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Help With First Bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Trekka273, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. OK, first time post here, so please take it easy on me! This topic has probably been done to death, but I am after some fresh advice also.

    I am doing a two day HART course this week to get my learners, and I am currently looking at bikes to purchase once the licencing stuff is out of the way.

    I am pretty much looking at two bikes at thi sstage, the Suzuki GS500F and the Hyosung GT650R. Over the past month or two I have been doing a lot of reading of forums such as this one, reviews, etc. The GS500F sounds like it is a good bike, and I am sure it owuld do a very good job for me. The Hyosung looks really nice, has a bigger engine that I can have derestricted once I am off the restriction period (which is a big bonus), has more braking power, better size wheels in so far as being able to get better rubber later on, and it looks a bit sportier then the Suzuki.

    I have seen a number of articles, comments about the Hyosung, and there has obviously been some problems, but are they still affecting the 2008 model? I won't be doing thousands of km's a month on the bike, it is more for weekend riding and later on some commuting about a 90km round trip to/from work in good weather. I have no doubt that to begin with either bike will probably have ample power, handling, stopping power, etc for my use. However, in 12-18 months time, do you think the Hyosung will offer me more then the Suzuki, and if so, is it enough to make it a worthwhile purchase? I know a lot of poeple mention getting a naked bike while learning, but I have always liked the fairing on bikes so much more (just personal preference). Pretty much the only naked bike I like is the Ducati Monster. I am looking at buying both of the above brand new, unless I can find a good deal on a really good second hand bike that isn't too far away from where I live.

    Can anyone offer any opinions on either of the two above bikes, or any other alternatives? I am looking for a larger bike rather then a 250 as I want to be able to keep it for some time even with a full licence. If anyone has any alternative bikes I should look at then please feel free to suggest them as well.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Very exciting getting a new bike hey, i looked at both of those bikes when i got my L's last year, i ended up going with the gs500 , at least you can thrash the gs500 and will never brake down, and it's got a good resale value as well, plenty of power, and looks cool.

    Be sure to test ride them both. Goodluck.
  3. Thanks 99sydrd.

    It is exciting, though also daunting. I don't want to make a wrong decision on which bike to pick!!

    I did like the Suzuki, and obviously it has a very good reputation. The Hyosung does look better, in my opinion, but then there are these things you read about some reliability issues, although these seem like they are in the older models and they seem to have improved. The only other thing that concerns me with the Hyosung is the more sporty riding position. I have back issues at different times and was thinking that perhaps the Suzuki might be a little kinder to my back due to the more upright riding position. The Hyosung is certainly tempting though with the added power when unrestricted, the slightly more advanced design, etc. Also, the V-twin sound, especially with the aftermakret pipe, is a nice thoguht as well :) Don't know which way to go....
  4. I too looked at both these bikes as my first bike. I went with the GS because I wanted it to last for longer than the ride from the dealer back to my place :LOL:

    But on a serious note, I havent had any probs with the GS. The riding position is also great, especially if you said you have back problems. Its classed as a sports tourer so its much comfier than those back breakers. Good luck with it. PM me if you have any questions about the GS.
  5. Honda also offers the new cb400, at 10k, maybe less with the cashback offers still on?? not sure if they are still on. There is also some great beamers around tha are new that are single 650`s, the old honda NT650 maybe good for the commute if u r doin alot of highway work ( with 90km`s commute there and back, u want to be comfortable, this is massive but however this wouldnt be fun in the twisties) the new ninja looks the part, wouldnt know if its any good in the highway, but seems a blody good setup, and i would be pretty sure depreciation on that model wouldnt be too much, it has grunt, but prob sitting on too high RPM for the work u want to do, nice bike though and worth checking out. but if u want new bikes, that are bigger bikes, cant go past the gs500, hyosung 650, or the honda cb400, the kawasaki KLR650 is a bloody big bike as well, looks liek she would tour well as well. if ur looking second hand, there is a whole list avaible for u and highly reccommended is the szr660, they are hard to find but are a great ride. so dont forget to add onto your list the new ninja and the cb400!
  6. The GS500 has about 51 hp, the GT650 (once unrestricted) has about 76. The power-weight ratios are 0.2965 HP/kg (Suzuki) and 0.3675 HP/kg (Hyosung), so it's true that there's an appreciable power difference (something I wanted to check for my own interest).

