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Honda GB500 -v- XRB500. What's the difference ?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by martych, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Hi. Looking at a cheap / reliable commuter for my other half. She's quite small but doesn't want a 250 (mainly because on the very occasional weekend, she'll want to ride with others who have 650's etc)

    Budget is a major consideration and she likes the 'classic' looks of both the above. She had a Yamaha Renaissa (?) a few years ago and really liked the looks and ergonomics.

    We've really only started looking and have found the Honda 500 singles (ie, the GB and XRB's) to be to her liking. Have even seen a GB400 with very low km's advertised recently and would maybe even consider that too.

    Appreciate any advice / suggestions especially from anyone who has had anything to do with these two bikes in the past.

    p.s: Is there anything generically wrong with 500 singles ? I know Yamaha's SR500 have a huge following.....but it's reflected in their price. Is 30,000km's (but well looked after) high km's for one of these ?
  2. Damn.... just realized I meant XBR500 not XRB......Idiot !!!
  3. I had an XBR500 a few years back, gosh it was sick :grin:

    The XBR is a much better built, more reliable, longer lasting, faster and more useable bike than the yamaha SR500. In stock form it looks better too.

    The difference between the XBR and GB is pretty much cosmetic only. Engine parts are interchangeable. The electric start wears early on the XBR, and they commonly stall at the lights. Neither of these are major problems, given most have a kick start. Front discs can wear a bit thin.

    Other than that they're as tough as any bike engine, you shouldn't start to see top-end problems till you're past 80'000km's.

    The 400's okay too, though neither is a powerhouse, so 500 definitely prefered. I prefer the look of the XBR500 personally, especially with the solo seat cowl on the back =P~

    Some reading

  4. Double post
  5. I tried to get a gb500 a couple of years ago and was unsuccessful. Did a fair bit of research at the time.

    The engine is basically the same as xr/xl500/600 series. To that end there are lots of spares and lots of mods.

    I think you'd have trouble finding an xbr too.

    The most realistic approach would be to buy a gb400 and ride it until the engine fell over, then slot in an xr600 engine.

    the gb400 engine is meant to be a different beast, but I do wonder if it related to the xr400.

    the gb400 should be a stronger bike than the more common sr400 and it's more of a cafe racer out of the box, if that king of thing tickles your fancy.
  6. Could have had your pick of two recently but looks like other people have already nabbed them:
    I'm sure they'll bring in more soon though, they seem to bring them in fairly regularly.
  7. I had a GB 500 a few years back & still kick myself for selling it every time I think of it :( I reckon they are awesome little bikes. Mine never had enough kms on it to wear out the starter mechanism but it did have worn bushes in the swingarm. Due to Honda using those most cr@ppiest nylon bushes instead of something more suitable. Apparently you can get bronze bushes made to suit & solve it reoccuring. They respond well to a bit of de-restriction in the muffler department. If you get carried away a bit of jetting will be also be in order. Mate had a 400 which he pulled the head off, cleaned up the ports, gave an accurate 3 angle valve job & gutted the standard muffler. It went really really well. Easily as fast or faster than my 500 with modded exhaust. Required more revs with not as much torque down low but still really quick for a 400 single. Last I heard of it, it had done near 80,000kms & was just starting to use a bit of oil. Nothing a set of rings wouldn't fix. Not bad for a single that was flogged within an inch of its life. Everywhere.
    As I said earlier, they are a fantastic little bike. Tiny, light & narrow. Sort of felt like riding a bicycle. On a tight twisty road a well ridden one can scare the pants off much larger capacity sport bikes. Sticky tyres might be a bit of a problem now as they run skinny 18 inch wheels. I used to run Avon supervenoms on mine -not sure if they are still available however. Hope this helps :grin:
  8. lol, you just gave me a flashback to riding my XBR500 down the main street of Terrigal the day after I'd bought it when it was running super lean.

    Every time I rolled off the throttle slightly these bloody great shotgun blasts would bellow out the aftermarket pipes. God it was a great day.