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Early 2000's GS500 vs ER-5

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by bundy, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    just finished a two week process of getting learners, doing a lesson then a Q-Ride course and now have my unrestricted licence (got it all done before the laws change :grin: ).

    As a first bike, can anybody comment on which one they would pick and why

    I have searched all over NR and found a bit, but not a lot comparing them directly.

    These models suit my budget and I'm guessing either would do the job but that doesn't make it any easier to choose.

    Mainly will be used for commuting (up to 100km/hr), I am 5'11" and 70kg, I have only ridden a VTR250 and GS500 before and liked both.


  2. From what I've heard you can't really go wrong with either of those bikes in your title. What style do you prefer visually? -Maybe at this point that's what you have to let lead you, or moreso look at the condition and price of each used bike that you see from among these, and choose according to that? I would go the ER because I find the GS a little too non-descript, but I would be very happy to own a GS nonetheless.
  3. The ER5 is water cooled so has more power, but the air-cooled GS has less things to go wrong and usually costs less 2nd hand.
    So for performance go the Kwaka, for cheap transport go the GS.
  4. There is only 1 hp difference between the quoted power outputs. ER5 is also about 5kg lighter.

    This guy reckons the GS500 has more top-end http://home.clara.net/survivalskills/er5_vs_gs500.htm
  5. Yes but there's also a big difference in torque output despite both having peak torque at the same rpm. So clearly one of those power figures is wrong.
    The Kwaka also has 8 valves per cylinder - which is another tick for the improved performance/increased complexity box.
  6. 8 valves per cylinder...HOLY SH!T!
  7. Err yeah obviously I meant 8 valves total - or 4 per cylinder.
  8. I've just picked up my ER-5 (2000 model) and have to say it takes a little getting used to after my old CB250 - it has a fair bit more power and is smoother (above 3,500 rpm) and I think it looks a little better than the GS500 - but again, nothing wrong with the GS500 either....

    Try both - you may prefer the seat/control position on one over rte other.....
  9. The extra valves only give 1hp extra?
    What a waste of money and simplicity.

    I read an English article about the ER5 and GS500 last year, a direct comparison.
    The conclusion was, that they were more or less the same :)
    I hope that helps :twisted:
  10. thanks guys, this is helping

    I probably like the look of the GS better. The frame looks better IMHO

    What I am after is a mid-range CC bike, that won't get me into too much trouble, and is cheap to keep running (including fuel consumption).

    I previously had a NT400 Bros lined up but that sold before I got to ride it

    Thanks for the link, exactly the kind of stuff I was after


  11. Hey Bundy,

    I can comment here, my last bike was a 2002 GS500 and my wife recently traded up her 2000 ER5.

    The answer is... there is no answer. They are VERY similar. The main points I found,

    The GS Positives
    -is a little more sporty - in that is has more top-end (slightly).
    -is very easy (read uncomplicated) for self maintenence.
    -They're still made so still supported for parts.
    -Huge O/S following so many web sites etc for modding.
    -Adjustable rear suspension (preload)

    GS negatives
    -air cooled - simple but hot summers are a worry in heavy traffic (I never had a problem though).
    -not quite as grunty.
    -can be less comfortable on long rides.

    The ER Positives
    -has a little more low down grunt.
    -It's a bit more upright riding position so more comfortable on longer rides.
    -water-cooled. less worry in summer commutes.

    ER negatives
    -difficult to service (just changing the plugs was a major issue)
    -no longer produced (although many parts are interchangeable)
    -have some popularity esp in UK but less common world-wide so mods are less common.
    -No suspension adjustment.

    They both handle very similar - perhaps the ER is a little more manouverable at commuter speed while the GS tracked the bigger bends a little better at higher speeds.

    The verdict - if I were buying I'd buy the GS again. I just liked it as an easier, more fun bike to ride AND own. Having said that, my wife would buy the ER again (she's 5'8" so height isn't an issue)
  12. hmmm Im pretty sure that before I went for a ride the other day I adjusted the preload on the rear suspension of my ER-5, but hey I might be imagining things :cool: