1979 Suzuki GS1000S “Wes Cooley” for Sale
Suzuki’s GS1000S Wes Cooley replica was a sportier version of their big-bore standard, created to evoke the race-winning bikes developed by “Pops” Yoshimura and ridden by Wes to success in AMA Superbike Championships for the 1979 and 1980 seasons. The GS-designation actually describes a diverse range of motorcycles built over almost forty years and powered by a wide variety of engines with different displacements. The GS1000 was powered by Suzuki’s durable air-cooled, 8-valve, dual overhead-cam engine making about 90hp and suspended in a durable, stable, twin-shock frame.
If you’re at a point in life where you recognize that you really don’t need the capabilities of any modern sportbike on the road, even to strafe canyons, unless you want to risk life and license beyond what we all accept as motorcyclists on a daily basis, this kind of motorcycle makes plenty of sense.
Less likely to attract the wrong kind of attention from The Man, impossible to mistake for just another “crotch rocket”, fast enough to be fun and see off buzzy little modern 600’s, with enough handling to reward a bit of enthusiastic riding, and comfortable enough to do light touring, it is a do-it-all machine with modern[ish] performance and a retro style.
Unfortunately, this kind of practicality isn’t actually very popular here in America, where motorcycles are more accessories and less about the ride, but that just makes bikes like the GS1000S more affordable for those in the know, and makes owners smile smugly as they wheel their bikes out of the garage.
This one is no trailer-queen, but the original listing contains a ton of photos, so you will know pretty much exactly what you’ll be getting into.
From the original eBay listing: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S for Sale
I am very careful about my descriptions having gone on many wild goose chases to see bikes and cars that turned out to be in far less condition than advertised. I am sure many of you have been in the same boat so I will do my utmost to describe this so that there are NO disappointments or surprises.
Fresh from long dry storage since last registered in 1994, 1979 Suzuki Wes Cooley model 1000cc. It has 38680 miles but the engine was completely rebuilt in 1994 by a certified Suzuki tech at about 37500 miles and before the then owner could put many miles on it, he bought an old Harley he had been chasing for years so this was stored until I purchased it. While it appears mostly stock and has the original paint, it has been totally worked over.
Now more good and fun stuff. This bike is a brute and pulls strongly right off the bat. No smoke on startup or after being warmed up. Shifts crisply thru all the gears and handles surprising well. Extra parts included in the sale include the stock exhaust with an extra pipe. One photo shows black goo but that was just baked on road grime and chips off and I have no doubt that it is fine under the goo. An original factory plastic Wes Cooley fairing that has no flaws except someone bought it originally and put it on their GS and painted it to match their bike (I have heard of very high prices being paid for originals so this is a big bonus), original Wes Cooley tail piece and front fender and one extra tail piece off a stock GS. All pieces shown.
He then goes on to provide an extensive accounting of modifications, upgrades, and maintenance that have been done to the bike.
It’s not a concourse-ready and has been clearly well-used, but it looks like everything is there to make it perfect. In the mean time, it’s one you can ride the wheels off of until you decide it’s time to restore. At least you can hope following cars won’t miss that huge rear light, and that enormous seat should hold any pillion, regardless of how generously-hindquartered…
In the US, many of these big Zooks have been converted from roadracers and optimized more for straight-line speed. The Vance & Hines four-into-one exhaust is obviously a drag-strip style modification and not factory-correct, but looks pretty cool. Unless you’re into the whole originality-thing, and then it’s an abomination.
The price is currently at $5,500 with four days left. That seems a bit on the high side for a Wes Cooley replica, but is still small potatoes for what amounts to a rolling restoration of a collectable, practical Japanese machine, a bike you can enjoy while you make it perfect. Or don’t: just ride it for now and save all those parts for the next guy to do a full restoration!