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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    Thanx for all the replies folks ... am looking for an inexpensive, reliable Roadbike/Standard to replace my current '07 ZZ-R250 (EX250-H) ... not that there's anything wrong with my 'lil Kawi ... to the contrary, she's been an absolutley wonderful Bike ... but I essentially want something that will fullfil the same role as a thrify, comfortable commuter/runabout, but be better able to handle a bit of highway should I so choose. Thought about going back to a Cruiser ... which isn't completely out of the question (i.e. VT750C2 or RS), but the I think the nimbleness of the wee Ninja has spoiled me ... so, am thinking that the GS might be a good compromise. I'll be going to view the Bike this weekend and make up my mind after that.
    #21
  2. Jonesin

    Jonesin n00b

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    My final 3 contenders were the EX500, GS500, but the winner was the SV650S.

    I test rode a couple of each, and for the year (2002) the SV was leaps and bounds above the other 2. I bought my example in June last year, (my first year riding) and paid $3500. I drove from Ottawa to St. Catherine's to pick it up, and am extremely grateful for my choice.

    Enough bike to keep me inspired for the next few years, light (just under 400 lbs dry), decent on gas (50-55 mpg consistently), reliable (I've put 28k kms on it last season), and forgiving enough to keep me out of trouble.

    Best of luck with your decision.

    Ed
    #22
  3. Paulcet

    Paulcet Invisible apparently

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    I think the GS500 will serve your purposes quite well. The Canadian models were jetted slightly richer, I believe, than the US models. So take the carb complaints from us US people with a grain of salt... An inexpensive and fairly easy spring and shock swap would make the suspension nearly perfect.
    #23
  4. WAP

    WAP Weekday Warrior

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    I'm still commuting on my '02 nearly every day. It was my first bike and I will have had it for ten years in april. Good, solid, dead reliable, cheap to run bike.
    #24
  5. Bluesmudge

    Bluesmudge Been here awhile

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    I have a 2006 GS500F. Thats the faired model. One of the easiest bikes I've ever worked on. Good community and parts availability. It's a standard, so it doesn't do anything really well but it can do anything. $100 for new springs a $40 for a different shock (check gstwins) make the bike great. I've had a few other bikes come through my garage but the GS500 is a constant. Keep the oil topped up and the valves in spec and the bike will roll on past 100k miles no problem. EX500 is a little faster but not as easy to work on. SV650 is probably a better choice if you don't want to know how to work on motorcycles.
    #25
  6. ZZ-R Rider

    ZZ-R Rider Captain Fantastic

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    OK, so went and looked at the GS500E yesterday ... Bike is in super condition ... will need a new rear tire after this season, but that is to be expected with 8800km on the clock.

    Couple of concerns ... the Bike is a bit on the tall side for me ... could only get balls of feet down, which would make backing this Bike up a bit of an issue ... especially with the slight forward lean to the bars. I know that aftermarket lowering links can be had for this model, but the bar clamps on the GS position the bars right over the tops of the fork tubes, so looks like lowering the front to match the rear might be a problem?

    Anyone here ever dealt with that ... looking for potential solutions before making an offer on the Bike.

    Thanks in advance!
    #26
  7. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    The corbin seat is lower, or you could modify your stock seat over the winter with thinner / narrower foam toward the front to reduce your standover without impacting comfort too much.
    #27
  8. PachmanP

    PachmanP Long timer

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    I'd look at some pics of E models. The tank looks like it might be an F model. The sticker continues like there was a fairing before. Bike coulda been an F that wrecked, and the owner did the F to E conversion. They didn't have naked 04's in the US.

    GSTwin was a great resource when I had mine. I'd check it out before discounting it.
    #28
  9. Tinkerfreak

    Tinkerfreak Adventurer

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    And you don't get winter in CT?

    My wife has an 06 with 9000 kms on it and the Carbs have not been an issue. We did upgrade the front fork springs and added Rox Riser which in turn meant we had to put on a longer brake hose, put on SW Motech engine guards, a Givi box on the back, a Givi windscreen, lowering links and dropped the front forks 3/4". We have done some lengthy tours with it and she loves it. She also has a K75 but does not use it very much as she says it's awkward at slow speeds.

    For a 2004 it is overpriced at $3600, would offer $2750 and if you really need to have it do not pay more than $3000.

    Good luck with the decision.

    Cheers
    #29
  10. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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    Oh yes, but it's supposed to be a balmy +2 F tonight and a high of 18 tomorrow - I'm getting out the Speedo.:lol3
    #30
  11. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    It was 72 here today. I almost had to wear a jacket and gloves. Almost.
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  12. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    While I really liked my GS500E, the GS500F is a whole different bike. They made the bars lower and the pegs higher. I recently sold an '09 EX500 that I bought new in '09, because of the painful riding position. It made riding any distance almost unbearable. I only put 5,000 miles on it in 3 years. The SV is even worse, with a riding position close to a full blown supersport.

    But besides riding position, there are other things to consider. Obviously both the EX and SV are a lot faster than the GS. If speed is your primary concern, the GS is not your bike. But it is far more reliable than the EX500 (did you know you cannot even remove the head from an EX without damaging it? And if you drop an EX, it can take as much as 30 seconds to get oil pressure back?) I always thought the EX500 was a solid motor, until joining ex-500.com. Turns out it has a lot of problems. The SV is obviously way more complicated, being a v-twin, it has 2 of almost everything compared to a parallel twin. Also much harder to service. The GS500 will not be much more powerful than an EX250 (though the bike itself is bigger, and will fit a larger rider better). But the upside of that is the engine is built like an anvil, and very mildly tuned. It is not highly stressed, and will last almost forever if taken care of. And for me, it's handling was just as good on curvy roads as the EX, without all the pain.
    #32
  13. SQD8R

    SQD8R Eat squids and be merry

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    I loved the GS500E so much that I bought it twice. It was my 6th bike and my 11th out of over 40 bikes owned. I love it. Great bike, no maintenance needed beyond the norm, dead reliable and easy fun bike to go riding on. Fast enough imo as well.
    #33
  14. Bluesmudge

    Bluesmudge Been here awhile

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    From my experience, neither of these statements are true. The only change was from '89 to '90 when they went from clip-ons to standard bars. For the '01 and '02 in the US the bars were chrome instead of black. Its possible you had some experience with a modified GS. You hardly ever see a stock GS because parts are cheap and every part could be improved :lol3

    Bar risers, different bars, different rearsets, different shocks or springs, and lowering/raising kits are all cheap for the GS500 (E or F) and make the bike work for anyone under 250 lbs. You can also change the seat but those can be spendy. Seriously head over to the gstwin forums and wiki for more than you ever wanted to know about the GS500.
    #34
  15. ohgood

    ohgood Long timer

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    The E is the same bike from 89 to 2013. They just slapped a fairing on it in 04 (or so) for the US folks, and discontinued clipons in 90. Carbs became 3 circuit in 2004 I believe, every single other part is interchangable.
    #35
  16. skirecs

    skirecs Adventurer

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    there is a fella on gstwins with two 500s, both over 100k

    id say they are pretty reliable...



    i bought an 89 model for 800, rode it for a summer and 5k miles, and sold it for 800
    great fun for a starter bike
    #36