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.
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