1978 Suzuki GS1000 — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

21 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1978 Suzuki GS1000 — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
Suzuki GS 1000 E

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1978 Suzuki

Years produced:  1978-1980

power:  74.5hp @ 8,000rpm (period

Top speed:  135mph (period

Engine type:  997.4cc air-cooled four


Price then:  $2,749

now:  $1,000-$3,000

The Suzuki traces its history back to when Suzuki launched its GS of 4-cylinder, 4-… bikes. classic Suzuki motorcycles often been hailed as the Japanese motorcycles that handled well. Tom Murphy was to a GS on the back roads of Japan and never owned anything

“I bought my first GS model — a — when I was stationed in Japan,” Tom “and I’ve been on GSs ever since. I toured Mt. on that bike.

The countryside was and the roads and I got along fine. The problem was the speed limit was — about 30mph — and I got a very speeding ticket.”

When his term of service in was over, Tom was transferred back to the but he had to sell his Japanese-spec GS before he Once settled in the U.S. he purchased another GS750, but it was shortly after he bought it. He gave up motorcycling to raise a

The years rolled by, and about the Tom’s daughter went to gas prices had really started to “I mentioned to my wife that by motorcycle would save a lot of Tom explains. “She surprised me — she yes. I didn’t have to or anything!”

Not believing his good Tom immediately started searching and a 1980 Suzuki GS1100. bike is still his daily “I was afraid it would be too big for me, but it rode and as good as the 750s I remembered.” It was the start of Tom’s GS collection, is beginning to fill the garage.


The GS was Suzuki’s first 4-…, and it was in many ways a Suzuki: a dependable bike excellent riding manners. the start of motorcycle production in the Fifties, Suzuki always engineering. The factory built reliable motorcycles during its three decades, but a string of Prix and offroad victories the same time period that reliable did not necessarily slow.

Suzuki’s first road-going twin, a 500, in 1967. Like previous it was a 2-…, very reliable, but not stylish. It was followed in 1971 by the 2-… triple.

This popular machine, soon gained the nickname of Buffalo” in the United States and in England, was powerful, reliable and a daily rider.

At this Suzuki decided to try a very experiment. The development of the rotary ignited huge excitement manufacturers around the world, and decided to license the technology for rotary engines, resulting in the rotary-engined Suzuki RE-5. in 1974 to great fanfare, it was a

It looked strange, and the engine — lots of rpms, lots of and a weird exhaust note — some getting used to. It help that it guzzled at a time when fuel was increasingly expensive, and used up spark plugs ($31.75 at an astounding rate. In late Suzuki stopped production of the and ate its losses, which were in the of millions.

Before Suzuki the RE-5 experiment, the company it needed a backup plan. to market pressures and encroaching concerns, 2-strokes, up until Suzuki’s mainstay, were the way of the dinosaur. The logical choice was to a 4-…, but the challenge was building one would stand out in an increasingly market.

Suzuki decided to a bike that was not only and reliable, but one that also well, like the bikes by its European competitors.

GS beginnings

The Suzuki engineers to work, and came up with the GS750. which first in public view in October It was a well-built, reliable motorcycle, of comfortable, fast back touring. Although its styling particularly exciting, its solid made it a big seller and it revived the fortunes at a very difficult

Building on the 750’s success, the GS1000 appeared in late The combination of air-assisted front a stiff chassis and adjustable Kayaba rear shocks for an above-average ride around the of twisties, despite a longish wheelbase. By comparison, a same Moto Guzzi 850 stretched 58

Contemporary journalists praised the comfortable seat, excellent delivery and handling, and its good Suzuki clearly had racing in when it designed the GS1000, migrated to the track shortly it was introduced. The best fit for the liter-size in mid-Seventies racing was the new Superbike and a young racer named Wes turned both Superbike and the GS1000 into major

Suzuki GS 1000 E

Wes popped wheelies, smoked and flamboyantly won races aboard a GS by the legendary “Pops” Yoshimura.

the benefit of success, Suzuki building offshoots of the GS line, a shaft-driven version that well to touring-oriented riders, in Europe. Profits from the GS enabled Suzuki to climb out of the it had dug itself into with the As testimony to the engine’s solid the GS series soldiered on until gaining oil then liquid along the way before finally phased out.

Tom’s 1978 Suzuki

Tom found the bike featured on Craigslist. “It was not only good but also restorable,” Tom remembers. of the original equipment was there. was a custom seat, and custom on the bike, but the owner had saved the pipes. He had put British emblems on it and steel brake lines.” One to this find was its low serial “It was one of the first GS1000s Suzuki built December 1977,” Tom “I bought the bike and started to work.”

Tom was also working on a hot rod GS1000 at the same time, and he found a stock seat, the seat went on the hot rod. The was a problem, but then Tom found a set of pipes and mufflers on eBay. were beautiful — and I paid he says. The resulting empty were only temporary, as Tom around and sold all the extra enabling him to make back a lot of his

At this point, the only parts on this GS are the braided brake lines.

Although Tom his GSs, he admits they a few quirks. The valves need adjusting, which is done shims that aren’t available from the local but they are available by mail with a little searching. the four carburetors is a bit of a chore, but done right, Tom says, stay synched.

Tom adds that his Suzuki is cold blooded, and takes a to warm up. “I start the bike, and it on half choke while I put my and gloves on,” he explains. “By the I hit the second light, it’s I put modern tires on the bike — are reminiscent of the era, but they to the road.”

When it comes to Tom has no complaints. “This bike is It has plenty of power, and I can zip in and out of traffic. On the it’s running 75-80mph at and loafing — it’s got plenty to give at those speeds.”

most Japanese fours of era, the Suzuki is enjoyable in the “I can dance on the bike,” says “It loves the twisties, this handles so well. We just the hills.” And it stops pretty too. “The brakes are but the single front disc some getting used Tom adds.

“I first fell in with Suzukis in the Seventies,” Tom “They fit me. Suzukis have let me down. I sometimes look at my and think, how many have the last 30 years, how many are out I’m proud to have a survivor.”  MC 


“Suzuki wins The Sense Award for boosting the up, keeping the weight down and that superbikes with engines should also be handlers.” — Cycle Guide, 1978

“During hard, fast the GS1000 is sheer brilliance for a transverse-engined, four-cylinder, 83hp mostly because it feels and nimbler than the other fours.” — Cycle Guide, 1978

“Pitch it down, it, twitch it, swoop it – the GS1000 exactly what it’s without any wobble or wallow.” — World, February 1978

GS1000 is damn near It does everything well, makes it unique, and it doesn’t much money, which it a charm.” — Cycle, March

“The Suzuki GS1000 is so so precise, so forgiving and so predictable it’s hard to understand how we survived the Neolithic machines of our — Cycle World, March

“Technologically, the GS1000 is a landmark It represents the first time … an existing Japanese motorcycle has successfully re-engineered with two factors uppermost on the priority handling and light weight.” — Guide, March 1978

Suzuki GS 1000 E
Suzuki GS 1000 E
Suzuki GS 1000 E


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