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Beater find.

1529 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Deus Machina
Alright, have a friend that has an old GS. Just making a check on what it's worth.

1985 GS550E, 29k miles. Chrome is lightly flecked with rust spots, but not peeling off. Tires still hold air, but have some dry cracks and the rear has a worn 'highway strip' right in the center.

Florida bike. Rusted out pan under the seat (foam is still good, surprisingly), leaves covering motor (again--Florida bike), even a few complimentary palmetto bugs (GAH!) around the rotted *original* air filter.

Needs carbs cleaned and tuned, and a starter relay.

But no rust to structural parts, even shocks are still good (if a tad brownish). From what I can tell, what it needs to run is a tuneup, starter relay, carbs cleaned and tweaked, new fluids, and a battery. Mostly, the usual stuff for a used vehicle. He even helped transport it to my place for a proper inspection.

So. He wants $500, and the motor's still good. Just exactly how bad would I be getting ripped off?
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'Suce me. '81, looks like.

I can't find the year marking. :eek:
My suggestions:

1. Clean carbs, replace all carb o-rings.
2. Replace the carb boot o-rings. Use Vitrol rings, still available from Suzuki.
3. Check the coil with a multimeter.
4. Check the wiring. The bike may have weathered a few hurricanes - look for corrosion.
5. Check the stator. Electrical problems were common.

I'm waiting for my carb boot o-rings to arrive. Removing the carbs is a real pain in the arse.

Enjoy :)
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All of the above are already planned. And, yes, I'm having one heck of a time getting these carbs off. Trick to it?

I'll be getting individual cone filters if I can talk them down on this. That can sucks.
Cone filters are fine, but you may need to re-jet the carbs. The fuel system requires some back pressure from the air filter to work right. A lot of people don't know about the o-rings between the carb boots and the block -- replace them.

I rotate the carb stack while pushing the air box back. The motor side goes up and the airbox side goes down. Make sure you do not damage the carb boots.

A good place to visit specifically for the GS series is They have a good carb tutorial, and there's a guy who sells complete carb o-ring kits and allen head screws for the carbs for very cheap. He does not have the carb boot o-rings for the GS550. Just search around for the kit.
Generally when you use pod filters it's like 1 or 2 jet sizes up on the mains.
Alright, thanks for the help.

Inspected it more closely. Still can't get into the carbs (needs a cleaning first, too) but peeking in through boltholes in the rest it hardly looks its 26 years and 29k miles. The inside's great, considering.

Hooked a breaker bar to the crankshaft end on the stator side and pushed. Turns easily and silently, even turning first gear (needs oil and a lube on the clutch cable).

ELectrical system looks new, aside from the starter solenoid. Haven't tried to jump it yet. Can't find a free battery or trickle charger at the moment.

I'm thinking $300, for the condition it's in, including the 'help out a friend' markup and 'shipping cost'. But if they won't come under five, they can get it off my patio themselves, I'll hand them a list of the issues, and they can try and sell it with that.
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