Post Sale Update: This Wes Cooley rep sold for $5,300 after 31 bids on eBay.
The Suzuki GS1000S – unofficial “Wes Cooley Replica” – is recognized as one of the Hamamatsu-based manufacturer’s many legendary machines. The GS1KS saw success in AMA competition nearly right from the start and was the predecessor to the now iconic GSX(R) machines. Wes Cooley would win the ’79 and ’80 AMA Superbike Championships aboard a GS1000. The GS1K was actually responsible for Suzuki’s success at joining the liter-bike arms race. At the time, Cooley was running a KZ1000 for Kawasaki before tuning legend Fujio Yoshimura would give Cooley a seat on the GS where together they bagged back-to-back titles. The GS1000S was and continues to be a solid sport performer while beautifully embodying the aesthetics and styles of the late-’70’s and early-’80’s in this transitional period of sport bike evolution.
The GS1000 first came out in ’77 but after its success on the track Suzuki would then release a sportier GS1k spec in Europe. America would be next to receive this offering in the form of the GS1000S of which only 500 would be imported to the States in ’79 and 700 the following year (though some sources claim it’s closer to half that number). The GS1000S was powered by a 997cc inline four that made 90hp, and in total the bike weighed in at 524lbs. Despite its weight, it was still good for around a cool 130 mph. Although the GS is one of the earlier modern multi cylinder 1000cc (or more) sportbikes, it quickly distinguished itself by beating out the competition at a time when a lot of manufacturers were making competing literbikes like Ducati, BMW, Laverda, Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki.
While the GS1000’s engine looked very similar to the GS750’s, the internal components like the crankshaft, rods, and pistons are actually different. The 1000cc engine also utilized larger valves in the double overhead cam head, with no between-cams idler sprocket. The 1k engine also boasted a higher compression-ratio than the three-quarter-liter engine (increased to 9.2:1 from the 750’s 8.7:1) while still weighing in at 10lbs lighter than the 750 power-plant from ’77. Wrapped around Suzuki’s then-newest engine was a frame designed by Suzuki’s longtime chassis engineer; Hisashi Morikawa (who also designed chassis on the RE-5 rotary and GS750). The thin-wall mild steel frame- with tube work that sported tapered roller bearings in a heavily gusseted steering head – was considered to be pretty light in its day, the entire chassis weighing just 38.3lbs.
A test report in the March 1978 Cycle Magazine read: “The GS1000 is not the fastest of the new Big Four — the CBX is — nor is it the most comfortable (the Eleven holds that distinction). But while the other three [including the Kawasaki Z1-R] offer extraordinary specific capabilities paid for in the coin of specific shortcomings, the GS1000 has similar capabilities with no shortcomings at all.” This statement does a pretty adequate job of conveying the performance of this machine which at the time was cutting edge. The rest of the components on the bike such as the dual-sprung rear-suspension and non-upside-down telescopic-fork had yet to catch up with the impressive engines and frames on these seldom-seen Suzukis.
This particular 1980 example has had quite a bit of mileage put on it in its 37 years since leaving the factory, with its odo reading 48,000. Not only is the GS1kS a great motorcycle, but this was a fun bike that was ridden hard by those lucky enough to pilot it so finding an example that is this clean is exceedingly rare. A myriad of new parts have recently been put on this GS including new Michelin tires, OEM petcock, head gasket and clutch, K&N pod filters, Dynojet kit, oil and filter. The bike also recently had its valves checked, head decked, and was given new OEM O-rings and gaskets, and the engine has had a single rebore with OEM pistons and rings that was done at 40,000 miles (8,000 miles ago). The stock air-box and exhaust – which is said to look good but is starting to rust – are also included in the sale of this bike.
This GS’s paint job is still in solid original condition which is an important aspect especially on the Cooley rep examples. The tank’s paint is also clean and the entire fuel cell is rust free inside and out. The fairing is said to show a little bit of wear from the years and the seat undeniably needs a new cover but those are the only cosmetic issues. The fuel gauge is what the seller describes as “intermittent”, the clock doesn’t work anymore, and the needle from the oil temperature gauge has “come off”. The seller also makes it clear that this example is a genuine “Wes Cooley Replica” and not a “copy”. Because of the high mileage and the lack of a reserve (on eBay) this example could sell for a much cheaper price than these models particularly go for.
You can find this rare 1980 Suzuki GS1000S “Wes Cooley Replica” for sale in Gainesville, Georgia with no reserve and the bidding up to $4,250