2024 Suzuki GSX-8R review | It's comfy and surprisingly versatile, but is it a proper sportsbike?


  • GSX-R inspired fairings
  • New suspension
  • Comfortable riding position

At a glance

Power: 82 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.9 in / 810 mm)
Weight: Medium (452 lbs / 205 kg)


New £8,899
Used £7,500 - £8,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The middleweight sportsbike class has transformed itself over the past fifteen years, moving away from hardcore, supersport screamers and moving into the arena of far more docile machinery. This new segment enjoyed a lot of success, as bikes like Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 and Honda’s CBR650R were built with cheaper components, double-digit horsepower figures and sports-tourer-esque manners, blurring the lines between comfort and sport at a price tag that was impossible to ignore. Supersport sales plummeted, while softer-sports bikes flew out of showrooms.

But now, there’s a whole host of cracking machinery in the segment, all vying for the top spot. Triumph have joined the party with their Daytona 660, Kawasaki stunned the world by releasing their screaming ZX-4RR and of course there’s the established duo of the mightily aggressive Yamaha R7 and the more powerful, more premium Aprilia RS 660. For the first time in years the supersport class is not only back but it’s back with a vengeance, and Suzuki have joined the party with their GSX-8R.

When Suzuki revealed their naked GSX-8S to the world just a few years ago, it seemed like fate that the new platform would find itself dressed in a set of full fairings, with a more aggressive, track-ready nature – and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R front right static

Alongside the striking new appearance and fairing, the GSX-8R has been given non-adjustable Showa SFF-BP forks (replacing the KYB units on the 8S), a preload-adjustable Showa shock and a set of higher bars, that rise up above the top yokes. However, Suzuki haven’t gone much further than that in their changes, utilising the exact same chassis with identical geometry, alongside the very same parallel twin motor, with absolutely no changes whatsoever.

Yet the suspension changes have made enough of a difference in order to give the 8R a sharper, sportier nature. There is far more support, specifically from the front forks, to really bury the front end into corners and push the limits, although they are quickly found thanks to the lack of ground clearance on offer. The riding position does allow for a slightly more focussed riding position, without the poised discomfort of a true supersport machine - it’s built for comfort over sheer aggression.

The engine is still impressively usable, with a meaty mid-range and the ability to be lazy with the gearbox, which comes with a slick enough quickshifter and autoblipper as standard. Even though it remains unchanged in every respect, it’s very user-friendly with just enough power to have fun with, especially on tight and twisty roads.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R turning left in casual riding gear

On track it is cracking fun to ride, feeling Honda CB500-esque in its need for corner speed. As a machine that you could easily ride to a trackday, do every session and ride home in comfort? The 8R will happily oblige.

However, it does find its limitations quite quickly, so while less experienced riders will love its softer nature, more experienced or sportier riders will be left wanting a little more in terms thanks of ground clearance, alongside getting the most out of the more relaxed, upright riding position.

If sporty riding and a focussed nature is what you’re after, the GSX-8R isn’t the bike for you. However, if you want a healthy dose of both then the GSX-8R blends a solid level of sportiness and comfort, that is just as happy cruising on the road as it is taking on a bit of track action.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R wheelie on track

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Even though the changes to the 8R appear to be minimal, they do make a heavy impact on the ride quality, in a good way.

On the road, the new Showa set-up is damped well, sitting on the firmer side of the spectrum with 30% more support than you’d find on the GSX-8S, thanks to the stiffer spring rate and altered settings. This means that it’s happy when ridden hard with a serious amount of stability and feel, even at high levels of lean angle. On the flipside, it is a little bit abrupt in its rebound damping over rough roads and bumps, but that is a small price to pay in order to have the handling qualities that make the 8R so surprisingly capable when ridden hard.

It's comfortable too, with a riding position only slightly more aggressive than the GSX-8S. The ‘pegs are low and the ‘bars are high with loads of space in the cockpit, while the seat is not only low enough to easily get a foot or two on the floor as a shorter rider, but is comfortable enough for a few hours in the saddle. However, due to the shape of the front fairing and screen, the air feels disrupted, resulting in a bit of buffeting at high speeds.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R front track action

On track, the GSX-8R performs admirably too, as the new suspension settings have made a drastic difference to the performance and riding quality. There’s so much more support both front and rear and it gives a good feel for the tarmac, especially on the Dunlop SportSmart rubber that our test bikes were equipped with.

