Ignite Yellow edition of the GSX-8R although the Metallic Triton Blue and Metallic Matt Sword Silver with its red rims and highlights both looked extremely tantalising and tasty.

Produced off the same platform as the GSX-8S the 8R scores a full sports bike fairing, upgraded Showa suspension front and back and a set of higher bars that rise above the top of the yokes. Apart from that the 8R receives identical chassis geometry and power plant that is featured on the 8S.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

Designed to be useable, accessible and practical the 8R follows in the footsteps of Yamahas R7, Triumph’s Daytona 660 and at a stretch the Aprilia RS660. Although the 8R is not available in a LAMS variant it offers the perfect platform for riders looking for their first big bike or riders looking to step down from the litre sports bike class.

As we left Warrnambool we were greeted by some passing showers and damp roads to begin our journey. The GSX-8R ate up the conditions feeling sure footed as we headed for some nice open bends to come to terms with the bike.

The 8R utilises both the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector and Suzuki Traction Control System which are both easily initiated on the fly. We engaged Mode A for maximum power and throttle response and set Traction Control to 2 for minimum intervention.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

The 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R 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.

All of these rider aids can be engaged through easy to use buttons positioned on the left hand riders block with the ease of use due to the uncluttered layout of controls. The riding position is nice and user friendly with enough room for yours truly who is a tad over 180cms being able to position himself more upright or tuck in for some more enthusiastic riding.

Back on the road weather conditions began to clear as we made our way past the Twelve Apostles and headed for a sensational part of bitumen where the 8R truly shined and impressed with tight turns and switchbacks.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

This is where the improved suspension proved itself over the 8S. The upgraded Showa SFF-BP forks (non adjustable) and preload adjustable Showa shock on the rear handled duties without fuss and were a noticeable improvement over the KYB units utilised on the 8S.

As the enthusiasm and speed picked up through this windy section of road the 8R was willing and engaging with its 61kW parallel twin motor doing a more than admirable job. The 776cc liquid cooled power plant features a 270-degree crank layout with a firing order that produces rich torque and positive traction.

The parallel twin motor is a dream through the low to mid range delivering smooth and linear power delivery and is matched to a six speed gearbox with bi directional quick shifter as standard kit.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

After the sprint, emotions started to settle and we were again greeted with showers as we headed towards Apollo Bay and our lunch stop. The Dunlop Roadsport 2 rubber worked well with the GSX-8R setup and ensured we had good confidence inspiring traction as we wound our way to our lunch stop for a seafood platter.

With our bellies full it was time to hop back on our steeds and continue our journey back to Suzuki headquarters. Another nice twisty road was ahead of us and we travelled the road again experiencing 4 seasons in an hour – who doesn’t love the weather in Mexico.

Braking in both the wet and dry was up to task. The 8R shares its braking package with the 8S and features 310mm twin discs with four piston radial Nissin callipers and ABS, whilst on the rear a single 240mm disc with single piston Nissin calliper and ABS.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

We would eventually hit freeway after riding some sensational backroads throughout the day. The last stretch of 80klms or so would be dead straight and here raised a very curious question that we pondered under our helmet. Should the 8R be fitted with cruise control.

There are going to be various opinions on this, however personally we are half in and half out. Yes it would be a nice to have but how often are you actually going to use it. We are going to remain on the fence and see where Suzuki head with this possible option further into the future.

Regardless of whether the GSX-8R features cruise control or not the inclusion list for the price tag is pretty impressive. As standard kit the 8R scores LED lighting and colour TFT LCD multifunction instrument panel, advanced electronic control systems that include Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, Suzuki Traction Control System, the Bi-Directional Quick Shift system and the Ride-by-Wire Electronic Throttle System.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

What is for certain though is that the 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R is a hell of a lot of bike for the money. Not only does it look stylish and contemporary it is a lot of fun to ride without being intimidating in any way shape or form.

If we were heading to the aftermarket accessory catalogue, first stop would be a tail tidy before scrolling through the plethora of options available for the 8R which include heated grips, luggage options as well as cosmetic decals and sports accessories to pimp your ride.

The 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R attracts an $800 premium over the 8S and retails from $14,990 ride away. That price includes a manufactures 3 year unlimited kilometre warranty. The GSX-8R is due to arrive in Suzuki dealerships from the 11the April.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

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 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R you can visit the website here or contact your local Suzuki Motorcycles dealer.

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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