Suzuki GS850GL Review

1982 Suzuki GS850GL from United States of America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership2009
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 7 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha XS750

Summary:

All in all, this GS850GL is a workhorse, has taken a lot of hard miles and still comes back for more

Faults:

Replaced a number of broken tach cables.

My head gasket blew at 48,000 miles.

Replaced all engine gaskets (still seeps at times).

Replaced voltage regulator.

Replaced all brake lines and clutch cable as a preventive measure after 15 years.

Speedometer started screeching at 52,000 miles, replaced front hub unit with a used one - this fix worked for 100 miles, after which I disconnected it for a few years -- with a lot of WD-40 and a drill (to spin the mechanism), the speedometer has now worked quietly for the last 2 years.

General Comments:

I'm happy to say that while this is the third motorcycle that I've owned, it is the most fun to ride, and all the miles belong to me.

While it is garage kept most times, there are a number of miles put on the bike in downpours, freezing weather, and trips where it has stayed outside under a not so weatherproof cover.

The modifications so far: replaced the stock handlebars; added a Vetter fairing with removable lowers; added a rear luggage rack; and upgraded the rear shocks.

This bike has gone thru a lot of tach cables, some because one end or the other would vibrate loose, but I guess the latest dealer fix works, since it's now been 4 years.

The bike does have a bit of vibration when it runs, which tends to cause the head bolts to loosen - this oil seepage, and most likely caused a head gasket failure at 48,000 miles.

I have to say this is not the most comfortable bike, seating position or vibration wise.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2009

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 1 review