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2009 Honda CB400 vs 2009 Suzuki GS500

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by regravity, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. I have just completed my Learners test today and passed without too much trouble, but I am in a little pickle over bike choice.

    I'm settling for either a 2009 Honda CB400 or a 2009 Suzuki GS500 - I like both bikes, and can get either in the colour I'm looking for (black).

    The only real struggle is price and features.

    The 2009 Suzuki GS500 I can get at $8190 ORC inclusive (which I think is a pretty good price) or I can go for the 2009 Honda CB400 which is more expensive at $10,990 + ORC

    Has anyone had any experience with both?

    Or can anyone give me a reason to get one over the other?

    Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. I can't comment on the CB400 but the GS500 is a fantastic first bike. I've had mine for 7 months and 7700 km and love it. Very torquey and easy to ride.

    I think $12k (on road) is too much to spend on a first bike which you will most likely change in a year or two at most.

    For the price of the CB400 you can almost get a brand new Bandit 1250!
  3. Lots of folks go for the Suzuki, and I've yet to read a negative comment here about it.

    A few months ago I met an well-known retired Sydney road-racer at Robertson Pie Shop. He was riding his wife's Honda 400! I asked if HIS bike was not going, and he said, no, he just liked riding the Honda. I asked him how it went, considering it is a LAMS bike, (power-wise)???

    He just grinned and went "shhhhh.."

    Buy the Honda :wink:.
  4. add a sv650s lams on that list too its around the price of the Honda.

    I would buy a second hand GS500 and put the saved money towards decent gear, the upgrade bike or beer
  5. With my limited amount of cash, I'd be hard pressed to justify the $3k premium for the CB400.

    It is a much more advanced bike. 4 cylinder, DOHC, watercooled, EFI, 'vtec' (yo!). But $11k is almost what people were paying for some supersports 600's last year, which are more than twice as powerful.

    Having said that, you'd be able to get most of what you paid for it back. CB400's are generally in pretty high demand.
  6. Both my workmate and I will be going for our licences later this year and we had both narrowed it down to these two bikes. Take what you will from my non-rider comments so here goes.

    We've selected these two bikes from comments on forums like these and to speaking to anyone who'll listen and give us their opinion. It seems you can't go wrong with either so it's up to personal preference. We're both of the opinion that we want our first bike to be one that will last longer than our restricted licence period as we'll upgrade when the time is right for us, not according to a date on a licence.

    We've both come to the conclusion that the Suzuki is the way to go since it has a good reputation for reliability and a few thousand dollars less.

    I'll be watching the thread with interest to see how you go :)
  7. That's a good synopsis.

    as for longevity, i can't see how anything will be better for commuting than a bike like these two. I've been on the 400 for almost a year now (well, 10months with 12000km) and still find it exhilarating. I'll be giving it a bit of a test when i can finally pillion and the outcome will decide if i need to move up in size/pillion comfort.
  8. The GS is a great bike, simple as, cheap to run and own, practically bulletproof, initial purchase isn't too bad I didn't think. Above all it is easy to ride- very forgiving! Service intervals are 6000km/12mths and after the first service are pretty cheap. Full comp insurance for me is mid $300 from memory. Great!

    (I will be turning over my low k (approx 2500) black 2008 GS500F in late June ;))
  9. Thoroughly enjoying my GS500 (first bike). Much nicer than the 250's I used in pre-learner training. Very comfy for someone on the larger end (187cm/90kg)
  10. You gotta wonder at the pricing of the CB400.

    ATM you can buy the 600 Hornet for $9990 plus ORC and even the big CBF thou for $11,990, the same price as the CB400 ABS. The CBF comes with linked ABS standard.

    I know neither bikes are options for a Lams rider, but you just have to wonder why you'd pick a CB400 abs over other bikes at the same prices.

    Even looking outside Honda, $10-11 kay gets you pretty much most 600cc bikes such as the Er-6, GSR, GSX-F, SV 650 etc.
    I know the CB400 is a nice bike, but is it for the money?
  11. I'd take an aircooled Suzuki twin over a watercooled Honda four any day of the week. A mate in the UK, whose wife's everyday commuter CB has dissolved before their very eyes over the past winter, agrees with me.
  12. very interesting.... im now considering a sv650 or GS500 as a replacement bike, bugger the lams versions though.

    my problem is im 6ft and 120kg. so im thinkng they might be a smidge small.

    aircooled does have its disadvantages. if I was in WA or NT, no way would I have aircooled. Perth cops made that mistake years ago. bought a fleet of aircooled bikes, along came summer and they were useless. so they had to buy a new fleet of bikes.
  13. Errr... what?
  14. The CB400 is a lovely bike. 400/4's are a brilliant engine configuration.

    But it's also the worst value for money motorcycle you can buy in Australia today.
  15. Aircooled bikes are fine in a Perth summer as long as you use decent oil and change it frequently.

    Not sitting about in traffic or doing low speed work (which most cop bikes spend most of their lives doing) helps as well.
  16. The Honda is a lovely bike, but is it almost 4 grand (8k-12k) lovelier than the GS? I don't think so... 8,190 to 12,000 (which is conservative at 1k for on-roads) is a 47% difference!

    Let me also drop into the mix my usual plug for not buying brand new, especially not for a beginner bike. You'll get nailed on depreciation when you sell it in a year or two. There are lots of nice 2007 models around for 6 grand. That's a 25% drop over new in 2 years...
  17. To jump to the defence of the CB about prices...

    Not everyone measures a bike's value in kW/$


    If money is an issue and you want a bike, second hand is the go.
  18. definately go 2nd hand. i did, but i wish i had of gone something a bit cheaper, and the chances are you'll put it down at some stage.

    id go the suzuki. have heard good things bout both bikes, but you can pick up the gs cheaper :)
  19. My missus just chose the CB400 over the GS500 as her "keeper" bike (after much deliberation and research). She aint overly big, and she finds the CB400 as her perfect bike. Right size and a very well made bike. We paid $10,990 On-Road at Bendigo Honda. I've ridden it a few times and quite like it. She mainly uses it as a commuter but can generally hold her own with me on longer rides. Pillion wise, she takes takes our two kids to school (aged 14 and 17) and has no probs. I suppose it depends on what you want from a bike and what your future plans are for it. And your budget also comes into it. Either way, good luck and I hope you enjoy the bike you choose.