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VTR vs GS500 discussion.

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by disco1985, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Ok ladies & gentlemen, the time has come.

    I have the fulltime job, the prelearner certificate and are just counting the dollars come in until I'll be able to make my purchase.

    The question is on the bikes, now I know that I wont really know which bike is the keeper until I test ride them, and yes, there is a lot of posts on the VTR's but I figured a comparison of the questionably best LAM 250 and 600 probably wouldnt be a bad idea.

    Love the VTR look, and whilst I worry I look a little humorous (6'5' 100 kgs) when sitting on the VTR I still love the look of it over the gs500. I honestly feel like I could pick the VTR up (I know many would have a good laugh watching me fail this feat), it seems so delicate under me, however more comftorble to sit on than the GS500. However the GS500f in any color other than suzuki blue still tickles my fancy.

    Now I've heard all the talks 'you won't fit on the VTR', 'the GS is too top heavy, it wont handle compared to the VTR', 'you wont sell the GS500', 'You will sell the gs500' - Damn dealerships its hard to get a sincere response out of them. Despite all this, all riders of each of them seem to love their machines unconditionally, with very few bad things to say about them until - 'its time' for a bigger bike.

    So anybody in the community that can list any pro's or con's with these two bikes? Anything buyers should be carefull with when buying 2nd hand? Any big boys or anyone for that matter out there who have ridden both? What was the outcome? Are there any major performance differences?

    Thanks guys, Hope you feel this is a valueable post, not a repeat.
    Cheers, Disco.
  2. Seeing as you are in NSW and can have a LAMS approved bike why not go the Ducati Monster 6??. It is essentially the VTR frame only bigger. It might suit your height a bit better.

    I have a VTR and love the naked look so when it comes time for me to upgrade I will be going a Duc Monster (however have been thinking of an R1).

    If Vic had LAMS when I got my VTR, I woud have gotten the Monster instead.
  3. Hahaha, love your slogan Cambo - Gold!!
    Heard Ducatis are renound for being unreliable though.. Not to mention the hefty price tag! Bit much for my first purchase. Thanks for the advice though. Disco
  4. What about a Hyosung 650?

    They are also larger than the VTR250 and they are cheaper than the Ducati 620's.
  5. thanks ZRX1200R. Definitely considered the Hyosung however read a review saying anyone above average height would be cramped. However I'm not particularly interested in other bikes and suggestions. I've studied the LAMs list and checked out the bikes, The GS500 or the VTR250 are the two bikes that have a good reputation and are viable for me. Was hoping to hear from any members that have ridden both and might be able to provide some input.
  6. I've ridden the GS500 (only the unfaired version).

    On the upside I found it narrow, light, easy to ride in city traffic.

    On the downside it was a bit soft in the front end, and the seat was fairly narrow... not hard, just narrow.

    It felt a little dated in it's design but despite all the I actually enjoyed riding it. I could see myself having one for a commuter if I worked in the CBD.

    Can't comment upon the VTR250 sorry.
  7. The vtr is probably easier to throw around the twisties, a faired gs500 would be nicer for longer distance riding. The gs is about 40kg heavier so its a little intimidating at first to handle at low speeds/pushing (at least that was my initial experience) but you get used to it.

    Dont worry too much about the performance or handling, both are more than competent learner bikes that are easily outshone by their bigger siblings :grin:

    Go with the one you like the most!
  8. GS500:

    -A bit more power then your average learner bike, but it comes on pretty smoothly
    -Forgiving in the corners, if you want to change your line, it will do so
    -It's an easy ride in corners, and on the highway as well, no need to rev the hell out of it to get it up to and keep it at highway speeds
    -More upright seating position (that's a pro for me, but you sit on it and see if you're comfortable on it)
    -Air cooled twin cylinder engine that hasn't changed much since it was first put in the GS, easy to service. Loads of info floating around the net.
    - Good resell value

    -A bit on the heavy side. That said, I can lift mine by myself if need be, and I'm a skinny bastard (6'4, 65kg or so ;))
    -If you drop the fairinged version, and want to fix it, expect an expensive repair bill, and a long wait.
    -Not exactly a unique ride
    -Suspension a bit soft, although the newer ones are better in this regards...
    -Expensive to buy a late model one, even second hand

    That's all I can think of atm, i might update later if i think of anything else
  9. I can't honestly believe people are calling GS500's heavy :)

    Yes they are heavier than a 250, but they are still light.
  10. Thanks guys, really helpful. For me, although the GS is only 40kg's more I think people are calling it heavier due to the placement of the weight, the vtr must have the bulk of its weight close to the road making it feel so light, however the GS definately felt a lot heavierand bulkier, which is intimidating for my first bike (dont wanna drop the baby). I assume this slight difference in weight is a result of the placement of the weight, rather than the difference in weight between the two. Thanks for your two cents Ginji.
  11. There's no substitute for CC's.

    Having said that, there's no real cons to either bike, they are among the best learner bikes money can buy.

    For the first week or two a VTR may be slightly easier to handle, but there's nothing really difficult about the GS500, and in the long run it's higher torque will probally make it nicer to live with.

    The GS500 is cheaper to buy used, and better value. Personally I'd go the unfaired GS500, Fairing don't add any extra performance on a bike like this, and cost a lot more to fix.
  12. Fairings on a bike like this aren't about the added performance (which, as you said, there isn't any) it's about the comfort (in my case) or coolness factor. I had the side fairings off at one stage as I was doing some work on the bike, and had to zip down to uni for an exam the next morning, but i didn't have time to put the side fairings back on... After I scraped the ice of the bike and got on my way, my legs (and all appendages that hang between...) were all bloody freezing. I'll take my fairings thanks!
  13. I've ridden both bikes. I have a VTR250 for about 18 months to learn on and it was an awesome little bike. My fiance just bought herself a GS500 about a month ago.

    The VTR seems a little bit more nimble through the corners but if your planning on doing trips on the freeway I'd pick the GS. The VTR will happily do 100+ kph but the extra weight of the GS helps it feel more stable.

    I think to a guy of your size the GS500 it not going to be too heavy for you. My fiance is a LOT smaller than you and manages with no problems (so far)..
  14. I used to have a GS500 (unfaired) and found it great fun. Yep the suspension is crap, the frame is bendy, motor's breathless and the brakes are wooden.....but it's one of those bikes that loves to be pushed to its limits.

    I'd go for one over a VT250 any day :grin:
  15. the VTR is better handeling and much better in the braking department, which is more to do with the difference in wieght than anything else. the vtr (well mine at least) is much quicker to 100 than the GS, after that though, capacity and farings make the difference. the whole protection thing faired vs naked, which so many people crap on about, yes it makes a difference after 2 or 3 hours at high speed, but for around town you really wont notice it. the only reason i got an upgrade that had fairing was because i do stints of some fairly serious kms and hours.

    i test things to destruction, and i have done 35000kms on the VTR (50000kms on the clock), i have had to replace the clutch recently, and will need to replace the front disc in the next 7000kms or so. and i ride it bloody hard, and it aint running stock. they are an incredably reliable bike, mind you so is the GS500.
    they are both a bit more expensive to buy, but they hold their value better.

    your relative size does make the desicion a little more biased towards the GS, since you would look a little like michael jordon on a peewee 50 if you brought the vtr, aswell as the increased torque on the GS. but hey get what you want!
    there is no point opting for the GT650R unless you want to take the risk of derestricting it whilst on your restrictions.

    good luck either way!