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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I recently purchased a 1981 Suzuki gs1100 that has been sitting in a shed since 1983. I have no experience with motorcycles and bought this one to rebuild from the ground up to help me learn before I started riding. I need some helpful tips and advice on where to start and what are some smart things to do. I can already tell i will need to at least rebuild the carb, replace fuel and brake lines, find a way to get all the rust out of the gas tank, and then some cosmetic type stuff. Any advice will help... even good sites for parts.

Thanks and I appreciate everyone and anyone's help,
Zack
 

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While it might not be possible, you should at least expend a little effort looking for a "new" tank. Once there is a substantial amount of rust in there it is almost impossible to stop.
And "re-sealing" efforts often are only a short lived fix.......and sometimes end up being worse than the rust.
If the tank isn't in danger of rusting through (hard to tell sometimes) shaking the tank with a handfull of steel nuts inside usually will remove the worst part (probably need some friends to help shake) and putting a large fuel filter inline and checking it often is sometimes better than trying a full repair.

At some point, you are going to need to see what shape the cylinders and rings are in. Probably bad, probably requiring a boring and new rings.
To do that, you need to have the heads off.

(I took the liberty of changing the title of your thread from GS100 to GS1100. Hope that is correct.)
 

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If the bike has been sitting in a shed for more than 30 years, you're going to basically have to strip it down to the frame and re-build it. I'm sure that all rubber parts are going to need replacement, including the O-rings on the forks, all of the brake lines, the rear shocks, and much more. The motor will most likely require a rebuild just go get what's left of the 30+ year old oil out of the block and the gearbox. The seat will probably crumble (foam rubber and plastic/vinyl cover) when you get near it. The hydraulic cylinder for the brake fluid will also need to be rebuilt or replaced - I'm sure that the seals there are shot too.

If you have the time, the money and the skills, it will certainly be a great experience to bring the ol' girl back to life, but it certainly won't happen quickly. And even when you're done, you'll have to treat the old lady with utmost respect.

I would suggest that you look for another bike so that you can learn to ride while you're doing the rebuild of the GS1100, keeping in mind that a 30+ year old 1100 is still a very powerful bike, but the frame, brakes and suspension of those 80's bikes were barely able to handle the large motors. That is not, and never will be, a beginner bike.

It would be a shame to spend the next 9 to 12 months to rebuild the old lady, just to dump her after a few minutes because she was too much for you to handle.
 

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I absolutely agree with the others...you have your work cut out for you! Welcome to the forum by the way and if I were to suggest anything it would be to try and track down a copy of the service and parts manuals somewhere. Take one system at a time starting with the motor. There is a reason it was parked...and if there are major engine problems you might have a hard time locating parts for it. You'll need to decide at that point what you are willing to spend to get her going again. At least that's where I'd start. Not seeing the bike it's sort of hard to tell for sure...I picture a barn find with 10" of dust all over it and stuff piled up on it. LOL It's probably not nearly that bad though.

As also mentioned it'd be a wonderful experience bringing her back to life...and great learning tool. But I couldn't agree more...if you can swing even a smaller bike to learn on in the interim, you'd be that much ahead of the game and ready to get on her. In her prime she was a powerful machine that I'd probably not recommend for a new rider. But that's just me.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok guys. Awesome. Thanks for the advice. The bike is actually in really good condition and was only put up because the previous owner broke his arm when he laid it down. It came with replacement parts for the damaged areas and all the original manuals and repair guides. Plus i got it for less than $400 so I couldn't pass it up.
If you can think of anything else, please feel free to let me know.
 

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As I wrote above, don't forget that the rubber is 30+ years old - even if it looks good, it's probably dried out and ready to crumble, so plan on checking every seal, hose and tube...
 
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