Suzuki GS500 Review

The Suzuki GS500 is probably the perfect beginner motorcycle for someone who is confident in their ability to quickly grasp the basic motorcycle concepts. Its a pretty small motorcycle, but its also powerful enough to lug around some of the bigger guys (250 lbs+!!) with relative ease. It gets great gas milage overall, the only thing that is a little annoying is since it is carburated it takes liberal use of choke to get this bike to warm up on cool days/nights, but after it gets warmed up it is an absolute joy to ride.

This motorcycle was my first bike and therefore it holds a special place in my heart. I found that it met all of my needs, and exceeded most of my expectations. I loved the fact that this bike was naked so if I happened to drop it (which new riders often do), the damage that was possible was minimal at best. In fact I recall dropping my motorcycle 2 or 3 times at a stand still and you couldn't even tell! Try that with a fully faired bike!

Another thing that rocks about this motorcycle is how light it is. During one of the previously mentioned drops I fell into a bush and managed to pin my leg under the motorcycle, but with just a little maneuvering I was able to life the bike off myself single handedly.

Pros:

  • The earlier versions of the GS500 are naked stock, that way if you drop it, minimal damage is incurred.
  • 500cc's and roughly 50hp is fun and forgiving
  • Relatively inexpensive.

Cons:

  • Cold blooded: Takes a while to warm up on cold days.
  • No fairing means no wind protection

Specs:

  • Engine Type: four-stroke, air-cooled In-Line Parallel Twin Cylinder, DOHC, two valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 487 cc
  • Engine Redline: 11,000 rpm
  • Horsepower: 51.3 hp @ 9500 rpm
  • Torque: 30.4 lb-ft @ 7500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy: 50-60 mpg
  • Length: 81.9"
  • Weight: 396.8 lb. (dry)
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gals.
  • MPG: 58 MPG

Comments

The gs500 was my first bike, I got a 1998 and it was awesome. One thing that sucked was during the winter it was kinda hard to start, you had to use a lot of choke and be kinda patient with it. I'd recommend it, although I haven't gotten a chance to ride a Ninja 500 yet :)

I have a 98 GS 500 E and i love it it is a lot of fun and one bad toy when you won't it to be. i can say that it is Cold blooded but thats ok i can put up with that.

Agreed, just got an 05 model. Great bike but a bastard to get going in cooler weather. Choke, choke, choke!But runs rings around most other entry level bikes.

Agree with the chock to hell to get started for cooler days. Got a GS500F '05 model. An advise ( just experience) is to park on slope with head down (put to 1st for safety) it helps!!!

I have a 07 GSF500, and i's still chock to hell.

I'm looking at a starter motorcycle, but I was thinking that I'd probibly need to go for a larger engine due to my size 6'3 280ish. With that in mind though, I was wondering about the power delivery if the I-4 engine on this bike. I'm primarily gonna use it for street driving, but I will need to go on the freeway occasionally (which is why I'm thinking of a more powerful bike). From what you read it sounded like the Hyosung GT250R has the best engine configuration for newbies, I was just worried about it's top end speed with me on it.

Which do you think would be the best choice for me - The GS500, the EX250, the EX500, or the Hyosung 250?

I would personally stay away from any Hyosung motorcycle until they work all the kinks out, we reviewed teh GT250R and a lot of people commented that the reliability simply sucks.

http://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/hyosung-gt250r-review

Basically one of the best things about it was the look, and now that kawasaki is releasing a new version of their ninja 250 for 2008 that looks BADASS, hyosung is going to find it much harder to sell bikes I think. The one plus is the GT250 is a V-twin I believe, and the ninja 250 is an I-4.

The bottom line is the 250 will be able to do everything you want it to do, as long as you don't want it to do triple digits. I would get on the bike though and see how it feels for you, you may find it a bit cramped, but you might not.

If the 250 isn't your choice then I would actually recommend getting the Ninja 500. I started on the Suzuki GS500 and it is definitely a good bike, I think if I had to do it all over I would go Ninja instead. I think it has a few more horspower, and I believe it would be easier to start in the cold weather compared to the GS500 which needed lots of choke to start even at 50 degrees (talk about cold hearted!). Maybe Kickprivate can chime in on this since he just got his brand spankin new kawasaki ninja 500.

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

The Ninja 250 is an Inline 4??? Hahahhhhaa. Dude! You're hilarious!

You are VERY right! I just double checked and it is a "Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin".

