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GS500 suspension

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Disco_Dave, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Hi All,

    I am thinking of getting a suzuki GS500 but have read alot of posts about the front suspension being really soft.
    I notived there are some overseas retailers with some aftermarket springs but cannot seem to find any in australia. Does anyone know if there are any australian retailers and if so how much they are?


  2. How about trying the bike first and seeing if it's ok in standard trim? I had one for 12 months on my L and P's and put 13,000 kms on it over all road types and a track day. I know a few people complain about it but I never had any issue with the suspension personally.
  3. hey ludey -

    i've recently done up my gs500's suspension..it's much better now. it's hard to find stuff in australia, but you can try Ikon springs (for fork springs.. dunno if they do shocks). I bought my springs and new rear shock from the states: our bikes do have quite a following over there and the prices/delivery times are reasonable.

    do a search up for sonicsprings/racetech. their sites have calculators for correct fork spring rates so it's pretty straightforward. i've got some sonics ($100ish delivered within 2 weeks, from memory) in my bike atm and they work well. just don't forget to put in 15w or 20w fork oil with the new springs.

    i've also chucked in a yamaha R6 rear shock.. there are proper aftermarket rear shock units available from the states, but i got that r6 shock for about $110 delivered within 2 weeks from the states... much cheaper. with a bit of grinding away at the swingarm (about 1-2mm at one spot) and it fits perfectly.

    otherwise, check out the gstwins forums/wiki or pablo's gs500 page (google em up).. lots of resources out there for working on gs500's. run a search here on netrider too.. ive seen a few gs500 upgrade threads.
  4. I've done the whole box and dice thing to my GS500 suspension...GSXR1000 front end, R6 back end and it does make a hell of a difference to the bike - but your size and riding style will make a big difference.

    I'm heavy...really heavy...upwards of 140kg by the time I've got all my gear on, so the standard setup was *much* too soft for me....the forks bottomed out under anything other than gentle braking and cornering loads. This caused a few scary moments before I decided to fix the suspension.

    If I was doing it again, then I'd start with sino's advice - get an R6 shock for the rear and some springs from the US. I paid US$40 for a mint condition shock, fork springs should be around $100 new - if you use a discount freight forwarder like www.shipito.com then the shipping costs are minimal.
    If you are still overwhelming the front end, then you may need to consider doing the whole front end swap thing like I did - but if you are normal sized and/or not particularly aggressive then it should be fine.
  5. I got mine from the following site, they have a little calculator widget that helps you choose what springs should suit your bike & weight, cost me around $120 delivered(should be even cheaper now the dollars over 10cents stronger than when I purchased), 40 bucks for a mechanic to fit..

    My gs500 bottomed out the front suspension 3-4 times before I decided to do this mod, haven't had the issue since & stopped it nose diving under brakes which was daunting sometimes..

    Basically they don't change the bike for Australian conditions (read heavier riders on average), so the front springs aren't up to handling you unles your around 60-70kgs at most..

  6. I'm 68 kgs, don't ride particularly hard and still found the front end of my GS to be rubbish until I got a bit more preload happening and switched to 15W oil. It's probably still crap in the scheme of things, but since it's my first bike I don't have much to compare it to. At least the front end has stopped doing scary things now.

    I wouldn't excuse Suzuki by saying it's set up for little japanese people. I doubt I'm much heavier than the average bloke in Japan. It would have cost them nothing to specify a heavier weight fork oil.
  7. Exactly what I was going to say , my GS seems fine ,
    haven't done as many K's as you have or a track day either LOL ..
    Only reason I'm selling mine is cause I've now upgraded :D
  8. I think I'll go with heavier oil in mine..at first. I knew of her front end before I bought her so it was no surprise to feel the front gently swan dive under brakes..and this was from the guys who had anti dive fitted to the classic Katanas shocks..I'm 85 kgs,she still bottoms out on some craters though. She's not a super sports so I don't push her anyway.