1977 Suzuki GS750 — Classic Suzuki Motorcycles

25 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1977 Suzuki GS750 — Classic Suzuki Motorcycles отключены
Suzuki GS 50

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1977 Suzuki

Years produced:  1977-1979

Claimed power:  60.7hp @

Top speed:  119mph (period

Engine type:  748cc DOHC inline four

Weight  506lb (230kg)

Price  $2,195

Price now:

MPG:  37.8mpg (period

In the mid-1970s, something unusual was passed around American motorcycle dealerships, with shops being offered the to test an unbadged Suzuki-built inline four. A 4-…? Suzuki? Yes, a 4-…, Suzuki, and it would set a new course for the company.

This lead to the of the 1977 Suzuki GS750 a classic Suzuki motorcycle.

Tom was the sales manager at a Suzuki in central California at the time, and he the testing program started at as far back as 1974. “I got to ride one in of 1975,” Tom remembers. “It was unbelievable. The was fantastic, close to Triumph. It like a Triumph TR6.

You do anything you wanted on one, and I The other dealers and I, we ran the s*** out of

Suzuki was in trouble, having bet the on a very expensive experiment, the RE-5 Rotary introduced in which was clearly failing. The RE5 was supposed to represent the future of but while the press loved it, the didn’t. The RE5 Rotary asted two years, and Suzuki’s huge in rotary engineering had to be written It almost sank Suzuki.

Wary of making a fatal Suzuki was collecting data on its

Building on a foundation

Up to this Suzuki’s engineering forte was in 2-strokes. Suzuki introduced the Suzuki GT750. a water-cooled triple, in 1971, but knew the of the “Water Buffalo” (as it was known on the were numbered thanks to tightening emissions regulations in the and Europe.

Even before the RE-5 Rotary, Suzuki had determined the company needed a flagship road bike in its and it had to be the best on the market. With the experience of the giant hole in finances that had been by trying to be futuristic, Suzuki’s turned 180 degrees and decided to a conservative 4-… inline design. The basic parameters for a bike that performed on the but not at the expense of reliability.

Designing first 4-… must been nerve-racking for Suzuki who didn’t have the breadth of in that arena as the engineers at or even Kawasaki. Rumors at the time that Suzuki had a lot from the Kawasaki 900, as the Suzuki mill and the Kawasaki 900 had overhead camshafts and the same timing, valve angles and sizes.

And even if Suzuki copy directly from there’s no denying its engine was a refinement of prior ideas a new concept. Starting at the bottom a 9-piece crankshaft supported by bearings and driving an aluminum the short-… engine had chain-driven overhead cams and aluminum with pressed in cast liners, all of which was accepted practice for a modern high-revving

There were admittedly differences. The Kawasaki had taller ratios, a unique exhaust and different frame geometry. It was considerably heavier. Plus, the swingarm pivoted on caged bearings instead of the Kawasaki’s inserts.

Any copying from if indeed it existed, stopped the GS’ engine, and even there exhibited independent thought.

of intelligent and user-friendly design was through the engine. The clutch could be removed without the cases, the cam chain tensioner was and valves were adjusted by that could be popped out a simple tool.

About years after the first were drawn, Suzuki decided its new four was ready for the eye. The rollout was as carefully as the motorcycle. Cycle Magazine was an exclusive, with a tester to Japan to sample the new model.

test went well, and a press intro took in July 1976, when six writers were introduced to GS750s on a riding route spanned 700 scenic miles of Idaho and Montana.

The assembled raved. The GS750 started was quiet, didn’t vibrate, and was at high speeds. “This 750 like no other stock 750 made and promises to capture a share of this popular declared Rider magazine’s McCarty.

Better than a

Bikes finally hit U.S. showrooms in late 1976. Tom remembers that the people to the California Suzuki dealership he then worked were buying dirt bikes.

We five dirt bikes for street bike. Most of our collar customers wanted bikes. We put on club rides to interest in street bikes.

the Suzuki GS showed up, most of our bike customers were Water Buffaloes or the T-500 The Water Buffaloes were the of our big bike market, even they barked and ran unevenly at low We called them ‘buck

Suzuki GS 50
Suzuki GS 50

Many of Tom’s customers the motorcycle magazines of the day, followed up on their initial previews of the Suzuki GS with road tests. “All wants to do is to sell lots of to people who have not bought Suzuki before,” explained World, adding, “Suzuki to do it by offering a quiet, tasteful which is also the quickest and 750 on the market.”

To further asses the new merits, Cycle Guide a Kawasaki KZ1000 against the GS.  “Who in his right would compare a 750 to a 1000?” the writer, who then proceeded to the comparison was more than pointing out that on the quarter-mile strip, the Suzuki was only a second and 2mph slower the much larger KZ.

