Suzuki GS series

Last updated
1980 Suzuki GS1100L GS1100L.jpg
1980 Suzuki GS1100L
Suzuki GS1000S, sometimes called the 'Wes Cooley replica'. Suzuki GS1000S 01.jpg
Suzuki GS1000S, sometimes called the 'Wes Cooley replica'.

The Suzuki GS series was Suzuki Motor Corporation's first full range of 4-stroke powered road motorcycles, having previously almost exclusively manufactured 2-stroke machines. Suzuki had produced the 4-stroke Colleda COX 125cc and 93cc 4-stroke single-cylinder machines in 1955 [1] however the rest of Suzuki's production from 1952 to 1976 had been increasingly sophisticated two-stroke road machines, whose ultimate expression was the 750cc 3-cylinder water-cooled GT750.

Contents

First models

The first of the GS Series was the four-cylinder GS750 released alongside the GS400 parallel twin in November 1976. [2] (1977 Model Year). The GS750 engine was essentially patterned off the Kawasaki Z1-900, and became the design basis for all air-cooled Suzuki four-stroke fours until the release of the air-oil cooled GSX-R. The GS750 engine was fitted into a dual cradle frame with telescopic forks, twin rear shocks and a front disc brake. The new GS750 was lauded for its handling at the time of its release, which was a significant improvement over its Japanese contemporaries, the older Honda CB750, the shaft-driven Yamaha XS750, and the more powerful but wayward handling Kawasaki 900. The GS400 was initially bored out to 423 cc (GS425), and subsequently enlarged to power the four-valve GS450, and with an eight-valve TSCC head used on the GSX400. The eight-valve design was later used on the GS500.

The GS range was expanded in subsequent model years with a smaller 550cc four-cylinder GS550 and larger GS1000 added in 1977 with the range ultimately including 125cc single cylinder machines the GS125 and larger retro-styled machines such as the GS1200SS.

Racing

The good handling chassis and reliable, over-engineered engines made the four cylinder GS bikes ideal platforms for motorcycle road racing, with the GS1000 tuned by Pops Yoshimura winning the 1978 Daytona Superbike race, the 1978 Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan, and the AMA Superbike national championship in 1979 and 1980 with rider Wes Cooley. The bike won the Australian Castrol Six Hour race in 1979. In Europe, Yoshimura GS1000-powered Formula 1 bikes won the Formula TT World Championship ridden by Graeme Crosby in 1980 and 1981.

Developments GS to GSX

The original GS engine designs share common engine design elements of air-cooling, roller bearing crankshafts, two-valves per cylinder servicing a hemispherical combustion chambers with domed pistons and double overhead camshafts (DOHC) operating directly on shim and bucket tappets. In 1980 the first major upgrading of the 750cc and 1000cc machines with 16-valve (four valves per cylinder) heads with the valves being actuated though short forked rockers, and the enlargement of the litre bike to 1100cc (actually 1074cc). The new heads incorporated Suzuki's Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber (TSCC) technology and machines sporting the new technology were designated as GSX models in Japan, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and many other markets, differentiating them from their two-valve per cylinder stable mates. In the Americas the GS code continued to be used for both four and two valve per cylinder machines. The 750 engine also received a plain bearing crankshaft and higher geared oil pump to increase oil pressure to the crank. The 8-valve 650cc engine (actually 673cc) also got plain bearings and marked the transition from two-stroke origins of the design and facilitated the move to air-oil cooling.

The introduction of air-oil cooling via large radiators known as SACS in the road-going Suzuki motorcycle demarcated the GS/GSX machines from the new technology of the GSX-R machines, however this distinction is blurred somewhat by later models such as the GS1200SS which used the SACS equipped GSF1200 Bandit engine.

