mike m 1978 Suzuki GS1000E

riding the one that never got away

A friend of mine years ago was the inspiration for my dream, to take a train ride to pick up an old motorcycle, then ride it back home. And finally I was able to, at least ride it back. Due to Amtrak scbedules, I chose to fly. So searching in a 2000 mile radius, I found a 1978 Suzuki GS1000E, the one with the mag wheels, that I couldn't afford back then. From the pictures it looked like new, and the dealer in Everett, WA, assured me it was road worthy, enough to get me back to San Diego, with only 20,000 miles, and being completely gone through-full tune, tires, and new parts as needed, even the parts manager was amazed at all the parts still available. So making the deal, I booked a flight, and the store manager picked me up. And there it was, and 33 years of new was staring me in the face. And I was off, riding home, a short 1400 mile ride.

When the speedo cable broke, but knowing how many rpm's equalled 80 mph, I rode by tach. And instead of 4 days, I was planning ontaking it easy, I did it in two! Running between 80-100 the whole way, this was a beast. And then to Mickey, who is not only the National Service Manager for Triumph, but the brother in law of Wes Cooley, who rode these to a Superbike Championship over 30 years ago. And they flipped-it was like new, even marks on carbs weren't disturbed.And a little love and care, made it better. Now almost 4 years later, I have ridden it almost 9000 miles, had an electronic ignition installed, and it will pull red line in 4th-almost 120! Not bad for an old girl like her. And since I ride new bikes for Triumph, she has a special place in the garage, and it is fun to compare how far we have come in 36 years. But she is still fun to ride, and when I leave it at Mick's, they wonder if it is new, is Suzuki making the GS 1000 again? So my Arai is off to my new old bike, the grandfather of today's GSXR superbikes. Without her there would be none, and she still brings back the thrills I missed over 36 years ago. My dream may have come 33 years too late, but riding her monthly keeps me young. And at bike nights, it is fun to listen to us old timers bench race about how fast we used to be, and how fast she still is.

May you find your dream like I did, which just happened to have the owners manual and tool kit with it. The pictures are of it, and it shines just as good as it did then, and runs better. Never give up, your dream may be as close as a train or plane ride away. Some things are worth the wait

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