newbie here! help me choose my victim...KZ,GS, GL, CB?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by 81turbota, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Been here awhile

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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 :lol3.

    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?
    #21
  2. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    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.
    #22
  3. Hellracer.nl

    Hellracer.nl What the hack???

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  4. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    That turbo gauge is so 80's cool.



    Sorry for the threadjack but OP's name is 81TurboT/A lol
    #24
  5. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Here's what you need for cred on base:

    [​IMG]

    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.
    #25
  6. 81turbota

    81turbota n00b

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    Hellraiser.nl, looks like you've done this before :D 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.
    #26
  7. McJamie

    McJamie STROMINATOR

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    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.
    #27
  8. Hellracer.nl

    Hellracer.nl What the hack???

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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.
    #28
  9. Hellracer.nl

    Hellracer.nl What the hack???

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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.
    #29
  10. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    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.
    #30