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Suzuki GS1000

The GS1000 was Suzuki’s first large 4-stroke and traces its history back to 1976. These classic Suzuki motorcycles have often been hailed as the first Japanese motorcycles that actually handled well. The combination of air-assisted front forks, a stiff chassis and adjustable dual Kayaba rear shocks made for an above-average ride around the tightest of twisties, despite a longish 59.3-inch wheelbase. By comparison, a same year Moto Guzzi 850 stretched 58 inches. Contemporary journalists praised the GS’s comfortable seat, excellent power delivery and handling, and its good brakes. Suzuki clearly had racing in mind when it designed the GS1000, which migrated to the track shortly after it was introduced. Wes Cooley turned both Superbike racing and the GS1000 into major attractions, with wheelies and smoked tires and flamboyantly winning races aboard a GS tuned by the legendary “Pops” Yoshimura.