However, it does have a few limiting factors, starting with the riding position. For a sportsbike, the clip-ons are incredibly high which makes hanging off quite difficult and unnatural, as you really have to bend the arm and make an effort to get down low. This is especially important as the ground clearance is another limiting factor, which isn’t ideal as the 8R’s nature requires a torquey, high corner speed style in order to shave the lap time down.

It doesn’t take long to get the hero blobs kissing the tarmac alongside your toe sliders, even with the OE Dunlop tyres which have are vague in terms of feel and feedback when ridden harder. A set of rearsets and a tyre upgrade make a monumental difference.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R front brake

The brakes, unchanged from the 8S are ample in terms of bite, but are held back by the intrusively sensitive ABS system.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 776cc parallel twin motor remains unchanged from the GSX-8S, and is still an impressive thing, even wrapped in a full fairing.

On the road, it has a V-twin-esque ability to pull with urgency from the bottom of the rev range, making it a pleasure to use, and abuse. In engine mode A (the most direct of the three on offer) it’s got a direct throttle response, and with 85% of peak torque available from 4,000rpm the 8R allows for laziness with the gearbox, happily pulling from slow speeds in higher gears. It’s also geared well, which means that riding for extended periods at motorway speeds is doable.

Because the engine is so torquey, the 8R works best with big lean angles, carrying high corner speed and using a gear higher than you’d usually expect from a sportsbike. However, it doesn’t have that top end bite of an inline four, and has to be ridden in a more accommodating manner to extract the most from it. This means that while it’s fun and friendly, it doesn’t have an exciting top end and runs out of steam a few thousand rpm before the redline.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R engine

When ridden hard, fuel economy isn’t great, sitting between 35 and 40mpg. This means a true fuel range is only just about in the triple figures.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Although the GSX-8R is budget-conscious machine, it still looks reasonably neat and tidy (once you look past the horrible clip-on design), and has a solid level of build quality.

The GSX-8R is based heavily on the GSX-8S platform, that has received glowing reviews for its bulletproof reliability. MCN’s long term test machine has covered thousands of miles and has been used as a winter commuter, without any mechanical issues whatsoever.

GSX-8S owners' reviews are positive so far, too, although there aren't too many with it being such a new model.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R rear static

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

In such a populated sector the price is important, and Suzuki have placed the GSX-8R well at £8,899. Sure, it’s slightly more expensive than both the Honda CBR650R at £8,599  and Triumph’s new Daytona 660 at £8,595, but neither of those machines have a quickshifter as standard, which bumps the price up.

The 8R undercuts Yamaha’s technophobic R7 at £8,919 and Aprilia’s ‘premium’ RS 660 at £9,550, with the only thorn in its side being the smaller capacity Kawasaki ZX-4RR, which costs £8699.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R tested on track by Carl Stevens


4 out of 5 (4/5)

As standard, the GSX-8R comes with a reasonable level of equipment for a sub-£9000 sportsbike.

An easy-to-use colour TFT dash powers three rider modes, there’s adjustable traction control and an up/down quickshifter, along with a basic ABS system. In terms of components, the new suspension (although non-adjustable) feels like quality kit, while the Nissin calipers work well enough.

There are whole host of aftermarket options available too.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R dash


Engine size 776cc
Engine type Liquid cooled parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable Showa SFF-BP forks
Rear suspension Preload adjustable monoshock
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs with four piston radial Nissin calipers and ABS
Rear brake 240mm disc with a single piston Nissin caliper and ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price £8,899
Used price £7,500 - £8,700
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 82 bhp
Max torque 60.2 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 140 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

New model for 2024

Other versions

  • Suzuki GSX-8S – A naked machine that utilises the same engine and chassis platform.
  • Suzuki V-Strom 800 - An adventure bike platform that comes in three versions, uses the same engine.

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