1980 Suzuki GS850

Summary:

The reliability surpasses my highest expectations

Faults:

I should start by saying this bike is stored outside, not far from the ocean.

Valve cover and breather gaskets replaced with aftermarket silicon versions, to stop the slight oil seepage.

Rear shocks replaced due to corrosion.

Starter rebuilt at 45k.

General Comments:

The bike sounds great with the factory 4 into 2 exhaust.

Handles decent, considering the 600lb+ weight.

Big enough for tall people (I'm 6'4").

Majority of parts seem to be very cheap and easy to find.

The seat is not comfortable enough for long rides.

Shim valve adjustment system requires some investment to DIY.

An incredible machine in terms of the mileage some people get out of these.

78 hp stock is not bad, considering what it is.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2012

1982 Suzuki GS850

Summary:

A fun and versatile bike that's reliable

Faults:

Replaced rear shocks at 18K.

Replaced starter motor.

Front end transmission replaced at 20K.

New front fork seals at 18K.

Carb rebuild - just completed.

Mostly just ongoing maintenance things - brake pads, batteries, etc.

General Comments:

This has been a great bike. Bought it used in 1993. Added used Vetter bags (already had a Vetter fairing) and used it as a touring bike for the next 6 years - usually a long trip a year - Nashville to Utah, Nashville to FL, Nashville to Nova Scotia, and numerous trips through the Smokies. Great bike - excellent performer - always getting me home safely.

The bike set for about 7 years after having kids. Had a buddy who replaced my starter and cleaned my carbs - and running like a top again just last week.

It's a great all around bike. Runs good, handles nicely, reasonably economical, reliable and looks good. At one time I thought to sell and buy a Sport Tourer - but think I'm just gonna keep my old girl for a lot longer.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2008

1980 Suzuki GS850

Summary:

Highly reliable bike, with an excellent balance of handling and performance

Faults:

Nothing, zero, runs better than new.

Only items I've had to work on were normal maintenance (i.e. oil, tires, forks, carbs, brakes, lube, etc.). I've enjoyed working on the bike and getting to know its ins and outs.

Carb cleaning, tuning, and synching are very important to keep the bike running 100%. (Synching is not hard, and must be done if you want to feel how your bike is supposed to run).

Replaced my front brake lines with braided SS, and the bike now does stop like hitting a brick wall. I would highly recommend this upgrade: cost $110.

Replaced my valve cover and breather gaskets with Real Gasket silicone lifetime gaskets - again highly recommended - easy, cheap, and no more oil seepage at all.

Replaced my vacuum fuel valve with a manual Pingel valve and in-line filter. I personally like this, but can't recommend it unless you need to rebuild your vacuum fuel valve anyway. When I rebuilt my carbs, the bowls had a lot of sediment - that's the reason for the filter.

Replaced the front springs with pre-loaded Progressive. This again is highly recommended. I don't feel that it changes the handling much (other people disagree), but you won't ever have to fool with the air pressure front forks again.

General Comments:

I love it and will never give it up. Suzuki got it right the first time. Excellent combination of balance, handling, power, acceleration. I use mine as a commuter, and ride it every day I can, weather permitting.

The only complaint I have at all is the seat comfort. For me it is not comfortable for more than about 1 hour. My next mod to the bike will be new seat foam and seat cover.

If you can find one of these bikes in good shape, you should buy it - you won't be sorry. It does look dated, but to me that is a benefit since I'm not trying to look like everyone else on the road.

I believe it is the greatest value in riding out there. And when you're not riding, you can polish all that chrome.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2008

14th Jul 2010, 15:55

Agree completely. I had a 1982 model in 1993, and when I started riding again a few months ago, I hunted down a clean 1980.

Best road bike ever made.