Suzuki GS500E – Review – Suzuki GS500 – Underated bike

9 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki GS500E – Review – Suzuki GS500 – Underated bike
Suzuki GS

Suzuki GS500E

Advantages: Price, looks good + nice colour, performace + handling

Disadvantages: rust/corrodes easily, turning circle isn’t great

I bought a brand new GS500 in early January 2004 (although it’s actually the K2 model -not the very new one). It chose the blue one (I think the black doesn’t look very nice). The blue colour is beautiful with the silver contrast of the frame and rear end. Incidentally I think the very new ones don’t look quite as good.

The black frame doesn’t look as nice and the new blue is not as deep and glossy as the older blue. As well as this there is only the Susuki S on the tank instead of the full Suzuki name (We all want to proudly have the full name of the bike’s manufactere on view don’t we. ).

The engine is very sweet. It has loads of power and accelerates amazingly quickly (and this is whilst keeping it at or below 4000 rpm whilst running it in). I think top end would probably be only around 110 mph, but it gets up to three quarters of it’s top speed in just a few seconds.

You would out-accelerate virtually any car easily. It has a fairly quiet exhaust but what you can hear is a nice deep-ish sound as you should expect from a twin. Remember, as a 500cc with 2 cylinders, it’s cylinders/pistons are the same size as a 4-cylinder 1000cc bike. (Your R1’s/Fireblades etc).

Obviously there is no comparison for performance, but I think the large cylinder size does have it’s effect – The bike seems to have loads of torque from as litttle as 3000 rpm (I test rode a second-hand SV650 (a V-Twin – supposed to be mega-torquey) and I swear this GS has got better torque. The SV seemed to bog down at 3000 rpm whereas the GS pulls away like stink!

It seems a little heavy when manouvering it into the garage etc (although the Kawasaki ER5 and Honda CBF500 and CB500 are all heavier), but once moving the GS is an absolute pleasure to ride. It’s quite flickable and steers easily. It is very stable and never throws any surprises at you. (I also have a Honda ANF125 Innova an

d by comparison, that is very unstable/wobbly)

The gearbox isn’t too bad at all (sometimes very good), but it hasn’t run-in properly yet. It is still a better gearbox than my last bike which was a brand new Honda CB250 (typical Honda notchy box). Suzukis are renowned for smooth and slick gearboxes so I’ll wait and see.

The riding position is OK although I’ve put some bar risers on to lift the handlebars up and move them back slightly so now the riding position is even better! (although still not as comfy as a Suzuki V-Strom or Honda CBF600)

I know it’s classed as a commuter and everyone uses them as a commuter, but I don’t think I could use it for commuting unless my commute was long fast-ish roads. I only use mine on sunny days(!) whilst using the Honda ANF in any weather. I think if you’re looking at buying one for commuting in bad traffic (jams/traffic lights/narrow lanes), then I would still say that a little scooter/125 is the best.

They are easier to ride in awkward traffic situations, no clutch, less gears to bother with and have tighter turning circles/steering for manouvering through jams etc and they are lighter. The steering and weight issue is something that is noticed when riding in traffic.

Overall the GS500 is a top bike that is a good-looker (definately better than the competition), amazing performance (especially if you’re new to biking) and a good overall bike. I would say that they are a very underated bike. I know that they have a reputation for corroding so look after them well (all you need is WD40 and a rag!).

Mine has never seen rain and is only 4 months old and I’ve already seen a bit of surface rust on the under side of the bike!

Of course, my delight at the GS500’s performace/gearbox/handling/looks etc are because it’s the new shape model (fatter tank and fatter/different shaped rear end and straighter + higher handler bars (not the clip-on ones)) an

d it’s brand new. If you go out and by a second hand model that’s a bit rough and/or is the older model shape, it may not feel as I have described. They are fairly cheap brand new, so I would recommend getting as new a model as poss (certainly the newer shape one. – I used to own the older shape one and it was horrible – got rid of it after 3 months because of the riding position!)

If you want one for some fun/longer commutes then definately go for it. If you are new and want to commute through traffic, get a 125.


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