The entry level nude segment is one of the liveliest lately, between revisited new entries (KTM 790 Duke) and completely new models (Triumph Trident 660, Honda Hornet 750). subjectThe Suzuki GSX-8S also joins the fray, a motorcycle that comes from a blank sheet and which philosophically collects the legacy of the historic SV650. There are many reasons why curiosity is higher than the usual one that accompanies the discovery of any model. Above all, the fact that Suzuki rarely offers new bikes from the first to the last screw, and when it does, good things are usually to be expected. Then there is the awareness that the platform on which it was born will give life to more models over time (there already exists a sister of the GSX-8S, the V-Strom 800DE), and in short it is like having a taste of what Suzuki will offer – in this segment of engine capacity – from here on. The first impression is very good. The GSX-8S is a naked success in ergonomics, to begin with. The distance of the saddle from the ground is completely reasonable, the sides are slim and the triangulation satisfies both in terms of feeling between turns and in terms of relaxation in transfers. The bust is stretched out just right and the legs take on a not excessive bend (the writer is 1.80 m tall). The brakes are excellent: good power, just as much modulation. The strong point of this bike is the chassis, which we would say is the best in its category in terms of balance and transmitted safety. The front end is reassuring, stability never in question. It’s a nude that makes you want to enter a strong corner and brushing beautiful folds, and which shows a certain agility in changes of direction – not record-breaking.
The suspensions guarantee great composure without asking who knows what sacrifices in terms of comfort. For its part, the engine has several arrows in its bow. It has a smooth throttle response, is supple, regular and is super (SUPER) generous in thrust at low and medium revs. It’s really difficult to ask for more when the intention of the outing is to enjoy a bit of the road at a pace between relaxed and cheerful with brio – exactly what the bike is intended for. On the other hand, with such an inviting chassis, more experienced or ambitious riders may want to up the pace and ride full throttle. There, you can see a push in the treble that is certainly not weak but undoubtedly less exciting than the one experienced by “squeezing” a Hornet or a Duke. The “climb” to the limiter is smooth and regular; a pinch of malice wouldn’t hurt. Speech vibrations: they are well perceptible, especially on the footpegs, from medium up. In our opinion, they do not cross the threshold that separates the bearable from the annoying. The bidirectional electronic gearbox (standard) is excellent when upshifting and convincing but can be improved when downshifting: the engagements are a bit contrasted and the electronic management of the engine brake could better accompany the torque “jump” between one report and another.