In 1980, Honda updated the naked Gold Wing and called it the GL1100. That year, they also changed what the GW would be about forever by creating a full dress tourer variant called the Interstate – you got a full fairing, saddlebags, and a removable trunk right off the dealer floor. Other manufacturers scrambled to keep up. Suzuki ended up developing the Cavalcade to compete with the Wing, but it took them a few years to do so. Their stop gap idea was to take the excellent GS1100 and slap the fairing, trunk, and saddlebags on.
The GS motor was used in a variety of models, but in this application the engine was tuned for more torque. The 1,074cc four cylinder put out 92 horsepower and 64 pound-feet, which were adequate numbers considering the weight ballooned to 639 pounds with all the bolt ons. In a 1982 review, Motorcyclist said that the modifications made the bike worse, and it was a bit of a disappointment considering how much they loved the standard GS1100G: “…we were disappointed by the lack of attention to detail – things like no vents in the fairing, no means of keeping the engine heat from the rider, no balance hose on the shocks, the trunk hinges that gouge helmets, etc. These detail oversights and omissions may have helped Suzuki keep the GK’s price $450 below the Honda 1100 Interstate’s, but we suspect many buyers would be happy to come up with the added money to get the extra features and quality.” It wasn’t a fair comparison for the GK, as the Gold Wing had been built with all the fixin’s in mind. It wasn’t until Suzuki released the Cavalcade that they had a real shot to compete. Regardless, if you pick this up, you better bookmark The GS Resources – it’s the best site for these bikes.
This example has 31,000 miles and is said to need nothing. It got a recent service with a carb cleaning, valve adjustment, and a tune up. New tires have also been installed. Would a Kawasaki Concours be a better vintage tourer for the money? Yeah, probably. But this is much rarer and calling the GS1100 motor dependable is simply insufficient.
Find this GK for sale here on Craigslist for $2,295 in Whitinsville, Massachusetts.
This bike-uriousity brought to you by Aaron S!