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Suzuki GS 1000. Also the best Japanese four-cylinder.

Also the best Japanese four-cylinder: The Suzuki GS1000

According to good sources, that is the best Japanese air-cooled four-cylinder. Just like the CB750, the FJ 1200 and some other Tigers of the Year. Does not matter. A beautiful Suzuki GS 1000 is a classic topper from the time when technology was not yet about software.

The fact that Suzuki only entered this branch of service later, ensured that they could learn from the predecessors. But the same mythological recognition that some of those others got? Well nah. The 1000 cc Suzuki was just very good. Any further news?


In terms of looks, they were even slightly conventional compared to their contemporaries. Ordinary 'UJM's? Universal Japanese Motorcycles? With an obligatory four in line? No, we are doing an injustice to the products from Hamamatsu. Because in their time they were technically absolute toppers. The best 1000 cc machines of their time. No doubt. Certainly the Suzuki GS 1000 was a good-natured brute. Civilized, reliable, strong and, compared to its peers and contemporaries, very good steering.

A recent test in an English magazine even reported that the fat Suzuki was significantly less dangerous at high speed than Honda's CBX and Yamaha's XS 1100! That Suzuki GS 1000 was presented in the fall of 1977 in Paris. The engine was based on the GS 750. With a stroke of 70 instead of 56,4 mm and light compared to the competition. The redesigned 1000 cc block was even lighter than its example, the 750 cc block. Depending on the export version, the power was between 83-90 hp. In Canada, for example, the four-cylinder received its feed via 26 instead of 28 mm Keihin carburetors. For environmental reasons, of course. The 'E' version in the photos (1978-1979) was specified for 90 hp at 8200 rpm and a torque of 87 Nm at 6500 rpm. From 1980 these 100 cc machines got electronic ignition. The luxury on board was provided by a gear indicator and a fuel gauge in the cockpit. But otherwise such a GS 1000 was a beautiful and lovingly finished machine.

The ex-owner of our photo model has his eye on another motorcycle after all these years of cherishing it. Something lighter. On a Suzuki. A GSXR 750 H. A very young thing from 1987. Our Suzuki GS 1000 hadn't run for ages and caused some sweat on the forehead of the battery when starting. He started with difficulty and began to walk erratically. After a minute out of five that went much better. During our test drive, the GS woke up all over again and showed how much it loved to be let out again. The block regained its legendary beautiful engine run. Indeed, the machine felt convincing as if the mileage of 35D km had not been a typo. Like New! But compared to modern engines, it is as outdated as smoking for a school class.

Yet we dreamed away. Friday afternoon after work via the highway to Charleroi-Philipeville. Then inland to Couvin and Nismes. Then frolic on the secondary roads for two days and back home… Because the Suzuki GS 1000 is still a motorcycle from the time before 'naked' became a concept. From the days when it was 'naked or nothing'. And at 140+ you are in a terrible way. The fact that the garage is already full and there is a veto on storing motorcycles in the living room shook us up again.

Go for the original

The Suzuki GS1000s were, according to the wishes of the time and the taste of their owners, adapted according to the familiar recipe. Sporty with a 'lop-eared steering wheel' plus a 4 in 1, or touristy with cockpit and suitcases. At the moment it is still the case that it is better to go for the top and originality. To choose a copy that is as perfect as possible. At the lower end of the market, where prices are low, free thinkers see such a Suzuki GS 1000 as the basis for a café racer (or - how do they get the idea - for a scrambler or a bratstyle bobber) .

In England, the toppers are available with asking prices up to around six grand. That's funny. Here you can buy just what you want between 800-4.500 euros. And if you buy a nice and good one, you will never have to buy another motorcycle for the rest of your life.

This engine has already found a new owner. Where he hibernates in the hall.

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Also the best Japanese four-cylinder: The Suzuki GS1000
A GS1000 can be very cheap

5 Comments

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  1. The problem of space for hobbies and a potential divorce soon collide. And also spacious marriages are in danger if such a hobby involves something bigger than stamps. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is infested with relationship rescuers, or at least let you pay for them, but marriage-with-hobbies seems to me to be in better hands with such a junk coach, or what is such a person called?

    • We are considering a subscription AutoMotorKlassiek propose and suggest within the relationship that the male half – or in news speech “the most masculine half” urinate sitting down and clean the toilet once a week

  2. Bought one 10 years ago. I've had a lot of misery. Lots of money spent on parts and repairs. When it ran well it went like a rocket but every time 1 or 2 spark plugs went through. Of all the misery but done away with, of course, for far too little.

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