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Gladius LAM's vs GS500

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by GnomeOomps, May 23, 2010.

  1. Hi All!

    It has been a long time since I posted anything up on here, having constantly pestered my mate to use his bike and letting my learners expire I have decided it is time to buy something of my own.
    I have done lots of searching on here and google to come up with something worthwhile. I was of the frame of mind that anything over a 250cc would be too much to learn on.

    However after looking into options and peoples recommendations I am now looking at the Suzuki GS500 (naked) and the Gladius LAM’s edition.
    There is a bit on the web about the Gladius but obviously not a lot about the LAM’s version too much. Someone started a thread on here which gave a bit of information about the bike, but I guess what I am trying to work out is what is the best way to go with my two options.
    There are umpteen billion people that would vouch for the GS500 as being the perfect learner bike, with the ability to hold you over until you’re ready to move up to something larger (which from what I have read not all have done) and I know that they are both two different types of bikes but what would be the best option for something that I would like to hold onto for at least 3 years?

    I like the fact that the GS500 seems to be so widespread that knowledge and part availability looks to be huge and that there are so many people that talk highly of them. Then on the other hand the Gladius looks pretty cool (only in the black version) and that it is a 650cc would mean that it could possibly stay around for longer without the need to upgrade?
    As far as my limited understandings on the two are, the GS500 is a 4 stroke and the Gladius is a V-Twin which from what I gather means the V-Twin has more torque down low but struggles at the top end, whereas a 4 stroke has less but the ability to reach top speed quicker (sorry if I am very wrong about that). Please note that I am not after something that is quick, just something that can fill a lot of roles.
    My situation is that I travel from the Northern Beaches area to the city each day for work which is about 20km, so I am looking for something that can manage the traffic and is easy to park in the limited free spaces available. I am 5”6’ and 80kg so I don’t fear either of these would struggle in carrying me.

    Sorry, I know that the GS500 brings up a few hundred threads on this forum and I dont want to flog the old questions again and again but the fact that the companies seem to be producing a range of options for the learner now is enough to make the head spin!

    Thanks for any advice or information!
  2. GS500 hasn't changed for years, so colours notwithstanding, an old bike with low Ks is as good as a new bike with low Ks. That means that you've usually got a few options when it comes to finding one.

    At 5"6' you might not be able to flat-foot the GS. I don't know if that's an issue for you - I can't flat foot my current bike, so it's not a biggie.

    Can't tell you anything about the gladius I'm afraid (cept I think it's ugly). What I can say is that I'm one of those guys who bought hte GS with the view to being able to keep it a few years, and I upgraded the very day I came off restrictions. Granted I'm up over 100kgs so it had to work a bit harder for me than it would for you, but as much as I loved it, I was a bit bored with it after 15 months. (That said, that was also after 17,000 KMs. If you're looking for a recreational bike to ride on weekends when the weather is good you may not feel you reach the power limits of the bike as quickly as I did).
  3. I'm not a fan of the restricted 650's as a learner bike, you don't get to learn to use the rev range of the engine effectively....just when it's starting to get interesting, the power delivery gets neutered....very frustrating. It encourages the development of bad habits.

    At least with the GS500, CB400, and the other unrestricted learner bikes...you do actually learn to use the full range of the drivetrain.

    The motors are not that different, despite being seperated by 20+ years of design....both 4-strokes, V-twin vs Parallel-twin - if it wasn't for the restrictor on the newer motor then the overall experience would not be that different.

    I've been trundling down from Mona Vale to the city on a GS pretty regularly, it's a perfectly fine commuter bike....and as I bought an older, cheaper bike, I'm less worried about leaving it on the street in the city.

    When you come off restrictions, you're going to want to change bikes....don't kid yourself that whatever you buy now is going to be a long term thing for you. Even if it's not about more power, you're going to have developed more defined ideas about what is important to you in a bike...
  4. Thanks for the input gents!

    Not really, my mates bike was an across and I had to kind of tippy toe that. (not to the full extent 8-[ )
    If it became such an issue I would just get the seat shaved or the bike springs lowered etc.

    Even though the thought of unrestricting the Gladius now is a bit early, wouldn't I also have the ability to unlock that power when time came that I was off the restrictions and wanted the extra revs?
    I know that it involves re-registering the bike as a non-LAMs setup and the cost involved in doing so, but I guess if I can pick up a 2nd hand LAMs version for about $9-10k and the derestriction costs another $2k to do then I am kind of saving myself some money when I choose to update.
    I don't know really know the best way to go with this considering how well LAMs bikes seem to hold their value.
  5. honestly, I would be looking at a GS for $3K - $5K. If a de-restricted LAMS Gladius would come to around $12K you can get a brand spanking new Kwaka Z750 for that. And someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm betting the Z is a lot more bike than a derestricted gladius.
  6. The Gladius was on my short list when looking for my first bike. (along with the bikes listed at the bottom)

    It is basically the SV650 in a differently shaped body, and like the SV650 it is restricted to be LAMS approved. As with all LAMS approved motorbikes, you can't go over 150kw/tonne, so no matter what you pick, that is your limit.

