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Suzuki GS 400 (1976-1979)… also nice

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ER Classics Desktop 2022

At one time, the Suzuki GS 400 was a hassle-free everyday bike at the lower end of the mid-range. A conventionally thought and drawn friend to everyone. It was not a motorcycle from the prestige segment of Suzuki, a brand that has always been competitively priced. But with 36 hp and a top speed of about 150 km/h, the little Suzuki was (and is) not a moving traffic barrier. That 150 km/h is not only relevant in our current traffic picture, but also a bit exaggerated. The Suzuki was with a high (standard) handlebar plus two full-grown Dutchmen on the buddy is considerably slower. And often in a lower gear. In addition, the twin likes to be kept on tour.
If you don't milk it completely, the Suzuki also consumes a tight 1 in 20. That will get you in any case about 200 km far.

You spend the time between the fuel stops pleasantly relaxed and comfortable

The flat steering wheel with which the early GSs were delivered gives a nice active driving position. With the later, high steering wheel you drive more touristy, although the block must be kept up to speed. By the way, the buddy is comfortable. In addition, the Suzuki GS 400 is a pleasant dance partner. He steers very lively, but is not nervous. The straight-line stability is also good. The suspension and damping are – when well maintained – also fine by current standards.


Quite a few GSs have been sold

You will also find them here in the Netherlands. Still. Because with normal use, such a small DOHC could easily last a ton before there was serious work to be done. The Suzuki GS 400 is the textbook example of a standing twin that is completely oil-tight. In the beginning, a sump pan sometimes wanted to tear because the drain plug was unnecessarily cruelly tightened. In addition, the Suzukis were usually purchased by decent drivers. The devil is in copies that have been beaten down and rebuilt by the umpteenth owner.

Pay particular attention to a broken, noisy camshaft chain tensioner

Replacing that part is rather time consuming. Check the wiring harness for chafing. They can cause a short circuit. Pay particular attention to the headset and the wiring to the rear light. Mounting the rear light unit in rubber is also a cunning plan. Speedometer cables don't last forever. But if they are not installed neatly, their lives are usually very short.

On the shiny side, the Suzukis were sprayed on behalf of the accountant

Certainly on the frame, the paintwork was of limited stability and as a result rust occurred rather quickly in those parts. The chance that your dream GS still has its original exhausts is fairly limited. The mufflers were also quite susceptible to rust.

The fact that the Suzuki GS 400 does not contribute much to the status of its rider in any case means that the prices are emphatically asking prices and are ultimately on a very people-friendly level. But the GS is riding on the growing popularity of the 400's from Kawa and Honda. The Suzuki is easy to maintain in-house. The range of used parts is good, while many can also be supplied new (but at serious prices).

Also read:
- More stories about classic engines
- Suzuki T500. From superbike to discounted mid-engine
- Suzuki GS1000
- Suzuki GSX-R750. A legend
- Suzuki GT380, Suzuki not so heavy three-cylinder

gs 400 7 folder

gs400 bosuka

Buy as good and original as possible. By the way, we see little local breeding ground in the Bosozoku style

gs 400 8

8 Comments

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  1. This was also my first motorcycle which I bought in 1988 for fl.2250,- at a small motorcycle shop in Rotterdam.
    I've always had problems with this thing, but if I had had a little more money (and knowledge) I would have been a little happier with this. The thing started badly and later I had an oil leak at the head gasket.
    I can't remember how I got off the thing.

  2. This was my first motorcycle in 1984, BJ 1982, these were then imported gray and also had cast wheels. This is how I got my driver's license on my own motorcycle.
    Then you could get a practice permit from the police, put L plate on it and drive away.
    Those were good times.

  3. I have learned with it, but thought it was a branch thing. My BMW R80 that I bought afterwards was so much better to drive…

  4. Sounds like a really sweet bike to ride! Especially in the increasingly busier city traffic. And from 100 km / h on the highway he will not get stressed. Just cruisein'….

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