1979 Suzuki GS850G from Republic of Ireland


If they still made them, I'd buy another one


High mileage put on it, so various things wore out - the usual service items like tyres, brake pads, clutch cables, etc.

The only thing that went wrong caused by me was overheating the bike in stop-go city summer traffic; this lead to the piston rings losing their tension when it cooled down, and the next morning there was no compression on any cylinder. It had done well over 120,000 miles at that point, so I wasn't too fussed.

Still, it points out the need for an oil cooler if running one of these in stinking hot conditions - or at least an oil temp gauge and let it cool down from time to time.

That engine needed to come apart to repair a gear-jumping fault caused by the previous owner doing clutchless changes habitually, thus wrecking the dogs on the gears.

When I stripped the engine, I was surprised to find the factory honing marks still in the barrels and absolutely no wear on the barrels or pistons. Apart from the gearbox fault, the bottom end was perfect.

General Comments:

Solid, reliable, bruiser of a tourer, will go all day long, every day of the week and just keeps running.

It's hard to kill one of these if you change the oil every 2000 miles and don't thrash it mercilessly. You don't even have to buy special oil - ordinary motor oil of a decent quality will do fine.

The '79 brakes are utter rubbish in the wet, though. It's a worthwhile investment to fit the later '80-on calipers - they'll bolt straight on and you get the benefit of later pad materials too.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2014

17th Sep 2014, 23:46

I had a 1980 GS850G. I can't agree more with the comments. I already had the better brakes, so it wasn't an issue for me. It was just a solid, everyday performer, if a little on the heavy side. I too would buy another if still available.

1980 Suzuki GS850G from United States of America


One of the best all-around street motorcycles ever made. Should never have sold my first one


Small tear in seat when I bought it (will re-cover the seat).

Slow leak on left fork seal since 32,100, have parts, but not urgent.

General Comments:

This is my second GS850, and first G model. The seat height is a bit high for my 31 inch inseam, but I plan to rectify that when I have the seat rebuilt (I'm looking at a Bill Mayer custom build).

This bike has by far the best seating position of any motorcycle I've ever ridden.

Absolutely reliable even at 30-years-old.

Handles very well for a late 1970s design, though not up to 2010 standards.

Brakes are a bit weak by modern standards, though adequate giving the handling limits of the late 1970s suspension and skinny tires.

This is one luxurious ride. An accurate fuel gauge, self-cancelling turn signals, gear position indicator, huge 5.8 gallon tank and the above-mention comfortable ergos make this one of the best touring bikes of any size.

No real plastic to speak of, this is an honest, real-steel motorcycle that tends to draw admiring glances everywhere it goes, even though it was the most generic of the generic in 1980.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2010

1979 Suzuki GS850G from New Zealand




It's an old bike, so a minor oil leak or two, also diff casing is a bit scruffy. I have a spare diff, which has been polished, but not sure of the condition.

General Comments:

This bike was completely rebuilt from two bikes, and restored to complete concours condition.

It turns heads where ever I go, and I have even had comments from car drivers at traffic lights.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2009

1981 Suzuki GS850G from Canada


All the motorcycle I'll ever need


Any problems with this motorcycle have been caused by normal use and age-related wear.

The most recent was gummed up carbs, caused by lack of use for a couple of years.

General Comments:

Totally reliable over my twenty years of ownership.

Power is totally adequate for my needs.

Handling is very good, with after market fork springs, shocks, braided steel brake lines and Metzeler tires installed always.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2009

12th Dec 2009, 13:44

I also have a 1981 GS850 - bought new in 1984. It has been a good and faithful companion, hauling me to Canada, Kansas, Montana, Utah, Arizona, and all over the west. It now has about 43k miles on it and I can still fire it up and ride anywhere.

I now have a Kawasaki Concours, and while it is much faster and handles better, I'm not quite sure that if my life depended on it, I wouldn't ride the Suzi.

No real problems. These had a history of bad stators, but (knock on wood), I have had no trouble to date. Only problem, same as you, was that I once let it sit for 3 years and the carbs gummed up, and the airbox tubes got as hard as granite, rather than the pliable rubber they once were. Other than that, just the usual tires, brakes, etc.

It still fires up and runs smoother than my Kaw. I don't really need it, but as I said, it has been a good and faithful companion, and I just can't let it go to a stranger who might not appreciate it.