Suzuki GS500E Opinions?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by ZZ-R Rider, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. ZZ-R Rider

    ZZ-R Rider Captain Fantastic

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    Have a bead on a 2004 Suzuki GS500E ... copy clipped below from local Buy n' Sell Ad;

    [​IMG]

    Any GS owners out there like to weigh in it'd be appreciated. Thoughts on the Bike in general and/or asking price in ad welcome!

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    Back in the 90's I had a 1990 GS500E. Basically the same bike. It was a play bike that I would take out for quick rides in the twisties. The impressions I remember are:

    Its a little buzzy through the grips;

    I got a consistent 55 mpg US;

    It had enough power to be fun. It had enough power to do anything you want really, unless you ride above the speed limits for extended periods of time;

    It was an absolute hoot to wind out and listen to it wail. Fun bike to beat on a little bit. I had an FZ1, which had many good attributes, but you couldn't routinely wind it out - it was simply to fast for such infantile silliness :evil

    I replaced mine with a Honda Hawk GT. The Hawk had been down and was a little beat up. I was astonished at how much more refined the Hawk felt. It is a better bike in every way.

    The GS500E's are fun, economical, reliable bikes. A little rough around the edges perhaps. I like the naked ones better than the faired ones.

    I don't know if $3600 is a good price in Canada or not. No feel for the Canadian market.
    #2
  3. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    About 3 years ago we bought an 02 model as the wife's first street bike. We wanted something relatively low and light, easy to ride, simple to maintain, no fairings to break, etc. To make a long story short, it turned out to be a much more capable motorcycle than I had imagined. The only problem it had was the very lean stock jetting, a shim on the needle, and up one step on pilot and main jets and it ran perfect (the bike was stock otherwise). It consistently got around 60 mpg with her riding it, and it went on about 5 trips during the 2 years she rode it, one was 5 days and about 1600 miles. Very nice little motorbikes.

    Edit to add pic:

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    They're good/solid bikes, but a VERY old and dated design. If you needs are basic, they're fine, but don't expect cutting-edge performance or handling. Most think the Kawi EX500's of the same era are quite a bit better.

    And they don't make double the power of the Ninja 250's. Perhaps 30% more but with better torque.

    Looks in nice shape. No idea about the price.

    - Mark
    #4
  5. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    I had a '93 for a few years, it was my first bike. I sold it to a coworker's son who was looking to start riding.

    I should have kept it. :fpalm

    Cheap to run, fun to wring out, surprisingly good on gravel with those narrow tires. Mine had progressive springs and the stock lean carbs, which left it with a flat spot around 6k.

    $3600 seems high even from what I remember in Saskatchewan. They got a slight redesign of the tank and seat in '01, that is a nice one. :thumb
    #5
  6. M3-SRT8

    M3-SRT8 Been here awhile

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    The first bike that I learned to ride on. My ex-GF's bike, a '99 GS500E in dark green. Very easy, forgiving, undemanding bike.

    $3600 seems steep. You can go into a Honda dealership and get a new learner's bike for a little more than that.
    #6
  7. Bones Over Metal

    Bones Over Metal Adventurer

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    I had the F model with fairing but same bike.
    Put more than 10,000Kms a year on it, in Ontario. It was a great bike, rock solid, decent performance and fun bike to learn and ride to it's limits. It was comfortable and holds resale, as I sold it two years later for almost what I paid for it.

    If you get it for $3000 then I'd say it's a deal.


    Good luck
    #7
  8. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    I had one. It had absolutely the worst carburetion and forks of any bike I've ever owned. I had the carbs off at least 9 times over a weekend, either it was flooding out, or running out of gas at full throttle, I've heard its a very common issue. Went up on the pilot one size and lifted the needle. Never did get it perfect, and I've tuned plenty of carburated bikes. The forks would bottom going into a driveway. Most of them burn oil. GSTwins is a useless site that the users spend all their time telling each other how great they are, and giving out (sometimes) dangerous advise.

