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Old 01-30-2013, 09:50 AM   #16
Canuman
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Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
That GS sounds like a great bike.
Canuman, I'd say half of my riding will be on post, which is maybe 2-3 mile legs. Is the coldblood nature that bad? Will it still give me some problems if I start it, suit up, have a smoke and jump on?
Been through this with another serviceman, actually. Although the other guys on base WILL break your balls, there's nothing better than a small scooter for tooling around base. You should be able to find one pretty cheap. They are made for stuff of that nature.

I give my GS a 10 minute warm-up if it is cold. It's not so bad when you can store it inside, or during the summer, but they do like to warm up. Two cigs, maybe? That being said, many old carbed bikes suffer the same issues. I have a GL1200 that wants the same warm-up. I suspect the Honda 750 and the Kaw are the same, although I only have passing experience with either.

Mine's a '79 with pumper carbs. The later models have CV carbs. I don't know if this would make a difference.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:58 AM   #17
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Quite a few people I know have scooters, one has a pink Vespa just to attract the ball busting.

I might consider one, but the problem is we are limited to the number of vehicles we can have registered in Germany. A single soldier gets 1 car and 1 "recreational vehicle" motorcycle atv etc...I have 2 cars with a policy exception letter and will have space for 1 bike. I'm used to quirky vehicles, I'm sure I could work around the GS's short comings if its truly that good of post. I'll look over on GSresources to see if the CV carbs make a difference.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #18
Canuman
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Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Quite a few people I know have scooters, one has a pink Vespa just to attract the ball busting.

I might consider one, but the problem is we are limited to the number of vehicles we can have registered in Germany. A single soldier gets 1 car and 1 "recreational vehicle" motorcycle atv etc...I have 2 cars with a policy exception letter and will have space for 1 bike. I'm used to quirky vehicles, I'm sure I could work around the GS's short comings if its truly that good of post. I'll look over on GSresources to see if the CV carbs make a difference.
For a bike of the vintage and price, I think they are a top buy. For some reason, they haven't taken off in the collector market. This is likely because they are difficult to make a good-looking bobber out of, although a buddy of mine did so with a 750, and it is a looker.

They have pretty good brakes, especially compared to many bikes of the era. The suspension is also decent. The seat is one of the best in the business, and they have good range. The bike is mild-mannered enough so it's not a handful for a newer rider. We're talking the "G" model here. I think the cruiser model is a silly-looking beast.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Canuman View Post
Mine's a '79 with pumper carbs. The later models have CV carbs. I don't know if this would make a difference.
I've got CV carbs on my '82 GS, and even when it's 30 degrees out it starts right up. I let it idle for a minute or two while putting on my helmet and gloves, and it's good to go.

The GS'es are the best kept vintage bike secret around. They are awesome, and because they don't have the 'cool' tag like a CB750 or Z1 you can find compete runners for next to nothing. At least in the states.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:41 AM   #20
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Thats great to hear about the CV carbs. I'm sure its all in the tuning as well..

Bikes aren't as cheap in Germany as they are in the States...so far I've found, prices are converted to USD. All of these are runners.
1979 1 owner creampuff GS850, 24K miles with a cafe seat for $3000
1981 GS850 46K miles, spare rolling frame and 2 disassembled engines $2100
1979 GS850 50K miles, looks a little weathered $1500
1975 GL1000 22K miles, last on the road in 2008 $2100
1975 GL1000 46K miles, last on road 2005 $1500

Unfortunately, in my month of searching I can't find Craigslist level deals in Europe. Price of entry will be higher, but I have an opportunity to ride over here.I plan on looking at them when I get a chance and weather improves.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:59 AM   #21
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One of the plusses that the '79 GS has over the later models is it's the only year 850 to have a kickstarter. That is more useful than you can imagine. And sure to stop any ball breaking on base, being a 'real' man to kickstart his bike. Really it's like kick starting a sewing machine if it's all running right .

I'm a cheap sort so I'd go with the 50k mile GS. Whether these are miles or kilometers it makes no difference. GS's can run forever and easily go into triple digit mileage needing no major engine work.

I'd be cautious of the goldwings that haven't been on the road for a while. Sitting does no favors to a bike, and things like the tires, rubber lines, and fork seals will all need to be replaced. Adds to the cost of the machine. Being a helicopter mechanic, I have no doubts you have all the skills and then some to keep an old bike going.

Are the bikes ready to run and pass DOT certification or the German equivalent?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:16 AM   #22
Canuman
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One of the plusses that the '79 GS has over the later models is it's the only year 850 to have a kickstarter. That is more useful than you can imagine. And sure to stop any ball breaking on base, being a 'real' man to kickstart his bike. Really it's like kick starting a sewing machine if it's all running right .

