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Suzuki GS1000G/GL model history
1980-1982

I have tried to tell the history of the different Suzuki GS 1100 G models on this page the best I know how. I would be grateful of any contributions — sales brochures, magazine ads, magazine articles, pictures, specs, facts, corrections etc. Please scan the material in JPEG format (large enough that all the details are visible) and send them to me. Please tell me the source and the publication date if possible. If you send me pictures of your own bike, please follow these instructions.

Suzuki 1980More Suzuki models from 1980
1980 Suzuki year code: T


A shaft-driven heavy weight tourer, GS1000G, fitted with a 22 liter (5.8 US gal) fuel tank was introduced in May 1980 as a 1980 year's model (GS1000GT). Except for cosmetic differences and the shaft drive, the GS1000G had a lot in common with the rest of the GS1000 model family. Manufactured between 1980 and 1982.

By the time the 16-valve 1100cc engine was developed, replacing the 8-valve 1000cc four, Suzuki was also building a sports tourer with shaft drive, based on the GS750 engine. In Japan you could choose between the GS750G or GS850G but the rest of the world could buy the 850cc version, starting from 1979. It sold well but many customers wished that Suzuki had used the more powerful 1000cc instead.

They didn't have to wait that long. The GS1000G came the following year. Parts of the engine were similar to the GS1000E engine and parts of it came from the GS850G. The cylinders, cylinder head, pistons and carburetors came from the GS1000E, and so did even the whole big end, apart from the primary transmission, that was modified.

The gearbox comes from the GS850G, the only difference being that couple of the sprockets are hardened to stand against the higher torque. The GS1000G overall gearing ratios are higher compared to the GS850G, depending on a different sprockets between the gearbox and the shaft.

Suzuki put a lot of effort and in money in developing a shaft drive that didn't have the negative effect the shafties always had, lifting the rear end when accelerating, and managedquite well. ”It is actually the first shaft driven motorcycle we have ridden that feels like it was chain driven”, a reporter from a Swedish bike magazine wrote back in the early eighties.

As its chain driven sister, even the touring model had advanced suspension of the big brother was more advanced, using 37mm Kayaba air and oil dampened front fork and Kayaba rear shocks. The model had 275mm (10.8 in) twin disc at the front and similar single disc at the rear. The front brake was considered excellent in 1980 but the rear brake was almost too efficient, making it too easy to lock the rear wheel.

The claimed maximum power output is the same for the chain and shaft drive machines but there is a difference between the models. The GS1000G has different exhausts and the maximum torque is gained at lower revs. That, and the air filter system from the smaller GS850G results to slightly lower power output, compared to the GS1000E.

Available in Blue, Black or Red.

'78 GS1000E GS-1000E GS1000 GS-1000GS 1000 G 1980
Overall Length: 2 300 mm (90.6 in)
Overall Width: 905 mm (35.6 in)
Overall Height: 1 260 mm (49.6 in)
Seat Height: 800 mm (31.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 525 mm (60.0 in)
Ground Clearance: 155 mm (6.1 in)
Dry Weight: 250 kg (550 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 997 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 90 ps (66 kW)/ 8.500 rpm, 8,0 kg-m/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.

Suzuki introduced another shaftie in 1980 fitting a shaft drive the GS1000L. GS1000GL used the same mechanics as the GS1000G but borrowed the style of the GS1000L with smaller fuel tank, high handlebars and stepped seat. Notice the different front fork.

GS1000GL was manufactured between 1980 and 1982.
'78 GS1000E GS-1000E GS1000 GS-1000GS1000GL 1980
Overall Length: 2 275 mm (89.6 in)
Overall Width: 900 mm (35.4 in)
Overall Height: 1 230 mm (48.4 in)
Wheelbase: 1 500 mm (59.1 in)
Ground Clearance: 150 mm (5.9 in)
Dry Weight: 250 kg (551 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 997 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 90 ps (66 kW)/ 8.500 rpm, 8,0 kg-m/ 7.500 rpm.

The picture shows the GS1000L.

Suzuki 1981More Suzuki models from 1981
1981 Suzuki year code: X

The shaft-driven model now being the only one liter GS model with an eight-valve engine, the '81 GS1000GX was presented in January 1981. Some minor modifications: new-designed seat, influenced by the custom model (GS1000GL) and especielly the '77 pre-launch GS1000 seat. Black rectangular indicator heads instead of chromed ones.

As you can see in the pictures below, the American model (the red one) had higher handlebars than the European version (black/blue).

There's still some specs I need help with. Anyone?

Here's some GS1000G magazine ads.
'81 GS1000G GS-1000G GS1000 GS-1000GS 1000 G 1981
Overall Length:
Overall Width:
Overall Height:
Wheelbase: 1 525 mm (60.0 in)
Dry Weight: 247 kg (543 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 997 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 90 ps (66 kW)/ 8.500 rpm, 8,0 kg-m/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Here's even larger picture.
'81 GS 1000 G GS-1000G GS1000 GS-1000GS1000G 1981
Overall Length:
Overall Width:
Overall Height:
Seat Height: 813 mm (32.0 in)
Wheelbase: 1 500 mm (59.1 in)
Dry Weight: 247 kg (543 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 997 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 90 ps (66 kW)/ 8.500 rpm, 8,0 kg-m/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Here's even larger picture.
'81 GS1000GL GS-1000GL GS 1000 GLGS1000GL 1981
Overall Length: 2 275 mm (89.6 in)
Overall Width: 900 mm (35.4 in)
Overall Height: 1 230 mm (48.4 in)
Wheelbase: 1 500 mm (59.1 in)
Ground Clearance: 150 mm (5.9 in)
Dry Weight: 250 kg (551 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 997 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 90 ps (66 kW)/ 8.500 rpm, 8,0 kg-m/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Here's even larger picture.

Suzuki GS1000G '81

1981 GS1000G, picture sent by Michael, Michael's GS Classic. Click to enlarge.


Suzuki 1982More Suzuki models from 1982
Suzuki model year code: Z


The manufacturing of the 1981 year's GS1000GX was continued until the model was replaced with the GS1100G in June 1982.

'78 GS1000E GS-1000E GS1000 GS-1000GS 1000 G 1982
Overall Length:
Overall Width:
Overall Height:
Wheelbase: 1 525 mm (60.0 in)
Dry Weight: 247 kg (543 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 997 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 90 ps (66 kW)/ 8.500 rpm, 8,0 kg-m/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Notify that the rear shocks are not original on this bike.






More: Suzuki GS1000 models

More: Suzuki GS1100G models

More:
Suzuki GS models

More: All Suzuki models


Sources: PartsPartners.com, The Red Book, Ivers Family etc.

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