Suzuki GS650GL Review

1981 Suzuki GS650GL from Canada

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 kilometres
Most recent distance88000 kilometres
Previous motorcycleYamaha XT250 TN

Summary:

Most reliable and strongest running bike Suzuki made

Faults:

GS650GL with Shaft-drive

Restoration work (carbs, filters, cleaning, brakes, etc.)

Electrical charging malfunction common to the GS line of bikes. It's due to the 3rd phase of the alternator being disconnected when the headlight is turned off to save energy, but this unbalances the 3-phase system, burning out the stator (alternator windings), and if left unchecked will take out the regulator/rectifier, battery and coils too.

Solution: Replace parts as required, and then solder the light on/off switch to permanently on, and solder the 3rd phase wires to be permanently connected. (Good idea to have your lights on all the time anyways). This is a fix for all 80's GS bikes that suffer the charging fault.

Did have to tap & die a new slightly larger oil drain bolt thanks to an over-tightening once. Easy job, 1/2 hour.

Nothing else wrong with this bike ever!

General Comments:

This motorcycle has to date been one of the most reliable and bulletproof machines I have ever had the pleasure of owning and riding. I ride hard, and this bike has never complained.

I have also had one spectacular crash (bike flipping, me flying), and aside from broken handlebars, it fired right up and rode just fine.. a few scratches, but that was all.

Has also survived being hit in an intersection, as I rode the bike home afterwards with a broken ankle. But exhaust and foot peg had to be replaced this time.

Still runs like a champ, and will catwalk if nicely asked.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2007

22nd Apr 2012, 20:50

Can you give any insight into the exact details of how to solder the light switch to permanently on?

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 1 review