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2000 Honda VTR250 vs new Suzuki GS500

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Iulian, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. #1 Iulian, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
    Hi there,

    I'm new to motorcycling (just got my learner permit) and am looking at buying a bike this weekend. I've had a look at a few options and got to these two options:

    Honda VTR 250 naked, year 2000, rego till Sept 2013, new front tire, good rear tire, red of course, 29000km - $3500. I had a look at it and even took it for a ride and it feels OK, though I know little of how to evaluate it. Otherwise it looks pretty clean.
    New Suzuki GS500 naked, year 2012, 1 year rego - $6000 (deal ends on December 31st - in 2 days ;) ).

    I'm leaning towards the VTR as I'd be able to change the bike after a year or so without losing much money and move to a bike that I can keep a few years after. The Suzuki as far as I've read is a good bike, but not the bike to keep it for a few years. Though buying a new bike doesn't make sense unless you'd wanna keep it for at least 3-4 years as the price drops instantly once you're out of the shop.

    Which one would you recommend?

  2. First post in the welcome thread before a mod jumps in here and sees it is your first post.
    Also, you will find plenty of comparisons and opinions on both bikes here already. There is one recent one. Use the search tool.
    Ride the GS500 and see what you think. If you have enough experience to get a feel for the VTR you have enough for the GS500,
  3. I owned both when I first got my license.
    The GS is heavier and bigger but easier to ride on the highway.
    The VTR is a little easier to handle in the tight stuff, especially if you are slightly built.
    The GS has a lot more torque which makes throttle control and take offs, especially hill starts, easier.

    Both are good bikes but if you are a larger size, the GS will probably be more comfortable. I ended up doing the NSW MOST test on the GS because I felt more confident on it and had better control in the slow speed stuff such as the slalom.

    For me the GS is also much better on long rides as the bike isn't working as hard and it feels more planted than the VTR. I'm in no rush to get rid of it when I get off my Ps. The VTR I wanted to get rid of as soon as I got off my Ls.

    You may not lose as much on the GS as you think as they are popular bikes and for good reason. However, when you drop the bike (and you will, even if it is just a stationary drop) you might be more upset if you damage a new bike. BTW, the extra 30kg(?) of the GS does make them harder to catch and pick up when a drop happens.
  4. The only real downside to the GS is the wishy-washy front suspension (bottoms out if you're much over 60kg). However, this can be rectified with heavier springs and/or heavier fork oil. Six grand for a '12 model sounds like a pretty good deal as a member here (noob) sold a faired (GS500F) '08 model with over 20 thousand km's recently for five grand. If you can afford the GS, it looks a better option than the VTR - better power and a full 24 month factory warranty. I've only ridden a VTR a couple of time but I found it felt quite heavy for a 250. I've heard good things about the Ninja 300 recently (albeit, they're very hard to get hold of ATM) so don't just limit yourself to the GS & VTR - try as many bikes you can and buy what gives the biggest smile.

    On side note - my g/friend's son (not a small lad) decided to go for a new '09 Ninja 250 over a 12 month old GS500 (nearly 2 grand cheaper) swayed by the shine of a new bike BUT he looks like a gorilla doing the nasty to a billiard ball when he rides it. I rode it a couple of times down to the servo and found it cramped and the power (for want of a better word)... lacking down low in the rev range (i.e. under 8 grand).

    PS. Jump into the Welcome Lounge and Birthday Greetings sub-forum and tell us about yourself as NSSherlock suggested. We don't know where you're from (what state?), your age & experience (do you need to do 3 years of LAMS?) which could affect what best to recommend.
  5. If you plan to do any remotely sporty riding, I would say go the VTR.
  6. Thoroughly recommend the GS500. Had mine now for three years and enjoy it every day. A real "all rounder" bike. Paid $8000 then (which was considered a good deal) and $6000 new now is an absolute steal. I'm actually tempted to buy one and stick it in the shed for "Ron". New bike, new tyres, warranty, cheap to maintain. (Not that they give any trouble). Also now is the END of the production of this classic bike, Suzuki are closing the Gijon factory. Go for it!
    Oh, and don't forget the oggies 'cos you will drop it.
  7. thanks guys, I'll update my info once I get my computer back from service, it sucks to write on the phone.

    I'm 6ft tall, 95kg and will go straight to full licence after I'm off my Ls. I'm in Melbourne.
  8. Then you're the same size as my g/friend's son... you'll be the proverbial "gorilla doing the nasty to a billiard ball" if you go for the 250. Up to you really, all depends on how long your L-plate period is I suppose.
  9. Consider that the GS will soon be facing off with the Honda's new 500, which as a completely new model, has about 20 years newer technology. I haven't seen word of the likely price, but unless it's a good bit higher the GS is likely to be selling cheap in order to compete for as long as stock remains.
  10. If there is one thing that shits me, it's statements like this.

    Where is the proof that it will get dropped?
  11. In that case, Go the gs500

    don't forget you are still restricted for the first 12 months after you obtain your license
  12. good point, I forgot that I have the restriction one more year. so I'd need to keep it forabout 16 months.
    on the gs500 would you recommend the fairing version or the naked? I'll be using the bike for all as I'll be selling my car, thus including 2-300km rides to the alps for some hiking weekend.

    another idea would be to go for the vtr now and change it with the new Honda CBR500 when it comes out in winter. this way I'd getto learn on a cheap bike and then aget a bike that I can easily keep for a few years.[DOUBLEPOST=1356926231,1356870924][/DOUBLEPOST]
    I had a chat with some dealers and all estimated the CBR500 at 8-9k. though that's just a rough estimate, they don't have any official pricing yet. i'd guess gs500 will have to drop to around 7k to stay on the market ...
  13. Faired version is a little more comfortable on long trips and inclement weather.

    If you plan riding around the Alps it might also be worth getting heated grips. You will probably want to use them quite a bit between April and October.

    I paid $8k new for a GS500F a year ago. I've seen local dealers advertising them for less than $7k and your $6k deal sounds very good for a new bike. I can't see Suzuki bringing any more into the country due to tightening emission laws.
  14. OK, he won't drop it. And there's a spare butt-plug put in the shed for ya if you get this shit problem real often.
  15. Thanks guys, I've eventually got a GS500F and I can't be happier. It's great fun riding it and being a bit heavier does make it feel better than the Honda.
    Here's a picture I've taken on Saturday at the practice meet up in Elwood.


  16. and btw, I did just drop it last night :). Though, just a bit, no harm done, only a tiny scratch on the fairing. I took it of the stand while standing on a side - turns out to be a bad idea.
  17. Sorry don't get that "standing on a side" what does that mean?
  18. I was holding it from a side, rather than being on it when I took it from the stand ...
  19. Ok, you need to get used to the balance point of your bike so you can deal with it off the stand. What happens if you have to wheel it out of the way if it breaks down or runs out of fuel
  20. Was kind of a tough point, was already on a side of a hill, a bit tricky. hopefully I won't need to push it :), but if I do, I should be fine ... eventually :).