Haha, I never claimed to know everything ;)

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

My girlfriend and I together are around 310 and the GS500 has plenty of power with both of us. It will do over 100 with no problem. I have no experience with the other bikes you mentioned.

what are you doing going 100 with your girlfriend on the back? you must not love her THAT much.

well to be honest bro he never reallly clamed to love her and with a bike like that girls arent exactly a problem to get yahhh mean ?

From those four choices you give, I would only go with the EX500. Those other bikes are grossly underpowered for someone who is 280 lbs. and you would outgrow all four of those bikes within a very short time...and if you're talking about freeway riding, don't even consider a 250cc. I am 230 lbs. geared-up and I believe a bike should be able to accelerate away from trouble, no matter what your skill level is. I would suggest a Suzuki SV650 (naked-style).

Before I bought the SV650s, I was very skeptical that a 650cc could satisfy my need for speed, but a friend let me ride his; it is very easy to ride, well balanced, handles very well and the V-twin pulls hard at all speeds past 110+. I have taken the bike up to 130 mph, and I think it'll go a little faster . The only thing this bike doesn’t provide is the eye-popping, adrenaline rush of a sport liter bike; otherwise, this bike is great for beginners, but more experienced riders race them (with some modifications). I have been riding for almost 30 years and have also owned a '84 Kawasaki 900 Ninja, ’85 Yamaha FJ1100 and a ’95 Kawasaki GPZ1100; none of these bikes was faster (or easier) through the twisties than the SV650. It doesn’t require a lot of shifting because of it's linear power band; it pulls hard at lower RPM’s.

Typically, for $3,000 you can get a pretty good one with 15k or fewer miles, for $3,500 a very good one with 10k or fewer miles. $4,000 will get you an excellent one with 5k or less miles and modifications. I got very lucky and bought my 2001 SV650s for $2,700. This bike had 4k miles, included lower fairings, rear cowl, fender eliminator, rear wheel hugger, smoke tint double bubble windshield, flush mount turn signals, M-4 exhaust, Galfer steel-braided front brake lines, frame sliders, rear spools and brand new Dunlop Qualifiers. Screamin' deal!

’99-’02 SV650’s are all the same (carburetion) and ’03-’07's are the same (fuel injection). Google the SV650 and get some more information. You won't be disappointed with this choice; while you may choose another style of bike (cruiser, sport-tourer, etc.) or you may want that eye-popping, adrenaline rush of a liter-class sport bike in the future, you will never truly outgrow the SV650's power and capabilities.

Suspension on the Ninja 250R really is insufficient for guys our size. I never actually tried the 250R myself, but I watched a guy sit on it that was about 260ish and it literally sank almost 6 inches. The suspension is progressive--gets firmer the deeper into you get. Every expansion joint would be punishing. +1 on avoiding the Hyosung name for awhile. I'm 250# plus and either one of the 500's carry me fine--though I'm only 5'10". Go to a dealership and sit on them.

I would love to have an SV650! I'm not sure if it's what an absolute newbie needs though--meaning I don't need one yet either. I've already proved the 500 class bikes have enough power to get you in trouble. =]

I would not reccomend a Hyosung. I have been looking into getting a new bike and have heard really bad reports. Eg hazards coming on when braking, horrific rust and corrosion etc. They are very cheap to buy but also very cheaply and poorly made. (You only get what you pay for!) GS 500 will also rust if not looked after however would be a much more sensible choice. *The GS500 has an inline 2 cylinder engine not a four as you maybe thought. If you are a really big guy a Suzuki Bandit can be gotten with an inline 4 cylinder 600 cc engine. The GS 500 produces about 50BHP (approx) whereas the bandit produces about 80BHP. The Bandit would also be a good beginners bike however I intend to buy a GS500 as they are cheaper and I am not bothered about the extra power at the moment. Hope this helps you. ;-)

I have a 2006 GS500F, and it is an absolute nightmare to try and start in cold weather. I live in North Texas, and unless I hook it up to the battery charger in the garage overnight, it won't start. The engine tries to turn over outside, but it doesn't quite make it. Then after a few minutes of trying the battery gives out altogther, I am putting on the choke, and full intake on the fuel line; is there something that I'm doing wrong? Could I do something else to help it start outside of my garage?

My first bike was a gs500 and I can tell you it really was hard to start in the cold weather. It sucked going to a movie on my motorcycle and by the time the movie was finished and I got back to my bike I would have to put full choke on it again! I also messed with my idle adjustment A LOT (probably not a good thing, but I did it anyway). I had a naked GS so the adjustment was just below my right knee, i'm not sure if you can get to it on the F version.

