Both models use a brand-new 776cc, DOHC, parallel twin engine with 270° crank, designed to deliver punchy torque and a flexible character, while four valves per cylinder enable a free-revving nature.
For strength and agility, the V-Strom 800DE and GSX-8S use an all-new steel frame, with each using a bespoke subframe, swingarm, and suspension components for unique ergonomics and a tailored riding experience.
As standard, each comes with a five-inch full-colour TFT dash, a three-mode traction control system, bi-drectional quickshifter, selectable power modes, and a slipper clutch.
The V-Strom 800DE adds an off-road-focussed G (gravel) mode to its available traction control settings, and an ABS package that offers two modes – for greater or less intervention – and the ability to disengage rear ABS completely.
The new GSX-8S is born to thrill, offering performance, technology, and style to those that want to work hard, and play harder. Through the combination of an all-new engine, agile chassis, ride-enhancing electronics, and an aggressive design, the GSX-8S is set to raise the middleweight naked bar.
Powering the all-new GSX-8S is a brand-new engine from the Hamamatsu marque, with a focus on performance befitting of a naked streetfighter. A 270° crank ensures a punchy torque delivery, helping fire the new GSX-8S from corner to corner, while a DOHC design, with four valves per cylinder, means a clean, free-revving nature all the way to the top end. Peak torque is 78Nm at 6800rpm while peak power is 82.9PS at 8500rpm.
A Suzuki Cross Balancer, an innovative new primary balancer design, reduces unwanted vibration, and helps ensure the engine’s compact nature, which in turn aids freedom of chassis design.
The exhaust system features a short new muffler design, barely rising up and out from the right side of the engine, enhances the bike’s compact look and feel and produces an intoxicating rumble.
The GSX-8S’s streetfighter character continues with the ergonomics, with wide, tapered aluminium handlebars providing a sporty riding position and plenty of leverage to pitch the GSX-8S effortlessly into turns with speed and confidence.
That confidence also comes from a chassis that features upside down front forks and a rear shock from KYB, and a new aluminium swingarm with a unique shape, is designed to perform with the right amount of vertical, lateral, and torsional rigidity to further enhance the GSX-8S’s flickable nature but also deliver stability and greater ride comfort. Twin 310mm discs up front and a 240mm rear disc provide the stopping power.
These components all fit to a new frame engineered for direct handling characteristics, with a light – and painted – subframe helping keep weight low and aid the design of a sharp seat unit.
From the seat – which is designed for comfort and performance – the view is of a five-inch, full-colour TFT screen showcasing a plethora of information including speed, gear, rev counter, clock, riding range, and dual trip computers.
It also shows the current settings the rider has chosen for the various advanced rider aids featured on the new GSX-8S, which includes a three-mode traction control system – which can be turned off – three selectable engine maps, and a bi-directional quickshifter for slick gear changes.
There’s also a ride-by-wire throttle, engineered for a natural feel, Suzuki’s Easy Start System, and a low rpm assist.
The minimalist bodywork, wrapped around the slim new engine, is angular and futuristic. Other key elements of the bike’s style come from its bright, light blue wheels and subframe on two of the three available colour options; a pearl cosmic blue and pearl tech white. A matt and sparkle black option is also available.
Stacked hexagonal LED headlights and LED running lights all contribute to a slim, compact, and aggressive stance, while fresh graphics make for a contemporary look.
Born to explore, the V-Strom 800DE is an all-new adventure bike designed to allow riders to journey without limits. Boasting fully-adjustable suspension with 220mm of travel, a 21-inch front wheel, 220mm of ground clearance, and an electronics package with additional features geared around performance when the road ends, the V-Strom 800DE is the new master of adventure.
At the heart of the new V-Strom 800DE is Suzuki’s new parallel twin engine. The 776cc, DOHC powerplant produces 84.3PS peak power at 8500rpm, with 78Nm of peak torque at 6800rpm.