Given the Kawi had about 250cc displacement to play with, the stacked up well. The Kawasaki was and got better gas mileage, but the Suzuki better and had better brakes. Guide concluded, “We rate Suzuki GS] as THE best-handling Japanese street bike.”

There some minor niggles, Testers objected to the single that acted as a safety on the electrical system, and suggested additional fuses be incorporated to the bike’s electrics. And the flimsy that locked over the gas could conceal the fact the rider forgot to replace the leading to fuel slopping out the tank.

“When the Suzuki GS up, we had customers coming over Honda,” Tom remembers. “The GS was the and best of the 1976 and 1977 Fours. The KZ Kawasaki was a formidable foe for the GS. It was fast, but it was also heavy.”

The people who came to Tom’s to buy GS Suzukis were mostly and white collar workers, and Tom he sold a lot of GS750s to guys in mid-30s, most of whom had other motorcycles before bought their GS. “Younger were buying RD350 Tom says. “They wanted to go and that was about it. The people who GS Suzukis read the magazines and attracted by the all-around performance of the They liked the styling; it the bike look a lot lighter it was. It wasn’t cheap — the price was $2,200, a lot of money in days.”

Tom liked the new Suzuki GS so he set aside two for himself, one to ride and the to be left in its crate. “It had a good overhead cam and it felt good. It like a motorcycle.” It was also a well-earned reputation the Suzuki GS to this day.

One Saturday, as a Tom fired up a new Suzuki GS at his dealership and it for an hour. “It just colored the he recalls. “I got on it the next day and rode hundred miles with no The only warranty problem Tom involved the stator on some models: A wire to the charging would break on some It was a minor repair to fix, and soon found a cure for the

The standard GS750 burbled happily and successfully for two years. test reports complained of an sensitive” rear brake, so reduced the size of the rear disc, and a dual-disc front came along within a of the first bikes on the market. iterations of the basic GS750 offered through the end of the decade, and in 1980 Suzuki debuted a update of the GS750 engine; the 8-valve engine was bumped up to and continued on to 1984.

Owning one today

Even any 8-valve Suzuki GS750 is at 30 years old, these are that can still get their to work during the week and them out for a fun ride on the weekend. “It It’s smooth, fast, and it when you need it to. Not only Tom says, “but it’s a pleaser wherever I stop, and I have to work on it!”

It really take much to a good Suzuki GS running Tom says. “A Suzuki GS doesn’t eat or chains when ridden in a orderly manner,” he explains. “I to use the original 630 chain, a big monster, and 490 tires.” However, like 1970s and 1980s motorcycles, a needs to have its oil changed frequently than usually for on today’s bikes. Tom suggests engine oil every 3,000 or once a year, whichever first.

Once properly the GS’ four 26mm Mikuni generally require nothing than the occasional new air filter, and Tom the ignition points can generally be set and That said, Tom recommends the bike frequently: “You to run the bike at least once a or the gas turns to shellac.”

Tom says the has a dual power band, strongly to 6,000rpm, and then: a small flat spot, and power comes on again before 6,500rpm and the bike like gangbusters. The bike run well past 9,500rpm, so is no point revving past

Tom finally uncrated the new Suzuki he had set aside in the Seventies in 1999. It had miles on it and had never been It won the prize for Best Unrestored at the West Coast AMA Vintage shortly afterward, and he started it in Classic Japanese Motorcycle events in 2001.

The bike, now with 5,500 on the clock, has kept its good

“I have almost 40 bikes,” Tom “This is the best motorcycle I ever owned. I love my old and Triumphs, but this GS was way ahead of its and fun to ride. I have never without a GS750 Suzuki 1977. In my 60-plus riding this is the best motorcycle I ever owned.” MC

Variations on a

Suzuki’s GS750 — in fact entire GS line of 4-strokes — was an hit from the time the first started rolling out of dealer in late 1976. Smarting from the RE-5 fiasco, was quick to capitalize on its new-found with the GS series, and started variations on the basic GS750 immediately.

The wire-wheeled GS750 a single disc brake and rear was quickly followed in 1977 with mag-wheeled employing both single and front wheels, and there was a limited-production Police Special single-disc mag wheels. Europeans got own version with wire and the twin-disc front, a variation never made it to U.S. A chopper-esque special, the L, was introduced in equipped with twin-disc as well. The original 8-valve ended with the 1979 year, at least in the U.S. the introduction of the new 16-valve version; the engine soldiered on powering home market versions 1983. — Richard Backus

Suzuki GS 50
Suzuki GS 50
Suzuki GS 50
Suzuki GS 50
Suzuki GS 50


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