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CB500F v LAMS SFV650

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by beefy32, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. tl;dr version: which bike for commuting and getting a feel for the different types of riding - CB500F or 2010 SFV650 LAMS?

    brain dump version:

    g'day netriders, I was wondering if I could get some advice, cause I'm stuck.

    I'm down to a choice between two first bikes. Initially, I'll probably be just commuting and riding around the city, but once I'm a bit more settled into riding I'd like to go on longer social rides, or touring. I'm still figuring out what I want to do.

    My initial criteria was a naked bike with ABS, and intending to buy new. I was going to have a look at the ER-6nl as well, but the dealers I spoke with really didn't make much of an effort to sell me one.

    Option 1 is a Honda CB500F.
    Option 2 is a 2010 Suzuki SFV650U (alright, Gladius), 1500km, 3 months left on the warranty.

    Both are within my budget and are pretty much the same price.

    I've test ridden both.
    I was comfortable on the CB500F, could be smoother at low speeds, but handled the freeway and traffic just fine. So, given a week or so to get used to the bike, I would be quite happy on it. Definitely a bike I could see myself owning.

    Felt at home right away on the SFV650, and really enjoyed riding it. But, no ABS. And it's (barely) second hand. It's got the service history, warranties can be extended, so that's not a huge issue, and it's done so few km that it's basically just been run in. Servicing and insurance will be a bit more expensive than the Honda.

    The SFV650 was not originally on my radar, so after doing some research, well, the reviews I've found are pretty polarised.
    The comfort of the seat and the suspension/handling in corners are criticised pretty regularly, so a few reviews have questioned it's suitability for touring or the twisties.
    Others some say it's fine for what the bike is and have it on a par with the ER6-nl.
    A couple hate it so much they want to kill it with fire.

    The reviews of the CB500 on the other hand seem to have consistently labelled it a good bike that will be ok doing most things.

    So, how do I make sense of all of this? Anyone done longer rides or touring on an SFV650? Do the criticisms of the handling have a huge impact on the sort of riding I want to have a go at? How do I stop worrying and learn to love the bomb?

  2. Have you ridden a CB400 Super 4? better than both of those IMHO and buying a low mileage second hand bike makes a lot more sense.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. I haven't. It started off on the list, but new ones break the bank, and there aren't a lot of second hand ABS versions around. At least when I was narrowing the list down. I will keep an eye out though.
  4. Hi. I have an 09 Gladius, and love it. Is the LAMS version also.

    I rode Townsville to Cairns and back last weekend... The seat is my only real dislike of the bike. It's... poor, and quickly becomes uncomfortable. I was constantly shifting left and right, back and forth as my arse was aching after the first 100 kays. There are aftermarket options, but they cost a pretty penny. A few people have modified their seats themselves by buying foam from Clark rubber, and bolstering it themselves with apparently good results. I was going to go to my local upholsterer to get a quote on getting it done to mine.

    I ride it every day to work, roughly 25 kays one way, and it's fine however.

    It's quite efficient. Averaged 4.2l/100 over 700 kays on the highway, and I wasn't babying it either.
    Under 5s doing the commuting during the week.

    Bike has a tonne of torque, and great to ride in the burbs. Pulls like a schoolboy on the highway too. Just leave it in top gear, no dramas overtaking at all.

    Brakes are a little weak. Fronts are spongy. A new set of good pads improves that though from what I've read.

    Suspension? I've only ridden a VTR250 before the Gladius, so I'm no expert. But I have no dramas pushing it hard through roundabouts, twisties, and bumpy roads. Feels fine to me. GSXR rear shocks bolt straight it, and can be had for less than $100 delivered from the states.

    Only things I've done to the bike is put bar end mirrors on it, the standard ones, well, looking at my shoulders helps me not.
    Cheap DanMoto can, as the standard exhaust is a bit... muff. Sounds a lot better now too.

    Probably won't do anything else to it for the time being. Thinking it'll be replaced by an FZ09 in 10mths time when I get off my restricted licence.

    P.S. Goes great de-restricted too. Easy to do. :giggle:
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. The criticism of the suspension and handling on the sv is compared to the 600cc supersportbikes, the cb500 would be similar.
  6. cheers wdk60. awesome first post.

    ah, ok. that makes things a bit simpler.
    It seems to be coming down to ABS vs a bit more fun
  7. #7 Vertical C, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
    Ride them both if you can.

    Though that CB500F at that price is a good buy, I think. Honda generally has good quality, better than Suzuki, I think....I have owned lots of each (currently own two Honda's and one Suzuki so no allegiances) and Honda is generally better lasting.
  8. cheers. I rode them both on the weekend, and I've settled on the CB500F. It was the ABS that swayed it.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. G'luck with it. I bought one 6 months ago. Does the job nicely for me :)
  10. cheers. picked it up on saturday and got it back home in one piece. really looking forward to getting out there
    • Like Like x 1
  11. cb500x rides a lot better then 500f though the same bike
  12. i m with u i have one as well yes the seat is a bit hard but u can get it changed or padded up and also as u get more confident with it it is very easy to make it unrestricted and it s a new bike again alot more go thats for sure
  13. Just ticked over 10000 kms, and very happy with my choice in the end.
    • Like Like x 2

  14. What are you likes/dislikes?
    it's a motorbike :)
    pretty forgiving of noob mistakes, for instance it's got enough torque to get through a corner in too high a gear.
    predictable power delivery
    plenty of power at the top end as well. There's no need to change down a gear to overtake on the highway
    comfortable. I fit it pretty well and don't feel cramped
    looks awesome

    It's a bit quiet and it sounds like a sewing machine
    lack of fairing makes a long trip in windy weather pretty hard work
    • Like Like x 1
  16. So it's quiet... You going to put an aftermarket exhaust on it to solve that problem?
    I'm thinking about getting the same bike..
    You do know if you look around online, you can get a touring windshield?