June 2005 Bike Of The Month
1978 Suzuki GS1000
Owner: Paul Kahnert
A Note From The Owner...
I first saw the GS 1000 in the 1978 March issue of Cycle Canada and I took delivery in May of that year. I rode it for 5 years and saw a lot of Canada and the U.S. I sold it to my friend Jim who always wanted it in 1982. He basically kept it under a blanket for 14 years in his garage. Time went by... A wife, a house, kids, career.
Then in the winter of '95/'96 Jim announced that he had bought a Harley and that he was going to get rid of that old Suzuki. He asked me if I wanted it. I went over to see it and bought it back for $750.00. It looked great but was really in need of a lot of work. The carbs were hopelessly gummed up, fork seals gone, rubber aligatored. Got it running again and rode with Jim and his Harley. On a sunny clear day in August of '97 on a flat clear stretch of road, a drunk driver crossed the median and killed Jim and his wife. The GS was parked for the rest of the season.
In the spring I did what Jim would have started it up and went for a ride. By the end of '98 the GS was puffing smoke and would not start cold. At Squidx performance Shawn Johnston and I tore the bike right down to the frame and this is what we came up with. The 17" wheels and front end were off a '92 gixxer. The upside down forks just bolted right on as did the '83 GS1100 swingarm. With the rear brake swung to the bottom the 160 rear wheel just bolted right on. The motor was completely rebuilt with the motto "performance with reliability". New stock pistons went back in and the heads were flowported and shaved and finished off with 34 mm Mikuni's.
After painting, polishing and chroming the bike looks as good as it runs. With the gixxer wheels and new suspension it really handles. I know Jim would have loved it too. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email me.