Suzuki GS1000SN (1979)

After finally flogging the Yamaha and ditching motorbike courier work, I bought this machine in rather neglected condition. (I had always fancied one of these after seeing one in the front window of a Sydney motorcycle wrecker. It had been dredged out of the harbour, and was still encrusted with coral and weed. Funny the things that inspire us. What ever happened to this machine? Update on it here.)

Anyway I got my GS home and I was all stoked with my purchase until the wretched battery never seemed to have the ooompf required to crank the engine over. This was my rude introduction (and they are always rude) to Suzuki GS electrics. I had the stator rewound and popped in a new reg/rect. unit, and never had any zap problems after that. I also found the engine was burning enough oil to attract OPEC sponsorship, but I turned the sheikhs down and opted for for a top-end rebuild instead. A set of new exhaust valve guides, some fresh valve-stem seals, and a light hone with a new set of rings saw everything back in shape.

Before our kids came on the scene, with the help of my father-in-law I made up this trailer (below) for the GS, and my wife and I did couple of camping trips down to the southwest corner of Western Australia. This is certainly the way to go touring if you want to take a heap of gear. I only sold the trailer recently (Dec. 2005) as it was sitting unused in the weather, quietly deteriorating.

So how did the GS1000S handle the open road with a pillion and about 200kg in tow? Not too badly, I think — although if you tried taking fast highway sweepers at anything over 110kph the whole plot would get a slow wallow happening. Not wanting to 'tempt fate' I never did try and see what would happen if you went faster!

Anyway, over the three or so years I had this bike, I did heaps of work on it... fixed the rust in the tank (see pic below), reconditioned the front forks & brakes, re-upholstered the seat, new exhaust system, etc. But in the end I got tired of wiring gremlins and sold the old girl. I have now come to regard this as the greatest mistake of my biking life. Anyway I then moved on to the GPz900. After having a good 7-year run on the GPz900, it was time to start hunting around for another GS1000S, but they are hard to find in un-stuffed condition. And so it was that I bought the Katana as an atonement. This was followed just recently (Sept. 2006) by the purchase of a 1980 GS1000S.

Yes... I did wonder why rust sediment kept on turning up in the carbs! When I cleaned out the tank, what did I find but about 1/2 a litre of rusty water. Appropriately, I deposited it in the old bed pan you see here.

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