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gs500 or dr650

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by WeeBubba, May 10, 2010.

  1. ok. im about to buy my first bike and i went to suzuki today and sat on these 2 bikes and loved them both. bit confused about which will be best for me.

    im gonna need this bike primarily for commuting to work. ill be doing around 40 - 50kms a day on road. but where i live theres a fair bit of bush and a mate has said we could go dirt biking if i get the right bike. although ive never been dirt biking before it kinda appeals. although ive got 2 young kids so in reality probably wont get to do it all that much. also im pretty tall around 6ft 2

    thinking about mpg here, how may times will i have to fill up, easier to learn on etc. wondered about any advice before i make the plunge. thanks
  2. apples and oranges

    dr650 mate ;) any day of the week.

    once you get some dirt in ya, you will never go back.

    the big dr is a gem too. not too many bikes can go to work on monday, up some snotty hills on sunday and then across africa on your anual leave.

    some will suggest the klr but its allot heavier and when you want to play on the dirt you will notice it. the 650 is a great commuter too, great for us tal blokes

    the gs is well.... a learner commuter. a dr650 is an awesome bike in its own right... which just happens to be lams
  3. search these forums and you'll find heaps of people, myself included, who praise the GS500 as a great learner bike. As a father of 2 (though granted I sold the GS when #2 was born) I found it a very safe, predictable bike. I got 400 Ks out of a tank - though I'd typically fill up at 300 ks - but still, that means you're filling up once a week, which is nothing to complain about :)
  4. If you're going to do dirt, the GS is unsuitable (a rather poor idea if you're inexperienced). If you're going to be sticking to sealed roads, it would be the better option.

    If you intend to go offroad, a DR650 or a DRZ400 would be good options (they're fine for proper roads, too, but not as good as a actual road-bike). The KLR, as mentioned, can also do dirt okay, but it has more of a road focus.

    As always, ride them and see how they fit.
  5. Ignoring the dirt aspect, it would depend on what your commute is like. Open highway would favour the GS. Snarly traffic is DR territory (apart from handlebar width, which can be improved). Either bike will do either duty though. The GS is better for a pillion, but, again, the DR can do the job. It's just not very comfortable. Fuel economy will be pretty similar but the GS will go further on its larger tank if that is important to you. Servicing on the DR should be (marginally) cheaper, but probably not enough to notice. Tyres will probably cost a bit less too.

    Of course, if you are seriously tempted by the dirt, there's not much choice really, is there?
  6. does the DR still have screw type walve adjustments?

    if so that turns a rather large $400 job to check the valves into a 15min at home job
  7. It has, but, in my experience (with highish mileage engines, so newer bikes might experience some settling in), bucket and shim valves never need adjustment anyway. I agree that, if they do, it can get a bit involved.

    On the downside, the DR, although a single, still has two spark plugs, both, apparently, made from something ball-shrinkingly expensive. It does have a washable foam air filter though, so you don't have to keep springing for overpriced paper elements.
  8. If there's a chance that you want to go off road, go with the DR, it will do everything..otherwise the GS is a good all rounder for the black stuff only.
  9. im not sure whether they move about any more or less. on dirtbikes they move around allot and i always here stories of the cost and annoyance of reshimming. i wouldnt think the gs would need clearance checks as often as the dr... but its 15mins vs 2hrs+

    because to check the clearances on allot of roadbikes it requires removing and draining radiator ect ect and hence more cost.

    but we're getting a little off track
  10. If I was choosing just between those two, I'd go with the dr650.. Then stick road tyres on it and a smaller rear sprocket so that its more suited to road speeds.

    With the amount of torque you get from a 650 single the extended gearing wont exactly hurt it too much. It'd make it easier to cruise the highway comfortably and economically with the only trade off being some acceleration and wheelie power.
  11. the stock gearing is pretty good IMO, it pulls from low in the rpm but with the stock gearing it wont rev out the whole way in top.

    you can wheelie it though, just yut ughh in 1st and it'll go up or stand up and pre jump, clutch and weight back at the same time.
  12. Thumpers rule, go with the DR great bike.