Suzuki GSX-8S: Smooth mid-size upgrade

THE 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S is an innovative mid-weight naked sport bike dubbed Suzuki’s street fighter.

Designed to offer a versatile and comfortable riding experience, the bike is powered by a 776cc parallel-twin engine generating 82hp and 78Nm of torque mated on a six-speed transmission.

Among its features are a comprehensive range of electronic rider aids which includes traction control, ABS and ride modes.

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Undoubtedly, the GSX-8S offers a modern and captivating design targeted toward the attention of the younger audience.

The front of the bike is fitted with dual lights and an edgy fairing, while its side profile presents an appealing muscular tank and a tapering tail section.

This overall design showcases an elegant and well-balanced aesthetic.

The less aggressive sitting position on this bike ensures a comfortable riding posture for long-distance riding compared to a true-blue sports bike.

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The firm saddle, well-placed wide handlebars, and foot pegs are spot on to a close upright sitting position riding.

The engine of the GSX-8S is ideal for everyday commutes with smooth and seamless gear shifts while low-speed riding during traffic jams does not pose any problem.

Meanwhile, the Nissin brakes are reliable with the front one that bit better than the rear unit.

During my ride on the Karak highway, the GSX-8S was able to rev up quickly without any hesitation with the suspension able to soak up road imperfections.

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While wind protection is zero, it was still manageable for me.

However, if the rider is taller than 6ft, his head will be pushed around by the winds unless he has a strong neck.

The machine perks up when I was pushing it hard on Fraser's Hill and with every twist of the throttle, enough power is delivered to me to get me going.

Any newbie who is progressing from a 400cc bike to the GSX-8S will realise that this bike delivers performance effortlessly.

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Suzuki has thoughtfully integrated the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System into the GSX-8S.

It features three rider modes (A, B and C), with A delivering notably aggressive performance, C offering a gentle power application through the ride-by-wire throttle, and B balancing between the two.

This system also offers four traction control modes (Off, 1, 2 and 3) that remain engaged upon turning off the bike.

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The higher the level, the more intervention for preventing wheel spin.

Switching rider modes is easy by using a dedicated up/down switch and mode button, even while the throttle is closed.

The 5-inch TFT display is well-designed ensuring readability and glare reduction.

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It also has an automatic day/night mode that adjusts based on ambient light, making it user-friendly.

The display shows important information like gear, revs, odometer, time and fuel gauge, providing a complete and responsive interface.

For suspension, the GSX-8S employs a telescopic fork in the front and a rear mono shock.

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The suspension is able to soak up all the humps and bumps without hurting my tailbone but it felt less composed in fast corners.

This setup is well-suited for everyday rides but might not be ideal for aggressive riding.

The chassis of this motorcycle is built using durable steel piping.

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A lot of attention has been given to the design; the frame's sole purpose is to ensure unquestionable stability during straight-line trajectories and agile manoeuvring, especially within city limits, back roads and highways.

This stability is reflected when I rode this bike on different terrain at different speeds and rpm.

The GSX-8S is comfortable in the corners but less agile compared to some competitors.

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The suspension's softness contributes to a slightly wallowy experience during aggressive cornering at Fraser's Hill.

Nonetheless, the Nissin brakes kept me safe, and I continued carefully on the hilly roads, taking all sorts of corners and hairpins with caution.

The engine's design emphasises V-twin-like power and torque, with a noticeable mid-range and upward thrust.

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The torque from the 776cc parallel twin is particularly impressive for accelerating from stops, occasionally engaging the traction control.

A must-mention is Suzuki’s Cross Balancer system minimises the vibration on the bike, giving a smooth experience.

I did not feel any vibration at all either from the engine or the belly of this machine at any rpm.

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This recently patented component positions two balancers at a 90-degree angle to the crankshaft.

This configuration effectively eliminates primary and secondary vibrations, resulting in a vibration-free riding experience.

In summary, the RM50,800 GSX-8S is a versatile and comfortable naked sport bike motorcycle suitable for daily use and long-distance trips.

The GSX-8's responsive engine, coupled with a suite of electronic aids, offers a rewarding riding experience, making it a good choice for its segment.

Suzuki GSX-8S
Engine: 776cc, 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC Parallel-Twin
Maximum power: 82hp at 8,500rpm
Maximum torque: 78Nm at 6,800rpm
Transmission: Six-speed
Suspension: Front KYB Inverted Telescopic, Coil Spring, Oil Damped; rear KYB Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes: Front Nissin radial-mount 4-piston calipers, twin disc, ABS-equipped; rear Nissin single-piston, single-disc, ABS-equipped
Features: Ride-by-wire, traction control, ABS, Suzuki Cross Balancer, Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, Suzuki Easy Start System and Suzuki Clutch Assist System
Fuel capacity: 14 litres
Weight: 202kg
Price: RM50,800 (without insurance, road tax and registration)
Autos Suzuki
CarSifu's Rating: 6.4