On the surface of it these two motorcycle engines are very similar, but there are a number of massive differences hidden inside them. The Suzuki GS1000 motor dates from 1978, when heavy metal ruled, whilst the Honda Fireblade lump comes from the 90’s, when it was all casual trainers and Britpop.
The Suzuki GS1000 engine was a tribute to Kawasaki’s z900/1000 power plant. Some cruelly say that Suzuki did a better job of creating an 8-valve air-cooled motor, but we’ll avoid that intense political debate for now.
Instead we’ll stick with the layman’s views of how the two engines, separated by almost 20 years, look when sat side by side. There’s not much of a size difference to the 1997 Honda FireBlade RRV model, with the GS only around 8 cm bigger at the widest point. And height wise there’s even less in it, with the Honda being 4cm taller.
Front to back measurements again sees the Suzuki again being the bulkier of the two, with another 8 cm difference to the svelte CBR. We couldn’t steal some bathroom scales, but judging by the discomfort of carrying the pair around, the Honda is the result of a 20 year diet compared to the GS.
In terms of output, a bit of textbook revision tells me that the 997cc Suzuki unit put out a claimed 90bhp if you believe the factory estimates, while 19 years later the 918cc Honda was capable of between 105-120bhp depending on which bike/magazine/dyno combination you went with.
Going into the components in isolation reveals more differences. The Blade got magnesium covers to keep overhaul weight down, and the barrels are cast with the upper crankcase, something Honda do on lots of their range. The generators are roughly the same sizes, yet the clutch covers point to progress in smaller baskets.
I still think the Fireblade is modern, where the GS1000 engine is exactly like those I doodled on my school excercise books.
Both although both these engines came from running bikes, it’s the Honda that’s only suitable for parts after wrecking a big end bearing!