I agree on the kickstarter. It's easier to kick over a warm GS850 than many dirt bikes. It adds to the cool factor a lot. It's a big plus when your battery is low out in the boonies, too.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:41 AM   #23
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Did you see these ?


Looks ready to tour the world and only 23K on it. Non original paint.
http://www.ebay.de/itm/Suzuki-GS-850...item337f848732

79 with some work:
http://kleinanzeigen.ebay.de/anzeige...82637-222-1662

79 as new:
http://kleinanzeigen.ebay.de/anzeige...17465-222-1439

Or a very cheap one with some work:
http://kleinanzeigen.ebay.de/anzeige...36154-222-9554
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Carter Pewterschmidt, here's a pic, and no the oil stains on the road aren't from it . Don't let the paint deceive you....every functional part (minus the wiring) has been rebuilt or restored. I blew up the original 301 Turbo engine, but kept it just in case. Has a fresh Pontiac 400 in her now. I've owned her since I was 17...so 6 years. Paint is coming winter 2013

When she lived in the States:
Nice. Was just at the Barrett Jackson car auction in AZ and got these pics. As you see I am a fan of the 4.9 T/A




That turbo gauge is so 80's cool.



Sorry for the threadjack but OP's name is 81TurboT/A lol
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:10 PM   #25
Canuman
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Here's what you need for cred on base:



Airborne! Although the Italians took the idea over, the scooter is an American invention.

I'd still get a GS850G if you can find a good one. Although much has been made of the weak stator/voltage regulator, it's a relatively simple fix if you can swing a wrench. The hammer-reliability of the roller-bearing Suzuki bottom end coupled with the excellent shaft-drive and tranny makes the bike a winner. It's also a remarkably good-looking bike in motion. It looks somewhat stodgy parked, but is tall and lean in motion. You get plenty of glad waves riding one.

I love shafties, and own four right now. I love my '95 K75 BMW. It's a great bike, but is hampered to some degree by the dry-clutch transmission. I know why BMW designed the bike the way they did, but shifting between certain gears requires thought. I've also owned an R90/6 and an R80, which were wonderful, as long as you accepted the fact that when you were tired at the end of the day, you'd blow a shift and make an ass of yourself in front of God and everyone.

The shaft-driven Honda tranny is either good or bad. My 86 Wing whines and groans, which I hear is typical of the breed. My '90 PC 800 is a smooth shifter, and one of the best bikes for two-up riding I've ever seen. It comes with a calendar rather than a speedo.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:50 PM   #26
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Hellraiser.nl, looks like you've done this before That's a great site! I've been using Autoscout24 and Mobile. ~1000 Euro is a much better starting point.

So far, the GS has moved to the top of the list. Price, reliability and simplicity are really attractive. It helps that everyone seems to love riding them too.

Concerning the bikes that have been sitting (the GL's) The owners last rode them regularly a few years ago, but both of them have passed the strict TUV in the last 6 months. Still worth looking at, just to get a different perspective.

I'm a preventative maintenance type of guy, so unless its a creampuff, forks will get rebuilt, wheel/steering bearings/seals, and brakes will get done right away. Most likely new tires too. I won't just throw parts at it though.

Carter, that is a beautiful T/A. I still have the hood mounted boost gauge in my garage, and it was cool to watch! I kick myself for blowing up that 301T....40K miles and I bent the wastegate actuator bracket to get more boost. I bent it a little too far and it shot up to 16PSI....burned a hole in 2 pistons.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Hello all,
I'm a Service member stationed in Germany. I recently got into motorcycling, what an exhilarating experience!
A little about me-
I am a helicopter mechanic currently, and a former engine builder at a famous speed shop in Southern California. I know how to use a wrench I own quite a few toys here in Germany, including a 2009 Corvette Z06 (200mph autobahn MONSTER), 1981 Turbo Trans am (high school car which I can't live without) and a freebie 1986 450 Rebel.

I completed the MSF BRC Dec 2011, and have ridden a collective 500 miles or so in the 'States. I am in NO way an experienced rider. I acquired that 450 Honda Rebel from a departing SM, but its too small. It's decently powerful enough, but I look like a clown on it...not to mention its uncomfortable for anything over 30 minutes. I am 5'10" 175 lbs.

The adventure part - I plan on using the bike as a DD on base (parking is horrendous!) on the good weather days, and have some road trips planned. Would like to ride the bike down the coast of Spain and through southeast Europe (Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia). My Mother is my inspiration...in the 70's she ditched home, found her way to Italy, bought an ex-police Moto Guzzi 500 and rode it to Instanbul, Turkey and back. Successful woman now...go figure.

