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Thread: Is it possible to ride these bikes too hard...?

  1. #1
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    Default Is it possible to ride these bikes too hard...?

    I hope this is the right thread...

    I have an ‘82 GS650GL and was wondering what is considered “too rough” on these vintage bikes in terms of acceleration and taking off from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd gear? This is my first bike and I’ve already wracked up around 6,000 miles on it (now at a little over 21,000). The only things wrong with the bike is she leaks oil but other than that an amazing bike and so much fun. I usually take 1st gear to around 5-6,000 RPM (with a little more than 1/4 throttle) and that’s when the power kicks in for me. It sounds a little “loud” and that worries me when I accelerate from 1-2 gear and don’t want to “harm” the bike. I enjoy getting the power and torque but also don’t want to hurt the bike if I’m supposed to shift in the 2-3000 RPM range.

    All the YouTube videos I see show riders taking these bikes up to around 7-8 RPM sometimes before shifting to 2nd (I’ve definitely done it and this bike isn’t kidding around when you take it it that high). I was curious as to what are everyone’s average riding styles and acceleration habits?

  2. #2
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    I think they are pretty stout, seems to me that Suzuki and Kawi were overbuilt - like old Detroit iron they didn't shave every ounce off with computer modeling and optimization for weight. I generally don't beat on things but don't baby them either. I find that if I'm going that hard on a bike my skills will be the weak link.
    Tom

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrdatrackstar View Post
    ...supposed to shift in the 2-3000 RPM range.
    It can be confusing getting a mixed message when the red line is at 9k and the owner's manual suggests shifting at 3k. You can even "short shift" her at 2k if you're in no hurry. Just be prepared to downshift if you need to go.

    My CB350 had a tachometer red zone from 9 to 11k, but it went up to 12. Manual said you could momentarily operate anywhere in the red, but to never go beyond. Nice, clear instructions.
    1982 GS1100E V&H "SS" exhaust, APE pods, 1150 oil cooler, 140 speedo, 99.3 rear wheel HP, black engine, '83 red

    2016 XL883L Two-tone blue and white. Almost 42 hp! Status: destroyed, now owned by the insurance company. The hole in my memory starts an hour before the accident and ends 24 hours after.

  4. #4
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    Read rich83gs750tz's thread in four cylinder engine/drivetrain/clutch about overrevving and what can happen. Suzuki was serious when they set the redlines on these engines. Up to redline is yours to play with.
    Last edited by zuluwiz; 06-12-2020 at 04:17 AM.
    Expecting the Spanish Inquisition
    1981 GS850G: the Ratzuki
    1981 Yamaha SR500
    1981 GS1100E

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob S. View Post
    It can be confusing getting a mixed message when the red line is at 9k and the owner's manual suggests shifting at 3k. You can even "short shift" her at 2k if you're in no hurry. Just be prepared to downshift if you need to go.

    My CB350 had a tachometer red zone from 9 to 11k, but it went up to 12. Manual said you could momentarily operate anywhere in the red, but to never go beyond. Nice, clear instructions.
    I think this was the issue that started it for me. The instructions say you should be in 3rd gear by the time you are at like 30mph and I’m like wth! With all that shifting it can be harder to pay attention to riding in the city. It is much more fun to take 1st gear up to 5,000 and then go from there so that you’re at least at 30 by the time you shift to 2nd.


    Thanks to everyone who replied, it has eased my mind that I can ride the bike a little “harder” than the instructions suggest. I will of course always be careful and listen to her sounds (also don’t want to burn through all my gas at 30 miles lol). Speaking of gas, I average around 90-100 miles tops, is this normal MPG?

    Thanks again everyone and happy and safe riding!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich82GS750TZ View Post
    Ooh, you were so close on that username. I’ll help you out.
    https://www.thegsresources.com/_foru...ild-or-Replace
    Thanks 🙏 I will check this out

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrdatrackstar View Post
    Speaking of gas, I average around 90-100 miles tops, is this normal MPG?
    Is that really Miles Per Gallon, or is that Miles Per Tank of gas? . Maybe others with the same whatever bike you have (put that in your signature, please. No one want to go back to your first post to see if you wrote it or not) can tell you what they get. Personally I've never paid much attention to it because I rarely ride that far that I needed to think much about it. But I think should be somewhere between 30-50 MPG depending on how heavy your wrist is.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich82GS750TZ View Post
    Is that really Miles Per Gallon, or is that Miles Per Tank of gas? . Maybe others with the same whatever bike you have (put that in your signature, please. No one want to go back to your first post to see if you wrote it or not) can tell you what they get. Personally I've never paid much attention to it because I rarely ride that far that I needed to think much about it. But I think should be somewhere between 30-50 MPG depending on how heavy your wrist is.
    Good call, and yes that is miles total (so I think I’m around 45 MPG average). I try to ride conservatively when possible (take it up to 5th gear when I’m above 40 MPH) but also ride to have fun since the power is nice on these bikes.
    1982 GS650GL
    21,600 miles
    ~ 45 MPG combined (mostly city)

  10. #10
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    I think you'll find that the "conservative " rev limits in the manuals relate mostly to the break-in time, not the life of the bike.
    Expecting the Spanish Inquisition
    1981 GS850G: the Ratzuki
    1981 Yamaha SR500
    1981 GS1100E

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