1978 Suzuki GS1000 from United States of America


Despite the electrical system, this is an amazing motorcycle


The regulator/rectifier were dead upon receipt of the bike, however the stator was in good shape.

The engine was rebuilt at 20,000 miles by a previous owner who did not know what he was doing, and therefore loses compression and will eventually die.

The tachometer has died at 26,000 miles. Looking at the cable reveals a previous attempt to repair it was made, however the cable needs to be replaced.

The bike came with a terrible low end solid state ignition. It has been replaced with a better one.

Rust is a problem. The gas tank was rusted when I received the bike, and has since been coated, however more rust is finding its way into hidden spots.

General Comments:

As stated above, someone who was less than competent rebuilt the engine and bored the cylinders too wide. Thus, the engine randomly loses compression and will eventually fail.

I received this bike from my friend for free as it was not running. After quite a bit of repairs, and a valve job to compensate as much as possible for the compression loss, the bike does run very admirably.

Acceleration is top notch. I am surprised at how fast this bike picks up speed, especially considering the era from which it came. Even today it is faster than all but high end sports cars. An ad I came across claims the bike will do a quarter mile in 11.8 seconds, but I don't believe mine is as quick as stock. Nevertheless, it performs well.

The bike is also pretty good on gas. I average 40 miles per gallon. The absolute worst gas mileage I've attained is 37 mpg, and the best so far is 46mpg.

The bike also handles quite well. Given its 600 pounds of weight, one might think it would be hard to turn, however leaning into turns is easy and natural, and tight turns are no problem. Despite the bike's size and weight, which can be very intimidating, it is easily tamed by even a novice rider. Confidence is quickly gained in the bike's ability.

As for comfort, I have a bit of a problem, but perhaps it's just me. It seems no matter how I sit, after more than 20 miles I get a pain in the mid section of my back. I attempt to adjust my posture to no avail. I haven't had this problem on other bikes, however it is a minor problem for as soon as I get off the pain stops. Perhaps a different saddle would be in order to fix it. At this point it would be pertinent to note that the bike does not have its stock saddle.

Finally, I'd like to comment on the bike's looks. The bike performs comparable to a sport bike, albeit with a much lower top speed of 140mph. However, the bike looks more like a cruiser. Its looks can be defined as those of a "standard" motorcycle, which there aren't enough of today. This means that the GS 1000 is the perfect bike for somebody who wants the power, but not the tacky appearance of most modern sports bikes.

In any case, if you're offered one of these bikes, beware the rectifier/regulator problems for they are well-reputed. If you do get one, have the rectifier and regulator replaced. Other than that, the engine is virtually indestructible as long as proper maintenance is performed, and nearly 30 years after its birth it is still a competitive performer.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th September, 2007

6th Jan 2011, 17:05

Hi, I have 1978 Suzuki GS1000E & I've been riding this bike for last 32 years, and beside my GS, I have some other bikes as well, but GS1000E IS #1 for me; smooth, fast and powerful. Honestly, over 32 years, having the same bike is no joke. Just perfect :-)

27th Apr 2021, 01:10

Yes I have to agree with you. I've had mine for 25 years, and me and that girl have been through a lot with three restorations, because the first two I didn't like, and then finally I got it to where I like it.

I completely went through this bike. It's a 78 GS1000 c, which if you know the GS1000, you know the c model has spoke rims. I changed it and put mags on it; used the front shocks off of a GS1000l in the rear. The tire is a smaller tire on the GS1000; now it's got a 17 instead of an 18. I'd like to send a pic of it cuz if you're a GS1000 lover I think you would like it. It gets a lot of heads turning, and it only took me 10 years to get it the way I've got it now. I've got 2014 Harley-Davidson Fatboy, and if you have to make me choose, it would be the 78 Suzuki GS1000 all week long and twice on Sunday.