Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com

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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

I know OG has one, an '82 E but it's a runner. Anyone have any thoughts on picking-up a roller and how they are for bringing back to life?

Background: In 1983, my dream bike was the blue & white '83 ES. I actually test-rode one that was for sale, fell in love, took out a loan and went to pick it up. The seller chickened-out because I was a scrawny teenager and he knew I'd kill myself. So why did you let me take it out, Einstein?

Anyway, I just found one. It doesn't run but it's not seized. I know it'll require some wiring TLC and the key won't open the gas tank (I will not buy unless I see in there).

Are these sleeved engines? If I have a guy who can do a rebuild, are these usually good fixer-uppers?

I'd kill to have one of these running smooth and fixed-up pretty. I think I'll go take a look this weekend. It's 5 hours away but near my family so a good excuse as any for a visit.







For those of you who remember why, vis à vis this particular bike : Thank God @Todd_Sails is gone.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 03:28 PM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

They're awesome bikes. They're getting harder and harder to find;a shitload were bought up on the used bike market by drag racers over the past 35yrs.
The 4v GS-1100 engines were the dominant platform in almost every class of drag racing until the Busa was introduced. Even when the oil-cooled GSXR was starting to gain popularity in drag racing,the bikes that made big horsepower relied on the GS mill. I know a bunch of guys that would scour the want-ad's for complete bikes for years,they'd buy em and keep the engine&throw the chassis in the dumpster.

Yes,the blocks are sleeved. I had an 1150E stock block sleeved/bored to 1425cc but you could see the sleeves on #2/3 cylinders poking through

Anyways,as long as you keep horsepower mods to a minimum they'll run forever. Waaaaay overbuilt. I weighed the engine in my '82,it was 180lbs +/- if I remember correctly
One of the important parts to inspect before buying is the left side of the crank. They have a tendency to break the starter-clutch bolts and the stator bolts which in turn chews up the end of the crank. Expensive to repair,and if the owner liked to drop the clutch and do burn outs,it's most likely damaged. It's a roller bearing crank,so keeping the oil clean is important. Few other minor nuances but nothing major.

It's a big ass,heavy bike with a flimsy chassis;I know mine doesn't like anything over 130mph. The chassis starts to flex and weave like a wet noodle.

Suspension/brake/wheel/tire upgrades help a lot if you feel you need to push the limits.

How much is he asking for it? Running 1100 engines sell for upwards of $1500-$2000 (if u can find one) and I've seen just the cases themselves sell for a grand. Still very sought after even today.

Last edited by oldgixxer; 09-13-2017 at 03:34 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

Hmm, well that sounds promising. The bike above has an asking price of $1600 CAD or $1300 USD but I think I've just had another idea.

I've also found an E like yours that runs and looks nice & clean. Get both. Once the E is 100% tip-top, use it as the platform to build my ES on - basically, just swap out aesthetics onto the E. And then I have the actual ES to see about restoring & rebuilding.

To address your valid points, remember who you're talking to here I'm Mr boring stock / OEM so zero plans to beef up engine, suspension, brakes etc... I just want it to at least look period correct in pretty blue and white.

Maybe rent a van and do a road trip to go pick-up both all in one trip this weekend..... Hmmmm...
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 03:55 PM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

I don't know if I'm allowed to say this since my membership expired, but I know a guy *cough cough* with an ultrasonic cleaner and soda blasting setup that could whip those carbs into shape should you find yourself in need.

I dunno the logistics of getting them across the border n back but living in Michigan, I'm not TOOOOOO far from you.

... I don't think. Lol

Last edited by maniac1886; 09-13-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

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I'm not TOOOOOO far from you. ... I don't think. Lol
Well then hell, throw the wife in the car and come for a visit to Montreal to do my carbs & shit. It's a world-class fucking tourist destination after all for nightlife, culture, art, architecture, microbreweries, FOOD / culinary scene... and let's not forget Québec's #1 exported resource: strippers.

On second thought, you maybe wanna leave the missus at home after all

Seriously, I love giving tours of this town. I've been all around the world and I've been to few places that compare. It only it wasn't for all the fucking frenchies.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 04:33 PM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

Lmao! Fucking Frenchies! I've actually never been to Canada. I've seen it from across the water many times, just never crossed the border. I almost made a wrong turn and went through the tunnel once tho. Lol

Looks like a 9 hour drive to Montreal. That's not HORRIBLE. especially in my little dodge neon. Move the decimal once to the right on the price of gas and that's a full tank.

Last edited by maniac1886; 09-13-2017 at 04:38 PM.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

I have no room here until probably next summer, especially for two more bikes but my sister has some space in her garage... and she wants me to do a bunch of renovations for her (including in the garage) so I'm predicting an 'understanding' coming-up soon.

I wonder if I can make this all happen this coming weekend?