    Just like before the LAMS days, when the 250cc motorbikes were ridiculously expensive ,(buy a brand new 250 was 8k, and a 400c was only 6k) its because it was a captured market. As a bonus, it gave learners good resale value.

    If you buy a bike with the thought of unrestricted it, there goes a LOT of the resale value. Once unrestricted it cannot be restricted again legally. So if you're not going to unrestrict it.... why bother with a restricted bike in the first place?

    According to my own research, if you want the most power you can get in the LAMS approved, then the Honda CB400 is right at the limit. (past the limit according to my maths)

    The following bikes are in order of power to weight (lower = better, I was using wet weight of the bike but not counting a rider... which LAMS does include) (significant Googling done to produce this list)
    4.2 Honda CB400
    5.0 Hyosung GT650
    5.3 Suzuki GS500
    5.3 Kawasaki KLR650 (yup, a big single banger)
    5.5 Hyosung GV650 Aquila
    6.7 Suzuki SFV650 "Gladius"
    6.7 Honda VTR250 (highest rated 250 and ties with the Gladius)
    6.7 Suzuki GSX650
    7.0 Suzuki SV650
    7.1 Yamaha XVS650

    So if you're just looking for power, then you have other options.... and the CB400 is WAY out infront. (I was gobsmacked to see what this bike can do when the VTEC kicks in)

    Also the Gladius as far as I could tell, has not made many inroads into Australia, so if anything does go wrong, its going to a pain to get parts. Just finding information about them was difficult.
  7. I'm 5'7" and can flat foot a GS500 fine. If you just want it for 12 months to then upgrade after you get your opens, go the GS500. Like you said there's a gazillion threads on how awesome the bike is for learners. I'm 80kgs and don't have problems with the speed. I love the torqueyness (if that's a word) of the bike as I feel it gives me more control while i'm still learning. That's just me.

    Like you also said, there's loads of GS500's out there.. it shouldn't be hard to find one in decent condition.

    I'm nearly 7 months on mine and only 5 more to go. While I appreciate what this bike has allowed me to do, i've always know it is a transition / learner bike.
  8. I worked out, for comparison's sake:

    2.8 - Kawasaki Z750, Yamaha FZ6N
    2.5 - Triumph Street Triple

    Just FYI
  9. If you're going to spend 3 years commuting on a bike then you are better off buying an old beater GS500 and learning how to maintain it yourself. It's what I did when I was learning and I basically broke even after 30,000km.
  10. Yeah I had a look at the CB400 aswell, but I couldn't justify the $7k for a 10 year old bike (they hold their value bloody well!)

    And cheers for posting that list up! =D> I am sure that many will find that usefull to look at!
    I am not interested in the most power I can get as I am not looking for something to hoon in. The 650cc I figured would come in handy when I have to travel the M4 up to Parra to see mates and while my speed limit would be restricted to 80kmp/h on my L's it would be able to tide me over well into when I'm unrestricted.
  11. GS500 it is ;)
  12. At what point does a bike become old though?
    Most of the GS500's that are up on bikesales atm sit around 10k on the odometer, while I can still get a bike with less than 6000 on the clock and that costs about $6500k.
    For at least the first 6 months of riding I want to have something that will be relatively hassel free, which may be a lot to ask.
  13. LOL! Seems that way.
  14. I got mine as a 2002 model GS500 with 32,000 km's for $3.8k. So far all i've done is new chain and sprockets (I think it was like $450 including parts, can't remember), had to replace a few seals from a leak ($100) and i'm about to put it in for it's 36k service and replace the front tyre and I have been quoted $400 for that.

    You can't get away with NOT doing some maintenance, even if it was a newer bike.
  15. If you don't mind buying from interstate, this one is still under factory warranty for another 8 months, but is reasonably priced due to the Ks it has on it... Ray will deliver it for an extra $300 to Sydney.

    Since I happen to know the previous owner, I can tell you anything you want to know about the bike ;)
  16. hey, thats one of the GS500's I looked at before I bought....well.. a different one.

    Didn't realise it was still under warranty, maybe I bought the wrong one.
  17. don't stress spenze - I reckon it's hard to go wrong with a GS and a roadworthy. The warranty adds peace of mind, but those bikes are rock solid, so don't sweat it.

    As the song goes... love the bike you're with!
  18. I have a 2008 GS500F with 6 mths warranty for sale right now, see the classifieds or allclassifieds.

  19. Quick correction OP:

    gladius & GS500 are both 4-strokes, and should have reasonably similar characteristics in terms of power spread, as they are both twin-cylinder engines, just with different arrangements of the two - cept the gladius shoudl have a bit more hp than the GS, despite the fact it's restricted.
  20. CB400 all day - I had a SV650 Lams version (same engine)and its just too choked up. I have the donyo sheet from Ken at Megacycle and its flattens at 7000 RPM all the way to red line.

    You dont learn to use the entire range and just not "natural" I wanted the CB400 but my wife didnt like naked bikes(we bth have Lic) so ended up with SV650...

    Now on a GSXR600 and life is pretty damn fine, but trust me go the all natural CB400, its a bloody good bike, settled in corners, well made and VTEC sounds HORN!!!!

    In fact I reckon you could live with this bike for some time if you wanted too....