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Old 03-19-2013, 08:52 AM   #16
concours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
I had an XS850 for about 20 years. Nice bike, very comfortable, good torque, reasonable fuel economy and a good tourer. The engine had a lovely pulsing beat and mine didn't vibrate much at all. The handling was heavy and it didn't do too well on dirt roads. I can't remember how many miles it had on it when I sold it, but perhaps 30,000 or so. It was one of my 'spare' bikes and didn't get much use and I lent it to my brother who used it for some years as his touring mount.. Never any problems with it, and it started first go after sitting for about 5 years when I eventually sold it to a collector in 2003. The the pic was taken when it came out of storage in the garage, minus the R90S style fairing and Krauser bags that I had on it. They were pretty rare here too and I vaguely remember that there were only about 50 of them sold in Australia. I've only ever seen one other one on the road locally. Parts would be difficult as a result.



The GS850 was very popular here and reputedly a fine bike; they still come up for sale fairly often, so they last well and would make a good old-style tourer. I had a look at a couple before I bought a Hornet. I only rode one once, back when they were first released and it didn't do much for me, but I was a BMW rider and heavy I4s weren't my bag. I can remember that it was comfortable, which is a good thing for a tourer, but friends I used ride with got pretty poor fuel consumption - 35-40mpg (Imperial) to the R75/5's high 50's.
+1. My (now deceased) bud had 30,000 plus miles, no drama. The inline tripe is a great layout/config, continues to be. In the hands of a NON hammer operator, a fine bike. The comment about "Yamaha electrics are garbage" cracks me up... they used the same stuff the other Jap companies do. I've never had a problem that wasn't created by a knuckle dragging mouth breather imitation mechanic, or a bike left out in the elements.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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Yamaha!! The pleasure of a 3 cylinders compared to the boredom of an inline 4... Gearbox can be fragile...looks a lot cooler than the Suz (is not it the main reason to ride an old bike???).
my 0.2cts!
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:06 PM   #18
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Having owned many Suzuki fours, I can tell you they are hard to beat, but the Yam sounds really good, plus there aren't whole lot around, so the pleasure factor maybe a bit higher. Parts maybe a problem, as they seems to be for the XS 1100. I seem to recall the 850 was a bigger version of the 750 with most of the mechanical problems fixed. I'm sure the GS is the better bike, and 850 guys seem to be a particularly partisan subgroup of GS owners. They seemed a bit frumpy to me, I preferred my 900 Seca, even though I'm a Suzuki guy through and through.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #19
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I wonder if the OP is still pondering which bike to buy since July of 2011?

If he is, that's some heavy thinkin,' man...

HEAVY thinkin'...



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Old 08-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #20
ctune80
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I recently bought a first year XS750 34K miles, runs great, rides great, a very cool bike!





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Old 08-30-2013, 07:36 PM   #21
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I had an '81 GS850 and it was a great bike. My wife and I rode it all over West Virginia and from there down to Florida and back. Thirty years later my wife still talks about how that bike had the most comfortable seat of all the bikes we have owned. And I have a Russell on the FJR now. When we rode the GS I would run it up to about 3k rpms in first gear and jam it into second while giving it gas and it would pull the best wheelie - as my wife was jabbing me in the ribs!

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Old 08-31-2013, 04:52 AM   #22
duckman
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a local suzuki dealer let me take a loaded gs850 out for a ride and i hated it right off, granted it had 3 hard suzuki bags and a windjamer fairing but it felt heavy as hell and alittle dull. i always liked the look of the yamaha and the 3 cylinder engine had a cool idle.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctune80 View Post
I recently bought a first year XS750 34K miles, runs great, rides great, a very cool bike!

Looks sharp.

The '76 and '77's featured taller final drive gears and made better touring bikes than the later years.

