Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Suzuki GS450S

Mon, June 14th, 2010

1980–81 Suzuki GS450S
The café GS450 was more show than go. The motor was basically a commuter/economy model, and the overly-lean carbs made it almost unridable. Fortunately, a bit of re-jetting could solve the latter problem, but it still was no screamer.
The chassis was stiff (for the time), ground clearance was more than adequate, the steering was great, but the forks were so-so and the rear shocks were absolutely junk.
I absolutely love the clean, basic, sporty lines, but other disagree. In the words of one online pundit, it's '...a silly looking little bike with no visual presence.'
Given their age, a remarkable percentage of GS450s are still out on the road.
The GS450S is the perfect size for doing nearly everything. Unfortunately, the racy quarter fairing sends turbulent air right toward the rider's head, at just the sort of speeds where the ergonomics would otherwise start to make sense.
I have to rate this highly only because it is one of the bikes I dearly wanted in high school.
The GS450S is a rare, sexy-looking, basically competent bike that was let down by cheap components and unpolished details. Fortunately, all those faults can be easily corrected by the owner.