Brian likes the retro look
|It all began
with an Yamaha RD350. Then I had the ultimate bike for
week-end racing, a Kawasaki KR-1. But that bike
affords a labotomi to drive it! End of the strokers.
I had been looking arround for a GS500, for some time,
as I don't like four cylinder bikes due to their
car-like sound. I also own a LS650 Savage, but
sometimes it's fun to race the small roads, without
offering a Ducati. In Denmark the dealerprices on cars
and bikes are marked up with 3!!!! ... this means that
2/3 of the price on a new bike is TAX! Imagine the
prices you pay for a bike!!!
While looking arround for a 500, I fell over this
GS450E, from the last series in '89. It was
shipped from Japan to US at the same time as the GS500
was introduced on the market. Suddenly it was
impossible to sell the old model, when the 500 had
arrived on the market. With the Danish taxes in mind,
the bikes could be sold cheap in Denmark, if the
prices was kept low. Some of the GS450E's was then
redirected to Denmark, and sold to a price a bit under
the price for the GS500E.
|This bike was
in original painting, and looked to be well maintained
over the years. It could still be bought for a brice
well under the price for a GS500E of similar age. I
also like it's retro-look. Actualy
it's not only looking retro, it IS retro!
So I bought it in January 2003. With the bike I also
got some spares like oilfilter, camchain, steering
bearings, a Haynes etc.
The milage was 37.000, and the only mis-sound from the
engine was an occasional ticking, from the cam moving
sidewards, probably a defective valve shim. After a
month I changed the stator.
The charging circuit has been
modified to series regulation. The original
regulator is a shunt type, that shorts the stator to
chassis, when the battery is charged.
dane, Mr. Schnabel, having a small firm repairing
bike-electrics has invented a new regulator, that
simply cuts of the stator. The regulator then couples
on and of the stator, depending on load and battery
charge. This curres the common problems with Suzuki
and charging circuits! It fits in the same place as
the old one, and costs the same. Mr. Schnabel also
makes hand wound stators at an extreemly good quality.
By the way, he is not a member of my family - just an
The bike is not a racer, and its quite heavy compared
to modern bikes with lots more power. As soon as the
wheels rolls, the heaviness totaly disappears and it
nearly handles like a bicycle! The frame is not stiff
as a boxframe, and the steering is a bit soft but it
handles very well in the corners. The biggest problem
seems to be the tire dimension, which does not allow
more modern tires.
The engine draws well from 3.000 rev.; but when
the needle hits 6.000 rev. a bit more happens
and the sound changes drasticaly. Unfortunately the
limit is 9.500 rev.!!
In April 2003 I unfortunately had a small crash - my
first on this bike. The damage was limited with only a
small damage to the tank and some scratches on the
Afterwards it has been
modified a little bit from strictly original.
The forklegs are glassblasted and polished. It also
have got Clip-On's with stainless steel 'pins'. The
original, very large, blinkers has been changed to
some that actualy looks exactly like those on Buell's.
I also lowered the front 15mm, and this together with
the lower sitting position, gives a quicker steering.
During winter I will look for new modifications!