Suzuki GS 550L




Make Model.

Suzuki GS 550L




Four stroke, transverse four cylinders, DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder.


549 cc / 33.5 cu in
Bore x Stroke 56 x 55.8 mm
Compression Ratio 8.6:1
Cooling System Air cooled


4 x VM22SS Mikuni carburetors


Battery and Coil


Electric and kick

Max Power

35.8 kW / 49 hp @ 9000 rpm

Max Torque

42 Nm 4.3 kgf-m / 31 lb-ft @ 7500 rpm


Wet, 15 multi-plate


6 Speed 

Final Drive


Primary Ratio


Front Suspension

Telescopic fork, oil damped

Rear Suspension

Twin shocks, coil over, 5-way adjustable springload

Front Brakes

Single 275mm disc, 1 piston caliper

Rear Brakes


Front Tyre


Rear Tyre





119.9 mm / 4.7

Dry Weight

195 kg / 430 lbs

Wet Weight

216 kg / 476 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

17 Litres / 4.5 US gal / 3.7 Imp gal

Consumption Average

5.6 L/100 km / 42 mpg / 50.4 Imp mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.7 sec / 152 km/h / 94.7 mph

Top Speed

181 km/h / 112 mph

How to play the percentages, and come up a big winner.

Suppose you were a banker, with a sense of timing and a reasonably chilly heart. Suppose, too, that you had about $2250, more or less, for motorcycle entertainment in 1982. Imagine that you were quite taken by the Suzuki GS550LZ, for reasons known bes{ to your Episcopalian minister, and further imagine that you were even more taken by the Suzuki dealer's nubile young daughter, for reasons known to anyone with two decent eyes and a secret lust equal to Jimmy Carter's. Well, he's a Democrat, and you're a Republican.

You figure a Democrat would plunk down his $2250, borrow the balance of the $2499 purchase price—$249—assume the macho-macho posture on this L-model, and invite nubile young Ms. Suzuki out for a free ride.

Instinctively, you know that Republican bankers do things differently. You devise an investment plan: First, you subtract $19 from your $2250, leaving you a balance of $2231 to invest. Always the prudent type, you resist the temptation to invest in stocks of videogame companies, pork-belly futures, real-estate pyramids or circus ants. Instead, you shrewd and conservative fellow, you drop your money into a one-year, 12-percent account. And forget about it.

Oh, about the nineteen bucks. With that, you begin pursuing the second part of your investment program and invite the young lass to din-din. Off and on for the next year you two meet over restaurant tables. You talk about serious subjects like James Watt and Smokey the Bear; she talks about Suzukis.

She tells you that 550cc and six speeds entirely befit the banker type: conservative on the displacement, but secretly powerful and complex. This Low-Slinger, she adds, would bring some outward flash to your life—and a guy who drives a medium gray sedan with a medium beige interior could stand a little incandescence. Swept-back handlebar, stepped seat, cast wheels, chrome fenders, chrome chain guard and woofie grabrail. The motorcycle, she opines, would lift your energy level so much you'd need a stronger deodorant.

Holy Silver Certificates! Medium gray. Medium beige. Is this how a nice, conservative, button-down guy projects? That's hard on a guy's ego, and you think about rushing to action, about withdrawal, and buying at once.

But instead you grit your gold fillings.

You wait, and dine, for a year. Meanwhile, back in the vaults your $2231 hath appreciated to $2499.72. At last, with 72 cents to spare, you rush down to the Suzuki dealership, to find, wonder upon wonders, that the GS550LZ has been repriced, downward, to $1999. You're exactly $500.72 to the good.

It all worked out splendidly. You see, nubile young Ms. Suzuki consumed $501 at the restaurant over the course of the year. Hmmm. That means Suzuki actually subsidized your socializing for an entire year. Okay, that's not quite correct. She ate her way through the $501. There was a free lunch, but it was her free lunch.

It makes a Republican banker wonder. Is she a Democrat, or what?

Source Cycle 1982