Suzuki GS1000G outfit: our bikes

Date 30.4.2013

Presented by
  • Motorcycle Trader


Suzuki GS1000G outfit

While I’m cut a lot of slack by assorted supervising wives and daughters when it comes to selling and buying the contents of the shed, there are a couple of absolute untouchables. One is the mighty Kingswood and the other is Dr Gange, the long-suffering Suzuki GS1000G sidecar.

I say “long-suffering” because the engine underwent an allegedly professional rebuild some years ago and the job was cocked up to the point where the backwash of the incompetence involved has only recently dissipated. Spannerman ended up sorting it out after much cursing and several trips to the local tool shop for replacement thread kits.

It’s now more-or-less settled, though one or two other age-related issues have started to raise their heads. One has been a refusal to attempt anything like a normal idle once the engine has warmed up.

What you get is a mildly hysterical over-revving which, eventually, if you’re lucky, settles into something resembling an idle several seconds (it feels like days) later. It’s a pain.

The issue? Its carburettor slides are sticking, most likely due to worn diaphragms.

Ignoring everyone’s advice, including my own, I ordered some bits and then opened the carburettors. There are two aftermarket suppliers for these parts: NRP in the UK, which sells complete diaphragms and slides at and JBM Industries in the USA, which sells diaphragms only at

I used the latter, somehow managing to order from the utterly chaotic website – and don’t bother writing to complain to them as they freely admit it’s a mess. Anyway, I ordered what I thought were the right parts for a ridiculously low cost of under $90 for four. More on that in a minute.

Meanwhile, it was time to disassemble the carbs. No big challenge, you would think. But here’s the catch: the Suzuki GS850-1100G series has an airbox set-up that is an absolute pig to refit once you disconnect those four rubber intake tubes. They seem to have one fitting in them after which they never seem to regain their original flexibility. Mine were replaced recently with new kit and I was willing to do almost anything to avoid having to remove them.

Popping the tops off the carbs should have been a simple matter of removing the retaining screws, most of which were easily accessible. Of course most of them (particularly the ones just out of easy reach under the frame tubes) had casually corroded into place. A little persuasion was called for. Generally a squirt of penetrating fluid and a sharp tap with a mallet on the end of the screwdriver was enough to break things loose. For the particularly stubborn ones, I had to resort to an impact driver.

Pulling the slides out quickly revealed that age and infrequent use had conspired to leave a huge smear of dried fuel on them – no wonder they were sticking! It was easily removed and I gave the bores a wipe while we were in there.

As for the diaphragms, I should have read the crystal-clear warning on the website re measuring the original diaphragms and not just going with the bike and year model. The ones I was sent turned out to be wrong, which is my fault. It’s no big deal, as they’ll inevitably fit something else in the shed, but it’s annoying. So I’ve had to reassemble it with the originals, which I must admit looked to be in pretty good shape despite their age.

And the result? It’s a hell of a lot better than it was. The revs still hang a little high on idle but the progress is promising. There’s some indication we’re heading in the right direction and I’ve been careful not to over-tighten those carburettor tops so we can get in more easily next time.