For years, the parallel-twin engine design has dominated the affordable midrange displacement segment. Its advantages include relatively compact packaging, low weight, and comparatively low production costs. The dominant manufacturers producing bikes in this class include Yamaha (MT-07, etc.), BMW (F 850 GS, F 900 R, etc.), and KTM (890 Adventure, 890 Duke), while Honda is also preparing a brand-new parallel-twin engine to power the next Hornet and Transalp. One of the few manufacturers that has instead stuck with a high-character V-twin up until now is Suzuki, most recently with the SV650 and V-Strom 650.
But recent spy shots of two camouflaged prototypes indicate that the Hamamatsu manufacturer is preparing a turn to the parallel-twin-engine configuration in the near future. The first models using the new engine are evidently a naked bike and an adventure model, each of which can be seen in the photos here. Both models seem to be completely new motorcycles, a development step Suzuki has avoided taking in recent years.
The engine shows no similarities to existing Suzuki engines. The cylinder size indicates a displacement that we are estimating to be around 800cc. The photographer who snapped the shots reported that the engine sounded like a V-twin, a sign that the inline-twin likely has a 270-degree crankpin offset. This recipe is also used by BMW and KTM, and in particular Yamaha, and is apparently well loved by customers. The frames and chassis of the bikes are also brand-new, while the cockpits feature a new TFT display. Although the styling of the two bikes is still heavily camouflaged, there are elements of the recently updated GSX-S1000 on the naked bike and proven V-Strom elements on the travel enduro.
It’s also quite likely that other models could join the new family of models. Of course, we can only speculate as to the nature and focus of those models, but looking at Yamaha’s middleweight parallel-twin-powered range we find the naked MT-07, the Ténéré 700 adventure bike, the XSR700 Café Racer, and the YZF-R7 sportbike. It’s no stretch to assume Suzuki might go head-to-head against those very successful models.
Despite their camouflage, both bikes appear to be close to production-ready. We expect them to be unveiled as 2023 models in the very near future.