Designed to be slim and compact, to expand the possibilities for overall design flexibility, the long-stroke motor with four valves per cylinder produces smooth but potent torque throughout the low rpm, before going on to deliver free-revving performance through to the top end.
This performance is aided through the use of a 270° crankshaft design, which delivers high levels of torque and positive traction – extra-beneficial off-road – and a pleasing rumble to its exhaust note, ensuring it retains a character more akin to Suzuki’s famed V-twins. A Suzuki Cross Balancer, an innovative new primary balancer design, reduces unwanted vibration and helps achieve a compact and lightweight package that enhances the V-Strom 800DE’s agile handling.
Wire spoked wheels come in the form of a 21-inch front and a 17-inch rear, shod with Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tyres. Further boosting the new V-Strom’s ability to traverse rougher terrain with ease is 220mm of suspension travel, controlled by fully-adjustable hardware from Showa, and 220mm of ground clearance.
A tough steel frame provides the strength needed for negotiating tracks and trails and provides excellent straight-line stability and agile handling. The seat rails are engineered to withstand the impacts and pressures of riding on trails and feature a narrow profile that helps riders better control the bike with their legs.
Further helping riders control the new V-Strom 800DE on and off-road are wide, tapered, aluminium ‘bars and steel – though rubber-covered – footpegs. A long wheelbase aids stability, helped with an aluminium swingarm with a unique shape that enhances vertical, lateral, and torsional rigidity.
A ride-by-wire throttle provides a natural feel, and synchronises with a range of electronic features that further enhance the V-Strom 800DE’s performance in a range of riding situations.
Like the bigger V-Strom 1050DE, it gets a traction control system with three on-road modes, which provide varying levels of intervention, plus the introduction of a G mode for use off-road. G mode allows more wheelspin, which is suppressed only enough to help prevent excessive slip, so power continues to be delivered to the rear wheel with minimum interruption. As a result, the rider gets the consistent power output they want. More experienced riders can also choose to disengage the traction control entirely for even more direct control.
The V-Strom 800DE also has two ABS settings, providing greater or lesser intervention, plus there is the ability to disengage the rear ABS for improved confidence and control off-road.
Gear changes are slick and uninterrupted thanks to a bi-directional quickshifter, meaning riders don’t need to trouble the clutch lever and can keep the throttle open on upshifts, while there is no requirement to blip it on downshifts.
Like all new Suzukis, there is the ever-handy low rpm assist – which raises the idle speed when pulling away or at slow speeds to reduce the risk of stalling – and Suzuki Easy Start System, which requires just one push of the starter button to fire the engine into life.
All of the advanced rider aids are managed via a simple rocker switch on the left handlebar, and displayed – alongside speed, odometer, rev counter, and more – on a five-inch, full-colour TFT dash.
All of the above is wrapped in a style that is both quintessentially V-Strom and modern at the same time. Harking back to Suzuki’s DR Big and DR-Z heritage is the notable beak design and a hero colour scheme reminiscent of the firm’s off-road racing exploits of the past. Even the graphics are designed to resemble motocross number boards.
However, the beak is shorter, sharper, and sits higher, highlighting the space between front mudguard and headlight, created thanks to its tall stance and 220mm of suspension travel, and new vertically stacked hexagonal LED headlights are slim, light and compact.
The lines of the body work are sharp with flat surfaces to create a tough look. Bold accents are introduced through the use of moulded colour parts at the tip of the beak, alongside the radiator, and below the large, 20 litre fuel tank. Angled lines set into the knee grip area of the moulded panel below the tank lend yet another subtle accent.
A traditional yellow with dark blue accents and gold rims pays homage the most to Suzuki’s off-road pedigree, while the V-Strom 800DE will also be available in a matt mechanical grey with moulded yellow accents and black rims, and a glass sparkle black, that also comes with dark blue accents and gold wheels.
Both the V-Strom 800DE and GSX-8S will be available at St Neots Motorcycles in the spring.