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Featured GS500 general questions

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by bluebear, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Hey everyone, i have a 2006 GS500, 44,000 on the clock and will be getting a service sometime this week. (previous owner said he changed oil, filter and chain 200kms before i bought it, but i want to do it again) and id like to do a 'major service' in the next month or so. The bike starts on half choke first time every time and hasn't missed a beat while riding, but i do have a few questions.

    1. Im getting a change in vibrations at around 5,100rpm to about 5,500rpm then it goes away..problem is, that's about 100km/h so it's a bit hard to avoid that rev range like I'd like to. I've seen some people say is normal for these bikes and in fact not harmful..but i dunno!!

    2. Tyre pressures. Last week i set my tyres to the stated 33psi and the bike felt great, checked pressures today and the were just over 20psi on my little cheap gauge and they definitely took air at the petrol station. Do i have a leak or is this normal with a change in weather and some good rides?

    3. Oil. Been told to avoid anything synthetic because of clutch slipping, but cant find any 10w 40 mineral for bikes around that isn't anti friction and stuff, which I've been told to avoid too.

    4. At high revs changing up, when i release the clutch in the next gear i think i can hear/feel like a quick fast grinding noise directly related to the clutch travel. Its a little hard to tell though because if the revs are high then im already going fast enough to have too much wind noise to compete with. I am not on the throttle when I'm releasing the clutch. Im new to techy stuff and maintenance but not riding. Do i just need to be smoother? Haha

    5. Wind noise, hard to quantify i know but I'm just wondering if my helmet isnt right for me. And im on a naked. How much noise should i expect when sitting on 110? I have a shark s900c and the gimmicky air sack system to 'reduce noise further' does nothing but make me eat my own cheeks. Im not concerned at the noise im concerned at my $300 helmet being a lot louder than other people's $300 helmet.

    6. Slips out of 5th at low revs low throttle, i think i clicked up too gently though, done it a few times now..man up and change gears properly?

    7. Are a gs500's brakes and in particular the front brake really dull feel wise or should i bleed and have a look? I guess it stops okay i just have no idea how close it is to locking. The nosedive on that spongy fork is a better gauge than the lever feel haha

    That'll do for now
    Any replies will be greatly appreciated, cheers

  2. Cant comment on the bike, but as for the helmet, I also have a shark s900c and its a noisy son of a biatch in my opinion too. I have the cheek pads fully deflated due to fat face syndrome.

    Also, Oil wise, its no issue to use synthetic or semi synth oils.

    You can use anything with a Jaso MA or MA2 spec on the bottle. Just double check the requirement in your manual.

    I am using a mixed fleet Penrite 10w-40 Semi Synth Diesel Oil, rated MA (no kids allowed :angelic:)

    Regarding Tyre pressures, you shouldn't loose more than maybe 1PSI a week, or you have a leak/problem. Loosing 13psi in a week spells big leak.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Righto... Time to share my personal experience, as a fellow GS500 rider.

    Disclaimer: I'm a noob. Been riding since June and only owned this, as my 2nd bike since Feb.

    It's got 10,300 km on the clock, of which the last 3,500 were under my bum.

    1. It vibrates a bit 4,500 - 5,200 rpm. I believe it's normal for a parallel twin. Let's call this... character/charm.

    2. The factory spec is 32-33 front and 36 rear for single and 32-33 + 41 for 2 up riding. My 3 year old OEM tyres were losing 0 - 2psi per week. More than is baaad.

    3. At 6,500 km I used 10-40 semi-synth Motul and it's been great. I've got 10-40 fully synth Penrite ready for the 12,000 change.

    4. Can't comment on this one.

    5. All helmets/heads are different. Noise is unpredictable. Good earplugs are the go.

    6. Mine's slipped out of higher gears on occasion. Usually when I'm scratching and paying more attention to the road then my left foot.

    7. It's a cheap commuter bike, so the brakes are sufficient to stop it. No more, no less. Don't expect finesse at this price point.
    Get the forks redone instead. I just had heavier springs and oil done by a local suspension place for under $300. It feels like a sports bike now.

    Above all, Enjoy
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Cheers Gooza, have you had other helmets in the past? Would you say i could get a better or more quiet helmet for the money? How are you finding it overall? I find the vents do very little as well..

    Thats a big help, i can grab a decent oil for pretty cheap then!

    As for the leak, do I grab a tubeless repair kit thingo or should i just priority the new front tyre that i need soon anyway?
  5. Check for a puncture or leaking valve.
    There's plenty of semisynthetic bike oils around. Go to Supercheap on their 20% off days and stock up, cheaper than a bike shop generally.
    The brakes aren't fantastic and the suspension front and rear is very soft and you'll plunge easily (unless they got better over the years).
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I love the helmet for its integrated sun visor. Every helmet (3) I've had seems noisy to me. So now I always use earplugs and forget about it.

    For the Oil, yes, you can get cheaper than 'dedicated' bike oils. Just make sure it meets your bikes minimum spec. which you can find in your Bike Manual.

