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Suzuki GS500E

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    16 Reviews
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      23.12.2013 10:12

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      An extremely reliable machine

      I bought my 2008 model as a replacement for a Vespa cosa that i was using to commute to work in all weather, all year round. So this is my second winter and so far the bike has never let me down. It is no speed machine however i have wound her up to 80MPH on the motorway. The bike is extremely stable and easy to ride and is happiest sitting at 60-70 MPH. My Bike was an ex riding school machine that has a dent and scratches where a learner dropped the bike however this doesnt affect the handling. So far i have replaced one rear tyre and am due to replace the chain and sprockets very soon. I have serviced the bike myself twice and the only difficulty i experienced was with seized nuts on the clutch cover however this was easly rectified. So nearly three years later and 5000 miles of successfull riding. The bikes are cheap to buy and maintain and an ideal learner, first bike due to ease of use and handling. The controls are very basic and my model doesnt even have a Fuel guage. Saying that i have only ever had to turn the tap to reserve once. I commute every day to work and find the bike very economical to run. Approximately £9 for 100 miles. The bike is a twin cylinder air cooled machine.

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      08.03.2010 04:03
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      A perfect commuter, first big bike or winter hack

      I bought a 2002 GS500E to see me through the winter while my V-Strom was wrapped up.

      If you look around and buy at the right time bargains are to be had, this cost me £808 last October on Ebay but needed an oil leak sorting (£65).

      I'm 6'1" so it felt a bit like a monkey bike at first but I soon got used to it, I felt neither silly or vunrable riding this bike. Comfort starts to suffer after a couple of hours in the saddle but it's hardly a tourer.

      it's certainly not the fastest bike on the planet, I've been up to 85mph and doubt there was much more than that to be had.

      For a first big bike I would recommend the GS, It's a tough little bugger, I lost the back on a roundabout and expected to see bits flying off everywhere but all there was was scratching on the engine casing and the mirror had come unscrewed.

      Not great in the wet or on uneven camber.

      Cheap to insure.

      Handling is ok as long as you don't ask too much of it.

      As it's not let me down throughout quite a bad winter I'd have to give 10 out of 10 for reliability.

      It's well made and well held together and although it probably hasn't won many design awards it looks and feels like a real bike.

      More comfortable around town and within the speed limits when going rural.

      All in all a good strong little bike, a perfect commuter.

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      21.07.2009 18:25
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      Perfect commuter, perfect bridge bike...

      This bike has been my angel on wheels over the past 10-11 months! it really is as good as people say, and more!!!
      i have had numerous people say to me that they are bullet proof, will do in excess of 60-80k miles, and mine hasnt once let me down!

      considering mine is a 95 N reg GS500e, it is in excellent condition, and for around £1000 you get a whole lot of reliability and masses of fun!!! it corners like a dream! left knee down to right knee down in milliseconds! and the best thing is its an ideal sportsbike trainer and pre 21yrs old sports bike if it is restricted to 33bhp (for about £100)!!!
      i have the unrestricted 50bhp version, bought it with 24k miles on the clock, and N reg... for £1000 exactly.... it was advertised for £1200... but with a bit of cheek i had this reduced.... and i have never ever regretted the buy ever! and i expect you could get the same bike cheaper elsewhere, but i had a lot of extra's and 12 month warranty added in too!!!

      ok... so down to the real stuff....
      im 6'3" and after long journeys of 70 miles plus, my legs need a good stretch... it would be perfect for a shorter or smaller framed person, and is light enough for a small woman to feel relatively comfortable at slow speeds! but even for me, its bearable and quite comfortable, but the tradmark leg stretch in mid flight helps alot every 40-50 miles!

      thats the problem with good things... there is so little to write about them because it is soo good! its a bike that works, and i dont doubt for a second it wont aim to please even the sportiest of racers! they would still have fun, its ability in the wet is far more composed and natural than a full on sports racing bike, as i found out following another bike in the ice! his back end was a tad twitchy, but the GS instilled great confidence and i felt reletively secure!
      i will add though that changing the teeth one less on the front sprocket doesnt really merit enough difference to weigh up the life of the chain, and i would much rather have the standard arrangement! when you get good on it it does give you a wealth of power, ideal for "lawful" speed limits! its power ratio fits perfectly withing the national speed limits, so if a car is doing 55 infront, a drop down into a better gear, a twist and go, you will be doing 80-90 by the time you get to the cars front... making safe enough to overtake, but not mad enough to instill fear into everyone watching you! and in the same breath, motorway speeds are good, the bike will sit comfortably at 90-100, it will do over 110mph, but whats the point! absolutely perfect for new riders.... who wants to kill themself, lose their license or put other peoples life at risk before you get good enough to ride the monster 10k+ bikes you dream of having....