Universal Japanese Motorcycle

During the 1970s and early 1980s the GS-range of models and contemporary machines from other Japanese manufactures shared so many common design configurations and features that this commonality of design gained the moniker the Universal Japanese Motorcycle. The universality of design wasn't that surprising as the GS and its contemporaries were designed as 'general purposes motorcycles' capable of sport riding, touring and commuting. It wasn't until the further development of more purpose-specialized machines, beginning in the GS range with the shaft-drive models for touring and the more sports-oriented GS1000S and GS/GSX1100 Katana models and later fully faired touring machines and race-replicas.

The range of motorcycles in the series had engine displacements between 125 cc and 1150 cc, and include the GS400 and GS500. The GS series also include the original Katana series, although both the 1000 and the 1100 had 16 valves, thus being a GSX. It was however still designated as a GS on some markets, primarily in the US.

Models

Suzuki GS 150 Motorcycle in Pakistan (aka Suzuki Mola 150 in Philippines) Suzuki GS-150 Motorcycle in Lahore, Pakistan.JPG
Suzuki GS 150 Motorcycle in Pakistan (aka Suzuki Mola 150 in Philippines)
Suzuki GS-150 Engine Suzuki GS-150 Engine.jpg
Suzuki GS-150 Engine

Shaft drive models

The G suffix after the model number indicates the model uses a shaft drive instead of the chain drive system. The G models included the GS650G and GL, GS750G and GL, GS850G and GL, GS1000G and GL, and GS1100G, GK, and GL. The G models were standard bikes with flat seats. The GL models were cruiser-style bikes with chrome fenders, smaller gas tanks, pull back handlebars, shorter exhausts, and stepped seats. The GS1100GK was a full-dress bike with factory fairing, trunk, and hard bags.

The GS1000 and GS1100 shaft drive models had 8-valve engines while later GS1000S (Katana) and all GS1100 chain drive models had 16 valve engines. Suzuki utilized the 1980s GS1100G blueprint to design the 1991 GSX1100G, combining a shaft-drive chassis with a modified GSX-R1100 engine that had 16 valves breathing through Mikuni 'slingshot' carburetors (which have a throttle slide that is flat on one side and rounded on the other to generate less intake turbulence). [5]

Related Research Articles

Ducati Motor Holding Italian company that designs and manufactures motorcycles

Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. is the motorcycle-manufacturing division of Italian company Ducati, headquartered in Bologna, Italy. The company is directly owned by Italian automotive manufacturer Lamborghini, whose German parent company is Audi, itself owned by the Volkswagen Group.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products such as boats and outboard motors, and other motorized products. The company was established in 1955 upon separation from Yamaha Corporation, and is headquartered in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The company conducts development, production and marketing operations through 109 consolidated subsidiaries as of 2012.

History of BMW motorcycles Aspect of history

BMW's motorcycle history began in 1921 when the company commenced manufacturing engines for other companies. BMW's own motorcycles—sold under the BMW Motorrad brand—began in 1923 with the BMW R 32, which was powered by a flat-twin engine. Production of motorcycles with flat-twin engines continues to this day, however BMW has also produced many models with other types of engines.

Suzuki Japanese multinational corporation

Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan. Suzuki manufactures automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines. In 2016, Suzuki was the eleventh biggest automaker by production worldwide. Suzuki has over 45,000 employees and has 35 production facilities in 23 countries, and 133 distributors in 192 countries. The worldwide sales volume of automobiles is the world's tenth largest, while domestic sales volume is the third largest in the country.

Honda Gold Wing Series of touring motorcycles by Honda

The Honda Gold Wing is a series of cruisers manufactured by Honda. Gold Wings feature shaft drive and a flat engine. Mooted by press in September 1974 as "The world's biggest motor cycle manufacturer's first attack on the over-750cc capacity market...", it was introduced at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in October 1974.

Suzuki GSX-R series Type of motorcycle

The Suzuki GSX-R is a series of sport bikes made by Japanese manufacturer Suzuki. Current models are the GSX-R125 and GSX-R150 since 2017; GSX-R600 which was manufactured from 1992 to 1993, and then since 1997; the GSX-R750 since 1985; and the GSX-R1000 since 2001.

