While many sportbike enthusiasts aspire to own top-tier race bikes like the Ducati Panigale and BMW S 1000 RR, it is widely agreed that middleweight sportbikes are more enjoyable to ride on both the street and the track. The combination of a lightweight chassis and a lively engine guarantees a great time, and the current selection of middleweight twin-cylinder powered machines perfectly embodies this.
Models such as the Yamaha YZF-R7 and Aprilia RS 660 are excellent options that are accessible to both novice and experienced riders. At EICMA 2023, Suzuki unveiled the GSX-8R, their latest sportbike based on the previously launched GSX-8S naked streetfighter. Naturally, the purpose of a sportbike is to go racing, and now the new GSX-8R will join the R7 and RS 660 in the MotoAmerica Twins cup championship for the 2024 season.
It is worth noting that in the past, Suzuki's SV650 was considered the benchmark for affordable twin-cylinder machines. However, the competition has surpassed the SV, with new models now offering more power and technology. That being said, the GSX-8R is Suzuki's way of showing that they won't be left behind, and it now boasts tech features never before seen in Suzuki's middleweight lineup. To start, it is powered by a brand-new engine, a 776cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin that delivers 83 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. Additionally, it is important to mention that its naked sibling, the GSX-8S, has also been approved for the MotoAmerica Twins Cup.
"Our new GSX-8R and GSX-8S are designed to complement our GSX-R line and offer riders a completely different riding experience. Some riders prefer the feel and performance of a high-revving inline four, while others prefer the torque and smoothness of a twin. Whether your sportbike goals involve everyday street riding, occasional track days, or a full commitment to competing in a road racing championship, our comprehensive line of sport motorcycles ensures that we have the perfect choice for you," explained Kerry Graeber, Senior Vice President of Suzuki Motor USA.
Although Suzuki has largely withdrawn from global racing initiatives, the brand remains a prominent figure in the amateur and professional racing scene in the US. The new GSX-8R demonstrates the brand's dedication to providing aspiring racers with a reliable middleweight platform, alongside other GSX-R models such as the GSX-R750, GSX-R600, and GSX-R1000/R. The new GSX-8R will be seen in action at the 2024 Twins Cup, which begins at the Daytona International Speedway on March 7 to 9, 2024.
Even if you have no plans to race, the Suzuki GSX-8R can still be a great choice for a street bike or a fun machine on occasional track days. In the US, it has a starting MSRP of $9,439. Meanwhile, its more versatile naked sibling, the GSX-8S, is also more affordable and better equipped for daily commuting and long-distance riding. It has a starting MSRP of $8,849 USD.