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CB400/GS500 for learners?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Guru, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Hey guys
    As well as looking at the Bandit250 as my first bike(which you guys helped me out with, Thanks!!) , Im also looking at a GS500 and something like the CB400, which are both learner legal but have a bit more grunt to them than the 250.

    I was wondering what peoples thoughts and opinions were on a someone whos never ridden before starting of with a more powerful and heavier bike. Would it being heavier make it more difficult to corner etc, and in turn not be able to “learn properly†how to ride? Any thoughts etc on this matter? Ive also searched and read some of the reviews already done.

    The two bikes Ive sort of singled out and am having a ride of tomorrow are

    CB400 1997model Price$4,990 29,564kms

    and a

    GS500 2003 model $4,600.00 1,200kms and it comes with a Ventura rack

    They look alright compared to other similar bikes Ive looked at. In terms of power, handling, maintainence etc for a learner, how would these bike fair?

    Any help is good! Thanks!

  2. GS500F

    Hey Guru, I bought a GS500F to get my licence back in February this year. I hadn't ridden for a long time but I found the Suzi very easy to handle and a lot of fun to ride generally. I passed my licence test on it with no probs, much easier than some others on sports style 250's. Mates with bigger bikes have ridden it and said it's a lot of fun, light and handles well, plus the brakes are great. I've done plenty of weekend country cruising on it and it has enuf power for solo work and good economy. For what these bikes are, I reckon they're good value. :grin:
  3. As far as the riding goes, weight of these bikes is a non-issue. Anyway, they are not very heavy at all when compared to larger bikes out there. Weight is more of an issue in paddling in and out of parking spots, u-turns, and really any time you have to stop with a foot on the ground. Lighter bike is easier to hold up, and that can be important especially when starting out.

    But as I said before, neither of these bikes is especially heavy anyway. Also, your dimensions and the height/shape of the seat matter as much as the weight - can you get a decent reach to the ground when sitting on the bike?

    If you cannot, it still won't affect its suitability for learning or riding. It just means you'll be more likely to drop it at some point.
  4. Either are good bikes, but keep in mind the 97 is an import. As far as I'm aware 08 is the only year where its been officially imported, not grey.

    The GS does not like all day reddline, nor does it like cornering at 180+ :wink: High speed death wobbles ARE hilarious to see when you're behind though (well behind!)
  5. There's 8kg difference between a 250 Bandit and a GS500 - if you can pick it you're doing well. In fact to me the GS actually felt smaller than the 250 Bandit.
  6. Re: GS500F

    Cheers, thats some good input! How would the pick up be compared to a 250 and compared to what else your friends ride(presumming they have bigger bikes).
  7. Yeah Im just about 6 foot and weigh about 70kgs. All the bikes Ive riden so far I havent had a problem with pushing around or touching the ground. The bikes were a Virago, CBF, VTR and a bandit.
  8. More than 8kgs there, I was more curious as to the difference between the bandit(about 140kgs) and the other two which are about 180ish?

    But from the other posts, it seems it shouldnt be much of a problem.

    Its just I didnt want to get into bad habits, epecially with cornering for the sake of having a heavier and more powerful bike.
  9. Re: GS500F

    echo that - same experience for me - passed the test no probs on the GS; love the bike; easy to ride etc...
  10. Where ever you got that 140kg figure from is wrong.
    The official figure, as quoted by the owners manual, is 160kg dry.
    140kg is the weight of something like a Spada, and the Bandit is most definitely heavier than one of those.
  11. 140 is heavy even for a Spada

    120 dry if i remember correctly add 11 litres for fuel and 2.5 for oil

    so about 135 tops i'd think....not the hardest bike to pick up after an off....can personally attest to that unfortunately.
  12. Out of those two specific bikes, if they're still available, the GS is a lot newer, a lot less km and Australian delivered - which would all dispose me to pick it over the Honda as long as it also looks to be in good nick and well looked after.
  13. Ahh yes, 140kg is the weight of the VTR (though didn't think the Spada was that much lighter).

    Edit: Oh and just to be thorough I checked and seems the current model GS is stated as being 174kg. Still even a 14kg difference is hardly anything to worry about, that's less than a tank of fuel.
  14. Paid $5.3k, at purchase(Feb,08) bike was : 25000km, more than 12 mths rego, near new tyres/chain/rear sprocket, full correct service history, never dropped/excellent condition. Keep in mind you pay $500 or so more for the "F", so you're prices sound reasonable. ( couldn't PM you, not enuf posts yet!! )
  15. Hey there,
    I just sold my GS500F yesterday. It is a great bike and highly recommended. It was my first bike and I learn on it and used it for the tests and commuting. I am 60kgs and 5'5 and had no trouble holding the GS up and turning or parking with it. It aint a GSXR and it shouldnt be ridden as one, but having said that it can keep up with the big boys on a ride up on putty rd. Just for your info...it had 15000kms, 2006 model sold for $5900.
    If I were you, go for the GS, you will get bored on the 250 in 6 months where it should last you 2 years on the GS500.
  16. I can't really justify spending 10k for my first bike on the cb... and the VFR is ive heard abit fast for a learner, so GS500 looks to be the best option for the non 250's?
  17. Yeah exactly, I dont want a new bike for starters and I reckon Id get bored with a 250 after a while, so the only really options are the gs or a cb or something.
    Are they any recommended 350s out there? Or is that too close to a 250? What do people reckon?