    I think both are probably good bikes: it largely depends on whether you think Hyosung really *have* dealt with the kinds of issues that existed with the earlier ones. If they have it's a good purchase, if they haven't it's Russian roulette! This reliability worry is reduced *slightly* by the fact that your initial intention is not to use it as a day-to-day commuter: if it's off the road for a while on warranty it's a pain but not impossible.

    There is the faired version of the GS500, the F, so it's not a direct naked 'Zuke/faired Hyosung comparison.

    Let me just chuck in my usual caution against buying brand new (I should get a stamp made ;)). You'll take a huge depreciation hit on either when you ride out of the shop, probably more so on the Hyosung. Why would you pay full price plus $1500 or so in onroads when you can get a 2007 model with 1500 km on it (still restricted) for under 8 grand rideaway?
  7. Thanks for the replies everyone. Still undecided....

    With regards to buying the bikes new, I can get both of the bikes ride-away for just over $8k, so they are pretty close in orice, which makes the decision even harder. Also, I figure that especially if I buy the Hyosung, buying new might be a good idea for the extra warranty time to be sure that the bike doesn't have any faults. As for if I think that they have dealt with their problems, well, I don't know!! haha Hopefully there will be some more guys in here who have a late model GT650 who might be able to answer that for me? It seems, just from the bit of reading that I have done, that the problems are more with the earlier models, which could mean two things. They have fixed the problems, or there aren't as many on the road and so the problems haven't surfaced as much yet?

    If I go with the GS, it will be the GS500F version. Like I said earlier, I just like the fairing on bikes, unless it looks like the Ducati Monster style of naked bike.

    It is such a tough choice... I would really love to get the Hyosung as when I am fully qualified I can derestrict it and basically have a new bike, it is sportier looking, a more modern design and look slike it might be a bit more fun. The two downsides i cans ee are the question mark over build/reliability and the sportier riding position. On the other hand, the Suzuki is a known quantity, is possibly a better riding position for me given my back problems, possibly better resale later on. The downside is that in a couple of years when I am more experienced it may mean that I want to trade to something else more quickly, it doesn't have the same engine note as the v-twin Hyosung (I know, not a big thing, but it is stil nice to have!), and it isn't quite as nice looking as the Hyosung....

    Decisions, decisions....
  8. The other thing I should have added is that it will be *far* easier to make a decision once you have ridden both. Before that it's all stats and speculation. That will give you at least a partial answer (for a shortish test ride) on how your back copes with the riding position on each and so on, and also of the 'feel' of each engine and handling setup. By all means do your research, but there's no substitute for the ride. ;)
  9. the problems most learners will face is actually getting a test ride while on their L's. First of all they would not have the ability to go around the block, second of all not many owners/shops would risk their bike with some one who just got their L's.

    From experience, you cannot go wrong with GS500 E or F. They are good size and power to prepare you for bigger and better things. There is a lot of support on like and a lot of second hand parts for it.
  10. Why roll the dice on a Hyosung when you could have a perfectly reliable Suzuki?
  11. I had another look at both bikes today.

    The Suzuki looks like it would be a good solid bike, reliable and capable of doing what I want it to do for at least a couple of years. It isn't a fantastic looking bike, but it also isn't bad looking.

    The Hyosung looks nicer (IMO), has the advantage of derestricting later on, has newer technology, better sized wheels for more rubber options down the track, and a number of other small things that are quite nice. The only question mark I have is the reputation that they have. But, I am not sure if the reliability problems are still as prevelant in the latest model bikes as they were in the earlier models. From the reading I have done, the problems seem to be more with the earlier models. Maybe there are some here who have had experience with the latest model Hyosungs who can comment on this?

    The other thing I looked at with the Hyosung was getting the GT650S (half fairing), which has higher mount bars, and adding the bottom fairing to the bike so it has the full fairing the same as the GT650R. The salesman advised this would cost me $600-$700 to do, but I am guessing that overall I could haggle a bit ont he bike to try to wind the price down. GOing with this option would give me a more upright riding position, but with the full fairing look that I also like. Any thoughts on this?