    For the leak, no idea how you repair, so wont comment. Besides, make sure its not leaking from the valve (spit on finger, rub on valve, see if it retains spit) Else, look for nails etc in tyre. Good Luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Thankyou all for clearing that up. I will just get over the noise and get some plugs for long trips, and i can get either castrol penrite or sae semi or full synth now so that's easy done. I didn't realize the fork springs upgrade could be done so cheaply, i will bump that up my to do list i think. Ideally I'd like to pull the bike down and give the carbs a good cleaning and get to all those hidden dirty bits.. after a new tyre though it seems because i think all is good with the tyre and valves
  8. I've put in a bit over 10000ks on mine, many of those have been quite well lets call it severe. I don't notice the vibration much. The gearbox can get quite pissy during spirited riding, false neutral between 4-5 is a known minor issue especially at high revs. Clutch mostly used only on down shifts. I use penrite 15w50 semi-synth diesel oil, seems to work well and $37 for 5L pleases me. I find the brakes less irritating than the suspension, down shifting under brakes can be quite 'exciting' it done hamfistedly. I'll share another fact, speeds with numbers 4 and 5 in them are much more pleasant than going up to 6s and 7s. If you're new to riding I expect my complaints will be less of an issue, I have enough skill that I'm starting to outride the bike. My front tyre has been losing 10psi a week as long as I've had it, only reason I'm changing it is because it's now pretty much spent.
  9. Vibrations are normal as is wind noise at 90km/hr+, I'd suggest ear plugs over buying a new helmet.

    As for oil I just use Shell Helix HX7 10W40, it's cheap and meets/exceeds the specification (I think so anyway, I've never had an issue using it)
  10. For oil I use Penrite HPRGAS 10w50 semi synthetic.
    A home made Manometer when tuning carbs or throttle bodies help smooth out the engine especially if it hasnt been done in a while, mine were way out.
    My Manometer only cost me about $15 too build, 5mtr of 3mm clear tubing from Bunnings a piece of wood like a yard stick some electrical cable clamps and two stoke oil for the fluid.
    Works a treat.
    At 44,000ks you probably should check your valve clearances as well.
    You can also find out more here,
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Braking hard and downshifting is when it feels the most hairy haha
    As for the speeds, do you mean like sit on multiples of 5km/h? I will just stay on top of my tire pressures until i get a new one i think. I'm not that new to riding just the maintenance side of things; the things you describe are exactly what i experience too so thats good. I'm already wanting for a bit more power in a straight line but i would rather ride with others and get my actual skills up first. I dislike the idea of point and shoot riding

    Thanks for that Bill and Ted, i will look into that as I am on a budget. Valve clearances i would like to do with a friend as soon as i can too.
  12. That's interesting. Have you got some photos of your contraption? I've also heard that it's good to reduce the air flow with some syringe needles, otherwise fluid can be sucked into the carbies if they're unbalanced. That's the instruction video, here in polish, but it's quite self explanatory I believe.

  13. Sorry I don't have photo bucket or any other image hosting site account, but this is where I got the design from.
    Mine looks nearly identical to this.
    I have seen others with t-pieces and four tubes so you can do an inline four.
  14. From a vibration perspective the gs500 is effectivly a inline 4 (old style). So vibration in this range normal.

    That tyre pressure variation in anything short of a couple months indicates a leak.

    Fully synth is fine.

    Slipping out of gear will happen if it's not put in properly

    Brakes are cheap brakes.
  15. Thanks guys, that stuff is great and i will definitely make that single tube one when is time, i even have all the bits laying around to do it..i went out today and assessed the front brake some more, I'm sure something is off even though they cheap, I'll just start with a bit of lube on the lever pivot first and see how i go.
    Now rather than ask a bunch more questions i will just ask this:

    On top of the regular maintenance schedule stuff in the owners manual, but without going all out on full rebuilds and hundreds of dollars, what more can i do to bring the bike up to spec if it is lacking and just have everything sound for peace of mind. I'm selling my car at the moment so the gs will be my only vehicle soon enough. I guess stuff like compression testing? and of course the above mentioned carb syncing.

    Thanks again!
  16. If you dont want to rebuild the engine, dont do a compression test, it will only worry you. Personally I would do front end and brakes first, replace the brake fluid may help, at 44k if it hasnt been done it needs it. Front tyre has a problem if it looks like it will need replacing "soon" you could do it now and be happy you didnt leave it till after you crashed. (been there done that, but only once). New fork springs, bloody good idea. if money is real tight, make some 1 inch spacers from appropriately sized pvc pipe and put them on top of the fork springs, (we used to use old valve springs, [because they were there]). Make sure the springs Wont fully compress with the added spacer. change oil and carb balance, check the bolts that hold it together. Some undertight bolts can do strange things with vibrations. Keep the chain lubed and adjusted correctly. When you adjust the chain tension dont go off the adjuster marks until you've measured it and made sure theyre right.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. I will be doing all of the above i think, and have taken serious note of what you said about replacing the front tyre asap. I wonder what some new rubber will actually feel like because the current tyres don't look like they've had the outer edges used much.

    All the tips have helped me make a (not so) little to do list of all the things id like to do to the bike..i got it pretty cheap so I'm thinking about not even selling it when its time to upgrade.
  19. Wind noise is a health hazard. Wear ear plugs on ALL trips. It is an essential part of ATGATT.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  20. Went for a ride this afternoon and all is well apart from one incident. I found a false neutral between 5th and 6th and i wasnt being a puss about changing up or anything. Anyway so the revs jumped up and i swore and pulled the clutch in, clicked down to 5th and just rolled to a stop.
    Jumped off the bike and had a look at my chain, nothing except a little slack again. I adjusted the chain the other day and i pulled over because i thought i had maybe done something wrong and it had spat the chain or something. And because when it revved in the false neutral it made a light grindy sort of noise. Less like gears grinding and more like the chain sliding along something. But the chain was on and not slack enough to come off..

    Rode it home and was fine through all the gears. So was that scary noise just the gears slightly touching each other because i was in a false neutral? Am i gonna find filings in my oil or something?

    Thanks in advance