|Here is the GS loaded up while on a tour. Parked here beside Lake Taupo. Taupo is NZ's largest lake and is in fact a huge drowned volcanic crater. These are the XS1100 handlebars again. Compare with above photo.|
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
My Bikes...The GS Years
Although the BMW was an excellent bike, procuring parts was a nightmare. At that stage there was only one BMW bike dealer in NZ, located in Auckland. That's about 600kms from here and they would not run an account, so everything had to be paid for in advance. Remember this was in the days before internet banking. Sometimes a small item would cost nearly as much in freight as the item itself. If you planned on doing an oil change at the weekend, invariably the filter wouldn't arrive till Monday ! I decided I would buy a new bike from a dealer in my area. I was now convinced that shaft drive was the way to go for touring, so without resorting to a large capacity machines like a Goldwing or XS1100 Yamaha, the choices were Kawasaki GT750, Yamaha XS750 or Suzuki GS850. I tried them all. They were all nice machine, but somehow the GS850 stood out over the others. So in August 1979 I bought the first GS850 in this region. It proved to be a good choice. The Suzuki was a 100% reliable two-up tourer. That big seat was superbly comfortable on long trips and my new girlfriend, who didn't even mind getting wet on the back of a bike, found it so comfortable she would often lean against me and go to sleep, especially travelling at night when there was no scenery to view.....we've now been married for 26 years.