      also, if you want a disposable bike, this is for you... if your practicing track days etc, and can see yourself coming off alot then this bike is perfect for finding those limits without worrying about stupidly high repair charges etc... all the bits are relatively cheap in comparison, i had fitted some Perelli demonsport rear tire fitted for £65! and the tires are fantastic... better than the standard bridgestone bt's! and the tire gets quite hot after only a few miles! ideal for all weather conditions really, but great for sunday summer fun too!!!!
      i have left mine outside for the whole of last winter in very harsh and salty atmosphere and apart from a few tiny spots of rust in unimportant places its still immaculate! the paintwork is still top notch, the plastics still shine, and the wheels still are as white as snow, apart from a bit of wear, where the previous owner attacked the chain oil covered rims with a brillo pad!!! for future reference, turtle wax eats away all the grease and grime on the wheels with amazing dazzling effect!!!

      the bike sounds lovely, it red lines at 11000rpm, which isnt really needed, thjrough personal experience, the power range is between 6000rpm and 10000rpm... and 3rd and 4th gear are opver with very quickly with a bit of agressive riding... its economical rates is 4-6000 rpm... although it doesnt seem to like being under 4000rpm, and especially if you want power, its just not there, so always a little gear planning before power use is needed, but thats the great thing with the bike, after 6-12 months on this bike you could beat an average experience sportsbike and rider around twisty tracks hands down!
      one more thing i must add before i go, is its starting routines! it starts first time, everytime, but because it was made for an american market, and also apparently i have heard the engine is designed to have precision tolerances at hot engine temperatures, so unless the bike is stupidly hot in the sun, it does need the choke... no more than 10 minutes in down to -2c, and 5 minutes for 10c+, but to leave the bike parked up, im still very impressed with the way it starts up instantly, even after being left for an couple hours... its a nice trick being able to walk up to it, press the start button for a split second and hear it come to life and purr like kitten everytime!

      in summery, wow, what a bike, highly recommended, and perfect for anyone, whether a starter into the bike world, or a beginner track goer.... its virtually indestructable, cheap to run, cheap to repair, will live through a holocaust and most likey still start after a nuclear bomb went off under the engine! you cant go wrong! just make sure no one else has had it as a trackday bike! im sure hard and high revs could reduce the engine life quite a bit! but not alot in my opinion!

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        19.01.2008 17:45

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        i bought a gs500f last year. i have put around 700 miles on the bike, no problems! checked the bolts & nuts,changed the oil & filter. i'm 33 yrs old & been riding every kind of bike you can think of. i like the fill of the bike,great in town,& on interstate rds. i drive around 55 miles a day & i can zip in town & back out with out the loud noise of the bigger bikes. i have a 1600 for me & moma, but it stays on the stand most of the time know. i'd rather ride the 500 than the 1600. i get around 190 miles before reserv: & the 1600 gets around 130. see the differance. don't seem like alot, but when your in town or just want to run over a freinds house u will notice. (thanks J.B.)

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        12.12.2007 22:22

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        I HAVE A 2004 GS500F AND HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS WITH. EVERY 2000 MILES THE BIKE NEEDS AN EXUAST VALVE ADJUSTMENT. I AM VERY GENTAL ON THE BIKE BUT IT JUST DOSENT SEEM TO RUN GOOD. PLEASE ADVISE ME ON WHICH CLIFF TO PUSH THIS BIKE OFF OF.

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        05.07.2006 12:39
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        Easy and Fun to ride at a low low cost

        Having been riding motorcycles for 30 years I have allways kept in a time warp and seemed to be riding Classics.
        I have a Suzuki GT 750 Water cooled and now decided to try a modern bike that would be a lot lighter to use so I stumbled upon the Suzuki GS500F.
        What a machine this little bike is I have a nice twisty road near me that I have used for Years I know the limits of this Road for any motorcycle that I have used Until Now I took the Suzuki down there a couple of times and have found that this little machine can be thrown into corners and it just comes back for more you can even make a mistake an correct it with this machine.
        I have not fully run the engine in yet but up to now it feels responsive and smooth.
        In traffic this bike handles well and is very tame the bike itself feels like a 250 to ride and handles like one but has the looks of a bigger bike.
        If you are a learner and want to step up to a larger bike then try this one it is very well priced cheap to insure very economical to run and has a good fun factor.
        Even for me to step down from a 750 to this 500 I have no regrets .

