Rider Magazine Retrospective: Suzuki GS1150E: 1985 — 1986

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Retrospective: Suzuki GS1150E: – 1986

Clement Salvadori

9, 2011

story and photography by Salvadori

[This Retrospective: GS1150E: 1985 — was originally published in the May 2011 of Rider magazine]

Year/model: Suzuki GS1150E. Owner: Baker, Los Osos, California.

about … power! baby had it, an unfaired motorcycle more than 100 horses at the wheel. Nothing delicate this model. As the 1985 ad “Four-…, 16-valve DOHC engine with Twin Combustion Chambers (TSCC).

Floater rear suspension remote hydraulic preload Posi-Damp fork with Triple disc brakes.”

power, in a chassis that OK; not great, but OK. The box-section, full-cradle held the motor tightly, the fork providing almost 6 of travel, the single shock 4.5 inches. The rising-rate “Full aspect of the Kayaba shock the wheelbase to 61 inches, 1.6 inches than on the previous GS1100E.

With the gas tank half the weight was a hefty 550 pounds, but if the kept the rear wheel control at the drag strip, it turn the quarter-mile in less 11 seconds and more than 120 Top speed was said to be somewhere on the far of 140 mph.

This was seen as the of the breed of big “standards,” unfaired powered by air-cooled, in-line engines. It had begun with CB750 in 1969, then 900 Z1 in 1973. Suzuki was really the of the Big Four to get on the four-… bandwagon, with excellent two-strokes, the X-6 Hustler in the ’60s, the GT750 Le triple in the ’70s, until the came along in 1977.

be kind and not mention the RE5 Wankel

The GS750 had a great eight-valve engine, and one of the better chassis at the time. This was soon by the GS1000 in 1978. Then the was upped with the 16-valve in 1980—and that “Twin concept.

The GS1000 combustion chambers more or less smooth and in shape, but when the company the number of valves, a lot of time was at the drawing board, figuring to do to ensure the most complete Research showed that if the were agitated properly, it combust better, so little were built in to rough up the With the TSCC in place claimed a 20 percent increase in efficiency.

To appeal to home the 16 valve gaps were with screws and locknuts, not the work involved in replacing a problem when the right was not in the box.

In the early ’80s had be­- gun working on its next the fully faired, pseudo-racer series, but the marketeers felt one more go-round with the GS work. It wouldn’t cost to bore out the cylinders a couple of from 1,074cc to 1,135cc, put on constant-velocity Mikuni carbs, to replace the 34s on the 1100, bigger valves to allow more to pass through, new camshafts, a raised compression ratio, 9.7 vs.

9.5, and Bingo!…10 more The engineers all deserved a bonus for inexpensive redesign.

It was the chassis brought out the genuinely new thinking, and likely the backroom boys to test some ideas they were going to use on the models. Instead of that tubing, the frame was constructed out of aluminum, as was the swingarm, and the engine was higher. Nothing touched in the except the folding footpegs, an aggressive rider could the stock Bridgestones a tad liable to in the corners when in knee-scraping

The 37mm Kayaba fork had a of 28 degrees and, on the stock ended in a 16-inch wheel; 16-inch front-tire size was becoming a highly debated especially after it appeared on 1985 Ninja 600. along the line, this 1150 in the photos got refitted a 19-inch wheel, though the owner has no idea who did it, or why…but he has no about the handling. Another is that a 4-into-1 Vance exhaust has been fitted.

Decent brakes meant dual-piston calipers squeezed on the three discs. This was the (thankfully) era of anti-dive contraptions, and the had Suzuki’s Positive Damping (PDF) system in play; its problem was that the two units had a time discerning between a bump and applying the brakes. four adjustments possible, the rider usually left it at 1, the least intrusive.

Suzuki was hard at the competition and when the saw Kawasaki’s GPz1100, Honda’s CB1100R, and Yamaha’s FJ1100, felt that fairings on motor­cycles were the “in” bringing the bike into the category. As a result, the factory that a half-fairing would be a on this street model. And the 1150 to run down American in 1984 was the GS1150ES—with low handlebars were not terribly well

A little too much vibration the rider, too; nobody knew why, though one was that the fairing itself was of that buzziness problem, its frontal area creating a that enhanced the vibration.

For the model year Suzuki out with the standard version we are at here. Leaving the fairing off was a weight saving of 8 pounds, a saving of about $400—the GS1150E MSRP was $4,400—and higher handlebars. And less

One might think that of such a speedy machine like a little protection the wind, but the truth was—in painful 55-mph era—that riders took to the back where speeds were under 100 mph, and the big bars the rider to muscle the machine the corners.

Comfy saddle, sensible great power, this was one good motorcycle by the go-reasonably crowd. The unreasonable crowd the GSX-R.

Suzuki GS 1150 E
Suzuki GS 1150 E
Suzuki GS 1150 E
Suzuki GS 1150 E

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