The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Bike: 1982 Suzuki Katana GS1000SZ
Owner: Bernie Rugg
Hometown: Albany, Ore.
Occupation: Semi-retired/Mr. Mom
Bio.: A rider since 1972, Bernie has owned dozens of bikes, and his current stable includes four GT750s, two GS1000Es, the 1982 Suzuki Katana GS1000SZ pictured here and more.
“I have owned motorcycles since I was old enough to have a license,” Bernie says. He took a 10-year break from riding while pursuing another passion: drag racing his blown alcohol-burning nostalgia funny car. About 4 years ago he got the urge to have a bike again. After having trouble finding a Suzuki GT750, he purchased an 1100E. Soon he decided to go in search of a Katana due to their unique styling, limited exportation to the U.S. market and their status as a collectible. Bernie found his Katana on the GS Resources Websites’ classifieds and purchased it from its original owner.
“The previous owner had taken very good care of the bike and it needed very little when I purchased it. I replaced the tires and a wrinkled front fender with a new one from Suzuki, and that has been the extent of it. The original owner had added Supertrapp 4-into-1 exhaust, a Lockhart oil cooler and a K&N air filter element in the original air box. Other than that the bike is original down to the paint.”
Bernie has owned it a little more than three years now and says he loves it “because it is such a historic piece of motorcycle design. It draws attention wherever I go. I once considered selling it, but this one is a keeper. It is the cornerstone of my collection.”