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          06.04.2006 20:06
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          hard working bike that can take abuse from learners and neglect

          GENERAL
          These bikes will take alot of abuse from novice DAS riders!. At a local training school where i help out they have one that has gone round the clock and still going well.Most of the ones i have see have been crashed or dropped at some time.

          PAINTWORK
          White rims can look tatty and are hard to keep clean... graphite grey models look better.The metalic silver frames show up the rust quite well!.

          CHASSIS AND ENGINE
          They can take quit a bit of neglect- lack of servcing etc.
          As they get older, they like to start leaking oil from around the front of the engine.
          Im not a particular fan of the standard mono shock setup as its exposed to the elements.
          The petrol tank rots inside out on the lower corners where the panels meet up.
          Fairing models can be easily converted to a unfaired version with the purchase of a standard gs headlight and support brackets.
          The electrical system will start to rot out, unless preventative treatment is done. The rear tail light will rot out and stops working one bulb at a time.
          Clutch worm-gear mechanism (on the sprocket cover)can wear out causing clutch operation problems.


          THE RIDER
          Alot of women riders can get on this bike, with the seat lowered.
          If you are a very over-wieght person there is a great risk of your inner thighs cracking the side panels.

          I can not ride the gs500 with the standard bars as i get numb hands, wrists and twinges of pain!. the later model with the standard handle bars is no problem for me.


          EXTRAS
          Most after market mirrors around the £12 mark are not as good as the originals as they will vibrate making rear view visibility impossible!.
          Scot-oiler extends chain life dramatically.
          I would recomend crash bars, as droping the bike could cause serious damage to the engine. I.e one trainee droped a gs500 and it smashed the pickup coils and ripped out the rotor bolted to the crankshaft- almost scraping the crankshaft!.
          If you have small hands , you may find the reach too far, i dont know if you can buy levers that will suit a rider with small hands?

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          14.01.2005 16:05

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          best introduction to biking possible - Advantages: cheap, quick, sexy - Disadvantages: seems heavy, corrosion on down pipes

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          28.11.2004 20:23
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          • "cheap tax"

          After passing my bike test in Oct 2000 on a 125 Kawasaki, I progressed to an old Honda Superdream CB250 and then my husbands Yamaha Diversion and Virago , but this year I was determined to pick a bike of my own. I wanted a sporty, fun bike with lots of go in it and considered the Bandit, CBR500 and Kawasaki ER5. As we were passing our local bike shop in September we saw a lovely red Suzuki GS500E. ( being a girl I wanted a nice bright colour). I found that the handle bars are slightly lower than I was used to, but the test handling was really smooth. It is a 1998 model, with fairing and screen, but you can still see the neat silver frame on the outside which I fell in love with. (I don't want a new one as I want to ride it, not be put off by our Great British weather, and also I haven't dopped a bike yet, but you never know) Bought it the same day and have done 900 mile so far. It is amazing, comfortable, nippy, economical, reliable and fantastic to handle. I was surprised with the lightness of it, but that can be a disadvantage when it is windy, especially with the fairing, but now I am aware of that I always take it into account when riding in dodgy weather. I have found that it loves to run on the higher revs and doesn't have the torque that my hubs Virago has. Always speedy off the lights, excellent brakes and it goes everywhere with me and my Shaun the Sheep waving to everyone behind. The only down side I have noticed is the rust sneaking up on some of the frame, but I read some of the other reviews and will try the WD40 idea (cheers!). I would like to add that I found in the past with any rust spots, stuff called, Barkeepers Friend, from Kleeneazie/Betterware and some shops is superb and a lot less work than Aotosol especially on exhausts. It is also cheap to tax at £45 per year.

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            30.05.2004 08:02
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            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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              06.09.2002 00:59
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              I just bought this bike (new), and I have been riding it for about 4 weeks now. All I can say is: BIG DIFFERENCE. I use to drive a Gilera 125 (and I passed my full bike test last year to carry a passanger), but deciced to change because when carrying my wife, the scooter did not have any power (she is very light before you ask!). Also, the riding position is very different and it feels safer. When I was choosing this bike (my other options were Kawasaki ER500 and Honda CB500), this one came on top. For the following reasons: Price (around £3200 OTR compared to £3400 and £3500 respectively), looks (this is sexiest, in my opinion), parts & service (Honda is the most expensive, followed by Kawasaki, then by Suzuki), weight (the lightest, the CB500 I found to be very top-heavy), and simplicity of design - less to go wrong! (aircooled!) The GS500K2 (GS500E - the K2 refers to 2002) is a great 1st bike as it really forgives a lot, but at the same time you have great power at your fingertips (52bhp). Riding position is very comfortable (I'm 6ft 2, and I have both my feet firmly on the ground), it almost feels like a sports bike! The disk breaks are superb, it stops from 30mph to 0mph in almost no time. Fuel consumtion is very very low (around 60 mpg), so an ideal commuter bike. My commuting time is approx 40mins, and with this bike is a joy... I truly recommend this bike to anyone!

