The Wes Cooley-ist: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S for Sale
Today’s blue-and-white Suzuki GS1000S “Wes Cooley Replica” is a throwback to another era of racing, an arms-race by Japan’s Big Four as they built bigger, better big fours.
Twins and singles are generally limited in terms of absolute displacement, barring balance shafts and other, more modern trickery: get much bigger than 500cc’s, and a single will likely shake your motorcycle to pieces, and twins often have similar problems. But manufacturers began adding more cylinders, smoothness improved, and displacements soared. For a time, that additional power made attempts at weight savings superfluous, and pounds were added along with the horsepower. That weight helped to increase stability as manufacturers worked out how to make these bellowing behemoths handle.
Watching jockey-sized pilots wrestle with 600lb superbikes in the 1970’s was thrilling, although Suzuki included handling in the mix as well. The 998cc GS1000S may not have had the straight-line speed of other bikes, but it could also go around corners and, with engines developed by “Pops” Yoshimura, it saw significant success in the hands of rider Wes Cooley.
Although it was primarily designed for the European market, Wes’ success led to the GS1000S bike being referred to as the “Wes Cooley Replica.” Just about 1200 were made: 500 in 1979 and 700 in 1980. 1980 models like this one originally featured electronic ignition, a stepped seat, slotted brake rotors, and other cosmetic changes.
From the original eBay listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica for Sale
Nice rare bike less than 1000 sold in the United States from what I can find out. Clear Tennessee title in hand.
Bike has been owned by a good friend of mine for over 20 years, always dry inside storage (until I got it June 6th, it is still on the trailer under a cover, haven’t had time to make a spot in the garage for it). Last was started about 2 years ago, not sure if or how far he may have rode it. I have not tried to start it, petcock is leaking, I am sure the carbs need to be cleaned, front brakes do not work and the battery is dead. The ignition switch is missing the lock cylinder but I do have a key that fits the gas cap and seat lock.
Has escaped the normal Krylon paint job, appears to be all original paint, does have a couple of dings in the tank, the fairing has some road rash on the upper left. The inside of the tank appears to be in good condition from looking in the gas cap area, no tank sealer to clean out. Chain guard is cracked. The instrument cover is damaged as shown in the photo and a gauge cover is cracked. No idea of why the seat and tail section alignment is so bad, I can’t see anything that looks badly bent or broken.
Has 2 seats, one with the optional Elvis velour insert and it has a very small surface rust area on the base. Have another seat not on the bike and that seat base has rust issues and the seat cover is torn.
Pipes are from a 1000L model and have rust on the head pipes.
I have tried to show all of the damage I can in the photos. if you have a specific area you have more questions about or need more photos just ask.
I do have a new NOS windshield, NOS upper fairing mounts and a pair of NOS mirrors.
There are just a few hours left on this auction, with bidding up to just north of $1,600 and the reserve unsurprisingly not met. Obviously, this one needs a bit of work before you head off to relive superbike fantasies, but it looks like most of the work is cosmetic or well within a competent garage mechanic’s abilities.