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Is the Suzuki GSX-8S really a worthy successor to the SV650?

The middleweight segment is bustling with new options, and the GSX-8S looks to be one of the heavy hitters.

Is the Suzuki GSX-8S really a worthy successor to the SV650?

For over two decades, the Suzuki SV650 has consistently held its position as a prominent contender in the middleweight naked bike segment, effectively establishing its dominance in this category. Its straightforward design appealed to riders from diverse backgrounds, making it accessible and appealing to a wide range of enthusiasts.

However, with the recent introduction of the GSX-8S by Suzuki, it appears that the company is venturing into a fresh direction, prioritizing technological advancements and heightened performance. This prompts us to contemplate whether the new Suzuki GSX-8S can truly live up to its predecessor, the SV650, and be deemed a worthy successor.

Completely new from the ground up

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

The newly introduced Suzuki GSX-8S is an entirely fresh platform that has been meticulously engineered from the ground up, setting it apart from its predecessor, the SV650. It deviates significantly from the SV650 in almost every aspect. Its design, both in terms of fundamental engineering and aesthetic appeal, exudes a more contemporary feel. The GSX-8S places a strong emphasis on cutting-edge technology, incorporating features like throttle-by-wire, multiple ride modes, and a new TFT display. 

When compared to the SV650, it is evident that the GSX-8S has made substantial strides in terms of technological advancements. However, to truly assess whether these modern innovations have diluted the inherent charm of the SV650, it is necessary to experience the GSX-8S in real-world conditions. Only then can a conclusive judgment be made.

More potent performance

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

Although a 15-horsepower increase may appear modest, it holds substantial significance for motorcycles, especially lightweight naked bikes like these. The difference becomes readily apparent during riding. Notably, despite having power figures in the same range, these bikes employ entirely distinct engines. 

The familiar 645cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twin engine found in the SV650 has been phased out and succeeded by a 776cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine featuring a 270-degree crankshaft configuration. This new engine generates 85 horsepower, marking a noteworthy improvement from the previous model's 70 horsepower. Moreover, the more compact dimensions of the GSX-8S enable a lower center of gravity, further enhancing its overall performance and handling capabilities.

Improved technology

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S

Suzuki has made sure to equip the GSX-8S with an array of advanced technologies, solidifying its position as a formidable contender in the middleweight segment. The bike features a bi-directional quick shifter, a multi-mode traction control system, ABS, and a ride-by-wire throttle setup. Additionally, it comes standard with a 5-inch color LCD instrument panel and LED lighting throughout.

However, it is crucial to remember that specifications alone do not define the overall experience of a motorcycle. Real-world testing and evaluation will be the ultimate determining factor in assessing whether the new GSX-8S genuinely outperforms the SV650. We eagerly await the opportunity to test ride this sleek naked bike and provide our comprehensive feedback on its performance.

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