GS550 History

1977—1984


All the images and text on this page have been researched by Jarmo Haapamäki. His website www.suzukicycles.org is an invaluable resource to anyone wanting to know about Suzuki motorcycles.


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Suzuki model year code: B

The GS550 was launched in Japan in June 1977 as a new member of the four-stroek engined GS family. It had a single disc brake at the front wheel, a drum rear brake, wire wheels and a inline-four engine with two valves per cylinder.

GS550 - 1977

GS 550 1977
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (31.7 in)
Overall Height: 1 155 mm (45.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 196 kg (431 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm. Single front disc.


Suzuki model year code: C

The second version of the GS550 for 1978 was available in two versions, with a single brake disc at the front, as in 1977, or with twin discs for better braking performance (compare the pictures below). The model was released in Japan in April 1978.

In August 1978 the GS500E was launched, replacing the GS550. The model had light alloy wheels and a disc brake even at the rear. Apart from the wheels and the brakes, the models were quite similar.

GS550 - 1978

GS 550 1978
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
Overall Height: 1 150 mm (45.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 195 kg (429 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm. Single front disc.

GS550 - 1978

GS 550 1978
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
Overall Height: 1 150 mm (45.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 195 kg (429 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm. Single front disc.

GS550 - 1978

GS 550 1978
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
Overall Height: 1 150 mm (45.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 195 kg (429 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm. Twin front disc.

GS550E - 1978

GS 550 E 1978
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
Overall Height: 1 150 mm (45.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 196 kg (431 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.


Suzuki model year code: N

The second version of the GS550E was presented in Japan in October 1978. New graphics. A USA styled custom version called GS550L was released.

GS550 E - 1979

GS 550 E 1979
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
Overall Height: 1 150 mm (45.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 196 kg (431 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.

GS550 L - 1979

GS 550 L 1979
Overall Length: 2 140 mm (84.3 in)
Overall Width:
Overall Height:
Wheelbase: 1 495 mm (58.9 in)
Dry Weight: 205 kg (451 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.


1980 Suzuki year code: T

The third version of the GS550E was presented in Japan in December 1979. New graphics.

GS550 E - 1980

GS 550 E 1980
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
Overall Height: 1 150 mm (45.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1 435 mm (56.5 in)
Dry Weight: 196 kg (431 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.

GS550 L - 1980

GS 550 L 1980
Overall Length: 2 140 mm (84.3 in)
Overall Width:
Overall Height:
Wheelbase: 1 495 mm (58.9 in)
Dry Weight: 205 kg (451 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.


1981 Suzuki year code: X

GS550 E - 1981

GS 550 E 1981
Overall Length: 2 175 mm (85.6 in)
Overall Width: 720 mm (28.3 in)
Overall Height: 1 155 mm (45.5 in)
Seat Height: 790 mm (31.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1 465 mm (57.7 in)
Ground Clearance: 150 mm (5,9 in)
Dry Weight: 200 kg (440 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm. Single front disc.


Suzuki model year code: Z

The 1982 GS550L had metal front disc reservoir instead of white plastic on earlier model years. The rear disc brake was changed to drum brake and , and the dual front discs were replaced with a single disc. Pin striping on the tank and sidecovers was very unique to this year. No longer a continuous loop.

GS550 L - 1982

GS 550 L 1982
Overall Length: 2 140 mm (84.3 in)
Overall Width:
Overall Height:
Wheelbase: 1 495 mm (58.9 in)
Dry Weight: 205 kg (451 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.

GS550 M - 1982

GS 550 M 1982
Overall Length: 2150 mm (84.6 in)
Body Width: 520 mm (20.5 in)
Seat Height: 790 mm (31.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1435 mm (56.5 in)
Ground Clearance: 150 mm (5.9 in)
Dry Weight: 225 kg (495 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 50 hp (37 kW)/ 9.400 rpm, 41 Nm (4,2 kg-m)/ 8.400 rpm.


1985 Suzuki year code: F

The last incarnation of the GS550L had a slim-line tear-drop fuel tank, and adjustable Full-Floater rear suspension, The 1985 GS550L came in Maroon and Black.

GS550 L - 1985

GS 550 L 1985
Overall Length: 2,085 mm (82.1 in)
Overall Width: 825 mm (32.5 in)
Overall Height: 1,115 (45.1 in)
Seat Height: 745 mm (29.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1,445 mm (56.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 145 mm (5.7 in)
Dry Weight: 186 kg (410 lbs)
Engine type: Air-cooled 549 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 49 hp (35,8 kW) / 9.000 rpm, 42 Nm / 7.500 rpm.