Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Suzuki GS500F - What I've learnt.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Shiner, May 3, 2013.

  1. Hey peeps.

    After owning 2 GS500's (naked) and coaching a mate who is learning on his own GS500F, I thought I would give a quick spiel with the most important information.

    Now, quickly... I do feel that despite the weight that the GS500 is a fantastic starting scoot. Aside from a few things its proved to me to be rock solid reliable, cheap and easy to maintain by yourself and can potentially be attractive.

    The last two I have owned (both naked, late 90's models) accumulated over 100 000km each on original engines with no repairs, only scheduled work. While they weren't the most thrilling ride, with a pipe on the back, and kept lively enough through the revs they gave me plenty of enjoyment.

    Recommended modifications:

    Honestly, while it is a budget commuter... the GS benefits massively from a good set of shoes, pads, and rebuilt forks. Aside from this I added braided lines and a slip on to mine.

    The suspension can be a little pathetic, especially in the front end, though with a simple rebuild of the shocks it improves greatly. While I'm not skilled at this, there are plenty of sites showing how to upgrade the existing forks.


    Honestly I found the GS to be bloody unbreakable, aside from one thing... batteries.

    If you are a stop-start rider, invest in a trickle charger and a new battery. On longer distance riders it doesn't seem to be as much of a problem but on frequent starting my GS's and my friends have loved to eat batteries.

    The only other things that are really needed is general maintenance especially oil. The engine is simple and seems to take anything you throw at it.


    When I first ride a GS500, it was after coming off a GPX250. To me it felt heavy as a pig and really upright. After having experience with around 26 other bikes now, I've realized it is a really stable platform with pretty confidence inspiring handling. While it is not a supersport, it has the potential to develop your riding skills as a learner, or to provide a really stable platform for commuting.

    Fuel economy is excellent, returning around 5.0/100 despite being thrashed on many occasions.


    Batteries can be eaten alive, basic (but reliable and efficient) engine, temperamental in the cold when first starting.

    If you have a GS or have ridden a GS, please add your own experiences or opinions.
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. Agree 100% with everything you wrote, especially the batteries!

    Very solid learner bike and very forgiving for new riders.
  3. Yeah, they're a reliable, solid bike with a low TCO. Naked's are simple to work on and I found you didn't have to completely remove the fairing just to change the plugs on the "F" version. Have to agree with the cold start/battery issues you raised but with a charger, I was still on the OEM battery after 24,000km. Fuel economy was good - I frequently yielded 400km+ to the tank.
  4. I own a GS500F and am looking to get a slip on. Just curious as to see if you have any specific brand of slip on you put on yours?
  5. Yoshi RS-3's are pretty cheap and sound decent. They all sound pretty much the same though, its mostly about your preference for looks. IMHO the tri-oval looks even better.

    If you are after power increases, its better saving your money. A slip on will only improve the bum-dyno via your ears.
  6. Ahh ok awesome, yeah looked into the Tri-oval was thinking that.

    Not so much looking for a huge power increase although it would be nice. Im just sick of my bike sounds like an angry sewing machine when i ride.
  7. The GS sounds pretty nice with a tri-oval. My mate has one on his bike and it gives it a real thump lower in the revs, to more of a screaming whine (similar to a ninja 250 but deeper) in the top end of the revs.

    Compared to many parallel twins it sounds pretty great.

    edit: and as for loudness, its average. Not quiet but not excessive, pretty nice. My SV650 with a staintune pipe is borderline excessive with noise (94db with the silencer in the tip, but I rarely run that). Although I love it, it makes it annoying when I am trying to ride around quiet areas and not disturb people.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Alright sweet, was thinking the tri-oval so ill probably stick with getting that. Yeah dont want nothing super loud, just so it sounds half decent and hopefully people can hear when im riding next to them... haha

  9. Yeah it would be sweet.

    What style are you thinking of ? I love carbon but the polished stainless one looks great too, especially kept clean and polished. Really adds a nice shine to the bike.
  10. Being a full time student i want to save as much money as i can on it. So ill probably stick to stainless as its alot cheaper then carbon. Dont mind the look of it either.
  11. yeah man, the stainless is sexy.

    Invest in some Autosol ($8 or so in a tube) and a 80 pack of cleaning wipes from kmart/target ($10) and its great for polishing them to a perfect shine as well as things like the rearsets, handles etc.

    if you have an additional $20 then pick up some armor-all spray on shine and a microfibre cloth. For the price, the spray on shine is pretty damn decent compared to most spray detailing chemicals.

    If you want to spend extra go either meguiars ultimate spray wax/detailing spray.
  12. Ahh thanks for the tips, i have Armor all and micro fibre cloths. Makes the bike look mint!

    Ill have to get some Autosol (name rings a bell) and cleaning wipes though. Cheers!
  13. Hey guys, on the subject of GS500, just wondering what fuel is best to use and what should be avoided ?
  14. I used to use 95 or 98 octane but now I just use regular unleaded. No noticeable change in mileage or power although I might put the occasional tank of 98 through just for the cleaning properties. I don't touch the ethanol blends and you definitely shouldn't if you have a GS that is more than a few years old.
  15. just refer to your manual as well if you have one. For instance I usually run 98, though according to my manual I can run up to 10% ethanol above 87 octane. Running E10 91 I find no noticable difference until the bike is hot as hell in stop start traffic.

    in that state it starts to vaporise in the carbs quicker for reasons unknown to me because I dont know about chemistry that much. Though 98 seems to last a SLIGHT temperature difference longer.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Ive always put in 98 just because i know it helps keep the internals of the engine running cleaner. I dont mind spending the extra couple bucks on a fill up.

    But yeah 91 would still be ok and 95 would be fine too, so its all preference.
  17. awesome, thanks guys :), wasn't really sure about E10 either, but thanks for the feedback :)
  18. Okay, I think they are a piece of crap and the government is doing new riders a disservice by continuing to allow these old tech bikes to be sold as if they are new.

    They are old tech, crappy clutch with super low tolerance definitely unsuited to the demands of low speed clutch riding skills that learners have to master.

    The people that recommend these are old guys who have had them in the past and have inflated their value by reliving fond but rose coloured memories. And wannabe mechanics who just want to tinker with old bike tech and get a hardon for 30 year old tech that still sold and has spare parts.

    The sooner these disappear from the face of the earth, the better.

    centre stand is useful for checking tire pressure, checking oil level, filling tank with fuel and cleaning the chain.
    20L tank & I'm getting about 27km/L
  19. To each their own I guess. I've never had a problem with the clutch and my mate has learnt to use his pretty good in the 2 weeks he has been riding. I actually find it better at low speed riding than my SV with clutches in mind.

    As for the low tech thing? I find it a bonus and a negative. Although they don't make the same power, they are dirty to run (emissions wise), they last forever with minimal maintenance and take a beating. What more could a learner that probably won't look after it ask for?

    Compared to something like an old grey-import CBR250RR they are a great prospect.
  20. Hmmm well my gs500 was new and the clutch went after 2000k's

    Maybe they used to I can say I no longer have faith in mine.