    Remember, I owned one. Probably one of the worst bikes I've ever owned. For $3600 or whatever it was, you can buy a pretty nice SV650, which is at least twice the bike (I've owned one of those, too). Or a 1200 Bandit (5 times the bike). Or a ZRX1200. Another great bike.
    #8
  9. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Guys, with the pricing discussions, let's keep in mind that we're talking Canadian pricing, not US. Stuff costs more up there, in some cases, a lot more.

    - Mark
    #9
  10. MacMcMacmac

    MacMcMacmac Idiots Avant!

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    I am in Canada and I say that is too much for a 9 year old GS500. I got a 2004 1200 Bandit at auction for that. Someone is trying to make money from the low mileage. If you are set on a GS, you can probably do a lot better than that by accepting a few more miles or a few more years of age, which isn't much of a sacrifice since they didn't really change much over the years. My friend had one back in the mid 90s and it kept up easily with my GS 550 four banger.

    Edit: I see you are in Newfoundland. I did notice used bike prices there being rather high when I was home last. That's the small market working against you I guess.
    #10
  11. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    You can find a 1200 Bandit, at least in the US, for $2000, for a decent one, maybe $2800 for a real nice one. Not sure what the exchange rate is in Canadia.
    #11
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    +1 on the carbs, they are constantly in need of attention. The forks are made out of cheese and or potatoes. Not sure which is the higher concentration.

    But, they're fun. Very forgiving, very good relaxed torque down low. Newbie friendly.

    Bought mine with 2900 mile for $1600 and sold it with 31000 for $1800. 4 sets of tires, two chains, and the carbs came off, ohhhhh, only 127 times.

    Gstwins used to be great, but I think gixxer.com's forum found out about it, and ruined it. :(
    #12
  13. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    It's January.

    In CANADA!:vardy

    The seller will snap up the OP's $3000, and they'll both be happy.:thumb

    Suzuki's made a version of that bike ever since they gave up on 2-smokes, and they have a well deserved reputation as a reliable, economical, competent, low-thrills bike.
    #13
  14. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    My point was not that it was a good deal. It was that many folks commenting on the price are comparing to their US pricing experience which isn't comparable. I doubt very many of us are in a position to know how bikes are priced in Newfoundland.

    - Mark
    #14
  15. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    ^Agreed, and my point is it's January in the North Country, buyer interest is at it's lowest point and ca$h is king, whether you're in New England or New Brunswick.:D
    #15
  16. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    My experience is that prices at cold-country dealerships firm up dramatically after the 1st of the year. They'll carry a bike for a couple months to have inventory ready for the 1st sunny/warm day in March when people come in and want a bike. It's Sept and Oct when the market is glutted (especially in a college town where kids are trying to make tuition) that you find the bargains.

    - Mark
    #16
  17. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    What dealership? The OP is looking at an ad in the local Buy-n-sell. Some guy wants to sell his bike in the dead of winter to get some loonies to pay off Boxing Day, and will certainly be willing to listen to a reasonable cash offer.
    #17
  18. GoonerYoda

    GoonerYoda Hot Dickens Cider

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    meh...I'd rather find an SV650.
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  19. MacMcMacmac

    MacMcMacmac Idiots Avant!

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    Offer him $2500. If he takes it, good for you. If he doesn't take it, good for you. That's all I'd spend on a bike that size, no matter what condition it's in or year it was made. It makes me shake my head when I hear of new 250cc twins being sold for over $5000.
    #19
  20. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    I don't know about Canadian prices. Here that is a $2000 bike max. But you would be hard pressed to find a better bike. I had a '95 for a couple of years, and foolishly traded it for a cruiser. It has plenty of power for normal riding, is totally freeway capable, and is WAY more comfortable than an EX500. It's a very simple air cooled engine with a 2 into 1 exhaust, and it has a centerstand. The engine is bulletproof. The whole line of small Suzuki twins GS400/425/450/500 are one of the most overbuilt motorcycle engines ever made. I put over 40,000 HARD miles on a 1980 GS450, and it still ran like new. It does have shim over bucket valve adjustment, but the valves never need adjusting. You cannot go wrong with the GS500E, unless you want something a lot more extreme, which also means a lot less comfortable as well. I could ride a GS500E all day, I wouldn't last 50 miles on an SV650.
    #20