Suzuki GS 400 [1977]

Suzuki GS 400, 1977
I bought the GS 400 at Erling Sande, Hausmanns gate in Oslo on the 29th of November 1977. It had done 5240 km and the price was reasonable – 5000 kroner. I was living is Oslo now, and it was possible to ride the motorcycle in the wintertime too. I did the first trip on the GS 400 on December the 10th and rode south to Holmestrand, and the day after I did a trip to Moss. We had a ride every weekend the weather was on the bright side. On February the 8th, with minus 8 degrees Celsius, we had a trip south from Oslo.

When i sold the GS 400 in June 1982 it had done 75 000 km and had been a faithful companion on trips in the most of Norway, including North Cape, and to Italy and France and to the IFMA motorcycle show in Cologne. The log has notes from all my trips, and most of them with trips with 600 to 740 km per day.

I was very impressed with the GS 400 on the Autobahn in Germany. With no more than 36 hp from two cylinders the expectations was modest. But with the Rickman Scorpius faring I fitted in the spring for 1979, the GS 400 became a machine made for the Autobahn and a cruising speed of 160 km/h on the speedometer was no problem.

Suzuki’s four stroke engines was extremely reliable. Suzuki did not take any chance when introducing their first four stroke engines and the quality was first class. There were never any thin wrong with the GS 400. It started every time. But on some engines the shims used for adjusting the valve clearance started to rattle. It was not critical, but it made a lot of noise, and could be scary if you did not know what caused the noise. The noise disappeared when the engine reached normal operating temperature, but sometimes after high speed rides on the Autobahn the cooling was so good that then rattle started when i stopped to refuel. Some fellow motorcyclist was seriously concerned on my behalf.

I tried several different types of tyres on the GS: Avon Roadrunner 4.10×18 rear tyre, the combination Continental RB2 3.25×18 and K112 3.50×18, Pirelli MT 15 90/90×18 and MT 18 3.50×18 and 110/90×18, Metzeler Block Rille 12 3.00×18 and C66 Touring Speed 3.50×18.

Today I can hardly imagine riding the Sella pass with a heavy loaded GS 400. But back i 1981 the 400 had power enough to enjoy the Dolomites, and I can’t remember I ever wished for more power. On the narrow roads in the Alps and also in Norway, I outperformed all the cars and the feeling of freedom was just as much present then as it is today on bikes with much more power.

Suzuki GS 400 1977

Engine: 2-cylinder fourstroke. Aircooled. 2 carburettors. Kick- and electric starter.
Compression: 9,9:1.
Bore x stroke: 65 x 60 mm.
Cylinder volume: 398 ccm.
Power: 36 hp at 8500 rpm.
Transmission: 6-speed. Chain.
Fuel Capacity: 14 litres.
Frame: Steel.
Tyres: 3.00-18 front, 3.50-18 rear.
Brakes: One disc and calliper with one piston front. Drum, rear.
Wieght: 172 kg.
Top speed: ca. 160 km/h.