I bought this machine, it's a black 850G, new in 1981. I never set out to keep it nigh on 30 years, but it just became part of my life.
I ran it daily for the first five or six years, and then the demands of bringing up a family caused it to be put away for a few years. It has reemerged from time to time in the last twenty years to enjoy the occasional year in the sun. She always fires up straight away and forgives you for keeping her waiting. I've ridden 500 miles in one day without any problem at all.
I've recently cleared the accumulation of junk and boxes that piled up on top of it in the garage and got it our again. A new set of plugs and caps, and a degrease, and she is as beautiful as ever, and purring like a panther.
I fitted a Motad 4 into one some time ago, which gives it a lovely bassy sound, that turns to a howl at speed. I've also fitted higher bars, which I think more suits its colossal stature and gives more comfort and control.
It's a big old cruiser, you need strong arms at a quarter of a metric tonne, and long legs to handle it when stationary or at low speeds. 850 doesn't sound big compared to the massive CCs available today, but it's a big meaty engine that pulls its weight and anyone on it with ease.
I think the GS is a lovely machine, it ticks all the boxes that a real motorcycle should. It looks great and is way fast enough. It's a bike that has to be ridden with some thought and input; it won't do the handling for you.
It was described as a muscle bike in its day, and set new standards for reliability, cherry picking the best in-line 4 ideas from Honda and Kawasaki. They don't make them like that anymore.