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Old 03-02-2009, 08:58 AM   #1
gwl OP
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ex500

I am looking at getting a used ex500 as my first "road" bike. I have had a dr200, klr650 and have and will keep my drz400.

I would just like a new toy to run around town and hit the back paved roads and may be son longish tour 1000+ mile trips.

Question is how are they 1 up at cruze speed of 70 to 75 mph?

How about short range 2 up?

On paper they look good but I would like to hear from those that have ridden the.

I saw one guy post that they will do 85 mph all day long.

I can not say as I have not ridden one but have sat on one. I do not have a bike picked out but just starting the looking thanks. Any other info would be great.

One other thing is that I want to speed around 3000. so That puts the sv a little out of range. thanks Greg
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Can't speak to the EX500 specifically, but I can speak to its smaller sibbling the EX250. I had a ZZR-250 (EX250H), and it will do 75mph one up all day without complaint. I've been told and see no reason to believe otherwise that the 500 will do just the same.

Two up touring may not be a strong point, but loading an additional 150 pounds on a EX500 will still leave you with a power-to-weight of about 15 pounds per horsepower, which is similar to Ninja 250 one up, and better than any of the other 250cc bikes; So it'll manage around town just fine.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:26 AM   #3
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The EX500 is a pretty good bike for the price. The suspension is really light and riding two up would not be ideal. The EX500 and the SV650 both suffer from suspension that is too light for most riders over 140 lbs. I have both an EX and a first generation SV at the moment and the SV is a much better bike. There are plent of SV's to be had around $3000 go to SVRIDER.COM there are always bikes there for sale.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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I had a Suzuki GS500, and now have a Kawasaki EX650 (Ninja 650R).

The 650cc twins from Suzuki and Kawasaki are a nice step up from the older style carbureted 500s. They weigh about the same, have better tire options, and the newer ones are fuel injected. Mileage was about the same between my GS500 and Ninja 650R.

I don't see a compelling argument for an EX500 vs. a used 650, especially if some longer days and short 2up stints are in the works.

CDN 0.02

edit: didn't catch the $3k part. Definitely some of the best bang for the buck in that price range. Alternatives would be an older Suzuki Bandit 600 or Katana 600, Yamaha YZF600R, Kawasaki ZX-6E or ZR-7S, or a Honda Nighthawk 750. All are quite common used, can handle two up a bit better, but will be quite a bit older at $3k than an EX500. EX is still a good choice.

Grainbelt screwed with this post 03-02-2009 at 02:00 PM
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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I had an '02 500R, and might still have it if such a good deal didn't come along on my ZX6R. I did overnighters on the 500 and found it quite comfortable for all day riding. It had surprisingly good power over 7000rpm, and I'd see no problem with an all day 70mph+ cruise. 2-up would be okay for shorter day rides, but I don't think it would make a good long-trip 2-up tourer, for the suspension issues mentioned above, and it is a bit small.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:32 PM   #6
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I had an '06 EX500 for 3.5k miles. Plenty of power - supposedly much more than the equivalent GS500. I agree about the suspension being more of the issue with two up rather than power. The bike has very good power in town and if you do rev it above 6-7k RPM it will fly! It is an old style bike, simple, reliable, nothing special. Has a center stand which is very useful and an excellent range with the 4.8 gallon tank. Looks are a matter of taste. You could probably get an '05-'06 for $3k. As for the Ninja 650 which replaced it (except in the US), it is definitely a better bike. But, you would be hard pressed to find an '06 under $4k. Agree about the SV being a better bike - no question about it. If you can find one that is an '05 for around $3k go for it.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:48 PM   #7
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I used a 06 for 2 up & commuting. With a tailbox & tank bag it did it all. No fluff, no excess. It worked and that was about it. Cruising at +70 with a passenger was a non issue,,, IIRC I did drop the CS 12 tooth making it pull a bit better overall.

The 650 Ninja is a better version, again, nothing special and very similar, just a revised edition.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:56 AM   #8
Sir Not Appearing
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I have a '91 EX500 and love it. However, I got an good deal on a bike with an odd history. A guy bought the bike in '91, put 1064 miles on it, wrecked it, and evacuated his bowels before parking the bike for 16 years. Then, I got it for $500 off of Ebay.

The bike does most things pretty well, but isn't really excellent at anything. I rode it to work from late-March to December last year and have ridden it on the interstate, some two-up, and some gravel. Its crowded when riding two-up, but it is doable.

Like I said, I love mine if for nothing more than I have a bike that I just ride and don't care so much about how it looks or if it the paint gets chipped or it tips over, other people ride it, etc. Its a great beater that I have a total of $1200 or so into. However, if I had $3k to spend it would be on something else like the bikes Grainbelt suggested.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:04 AM   #9
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Pricing varies greatly by market, so that's subjective. In my area, you'd be hard pressed to find a decent used SV650 or YZF600R, which are far superior bikes. Those would be my first recommendations, with the Yamaha getting the edge due to comfort, suspension and braking.

I've ridden the EX several times (friend's bike) and thought it was okay. It's more equivalent to the Seca II or the GS550E, but superior to those two bikes. It would work just fine for your stated purpose.


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Old 03-03-2009, 09:19 AM   #10
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I enjoyed my EX500 very much. Power is fine. Never rode 2 up. Talked myself into a V-Strom, so the EX now belongs to my wife. The Kawi is a good ride for the money. Check out ex500.com
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_l
I enjoyed my EX500 very much. Power is fine. Never rode 2 up... The Kawi is a good ride for the money. Check out ex500.com
+1 except I'm still enjoying mine. And I'd agree with most of the thoughts above.

I think Sir Nor Appealing summed it up nicely: "The bike does most things pretty well, but isn't really excellent at anything." It's real good, but not great and that's good enough for me.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:57 PM   #12
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So do you think a rider who's ridden for about 4 years, most of them on a dr650 could enjoy the bike and toss it around without being too bored if he's the kind of guy not jumping at the bit to have more power than a dr650? I've been thinking of trading my GL1200 for something smaller, like an sv650 but these bikes are just not showing up used (naked version, don't want clip ons) in my area. Thinking the 500 might do.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchbanker
So do you think a rider who's ridden for about 4 years, most of them on a dr650 could enjoy the bike and toss it around without being too bored if he's the kind of guy not jumping at the bit to have more power than a dr650?
I had a GS500 (a bit less power than the EX) then a Ninja 650 and a DR650.

The power delivery from the parallel twins is totally different than the DR, as is the handling. A different kind of ride, and a lot of fun in its own right. The 6 speed trans and higher peak power make for a more involved ride, in my opinion. I love my DR650, but for any kind of highway ride, an EX500 would be a great change of pace.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:22 PM   #14
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The EX250 will do everything you describe perfectly, so the EX500 would be slightly overkill...or, as we say...almost enough.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:35 AM   #15
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The EX500 is about as close as you can get to a 70s RD400, without the wheelies & blue smoke, unless you buy a beater!!!

Light feeling, overall kinda cheap but easy to toss around and will easily exceed the street smart pace in tight twisty roads,,,well beyond the speed limit if ya know what I mean but not risking hitting another, a tree, a curb, house, etc... And it does it with cheap tires. Coming off a DR650 you will not notice the perceived cheaepness in quality.

Mine had SS brake lines, a -1 CS sprocket & bar risers w/tall windshield. Pipes just make it annoying to ride, revel in the quiet & wring its neck.
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