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Old 07-09-2014, 01:19 PM   #1
RUSTYtankerBEAN OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Rapid City, SD
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CBR1100XX vs GS500E..What should I buy???

Long story short: I'm selling my DRZ400SM and have the two bikes listed above available to me from a buddy. Both of these bikes are in excellent condition and very very cheap. I have owned many motorcycles in past but I have never owned either of the two listed. I was hopping for some insight/personal experience with them to help me out. I live in the Black Hills area in South Dakota so both bikes will be put through there paces in the canyons. My upcoming commute to work will be 35 miles a day on highway where the speed limit is 65-70mph with no in town commute. Half of that commute is twisty higher speed sweepers followed by a bit of straight two lane. I lately have lived by the rule "it's more fun to ride an under powered bike full out than a fast bike at half throttle" But commuting on my DRZ on the highway sucks..Anyway I will ride both of these bikes to night to see what I think of them.

CBR1100xx 1997
GOOD:
plenty of power
smooth engine
long fuel range
good wind protection
reliability

BAD:
Fuel economy (comparatively)
Heavy
temptation to let it rip
linked brakes (maybe)

POSSIBLE FUTURE MODS:
VFR bars
lower foot pegs
bigger windscreen



GS500E 2000
GOOD:
cheap insurance
great mpg
light weight
fun in tight canyons
easy maintenance


BAD:
crap suspension stock
no wind protection
aircooled (not a really big deal)
buzzy at 70mph ??

POSSIBLE FUTURE MODS:
katana/sportbike front fork swap
rear shock swap
katana rear wheel swap
exhaust

RUSTYtankerBEAN screwed with this post 07-09-2014 at 01:43 PM Reason: Title
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
RUSTYtankerBEAN OP
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It looks like I posted this in the wrong forum...I meant to post it in road warriors. Could a moderator please move it for me, I'm sorry for the mistake.

Aaron
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:16 PM   #3
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Well hell....after ridding both of them I really don't feel like either would make a good daily rider. The CBR was VERY smooth and quick...but I felt racked out and the steering was so heavy through tight corners. The GS500 on the other hand was great in the corners despite its stock suspension...but the engine vibrated something fierce under acceleration. It seemed both bikes lacked "soul" to me and has me on my search for a bike under $2,000.00. I guess I have to keep up the search.

Potential bikes

Sportster 1200 (street tracker style eventually)
NT650 Hawk GT
SV650 (owned 3 already)
Super Hawk (owned 1)
ZRX1100/1200
VFR 750/800
Older CB SOHC?
Ninja 650 adventure style (owned versys)
Buell (any other than a blast) (owned Uly, firebolt, blast)
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:30 PM   #4
Fixcinater
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The GS500 shouldn't have vibrated enough to make someone note it unless they had never ridden a twin before. It's pretty smooth, or at least it should be.

I've had my '00 GS500 since new...been a solid, reliable bike even with teenage dumbass me doing stupid stuff to it.

Track days, dirt roads, took a lot of abuse and still starts every damn time I want it to run.

Put an SV650 shock on it with progressive fork springs and heavy oil/big spacers/fork brace up front), CBR F2 stock rearsets, wider Pilot Sport tires, HH pads with steel line up front, ignition advancer, K&N filters + jet kit, Yosh full exhaust, quick turn throttle and drag bars took it from an easy riding commuter bike to a fairly capable canyon carver.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:14 AM   #5
tremor38
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Location: Japan
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Wish I could help you more, but the only bike I could speak from experience about was the Blackbird. I suppose I was really used to what it takes to throw it around, so it didn't feel overly heavy to me in tight corners.

On your revised list, I can say for sure that the VFR800 has the same Combined Braking System (CBS) that is on the CBR1100XX. That was the one feature of the that bike I did NOT like. I you come into a corner too hot and need to scrub off speed in a hurry using the front brake, pucks also activate on the rear brake, so, if you're in any kind of a lean, you come dangerously close to low siding. For that very reason, I traded it in on a YZF-1000R Loved that bike, but my sport bike riding days are over.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:32 AM   #6
ADVwannabe
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Location: SW Pollyworld
Oddometer: 144
I'm on my second 'Bird.

Uprated front springs, fireblade shock, 4mm shim on top of the shock, it is still a bit of a barge, but a lot better than stock.

VFR bars, custom seat and a few other farkles and it's good for Iron butt runs. I've done three so far.

It tours, it sports if you have the will and the inclination to throw it around, it's comfy and it's fast.

Ignore the wallys who parrot the 'it's bland' mantra and take it for a decent ride, it might be for you. If it isn't at least you made your own mind up.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:07 PM   #7
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Well I got a 2002 DL1000 Vstrom! I found it for $1500.00. There is some scratched plastic and the subframe needs replacing as well as the mufflers but that is not all that expensive. I should be able to go pick it up August 16th. A buddy went and checked it out for me but I can't get to Denver before then unfortunately. I will post pictures when I go pick it up.

Aaron
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