Suzuki GS850 Reviews from United Kingdom

1981 Suzuki GS850

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2010
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired37000 miles
Most recent distance44000 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda CB750

Summary:

If you want reminding of the good old days, ride a GS850

Faults:

Head gasket needed replacing when I first got the bike.

General Comments:

I have owned this bike since 1996, since then I have replaced the seat, petrol tank, and numerous other.

As for the handling, I think for its age, it handles and performs remarkably well.

I have added some nice extras, which I think will be of interest to other Suzuki GS850 owners, namely an oil cooler, an engine oil temperature gauge, and an engine oil pressure gauge.

To see my bike look on youtube at.. Suzuki GS850GT with oil cooler.

Safe biking to you all, regards Mr Rookledge.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th December, 2010

1979 Suzuki GS850

Model year1979
Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 6 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.9 / 10
Distance when acquired24500 miles
Most recent distance26500 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki GS750L

Summary:

Ahead of its time

Faults:

Seat cover needed replacing. Had trouble sourcing the original so settled for 'pattern' replacement ordered from the Internet. First one that arrived was too small. Had trouble convincing the vendor that their records were wrong. I have known this actual bike since it was just a year old so knew that the saddle was original.

When I first got the bike, it had only done about 1000 miles in the last 10 years and been laid up in my mates garage. So it was scruffy and tired. Even though one carb is leaking, it goes really well, apart from a slight hesitation as you pull away from a standing start at low revs. The brakes were woeful too. I changed the rear pads and bled front and back systems. A ride out with a few mates on modern bikes soon had all the pads and discs

beautifully scrubbed off and working at their best! Obviously no match to modern bikes, but good enough for me to have to crush the tank with my knees when I stand on the anchors.

General Comments:

She's a big old lump. Falls round corners and by todays standards has a skinny back tyre. But I love it. It's tall and heavy. It has a choke, points and a feeble headlight. But what the heck? Even two up, she has held her own from the lights against a tricked up scooby (much to the annoyance of the Mrs who was convinced that any further and I would have been going even faster due to less weight on board).

We cruise the motorways comfortably at 80, uphill and down dale mile after mile. When angry it could sound better as it flies round the rev counter, but at low revs when you open the throttle it has a very satisfying grunt and pulls well. A beaut in town so long as you check out your footing before you stop. If this thing starts to fall, you ain't going to stop it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2009

1980 Suzuki GS850

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1981
Most recent year of ownership2008
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 9 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance23000 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki GS750L

Summary:

A big hearted, loyal friend through thick and thin

Faults:

The connecting box on the exhausts rusted through in the first few years.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2008

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 7 reviews