Suzuki’s blue-and-white bullet, the GS1000S was, in spite of the hulking style, dual shocks, and bulbous fairing, really more of an all-rounder than its looks would suggest. It was originally intended to appeal to European riders but, while road riders here in the USA prize straight-line stability and torque over handling, racers saw the appeal, and the GS1000S became the basis for Suzuki’s AMA Superbike racing machines.
Compared to the Kawasakis and Hondas of the same era, the Suzuki wasn’t as quick, but it made up for its power deficit by being nimble, with a stiff frame and excellent brakes. None of these bikes were really featherweights, but the difference was noticeable both on and off the track.
Race bike building was handled by the iconic “Pops” Yoshimura and ridden to victory by Wes Cooley, both of whom transitioned from Kawaskakis. The relationship was beneficial to everyone involved, and Wes won the AMA Superbike Championship two years running. The GS1000S was never officially associated with Wes Cooley, but riders in the States dubbed them “Wes Cooley Replicas” after the fact and the name stuck.
Specification-wise, the bike isn’t particularly exciting: a two-valve, 997cc air-cooled four putting 90hp through a five-speed box, 525lbs wet weight, and a 130mph top speed. But it’s really the package that made this work and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
From the original eBay listing: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica for Sale
If you had the resources to rebuild a classic, limited production Superbike and fit it with every upgrade available back in the era when this bike ruled the streets, this is what you would have.
NOTE: This is a 1980 Wes Cooley Replica. It was produced for only the years 1979 and 1980 with production numbers estimated to be in the 750 range for 1980. The factory rear-set foot controls fitted only to the 1980 version makes this a one-of-a-kind frame as all of the other GS1000 standard chain drive bikes had the same frame. The 1980 version cannot be “faked” because of its unique frame, unlike the ’79 version that used an ordinary frame.
This bike was a frame-up rebuild which included the following:
– New Valve Job
– Freshly honed cylinders with brand new OEM Suzuki rings
– Valves adjusted
– New Mobil One synthetic oil and Fram oil filter
– New NGK spark plugs
– Dyna Tech electronic ignition
– Dyna 3 Ohm (green) coils
– Taylor ignition wires (brand new)
– Yoshimura Replica stainless steel exhaust (cost $750 shipped here on eBay)
– Aftermarket wire wheels with stainless spokes – wider than stock
– Aftermarket Rear sets. Especially rare as these only fit this one exact year/model bike
– Braided stainless brake lines with clear covering (that won’t scratch paint)
– Adjustable Clutch Lever and dogleg front brake lever
There’s more information about the build over on eBay, so pop over for a look. The Buy-It-Now price is set at $12,000 which honestly seems like a very nice price for a bike with this much work put into it. Yeah, you can find a decent Wes Cooley for less, but they’re appreciating in value, and this one has been comprehensively restored and tastefully upgraded. These are extremely rugged motorcycles as well, and that makes them especially appealing to collectors who want to actually ride and enjoy, rather than display their pride and joys.