1981 Suzuki GS1000G Gauge Additions

| 2/12/2019 3:23:00 PM

 Motorcycle Classics tech expert Keith Fellenstein
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.

Q: Keith, I enjoy reading your responses to questions, and I would like your advice on my 1981 Suzuki GS1000G. I am now retired and hope to make some trips in the Midwest with this bike. I have always been a believer in engine monitoring gauges in my vehicles. From time to time I see an oil pressure gauge added and some older Brit bikes have an ammeter. Gauges on my radar are oil pressure, oil temperature, voltmeter and maybe a cylinder temperature gauge. What is your advice on adding gauges to this bike?
Dwight Plucker/via email

A: For the most part, the more information you have the better, but there’s a reason these gauges are often derided as “worry” gauges. Your bike has made it to 2019 from 1981 without any accessory gauges fitted. Of the ones you list, I think the oil pressure gauge would be the most informative, and likely to save you major dollars in the event of oil pressure loss. The others would be fun to look at, but would just be more things to take your eyes off the road. Of the bikes in my collection, I only have an added oil pressure gauge on my Trident, because on it the oil pressure warning light is more like an indication that engine damage has already occurred.

3/16/2019 3:51:37 AM

As a owner of many GS's, The only gauge needed would a voltmeter. There are forums out there that discuss in detail how to solve one of the few short comings of Suzuki GS's which is charging systems.

3/16/2019 12:52:15 AM

An oil pressure Gage on a GS1000 is practically worthless . The motor has a roller bearing lower end and does not need any more pressure than it takes to turn out the light . On any GS a amp gauge would be more practical . Seeing how they had lousy charging system with the rectifier/ voltage reg that they used.

3/5/2019 2:32:45 PM

From the how wrong can I be department, here's a correction to this question, from Larry Hogan. Hello Keith, I am writing about a question you received for the March/ April issue from Dwight Plucker about adding gauges to his 81 Suzuki GS1000G. I am the owner of a 1980 Suzuki GS1000G and the last Gauge you want to put on these bikes is a oil pressure gauge. This version of the GS engine uses a roller bearing crank and the oil system works on flow not pressure. I had made the mistake of installing a oil pressure gauge on mine and proceeded to figuratively have a stroke when I discovered it had virtually no oil pressure at idle when warm. Removal of the valve cover and running the engine showed plenty oil was reaching the top end. Further research showed the switch for the idiot oil light was for indicating no flow, not low pressure. Now, a compact digital voltmeter is very important to have on these old Suzukis.

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