    From the brief discussions I have had, it would appear that without any haggling, there would be approximately $500 difference between the two bikes in standard form, and then if I were to go with the GT650S and the added fairing it would be a difference of around $1200.
  12. I ride an 08 model Hyosung GT250r.. It has 4000kms (I have only put 600 of those on it) on in it and has not missed a beat so far.

    I cannot compare it to other bikes as this is my first bike ever.

    The only issue I seem to have with it is the fact that neutral can be so damn hard to find sometimes, I get a round that by trying to find neutral while still moving (finds it a lot easier).

    From what I have read this seems to be a common fault with a lot of bikes and not just the Hyosungs.

    Yes they have copped a bagging due to their unreliable past and I hope that they have fixed these reliability issues.

    If you ask the same question over at korider.com your bound to get more responses from the 650 riders about any problems they have in regards to the bike and its reliability
  13. While it might look pretty, to someone who knows about bikes and did their research - they know you are riding a POS.

    I'd choose a bike with a good reputation over a bike whose reputation is that it sucks balls.

    Try to stop justifying the Hyosung to yourself unless you are comfortable knowing there are better bikes out there for the same money (be that new or 2nd hand).
  14. Ok, that could be a fair point. Can you offer some suggestions of better bikes for the same money? I am open to all suggestions.
  15. first whats your experience if any riding? ie throttle/brake/clutch/contol dirt bikes ect

    if its zero then go the GS as the riding position is more upright and learner freindly.

    if you must go the Hyo get a second hand one with less than 4000ks and plenty of warranty and you will save yourself an easy 4k or more as resale isnt that great.Research the hyo and if your happy to live with the possible pitfalls slightly more agressive position poor resale then go for it as its still a fun bike to own.

    if you want more opinions and infoon the hyo then head over to www.korider.com
  16. yea mangs i told u some suggestions before, but you ignored them, i can understand if your budget doesnt reach that far but:

    1. honda cb400- direct competitor to the 2 above mentioned bikes, great bike lotsa technolgy, prob be expensive to maintain, and is expensive to buy.

    2. BMW f650 - any series. Great lil bikes, single cylinder, and BMW reliability. with the badgename comes the hefty pricetag

    3. Kawasaki 250R ninja- not exactly a 'larger' lams but has put many learners on the road with a large smile, go anywhere and do anything. hasnt been faulted so far.

    Is it really at the end of the day worth the risk of putting in your hard earned cash to be heart broken on a bike that doesnt pull its own weight? all honesty with that sort of money, i would only fork out for what is clean and proven, not worth gambling away........

    Try the 3 i mentioned, if not give reasons why :S

    -cheers Phil
  17. Or a VTR250 .. or an older GPX or ZZR or CBR
  18. For the OP, Suzuki = proven and reliable and Hyosung has question marks hanging over it for now (but I don't expect they will within a couple of years). The Hyo does look better but I think donaldo74 has summed it up. Basically, it's down to proven v unproven but looks better.

    Sorry to get off topic but why do people write this (see below)? Cars with VVT aren't any more to service/maintain and most cars have engines like this now so why wouldn't that technology transfer the same way to a bike?

  19. Well, after doing the first day of my learners course today, it has certaonly helped me with the decision. As good as the Hyosung may look, I think with my lack of experience, etc, a more upright, rider-friendly style would be not only more comfortable for me now, but also safer for me, at least until I get some experience up.

    So, that sort of has me thinking of two bikes now. The Suzkui GS500F, which I have already seen, sat on, etc, and which seems from all reports to be a good bike. Then today they had a few CB400's there, and for a nked bike I thought it looked pretty good. Two things that may put me off it are the higher initial purchasing price when compared to the Suzuki, and not having any screen at all. Would the screen on the Suzuki help a lot more with the wind buffering as opposed to being fully exposed?
  20. I dunno how much you weigh, but im about 85kg on a Kawa 250r - and its REALLY REALLY FUN. Its not lacking at all for power.

    I may lose a sprocket from the front for a bit more accel, but overall as far as a learner bike is concerned it really kicks ass.