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Hello all,

I just bought a 1982 GS1100L (the GS1100L is what's on the side of the bike). However, when I search the net for parts, all I can find is a GS1100GL, no GS1100L. Are these the same bike? If I order parts for the GL will it fit my L?

Thanks!
 

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Nightfly
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I bought one of the very first Suzuki 1100 L models made. I picked it up in March of 1979 and it did not have a GS or anything as to a prefix on the bike. It just said 1100L on the side panel. And of course Suzuki on both sides of the fuel tank.

I had the bike for about a month, less than 300 miles when the engine locked up tight. I took it back to the dealer and they had to wait for a special tool to be manufactured, as it hadn't been at that time, just so they could take it apart. I don't recall what the problem was but basically I got a new engine out of the deal.

I too have tried to find that bike listed on the internet but like you, I have not had any luck. I do know the 1100 engine was not the same as the 1000 engine. The cam plates on the side of the engine were rectangular on the 1100 and round on the 1000. The 1100 was a totally different engine, or so I was told. Hope you have some luck in your search.
 

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So here is what I figured out....even though the it's GS1100L on the side, the stamp near the VIN actually says GS1100GL.

I also found out that the G=shaft driven and the L=cruiser.
 

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Nightfly
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Again, after more searching, I cannot find a 1979 Suzuki 1100L model. I wish I had kept the pictures I had of the bike. Side panels on the bike did NOT say GS only 1100L and the "L" was written in script fashion. It was NOT shaft drive. Yes, the L model was the cruiser, or Low rider model. Could be because I had one of the very first sold, that there was no GS on the side cover.

I remember the guy who bought it knew all about the bike and he wanted documentation as the actual year of the bike. All the paper work I had was enough documentation to satisfy him. He did not want a 1980 year bike. He may have known more about the bike than I did. That was a long time ago and I just wanted to sell it.
 

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Nightfly
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I'll try it again, for some reason the first post won't let me edit. Maybe you will find this useful. Basscliff has a wealth of Suzuki knowledge on his site. Your factory manual is there to download. http://members.dslextreme.com/users/bikecliff/
I checked out the owners manual of the GS 1100GL. The picture they show does not look like the bike I had. The engine is not right as it has the round covers over the cams, mine had rectangular. My mike was not 2 tone. It was all black. The side panel did not have a different color centered, it was all black. The seat looks right. It does say GS 1100 L but mine did not have the GS. Biggest difference I see in the pictures of the Owners Manual is that bike is shaft drive, mine was definitely chain driven.
 

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Look in the manual above for your bike, The G models were more touring oriented, two valves per cylinder. I might be wrong but I believe yours with the rectangular covers on the motor were 4 valves per cylinder.
 

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Nightfly
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It definitely was 4 valves per cylinder. I don't know why that engine is so difficult to find in the 1979 model year. I do know that was the first year for that engine so that could be why. It's almost as if that bike with that engine did not exist. But it did, I owned one.
 

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Nightfly
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I realize this is an old thread but after all this time I finally found a photo of my bike. This one is blue and mine was all black. But this is the bike. The article says first introduced in 1980. Not so, mine was a 1979. In fact when I sold it the guy buying wanted proof it was a 1979 model, which it said on the title. Not sure why all confusion. Had I not owned and bought the bike brand new I would never have known
 

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The confusion was caused by Suzuki by their model roll out dates. There were a lot of half year models that were sold as new models so a half year model could be a '79 or '80 depending. The bikes changed very little from '78 into the '80's mostly paint colors available, some seat styles,carburetors, etc. The main change was going from VM carburetors to CV in '80. You had an L model with a stepped seat, leading front axle and buck horn handlebars. The Japanese were big fans of Easy Rider and wanted a chopper style bike.
 

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The "G" designation was shaft drive the "E" models chain. I never paid much attention to the L's and do not know what configuration they offered but the basic motor was the same except output methods. The shaft bikes did not quite have the power of the chain so there may have been slight jetting differences to help compensate. Generally the motors with round cam end covers were 8 valve and rectangular cam end covers 16 valve. I believe later in the GS series they dropped the roller bearing cranks and went to standard bearings on some motors. That's why you still see a lot of the older motors still used in some drag bikes. The roller bearing system was exceptionally tough but eventually lost out to weight reduction and better bearing materials later on.
 

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Nightfly
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The confusion was caused by Suzuki by their model roll out dates. There were a lot of half year models that were sold as new models so a half year model could be a '79 or '80 depending. The bikes changed very little from '78 into the '80's mostly paint colors available, some seat styles,carburetors, etc. The main change was going from VM carburetors to CV in '80. You had an L model with a stepped seat, leading front axle and buck horn handlebars. The Japanese were big fans of Easy Rider and wanted a chopper style bike.
Agree, I always thought it was the Japanese attempt at a low rider. It was very comfortable ride but the 4 cyl buzzing at cruising speed put my hands to sleep in about 50 miles. The guy who bought it was adamant that it must be documented a 1979. Maybe he knew something I didn't know about the bike. I do recall him saying it was the only year for this particular bike. But I never found out what that meant.
 

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The buzzing on the handlebars is a poor sync. for equal power on all cylinders. When they are properly synced with proper grips all the buzzing goes away and just about all mirror vibration. I went a step further and installed short nipples in my carburetor boots and crossed cylinder 1-4 and 2-3 with vacuum line to equalize the cylinders, ran the lines long so they would rest on the top of my K&N pod filters cut them in the center and connected them with barbed fittings so I just have to pull them apart to connect them to my manometer for carburetor sync. Makes life a lot easier and improves low end power. My bike is a 1000cc and will kick you in the ass at 6,500 RPM putting a 360 degree smile on your face and go way passed red line if you aren't careful before the next shift. The 41 year old gal still has some balls if you can wrap your head around that statement! ;) Suzuki did have a few one year model bikes, The guy that bought it may have wanted to be assured it was authentic because so many parts from year to year were interchangeable. Suzuki had a separate frame and motor shop. They grabbed a frame and a motor. That is why there is no matching numbers between the two back in those years. I bet that drove some police mad. Suzuki titled only on the frame stamp back then I don't know about now.
 
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