The GSX Series is Suzuki's range of sport touring motorcycles powered by four-valve per cylinder four-stroke engines. The first GSX models were introduced in 1980 and represented the next step in Suzuki's four-stroke road bike range after the two-valve GS Series.

Sport bike Motorcycles designed for performance

A sport bike is a motorcycle designed and optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on asphalt concrete race tracks and roads. They are mainly designed for performance at the expense of comfort, fuel economy, and storage in comparison with other motorcycles.

Suzuki Katana Type of motorcycle

The Suzuki Katana is a street motorcycle sold between 1981 and 2006 and then since 2019. It was designed in 1979–1980 by Target Design of Germany for Suzuki.

Suzuki Bandit series Type of motorcycle

The Suzuki Bandit is a series of standard motorcycles produced by Suzuki since 1989. The Bandit series includes the following models:

Motorcycle engine Engine that powers a motorcycle

A motorcycle engine is an engine that powers a motorcycle. Motorcycle engines are typically two-stroke or four-stroke internal combustion engines, but other engine types, such as Wankels and electric motors, have been used.

Suzuki GSX-R750 Sports motorcycle

The Suzuki GSX-R750 is a sports motorcycle made by Suzuki. It was introduced at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in October 1984 as a motorcycle of the GSX-R series.

Suzuki GSX-R1000 Sports motorcycle

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 is a supersport motorcycle made by Suzuki. It was introduced in 2001 to replace the GSX-R1100 and is powered by a liquid-cooled 999 cc (61.0 cu in) inline four-cylinder, four-stroke engine although originally 988 cc (60.3 cu in) from 2001 to 2004.

Suzuki Boulevard S40 Type of motorcycle

The Suzuki Boulevard S40 is a lightweight cruiser motorcycle manufactured by the Suzuki Motor Corporation for the Japanese domestic market, and exported to New Zealand, North America, as well as to Chile and other countries.

Suzuki GS500 Type of motorcycle

The Suzuki GS500 is an entry level motorcycle manufactured and marketed by the Suzuki Motor Corporation. Suzuki produced the GS500 and GS500E from 1989 on and the fully faired model, GS500F from 2004 on. The GS500 is currently being produced and sold in South America. The GS500 has been described in the motorcycle literature as a best buy and an excellent first bike, with adequate if not exciting power for more experienced riders.

BMW Motorrad Motorcycle brand of BMW

BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. It has produced motorcycles since 1923, and achieved record sales for the fifth year in succession in 2015. With a total of 136,963 vehicles sold in 2015, BMW registered a growth of 10.9% in sales in comparison with 2014. In May 2011, the 2,000,000th motorcycle produced by BMW Motorrad was an R1200GS.

Suzuki GSX-R1100 Type of motorcycle

The Suzuki GSX-R1100 is a sport bike from Suzuki's GSX-R series of motorcycles produced from 1986 until 1998.

Magni (motorcycle)

Magni is an Italian company that builds specialist motorcycles. The company is based in the city of Samarate in the province of Varese. Magni, in addition to building the bikes that bear its name, is also active in the construction of specials to order and a supplier of special parts for the restoration of MV Agusta classic motorcycles.

The 2020 MotoAmerica Championship was the 6th season of the MotoAmerica Championship.

References

  1. "Products History 1950s : MOTORCYCLE | GLOBAL SUZUKI". Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  2. "History:1970- | Global Suzuki".
  3. Richard Backus (May–June 2011). "1977 Suzuki GS750". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  4. Margie Siegal (July–August 2010). "1980-83 Suzuki GS1100 E/ES". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  5. "Suzuki GSX1100G". Rider Magazine. Colorado: THECHERRYCREEKNEWS.COM. July 1991. The new G-model is a hybrid utilizing a slightly modified Suzuki GSX-R1100 engine that has undergone a counterbalancer implant, had a driveshaft bolted to its hip, and been relegated to duty in a stout tubular-steel frame. It’s a ‘90s version of the ‘80s GS1100G, which was a driveshaft version of that day’s superbike, the chain-driven GS1100E.