Suzuki GS1000 Won't Start


Old 09-11-05, 02:44 PM
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Suzuki GS1000 Won't Start

I have a 79 Suzuki GS1000 bike, just bought it recently. The bike is in really good condition and aside from have a few difficulties with getting it to start it runs really well.

When I first got the bike it started with no problems,usually on the first attempt to get the engine going.

Earlier this week I attempted to start the bike and it took me several minutes to get going. I could smell the gas so it is actually possible that I flooded the engine, I am still learning the quirks to getting this bike started when it is cold. Eventually we got it and I took it around the block and came home, no problems.

I dumped the clutch at one point which stalled my bike (dumb, but happened) and tried to start it again. I couldn't get it to start until I turned the headlight off on the bike.

Well this morning (3 days later) I tried to start the bike many times, and it sounds like it is about to actually get started, like the engine is turning once or twice on its own and than stops. I eventually killed the battery trying to do this.

I pulled the choke full out which to me means that I may have once again flooded the engine. I can smell the gas so I know that the fuel is getting to the engine, and the fuel is not very old at all in the bike, was just filled last week.

I am going to recharge my battery tonight, and try starting it tomorrow with the choke off and with the throttle wide open, this should air out any gasoline in the engine if the engine was in fact flooded, and will hopefully fix the problem.

By the sounds of it, the battery may have needed a charge the entire time due to the headlight issue, but I am not sure since it sounded like the starter was turning at the proper speed when I attempted to start it this morning.

If all else fails I will check and probably replace the plugs as well. Any other ideas what could be causing this problem? The carbs were cleaned recently, do it does not seem like this would be the issue.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 171
Try what you said first, and let us know how it works out. The plugs might just need to be replaced as you implied, because the electrode eroded away. Also try a bit of starting fluid and give us a bit of info on what happens.


Old 09-14-05, 07:10 PM
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Better Luck

Well I am having better luck with it. I couldn't hook my car battery up to test the battery issue because the jump cable I have are too large, and as soon as I let go of them they are going to ground on the bike and short, not cool.

I managed to recharge the battery that came with the bike, the battery is definatly bad and has to be replaced, but lasted long enough for me to troubleshoot.

I tried to make a really lean mixture by pulling the throttle back and keeping the choke open when starting, as I would expect nothing happened. In the process though I learned that the only time I could even get the engine to do anything was when I let go of the throttle, which means that the mixture is not too rich, but too lean. The more I tried the better luck I had, the vehicle was running for 2 seconds before stalling out on me. This means the sparks are not likely fouled and probably working well enough to start it, and that there is definatly suffice compression in the engine.

The starting would get etter of course as the engine gets warmer, since the gas vaopurizes a little bit better, which all makes sense. So after I killed the battery a second time, I took a look at the choke on the bike.

Here I am puling the choke on the bike and it is only closing the choke on one of the 4 carbs, which would explain why this is doing absolutely nothing! There is suppose to be some kind of connector which hooks the choke in the left carb to a bar which hooks all the carbs up, the connector is missing and the main bar is not getting pulled... go figure. This also explains why the first time I got it started I had to try for about 5 minutes.

I have a great suspicion this will fix my problem once I give it a test tomorrow when I get the battery charged up and put back into the bike. If I pull the main choke bar manually it will close all the chokes and probably get it started while it is cold. If all goes good I will buy a new battery and choke cable/link and get it fix up.

I will probably still replace the plugs though for good measure, prevent eny stress on the coil or the condensors, and getting a better spark will probably help the starting too. I am still awaiting my service manual to arrive for the bike, so the amount of work I can get on this is limited only to what I can see on it, logically.
Old 09-15-05, 12:42 PM
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Sweet! I was right. Today I put the battery back into the bike and used the proper choke pins, took me a minute or so but I got the bike started with minimal effort. Most difficult part was grabbing a hold of the pins.

Now only if I could find a replacement choke cable and link kit so I can get that properly fixed.
Old 09-27-05, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 100
Glad to hear your getting a handle on it. Once fixed, you should be able to just pull the choke and hit the button. No throttle should be needed. They have always been a little cold blooded, even when new. They need to warm up a bit in the cold. I just replaced a choke cable on a 79 GS 1000 this spring. The GS line is sort of a collectable. There is a great forum called I've gotten a lot if information there.

Some of the parts are still available at your local Suzuki dealer and some are not. The cable is. That's where I got mine. Other commonly needed parts can be purchased on-line. I've used for directionals and some other stuff.

Some stuff you have to search forever for or get creative in reparing. For example, I could not locate a petcock rebuild kit for a 79 and a replacement petcock was arounf $70. I used two pieces of a rubber inner tube and made some gaskets to sandwich the diaphram to keep it from leaking. It's been fine all season.

Good Luck!

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