Yamaha xs 850 vs Suzuki gs 850

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by BIG ED XT FAN, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. advmgm

    advmgm Long timer

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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!

    Sent from The Edge
    FJR Pilot, CBR 954RR Boy Racer, WR250R Adventurer
    #21
  2. duckman

    duckman co conspirator

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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.
    #22
  3. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Looks sharp. :thumb

    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! :puke1
    #23
  4. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #24
  5. GypsyKustoms

    GypsyKustoms n00b

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    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]:clap
    #25
  6. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

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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.

    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. Gham

    Gham Long timer

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    His comments concerning the XS650 and early Virago's are spot on.:lol3


    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?
    #27
  8. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

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    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.
    #28
  9. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    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 :D
    #29
  10. RustyStuff

    RustyStuff Been here awhile

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    Don't forget the T's, the economy bikes. Single disk, L tank, Drum rear, simple paint.
    #30