Rob, you've actually got me thinking... keep one motor as-is, stock and reliable. Then perhaps take the one that needs TLC and build it up a little, since it'll already be opened-up and they're a suitable platform for such things.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 09:01 PM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

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Originally Posted by le skid View Post
I
Rob, you've actually got me thinking... keep one motor as-is, stock and reliable. Then perhaps take the one that needs TLC and build it up a little, since it'll already be opened-up and they're a suitable platform for such things.
That's a steal for $1300 US. Also,the '83 came with a big-end on the left side of the crank,an improvement(somewhat)over the '82. Although some '82s that were manufactured towards the end of the model year have the big-end crank,go figure.
Uggh,I was hoping you wouldn't be interested in modding....those engines can withstand serious power,but they're money pits. Ask me how I know

1st&foremost,the stator/starter clutch bolts need to be addressed. It's an issue that can't be avoided as the design is flawed. Nothing major,but some effort is involved. Then you're good for basic shit such as some nice Mikuni RS flatslides and 4-1 pipe,those add a solid 15-25rwhp+ depending on size.
They made under 100rwhp stock,but you could get 125rwhp w some RS 40s and a Kerker/Vance&Hines/Bassani(who remembers those?)4-into-1 pipe. But all the power is in the head,and thats where it gets expensive.
At about 140ish rwhp the helical gears on the primary drive/clutch basket become the weak link as the torque from the engine will side load the gears since they're on an angle and very bad things happen. Straight-cut gears on the crank/clutch and a billet basket are the required fix,but being the crankshaft is roller bearing and has to be pressed apart for the parts to be changed,it makes sense to replace the OEM rods with aftermarket...its BOOKOO bucks I spent close to $1500(dealer pricing discount no less!) back in the mid-90s to switch to straight-cut gears/billet basket.
Don't let that scare you,once you see how much time/money it takes to get 140-150rwhp outta one of those engines you'll quickly forget all about making more power lol.
Before I get crucified,it's been 23yrs since I was drag racing my first GS I built
so some of the numbers I mentioned above may be slightly off(not by much though)...

This will be much more helpful for all the technical/performance stuffz: The GSResources and there a few really good Facebook GS groups too.

I think you should definitely grab either,or both of those GS's...
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

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Uggh,I was hoping you wouldn't be interested in modding....those engines can withstand serious power,but they're money pits. Ask me how I know
Holy crap Don't give it a second thought then. THANK YOU because you just cured me.

No no no... I've never once owned a money pit and besides, what's the POINT of trying to make a slow bike a little faster when I already have a K6 1000 to beat-up with zero worries? Two different animals.

I'll be thrilled zipping around quickly and smoothly on stock power. I do recall big bore bikes in the 80s and while they weren't what we're used to today, they were definitely more than you use in daily riding. Well..... you know what I mean.

THANKS.

You mentioned flatslides.... The ES appears to still have the stock airbox & carbs but the E appears to have pods and flatslides... I think?

The E is beautiful. I don't know what it is about the ES. Maybe cuz I stared at its poster on my bedroom wall so much when I was a teenager and that test drive / tease purchase fucked with my head..... but that thing gives me wood
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 1100 E.JPG (56.7 KB, 2 views)
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

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That bike will do nothing but go up in value, plus they were damn quick.
I said above "why bother making a slow bike a little faster" but who's kidding who. They were 10 second bikes when new.

So ummmm.... speaking of big 'ol vintage Suzukis, were you planning on making any form of announcement here, since we all obviously love seeing shit like this????
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 11:23 PM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

That's a great score!
Yes, build the Katana hot rod that you want...and keep the parts to return it back to original, that will only add to the value.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

Wow, that's beautiful so I don't know how I feel about taking a prime one and totally changing it around. But it's yours. And sounds like it will be awesome so congrats

You and I are polar opposites. I get a very tastefully modded bike and all I want to do is put it back to stock.

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That's a great score!
Yes, build the Katana hot rod that you want...and keep the parts to return it back to original, that will only add to the value.
That's so funny. I was actually thinking of you and your CBX café project when I mentioned 'period correct' earlier.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 06:27 AM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

Man, that's a sweet Kat. Seems those old big Kats are getting harder and harder to find unmolested. Which means the price is only going up. Alot of people have a spot in their heart for those old Katanas. Sweet find man!
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 07:38 AM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

Everything you need can be found over at thegsresources.com
Awesome bikes and they haven't quite reached well known collector status like the KZs and CB750s yet for some reason. Parts are slightly more difficult to find then most. Bodywork is virtually non-existant. The only kryptonite with these thing were the electrics / charging system.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 08:49 AM
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The only kryptonite with these thing were the electrics / charging system.
Fuckin Suzuki. 30 years later and they still can't get it right....
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

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Originally Posted by Geesxara View Post
After talking to people from all over the world, joining most of the Katana groups on Facebook. I found a guy through a referral that makes the Bandit 1200 motor mount kit to my Katana in stainless steel, kit also comes with the short header spacers to make the exhaust fit on that package.
200.00 shipped from the Netherlands. Be here in a couple weeks.
Big/small place this world is!
QUIST-Racing.nl ? Suzuki drag- en circuitrace onderdelen.

Super cool guy.
Dude, I'm happy to have you posting in my thread but this new totally EPIC classic bike should have its own, awesome, dedicated thread. The entire purchase experience, sourcing, modding etc.... with tons of pics of course.

So get the fuck out of here and start one!
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s



Well I didn't mean to delete your posts & pic here? Just that such a cool bike deserves its own thread!
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 09:45 AM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

lol, no man, you were correct. I just tried to clean up the thread. I'll post later when I actually receive the bike and start the modding process.

You still looking at possibly picking that one up?
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

Not this weekend anyway. It's two bikes in two cities in a different province.... and no storage at present.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 11:13 AM
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Re: Early 80s Suzuki air cooled 1100s

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lol, no man, you were correct. I just tried to clean up the thread. I'll post later when I actually receive the bike and start the modding process.

You still looking at possibly picking that one up?
That was a great score
I'll be following your build thread closely,very interested in your engine swap and updating of components. It's about time to get my old '82 back on the road and your thread may be the motivation I've been looking for.

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Not this weekend anyway. It's two bikes in two cities in a different province.... and no storage at present.
If you wait too long&both those bikes are sold I'll PINK yer ass on principle...
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