Suzuki launches mid-capacity assault with two new models

Suzuki has used the 2022 EICMA motorcycle show to unveil two new mid-capacity motorcycles, in the form of the GSX-8S and V-Strom 800DE. Both bikes are set to arrive in Australia in July and August next year, respectively.

The GSX-8S, which will take its place in the already popular Suzuki GSX-S family of street fighters, combines stunning naked sports bike looks with brilliant performance, confidence-inspiring handling and optimised comfort.

The brand new 776cc parallel-twin powering the GSX-8S (and the V-STROM 800DE) is a quantum leap forward too. The engine has a 270-degree crankshaft and introduces the patented Suzuki Cross Balancer for smoother operation and a lightweight design.

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Suzuki V-STROM 800DE

Maximum power output is 61kW, with 78Nm of torque, providing a level of flexibility and accessible mid-range power that makes for an extremely involving ride. Electronic throttle bodies help achieve a linear throttle response and superb mechanical grip too.

Other key pillars of the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) include multiple ride modes, three-stage traction control (plus off), ABS, a bi-directional quick shifter and Suzuki’s Easy Start system.

The two-into-one exhaust system has a dual-stage catalytic converter inside the collector which helps satisfy Euro 5 emissions standards, and the striking design features a short new muffler – the shortest ever mounted on a Suzuki motorcycle.

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

Just like the parallel-twin engine, the steel frame in the GSX-8S is a completely new design, contributing to comfort, stability and nimble handling. A unique aluminium swingarm, KYB suspension, and Nissin radial-mount monobloc brakes also feature.

Cast-aluminium wheels with Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 rubber complete the package. The 14-litre fuel tank features a stunning slim design unique to the GSX-8S, and the electronic equipment includes a 5.0-inch TFT multi-function dash, and all-LED lighting.

There are three liveries: Pearl Cosmic Blue and Pearl Tech White, both created exclusively for the GSX-8S, and Metallic Matt Black No.2/Glass Sparkle Black. The GSX-8S will be priced at $12,699 plus on-roads, or around $14,190 ride away.

Joining the GSX-8S, and taking maximum advantage of advancements and engineering benchmarks on the recently announced V-STROM 1000DE, the V-STROM 800DE boasts the longest suspension travel and highest ground clearance in V-STROM history.

Powered by the same 776cc parallel-twin as the GSX-8S and boasting a rugged steel frame, aggressive styling, Showa suspension, wide tapered aluminium handlebars, and a 21-inch front wheel, the 800DE features an upgraded electronics package.

That adds further off-road credibility and promotes a higher level of safety and rider satisfaction when travelling off the beaten path. Electronic rider aids include a special gravel traction control mode in addition to three standard settings.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE
2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Riders can also switch off ABS at the rear, while the SIRS platform incorporates an electronic throttle, bi-directional quick shifter, a quick-press easy start system and Suzuki’s low rpm assist to maintain engine idle speed for smoother and easier starts.

The bike has a highly efficient cooling system, two-into-one exhaust system with dual-stage catalytic converter, and clutch assist which helps to reduce fatigue on long rides and contributes to smoother shifting.

The air cleaner, positioned under the seat, is a massive six litres and is optimised to maximise torque production at low rpm. The V-STROM 800DE is also the first member of the V-STROM series that comes fitted with a radiator guard.

Suspension travel from the fully adjustable Showa suspension is 220mm at the front and rear, which is the same measurement for the ground clearance – another fresh Suzuki adventure benchmark.

Made from sturdy steel pipe, the V-STROM 800DE’S steel frame is engineered to provide all the strength needed for negotiating even the toughest terrain, and that also holds for the seat rails, which feature a narrow profile that helps riders better control the bike.

There’s a sizeable 20-litre fuel tank, and the wire-spoked wheels – 21-inch at the front and 17-inch at the rear – have a corrosion-resistant coating. The V-STROM 800DE is shod with Dunlop Trailmax dual-purpose rubber.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE
2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Suzuki has maintained the distinctive V-STROM ‘beak’ on the 800DE, but it’s now positioned higher to convey the model’s exceptional ability to handle gravel roads and tough trails.

The short three-way adjustable windscreen is designed to maximise visibility off-road, as well as protect the rider from buffeting at high speeds. Grab bars and a rear carrier provide passengers with a firm grip, and the latter doubles as a mount for the optional top case.

The V-STROM 800DE also has a 5.0-inch colour TFT screen with night and day modes, and there’s a USB port in the meter cluster. The lighting and indicators are all-LED, including the vertically stacked headlights.

The V-STROM 800DE will arrive in three liveries: Champion Yellow No. 2, Glass Matt Mechanical Grey, or Glass Sparkle Black. It’s priced at $16,980 plus on-roads or around $18,590 ride away.

Customers who order either bike online via the build your bike function on the Suzuki Motorcycles website will receive a bonus 38-litre alloy top case and bracket for their V-Strom 800DE, or a bonus meter visor and single seat cowl for their GSX-8S.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for 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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