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Suzuki unveils all-new 2023 V-Strom 800DE and GSX-8S parallel twins

Nov 09, 2022

After relying on the same trusty engine designs for years, Suzuki just debuted an all-new parallel twin. This engine is available in two motorcycles: the V-Strom 800DE adventurer and the GSX-8S sport naked. First, we'll check out the new twin, and then we'll take a closer look at the two bikes that use it.

Meet Suzuki's new engine

Suzuki new engine
Cutaway of the new engine. Suzuki illustration.

The new engine displaces 776 cc and Suzuki claims it produces just over 80 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. Bore is 84.0 mm with a stroke of 70 mm and a compression ratio of 12.8:1. Peak torque of 57.5 foot pounds hits at 6,800 rpm. By the numbers, this is a respectable entry into the hot twins class. The overall design is compact and suitable for many different kinds of motorcycle platforms, just like the offerings we’ve seen from other mainstream brands.

Suzuki uses a 270-degree crank like many of today’s popular p-twins. Suzuki even suggests that the unique sound and power delivery of the 270-degree will provide "a similar power delivery as the 90-degree V-twins used in other Suzukis.” It’s no secret what those “other Suzukis” might be.  The V-Strom 800DE and the GSX-8S will likely replace the V-Strom 650 and SV650 V-twins in Suzuki’s lineup, so making the new parallel twin feel a bit like the beloved vees isn’t a bad idea.

Suzuki new engine
This is Suzuki's illustration of the dual counterbalancer design. This looks like the same kind of clever thinking that gave us mechanical VVT on the big Gixxer. Suzuki illustration.

Suzuki claims its “industry-exclusive Suzuki Cross Balancer” makes the engine feel smooth and responsive without adding too much weight to the engine itself. Each piston gets a small dedicated balancer to cut down on vibes. Throttle-by-wire means ride modes and traction control settings will be available for the V-Strom and Gixxus. There’s a cable-actuated slip/assist clutch, a six-speed transmission, and standard up/down quickshifters for both new bikes.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure first look

Is it blasphemy to put a p-twin in a V-strom without changing the name? Maybe, but P-Strom sounds a bit strange, and the V-Strom name is so synonymous with Suzuki’s ADV line that the name soldiers on 20 years after the introduction of the original. Unfortunately, pricing has not been announced, but we have just about all the other details for this model. 

The V-Strom 800DE is an upper-middleweight ADV bike featuring the 776 cc parallel twin engine, an all-new steel frame (with removable steel subframe and optional center stand), fresh styling, and some new tech features. The downside to the added power and dirt prowess is the jump in weight over the 650. The V-Strom 800DE carries a claimed wet weight of 509 pounds, which is considerably more than competitors like the Yamaha Ténéré 700 or Honda’s new Transalp. Other notable changes include the 21-inch front wheel and upside-down Showa fork for all models. The fork and rear shock are both fully adjustable, with a remote preload adjuster at the rear to easily accommodate pillion and/or cargo weight. The 800DE Adventure adds crash bars, gold rims, a bigger alloy skid plate, and two of Suzuki’s 37-liter accessory panniers with a black anodized finish.

Susuki V-Strom 800
The new V-Strom has taller suspension and more power to match its updated looks. Suzuki photo.

Suzuki boosted both ground clearance and suspension travel to 8.7 inches, which makes the 800DE one of the most capable V-Stroms ever built. There’s a 90/90-21 up front and a 150/70-17 at the rear, so owners should have no shortage of tire options for everything from street touring to fully off-road riding. The wheels use stainless spokes and aluminum rims for durability and light weight. The wheels are not tubeless. Handguards and adjustable levers come standard. The windscreen is adjustable, although only to three positions and you’ll need to use an Allen key.

Susuki V-Strom 800
The new parallel twin is smaller and more powerful than the 650 V-twin, but the V-Strom's overall weight has increased. Suzuki photo.

In the tech department, Suzuki gives the V-Strom a new “Gravel” traction control mode, plus switchable ABS, full LED lighting, and a five-inch TFT dash. A USB port is tucked into the left side of the dash to power your phone, GPS unit, or other device.