I need a bike that will be at home on the Autobahn as much as it is to wheel around a small town. I obviously would ride as much as possible and focus on skills prior to taking on one of these big trips.


Enough BS - Here's what I've been eyeballing in the order of appeal:
1. Honda GL1000 - would clean it up and put a triumph S3 seat on it and call it a day - think octane build.
2. Suzuki GS850 - I hear they are bulletproof and well rounded.
3. Honda CB750 - Surprisingly expensive in Germany, but there must be a reason why they are so popular..
4. Kawasaki Z1000 - Huge aftermarket but hear they are pretty unweildy.

Any input is appreciated! Thanks!
Of the four, the GS is probably the best all-round bike, and as comfortable as the GL while being a bit lighter. But certainly at the softer end of the sport touring spectrum.
The CB 750's, especially the earlier single cams, are what all the hipsters are after now, consequently prices are getting a bit silly. I would take a later twin cam 750 over one of those anyway, but that's just me.
Having said all that, a KZ would likely be my first choice out of what you have listed there. It's the same weight as the CB but with more power, with better shocks & tires it will handle just fine, and just as reliable as the venerable GS. Depending on the year, probably the coolest looking too. Earlier spoked wheel models ( 77 & 78 I believe), are styled more like the original Z1, later had cast wheels and more squared off body work.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:16 AM   #28
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I agree that the KZ is a cool looking bike and that it is way sportier than a GS. And so does the rest of europe therefore a KZ bike in a reasonable condition is much much more expensive than a GS. And most of them have had a tough life as being a sportsbike. The GS has always been more of a touring bike and therefore it's life has been more lay-back.
And all old Kawa 4 cilinders sound as if they're about to break down. They rattle and hiss like a can full of gravel shaking up and down.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:11 AM   #29
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@ 81 Turbota;
I've imported some bikes from Germany to Holland so I know where to look. Keep a good eye on Ebay.de for cheap parts.
There are also German GS forum websites. In German off course.
In Holland parts are even cheaper. Transport is also cheap so if you need parts let me know, I know many part dealers overhere.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:06 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by 81turbota View Post
Thats great to hear about the CV carbs. I'm sure its all in the tuning as well..

Bikes aren't as cheap in Germany as they are in the States...so far I've found, prices are converted to USD. All of these are runners.
1979 1 owner creampuff GS850, 24K miles with a cafe seat for $3000
1981 GS850 46K miles, spare rolling frame and 2 disassembled engines $2100
1979 GS850 50K miles, looks a little weathered $1500
1975 GL1000 22K miles, last on the road in 2008 $2100
1975 GL1000 46K miles, last on road 2005 $1500

Unfortunately, in my month of searching I can't find Craigslist level deals in Europe. Price of entry will be higher, but I have an opportunity to ride over here.I plan on looking at them when I get a chance and weather improves.
Not being able to actually see the bikes, I would personally go with the 46K mile GL. Mileage doesn't matter much to a GL, really, and both of them have been sitting long enough to need freshening up. Might as well save a few bucks if they're otherwise in comparable condition.

Plus, I'm partial to the GL1000, personally. I own a '77 (in bagger form) and a '78 (in humungo-cafe form) and love them both. They are hands down my favorite 70s-era bike. I haven't ridden a GS, but I have had some seat time on a few CB750s and one Z1, and I much prefer the GL. The Z1 is faster, but the GL is more refined and has better road manners in my opinion. If you're going to be riding on the Autobahn at high speeds, that's probably something to consider. My '78 is rock-solid at high speed (although I haven't been as fast as you could achieve on the Autobahn), though some do have issues with wobbling. They are heavy bikes, but the huge, flat engine and underseat gas tank put that weight down low, so they feel much lighter than they actually are. With Progressive fork springs and CB1100F rear shocks, my '78 is no slouch in the corners, considering its vintage. I could regularly outpace my friends on twisty roads when they were riding smaller, lighter vintage bikes like the CB750, CB500, and KZ500.

If you do check out the GLs, make sure the removable frame section on the lower left is not rusted out, and check the center stand support - those are common issues that contribute to instability. Replacing the steering stem bearings with tapered roller bearings helps, too, as does making sure the swingarm bearings are up to snuff. And change the timing belts, if you do end up buying one. If one of those lets go, that's the end of the engine. The 4 carbs are finicky but work great when dialed in properly. And the exhaust note is definitely unique, you're not going to sound like just another inline 4 when you're riding.

I think any of those bikes you've listed are excellent machines, but I'd vote for the GL. Plus, the '75 is the fastest year of the GL1000. The Goldwing didn't really get any faster than that until the GL1500, and even then, it's pretty close.
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