celebrating 40+ years of motorcycling

Chapter 25 – Sayonara, Suzuki

Again, recovery from house-buying meant a few months without a bike, but once the time came around again, I made the same mistake I had made before.  I bought without thoroughly assessing my needs. It was the MT125 all over again. I had became convinced that, since I was hooked on touring, I should buy a TOURING bike, so I parted with the cash (just $1600) and became the proud owner of a Suzuki GS850G shaft drive.

What an utterly BORING motorcycle it turned out to be, thoroughly competent and totally unexciting. Added to that, my needs had changed. Pressure of work and family had meant that my long-distance touring opportunities were far less than what I had assessed them to be and, while it was a brilliant tourer, most of my riding had become commuting and round town stuff and the heavy Suzuki was too heavy for me.

I dropped it a couple of times just manouvering it around and I also found that the headlight was very weak, a trifling matter it may seem, but I was into night-time touring back then too, so it was an issue. I tried replacing the headlamp bulb with a more powerful quartz halogen one, but all it did was flatten the battery. Believe me, trying to push-start that big mutha of a bike was not something I’d want to try too often.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll still see plenty of GS’s around. The 2 valve DOHC motor was mellifluously smooth and the power was there in great gobs any time you neded it. But, it was time to move on, so it was, “Sayonara Suzuki.”


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