The phrase “long in the tooth” originated with horse traders, and it was used to describe equines that were a little more advanced in years. You see, unlike humans, horse’s teeth never stop growing, so examining a horse’s teeth can provide a pretty good estimate of a horse’s age. Also, by the way, if you are lucky enough to be given a horse, it’s considered brash to examine said horse’s teeth since you should “never look a gift horse in the mouth.” But, I digress.
In motorcycle road racing, one could say that the Suzuki SV650 has become a little bit “long in the tooth.” Introduced in 1999–a full quarter of a century ago–the middleweight, V-twin sportbike has been ubiquitous on racetracks throughout the United States, not to mention, the world. In fact, the bike helped create an entire race class in the MotoAmerica series. The Twins Cup Championship was launched in 2018, and not only did Ghetto Customs rider Chris Parrish win the very first MotoAmerica Twins Cup race, on April 14, 2018, aboard a Suzuki SV650, but four of the six motorcycles that competed in that inaugural race were Suzuki SV650s.
The Twins Cup class quickly grew in popularity, and Parrish also won the 2018 Twins Cup Championship, notching two wins and six podium finishes out of nine races that took place that first season. By the end of the year, a total of 55 riders had competed in the fledgling class, with the majority of those riders aboard Suzuki SV650s.
There’s another phrase, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Over the years, Yamaha girded their FZ-07/MT-07 for the Twins Cup battle, introducing the YZF-R7, while Aprilia introduced the RS 660. Meanwhile, the Suzuki SV650, while still a formidable weapon, was no longer the dominant motorcycle on Twins Cup podiums that it once was.
In 2023, Suzuki launched the GSX-8S, which Suzuki described as “a brand-new naked street fighter with a robust engine, an agile chassis, a suite of rider aids, plus stunning looks with a smart price that’s a statement to your brilliance.” The bike features an all-new, compact 776cc parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree firing order for strong torque production.
Then, this year, Suzuki followed up the GSX-8S with the GSX-8R, an even sportier version of the 8S. The 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R is a fully faired sportbike with uprated suspension, and both bikes–the 8S and 8R–were homologated last week for MotoAmerica’s Twins Cup Championship.
Suzuki’s aim is that the 8S/8R will return their brand once again to dominance in MotoAmerica’s middleweight twin-cylinder class. The SV650 was one of the most race-developed motorcycles in Suzuki’s history, and the 8S/8R is a brand-new canvas upon which tuners, aftermarket race component developers, riders, and teams can express their creativity by exploiting the full race potential of Suzuki’s “pair of eights.”
The Twins Cup season begins at Daytona International Speedway on March 7 through 9. Fresh horses await you, so saddle up.
For the full 2024 MotoAmerica schedule and to purchase tickets for MotoAmerica events, click HERE
For information on how to watch the MotoAmerica series, click HERE