Suzuki V-Strom 800
Here's the V-Strom 800DE Adventure with its luggage and gold wheels. Suzuki photo.

The V-Strom 800DE will be available in Champion Yellow No. 2 or Glass Matte Mechanical Gray. The V-STROM 800DE Adventure will come in Glass Sparkle Black.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S first look

On the street side of the lineup, Suzuki also rolled out the GSX-8S for 2023. Suzuki calls it a streetfighter, although it seems more like a standard naked that slots in between the SV650 and the GSX-S1000/Katana. In Suzuki’s words, it is meant to be “the ideal middleweight street bike.”

No pricing yet for this one, either, but the engine and performance are the same as the V-Strom above. Suspension is by KYB instead of Showa, with radially mounted Nissin four-pots gripping dual floating rotors at the fork. A new steel chassis wraps around the engine and trails off to a compact tail. New cast wheels accept standard sport and street rubber. The GSX-8S wears Dunlop’s RoadSport 2 tires from the factory, which should be more than adequate for most riders. 

Suzuki GSX-8S
The GSX-8S weighs about 30 pounds more than an SV650 and makes around seven more horsepower (claimed). Suzuki photo.

As for tech, the GSX-8S has a five-inch color TFT like the V-Strom’s, an up/down quickshifter, three ride modes, four levels of traction control intervention, and all-LED lighting. The accessories catalog has soft luggage, a flyscreen, a solo seat cowl, frame sliders, and heated grips, if you’d like. Until we see a price for the GSX-8S, it’ll be tough to compare it to competitors like the Yamaha MTs, the new Honda Hornet, and others. The styling is unmistakably Suzuki, though, and the new Pearl Cosmic Blue is striking.

Suzuki GSX-8S
Centralized mass and exposed/painted frame sections give the GSX-8S a purposeful look. Suzuki photo.

The 2023 GSX-8S will be available in Pearl Cosmic Blue, Pearl Tech White, or Metallic Matte Black No. 2 / Glass Sparkle Black.

Suzuki GSX-8S
Will the GSX-8S pick up where the SV650 left off? Suzuki photo. European model shown.

Worth the wait? 

Suzuki has been teasing new twins for almost a decade. Now that the bikes are finally heading to production, it seems the 650 V-twin's days may be numbered. It's nice to see Suzuki releasing a totally new platform, but the ADV and sport naked twin classes are fiercely competitive right now. Hopefully we'll get our hands on the new V-Strom 800DE and GSX-8S soon to give you our thoughts on the two new bikes.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
Engine 776 cc, liquid-cooled, 270-degree V-twin 776 cc, liquid-cooled, 270-degree V-twin
final drive
Six-speed, chain Six-speed, chain
Claimed horsepower 83 @ 8,500 rpm 83 @ 8,500 rpm
Claimed torque 57.5 foot-pounds @ 6,800 rpm 57.5 foot-pounds @ 6,800 rpm
Frame Steel tubular Steel tubular
Front suspension Showa USD fork, fully adjustable; 8.7 inches of travel KYB USD fork; 5.1 inches of travel
Rear suspension Showa monoshock, fully adjustable; 8.7 inches of travel KYB shock, adjustable for preload
Front brake Dual Nissin two-piston calipers, 310 mm discs, ABS Dual Nissin radial-mount four-piston calipers, 310 mm discs, ABS
Rear brake Nissin single-piston caliper, 265 mm disc, ABS Nissin single-piston caliper, 240 mm disc, ABS
Wheelbase 61.8 inches 57.7 inches
Seat height 33.7 inches 31.9 inches
Fuel capacity 5.3 gallons 3.69 gallons
Tires Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour, 90/60R21 front, 150/70R17 rear Dunlop RoadSport 2, 120/70ZR17 front; 180/55ZR17 rear
Claimed weight 507 pounds (wet) 445 pounds
Available TBA TBA
Warranty 12 months 12 months
More info