My '78 spun 5k rpm at 60mph!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:07 AM   #24
JerryH
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To me the Yamaha would be the more desirable bike to own, but if I were actually going to ride it, a lot, I would definitely go for the GS. I used to have a '79 GS750, and it was bullet proof. I bought it used, and abused, nursed it back to health (as much as possible) and put over 50,000 miles on it. It never missed a beat. It ran better when I sold it than when I bought it. I still can't remember why I sold it.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:42 PM   #25
GypsyKustoms
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gs850 wins it every time

No comparison gs850 is a well built machine i have owned both bikes my opinion is the xs is just doesnt compare. My gs850 is suprisingy very quick, i drag raced my full bagger head to head with a gs1000g and took the bike by 3 car lengths with stock exhaust. [PHP[/PHP]
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #26
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Meh, I'm partial because I have a 1979 GS750, so a very similar bike, but with slide carbs and chain drive. Otherwise, very similar. It's a great bike with a wonderful engine, but it is pretty heavy. Just like any old bike, they're going to rev pretty high on the highway, but it doesn't seem to really be a problem. Mine is actually for sale, since it doesn't get ridden as much as the 950 and I could use the space, but it really is a good bike.

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Old 01-16-2014, 07:11 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by concours View Post
+1. My (now deceased) bud had 30,000 plus miles, no drama. The inline tripe is a great layout/config, continues to be. In the hands of a NON hammer operator, a fine bike. The comment about "Yamaha electrics are garbage" cracks me up... they used the same stuff the other Jap companies do. I've never had a problem that wasn't created by a knuckle dragging mouth breather imitation mechanic, or a bike left out in the elements.
His comments concerning the XS650 and early Virago's are spot on.


As for the Suzuki,weren't there 2 series,a GSE and GSL?The E being the sportbike style and the L more a cruiser style?
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:18 AM   #28
gearheadE30
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As for the Suzuki,weren't there 2 series,a GSE and GSL?The E being the sportbike style and the L more a cruiser style?
There was a GS with single front disk and wire wheels, the E models had cast wheels and dual disks, the more rare S models had a small fairing, different tank, gearing, suspension, different gauges, and different colors (like the GS1000S Wes Cooley) and the L was more of a cruiser, with a different seat, forks, trees, rake, tank, chrome rear fender, etc. That's only for the early ones, though. After ~1980 there were also G models (shaft drive) and GK (factory winscreen and luggage) and even later into the 80's there were ES models and so forth. Things changed almost yearly on those early bikes, because it was really Suzuki's first major foray into the 4-stroke street bike world in a long time, and with the company not doing so well, they really needed the bikes to succeed.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:00 PM   #29
waveydavey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyKustoms View Post
No comparison gs850 is a well built machine i have owned both bikes my opinion is the xs is just doesnt compare. My gs850 is suprisingy very quick, i drag raced my full bagger head to head with a gs1000g and took the bike by 3 car lengths with stock exhaust. [PHP[/PHP]
I agree, I had both (well one was an XS750) and the GS850G had taller gears and shaft drive. It performed better (handling and acceleration) than the 1000GL did and it did not have that ugly 4 cylinder Suzuki cruiser styling
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:19 AM   #30
RustyStuff
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Originally Posted by gearheadE30 View Post
There was a GS with single front disk and wire wheels, the E models had cast wheels and dual disks, the more rare S models had a small fairing, different tank, gearing, suspension, different gauges, and different colors (like the GS1000S Wes Cooley) and the L was more of a cruiser, with a different seat, forks, trees, rake, tank, chrome rear fender, etc. That's only for the early ones, though. After ~1980 there were also G models (shaft drive) and GK (factory winscreen and luggage) and even later into the 80's there were ES models and so forth. Things changed almost yearly on those early bikes, because it was really Suzuki's first major foray into the 4-stroke street bike world in a long time, and with the company not doing so well, they really needed the bikes to succeed.
Don't forget the T's, the economy bikes. Single disk, L tank, Drum rear, simple paint.
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