by Andy Bisson.
Well, this month moved away from the adventure bike with Pete rolling out the Suzuki GSX-8s. This was the first naked street bike I’ve reviewed since the Honda Hornet 750 in May and I was impressed in what that had to offer but I’ve also been very impressed with the Suzuki styling and handling on a few other models of late so I was looking forward to giving this a blast.
At first glance I love it. As I’ve said so many times before, my heart has always been with Honda and Yamaha but the more Suzuki’s that I take out, the more I’m shifting in my views. This bike is stunning from every angle. It has beautifully contoured sharp lines and I particularly like the underslung exhaust and stacked LED headlights.
I can’t lie, if was purely down to looks, I would pick this over the Hornet or the MT range. It has a mature but aggressive style that looks classy and the black paintwork compliments it beautifully.
I test rode the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE last month and they share the same 776cc parallel twin engine. I was impressed with the V-Strom so was I to be disappointed or excited with its naked sibling.
As soon as I sat on the seat, it felt right. The seat is comfortable and a little lower than the V-Strom with the bars and mirrors well positioned. As I headed into town, the first thing I noticed, other than how light and nimble it was to filter through traffic, was how light the clutch was.
Heading out of town and onto my circuit it soon demonstrated what it had to offer low to mid-range with loads of torque complimented by the quick shifter. The harder you pushed it, the more it seemed to want and the aggressive styling was soon matched with its personality. It was extremely smooth with no noticeable vibration through either the bars or the pegs which is unusual for a mid-weight bike. All round this is a really comfortable bike to ride.
The 5” TFT display was really clear with no glare and it was well laid out. It comes with 3 rider modes (A, B & C) with A being quite aggressive with fun thumping out at every opportunity. It also has 4 traction control modes (Off, 1, 2, & 3) and it held beautifully through the damp leafy roads of the valley on 3 with the majority of my ride being on 2. It was also easy to switch between modes whilst on the move which was great.
Accessories include practical bits like luggage, USB socket, GPS mount, mirror extenders and heated grips as well as a few styling bits like Carbon fuel cap and anodised levers.
This is more than just a great bike, this is a superb bike. It looks stunning, feels awesome and the build quality seems top notch. I found it hard not to fall in love with this bike. I’m going to nail my flag to the mast and say that if I was looking for a naked bike, this would be it. I always recommend taking the opportunity to demo a bike but this really should be on your ‘Must ride’ list.