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GS500F 500Km Noob Review

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by slik50, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. I bought a new GS500F for my first bike and after 2 weeks have reached the 500Km mark and thought it was time for a review.

    I'll qualify my comments by saying that besides the GS500F I've only ridden the bikes at the stayupright course and the Honda CT110.

    So here goes:

    Comfort and Fit:
    I'm 6 feet tall and the size of the bike is comfortable without being too large for a novice. In fact after 2 weeks it feels as easy to manouver as low speed as my pushbike.

    Handling and Suspension:
    Like I would have a clue :) I don't go around corners very fast (ie use the advisory speeds on bends and about 25km/hr to turn into side streets :oops: .
    Having said that it has does everything I have asked of it so far.

    I know that it is a one of the heavier LAMS bikes. But even while running it in and remaining below 6500rpm it has plenty of go off the line.

    The most impressive thing about the engine in this bike is the amount of torque available. On my first day with the bike I was able to take off from the lights in third gear without stalling. (I had forgotten to gear down altogether when stopping).

    As I'm sure everyone already knows, the bike has a 6 speed gearbox. I have yet to use 6th as the bike sits on 80km/h in 5th at 4000rpm. It was a little notchy when I first got the bike but seems to be loosening up now. the best part is that to date there have been no false neutrals.

    The clutch is light with plenty of feel and is becoming smoother with every ride.

    Finally the bling, there don't seem to be that many accessories available for the bike but here are my plans:

    - Tank Bag, I bought an Oxford last week and it is perfect for smaller items and can carry drinks and some food for a day ride.
    - Exhaust, I have ordered a staintune pipe, hope to have it on next week to have a little more presence on the road.
    - Horn, I want to upgrade the horn ASAP as the one on the bike a the moment screams "I've been neutered..."

    Anyway, I have not had much experience with bikes and can't say whether a different bike would be better or worse. But I can say I think you won't be dissapointed with the GS for a first bike.

    just my 2 cents....

  2. Agreed. A great 1st bike where you don't have to rev the clappers out of the thing to get up and going. I find I often change gears at only 4000 rpm as you just don't need to rev it unless you want to accelerate hard.

    I've done 3600 kms in 2.5 months and loving the bike.
  3. Nice review - I have a GS500 (Naked) which I bought new just under two years ago and it's been great.

    When I bought it, the only bike I'd ridden was the CB250 on the learner rider course - I had no idea how it would handle, so needless to say, I was a little scared when I first got it as to how it would handle - I quickly became comfortable with it.

    The GS500 has been very forgiving, but with good power and torque. Being quite heavy, I have to admit that I did find it a little difficult doing the Ps course around some of the cones - at low speed with good precision.

    I rarely need to use 6th, but I've done a fair few trips up the F3 from Sydney to the Hunter Valley and find doing 110 up some of the hilly bits will do around 6500 RPM in 6th gear, but there's still some power to spare after that.

    In terms of upgrades - would have been nice to have a few more options available. The first thing I bought was a magnetic tank pad - I recommend you do the same if you haven't already (I got one from Mag-Knight) and eventually an Oxford Tank Bag which works just as well as a tank bag or tail pack (can't remember the exact model).

    I've been off my restricted license for over 6 months now, and the itch for something bigger is starting to get to me - the Triumph Street Triple is looking good at this stage, but I will be sad to see my GS500 go :)
  4. I also have the GS500F.

    One thing that you've memtioned in your review is the suspension. As you become more familiar with it, you'll discover that when you're travelling along at faster speed, and you hit, for example, a small pot-hole or brake heavily, the front end will bottom out (BANG).

    Many GS500 riders upgrade the front suspension to eradicate this problem.
  5. Well, this seems like a good place for my first post. I also own an 08 GS500 with about 500km on the clock. I got my L's in November, so I've only ridden my bike, a CBF250 and a CT110, but I'm also really happy with my bike. The bit I like most is when it goes "VROOOOM".

    I tend to bounce around like a pea on a drum at the slightest bump on the road, which I assume is a problem with the suspension. Any tips on how to fix it?
  6. It's quite straight forward. Just replace the front spring with stiffer aftermarket ones.

    Here's a blog of a guy from country NSW who has done it. It's in the seconds half of the posting: http://yogi2795.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html
  7. I purchased a new GSF500 a few months ago, so over xmas break, I went with the W & K's to Cobram. They drove I rode.

    Fantastic bike, had Ventura bag with all my crap and the bike did not miss a beat. I reckon the amount of torque is the best bit, just get to sixth gear and leave it there.
    The first of many long trips (permission from W pending)

    Would recommend this bike to anyone
    :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:
  8. Kinda hanging out for LAMS in QLD to pick one of these up for the Mrs.
  9. Agree with all the above.

    When I went up a couple of driveways and heard a rather large clunk, i thought the tyre was flat and the rim hit the edge of the driveway...

    Good to know its just the suspention.
  10. I test rode one of these for my other half about a week ago and found it powerful enough but it seemed to vibrate an awful lot around town. Not particualarly smooth. Does anyone know if the naked is any better. I Took a cheapo hyosung comet 650 out as well. I found it to be surprisingly good but unfortunately too big.
  11. i've not noticed mine vibrate a great deal... I was riding in what seemed like peak hour trafic in sydney last night for a couple of hours...
  12. It's a twin (parallel at that) so the vibes happen.

    I don't particularly notice it, i guess you could get more comfortable grips or weighted bar ends.
  13. I agree that they are less smooth than a 4 cylinder. but it does not take long for to get used to it.

    I don't really notice now. Having said that I am biased because I looooove this bike.

  14. vibrate is a small problem, but the noise from Engine and time belt ? And brake . My neighbour said it is too noisy .
    BTW, my idle is 1500RPM , is that all right ?
  15. Naked 03 model here.

    Glad to hear the front suspension bottoming out is quite common - got a bit nervous when I hit my first bump and felt a clunk.

    I notice a bit of a tick re timing chain but wouldn't describe motor as too noisy.

    I get a bit of vibration through the bars - most noticable at freeway speeds.

    The mirrors are a little short for 6'2 rider but the riding position is very comfortable.

    Had it for a week/800kms and compared to my first bike (cb250) it's a pleasure to ride.

    Have a screen and heated handgrips in mind when next winter comes around.
  16. Get some mirror extenders. $40 odd and they make a huge difference to visibility. I'm the same height as you.
  17. a 500km review?!?!?!

    thats like a ride around the block! :grin: took ya 2 weeks to do 500km?

    i did 800km + in my first week :D
  18. Ive had my GS500f for about 18 months - 6000km on the clock, very well used to it now and starting to find some limitations in the suspension (mind you I weigh 110kg). Nasty moment breaking into tight left one day - front bottoms out- front wheel skips sideways about 6 inches and sphincter pucker factor hits 11. Luckily boyhood hooning on MX bikes kicked in and a quick catch in the right lane of a narrow road saved the day. Thinking now I will move up to something engineered to carry a bit more freight, if you get my drift... but the GS is a great ride and will be well treasured.
  19. Don't usually do the "me too" posting but my '94 GS500 Naked has done 17000 and is a fine bike that has taken 3 riders through the first stages of riding.

    Very happy with it overall.. probably moving up to a striple in the next few months but for any newbies looking at the old suzuki 500 as a possible first bike.. go for it..

    as mentioned by others the only surprise are the springs.
  20. I would have thought an idle speed around 1000rpm would be better.
    Perhaps the bike shop bumped it up a bit so you don't stall as often while learning the bike.
    Look for an adjusting screw somewhere at the back of the motor or carbs. Find that and just screw it one way or the other and you will hear the revs rise or fall.