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                09.07.2002 06:35

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                Been riding for over 45 years now. Bike before the GS500 was a Honda Deauville. Deauville was top heavy and very heavy.When dropped I couldn`t pick it up..embarrassing ! Happened once and promised myself never again. So I looked for something light and nippy with quick handling. Why not explore the modern equivalent of my youth...a decent parallel twin ? Hence the GS500 which is excellent, handles very well and is responsive and forgiving. Did a 400 miles on B roads two day round trip last week, the bum didn`t numb but the wrists did..have to sort that with some risers. Economy is good round about 60 mpg, cruising at legal limit. Fitted a small screen and a Motad Stainless Steel system...both make a difference. Brakes are fine, but after the twin front discs on the Deauville I have to think ahead a bit more ! Thought of the ER500 but wanted aircooled and bombproof, Bandit..too heavy and CB500 top heavy. As they say is this part of Ireland..Ì`m happy out`.

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                23.04.2002 05:34
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                Ive recently purchased a 1990 gs 500. Its my first "big" bike after a year on a 250, what a change! ive had the bike a little over a month, done 1500 miles! though i have had 2 weeks off work so... The bike's never missed a beat, starts first time, every time, is great for cutting through rush hour traffic, will keep up with my mates bandit no problem. It's very safe handling, always grippy (i use battlax 020s tyres) and the Breaks work great, though i'd like a little more initial bite on the rear. two up it works but can get hard work as the bikes only light so performance and braking are compromised. motorway riding can be a little tricky, as the wind gets you at anything above 70 but hey, its a little commuter bike. all in all i couldnt recomend it enough, having test rode most other bikes (ER 500, bandit 600, zepher 550 etc)i found it the cheapest to buy, run and insure (group 7). its the lightest and easiest to ride, which when i upgrade to a bigger bike im sure my missus will want it. If i have a little gripe its the trademark suzuki finish, the frame can rust before your eyes if its not looked after, and it also suffers the trademark suzuki "cam end-float" ive shimmed it up to take some of the end-float up, and its quietend it down no probs.

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                  28.11.2000 02:37

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                  I returned to motorbikes after a 20 year gap when a friend persuaded me to have a go on his VFR. Hooked again, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to pick up a second hand J registered 500E with just 4000 miles on the clock. This was two years ago and I have enjoyed every minute on the bike since. The bike is plenty nippy enough for me, and it has made me realise that I don't need a modern sports bike no matter how much I may drool over the pictures. The bike came with Krauser panniers, and although they increase the width and decrease top speed they do enable me to carry all my kit and caboodle around. I can also turn up to meetings without having to do a strip in the office. The one thing I would put on my wish list for next bike is a fairing - motorway riding is possible, but fairly punishing for an older bloke like me. I had a heavy duty sprocket/chain set fitted abd this has reduced the amount of time adjusting the chain. Next bike will probably be a shaftie!

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                  22.09.2000 07:35
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                  I bought a Suzuki GS500 in April of this year, and have been in love ever since. As a commuter, this bike doesn't blow your mind with oodles of power or top end speed. What it does do though is leave you wondering how long you've actually been out on the thing. It has a more than ample saddle, and an upright riding position. This makes for a really comfortable ride, and when you couple that with the fuel consumption, or should I say lack of it, you really do forget how long you've been riding for. The powerplant is only putting out 51BHP at the back wheel, which may not sound a lot, but it is only meant to be a commuter. This is where the bike comes into it's own. It has a slender frame which makes slipping in and out of traffic a piece of cake. Also the spread of power is fairly useful, meaning you're never struggling to build up speed even when traffic hopping in 4th gear. Although designed as an around town bike, it can make back roads a joy. The pegs are quite low so when you're scratching on a back road, you're probably scraping as well. :)this is the only drawback I've found, but it doesn't stop you being able to have alot of fun on what is essentially a town bike. Saddle height is another good feature of the bike, I'm only 5'9" and I can easily reach the ground with both feet flat and my knees bent slightly, meaning that the bike is quite suitable for shorter riders. Handling is quite smnooth, although it could turn quicker. Top speed is about 110, so motorway riding isn't a problem. All in all, for a little over £3300, you get a great bike, that's fun both around town and on the back roads. I would recommend the GS500 to anyone looking for a budget bike, especially if they have not long past their test as it really is quite a forgiving bike.

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