The Suzuki GSX-8R is going racing

The Suzuki GSX-8R has been homologated to race in a US championship, and racing efforts in the UK could follow 

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R

Suzuki GSX-8R has been homologated to race in the MotoAmerica Twins Cup, and it looks like we may also see the bike race in the UK at some point.

The MotoAmerica Twins Cup is much like the Supertwins class you see in road races like the Isle of Man TT or North West 200 but shifted onto US short circuits under the MotoAmerica banner.

Eligible bikes are twin-cylinder machines (we dug deep for that one), and the series sees the likes of Yamaha R7s go up against Aprilia RS 660s. It’s been the Aprilias that have come out on top more often than not. 

In 2024, the faired Suzuki GSX-8R and naked Suzuki GSX-8S are eligible to compete in the class with their 776cc parallel twin, following the confirmation of the bikes passing homologation inspection by MotoAmerica.

Suzuki’s uninterest in racing is hardly unknown by now, having scrapped its MotoGP project less than two years after it won the Riders’ Championship with Joan Mir, dropped its full factory effort in American motocross and supercross, and pulled out of the Motocross World Championship altogether at the end of 2017. After the 2022 season, Suzuki GB also pulled its support from British Superbikes, and the Japanese support for the Yoshimura SERT Suzuki endurance team was reduced.

However, a class like the Twins Cup essentially allows a manufacturer to gain the marketing benefits of racing without having to shell out the money for a full factory race programme.

In the UK, there will be a Twins Cup-equivalent series this year: the National Sportbike Championship. A number of bikes are already confirmed to be eligible for the new series via the sporting regulations, including the Yamaha R7, Kawasaki Ninja 650, and Aprilia RS 660. The new Triumph Daytona 660 is also set to take part in the championship and is offered in race trim by Peter Hickman’s PHR Performance, and the Suzuki GSX-8R is included in the list of eligible bikes, too, but we’re still waiting on a race kit to be made available in Europe to allow the bike to be used in competition.

Hopefully, this will come in time (the BSB season doesn’t start until the end of April) and Suzuki’s BSB representation will be expanded beyond just some old GSX-R750s in Supersport.

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