I don't think you should have to charge the battery every night though, that sounds like your battery is dying. Try replacing the battery, that may help. The most you should have to do is put full choke on and then try and start it a few times, you SHOULDN'T have to put it on a trickle charger every time unless your battery is damaged/dead.

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

I just bought a 2000 GS500E. Today is the first it's ran since last season. I wanted to put some fresh fuel in it, but I found the tank to be almost full. I don't think any winterization was done at all. Anyway, I found the throttle response to be VERY muted unless the bike was partially choked. Also, the unchoked idle was a little low (sub 1K). Dry gas? A bottle of carb cleaner? Or attempt to adjust the idle?

(According to the previous owner, the oil was changed, the plugs were changed, and the carbs were serviced last season when he bought the bike.)

How cold is cold? I live in northern minnesota and im looking to get one but if it starts rough on cold days and nights then i dont know. So how cold is cold? and if it is full choke with it most likely for sure start?

I bought my 2004 GS 500f back in August of 07 and rode the thing, pretty much through november, and a couple days in december. You can call me crazy, but the coldest day i rode was on a 20 degree day (Full Winter-weather gear obviously). It was freakin cold outside, but i didn't have a problem starting it, and haven't ever had a problem starting it- as long as you do throw the choke all the way up. Does take a few minutes to warm up though in "cold weather" like that. and for the guy in 50 degree weather -If you are having trouble with 50 degree starts, then i would say that it's probably a battery problem you have there.

Sounds like you maybe need to replace your battery if it only holds a charge for one night....

I just bought an '07 GS500F, but i bought it from a salvage auction and do not have the owners manual. Does anybody know what octane fuel is recommended for my bike? Cheap-o or Primo?

Primo man...91 octane minimum

Thanks for the info, i'm buying a tank full tomorrow

I bought an '07 new like yours just before christmas on Dec. 22, 2007(439 miles already). I have read that higher octane burns slower, and does nothing to help you in a low compression engine and a higher compression engine requires it so it doesn't pre-ignite. The GS500F has a compression ratio of 9.0:1. Don't waste your money on 91 octane, 87 is what's recommended in owners manual.

In the UK the minimum we can buy is 95 octane, High octane optional aT 97!!!!

We pay the price though, £1.03.9p per litre thats about $2 a litre!!!!

the octane ratings are different in the us and uk. so uk 95 is equivalent of us 90-91.

Here's what I do know. My 07 GS500F does not like low octane fuel. I wish it did. But I recently biked from south Florida to Richmond, Va, (1018 miles in 21 hours) and the better the gas, the better it performed. When I left Florida, I put 87 in just to see how it would do...big mistake. It caused it to bog down frequently. When I switched to higher Octane, she woke right up.

I purchased a brand new gs500f that off course came with a manual. They say just use the regular gas.

87. Don't waste your money on higher octane. Oh, and adjust the valves every 3,500 miles.

ive seen a gs500e 98 model with 30k on the clock and taxed and moted till may advertised in my local papper for £950.00 in the local paper is. do you think that its worth the asking price

pretty good as long as it's in decent shape. Did they check the valve shims and change the oil regularly?

You should always use what ever octane fuel is recommended by the engine’s manufacturer. The reason why is that the octane rating of a fuel speaks to the precision with which it will ignite. Higher octane fuel will ignite in a narrower band of conditions than lower octane fuel, meaning that an engine can be tuned more precisely if it is using higher octane fuel. However, if your engine has not been tuned to take advantage of higher octane fuel, you will not see any benefit of using higher octane fuel. The reverse is not true. If your engine is tuned for higher octane fuel, then lower octane fuel will rob you of up to 20% of your power and potentially damage your engine. So, always use what the manufacturer recommends, not doing so is either a waste of money or a waste of power.

Ignore this poster. He has no idea what he's talking about.

I´m thinking about bying an old gs 500 e (1993) to use mainly up until my drivers license is fixed, but do you reckon it´s too small??, I´m just about 6´5 (195 cm). I have heard they are kinda small, just so I dont go checking out a way to small bike for my size...

Go to your local suzuki dealership and sit on one of the new gs500's, they should be about the same hight as the 1993's. From what I remember the gs was a bit on the short side, I think the kawasaki ninja 500 is taller. Try sitting on both of them.

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

I am just over 6 feet tall and I can see a possible problem if you are a couple inches tall than me. But there is only one way to make sure.

6'4" here and the GS500 fits brilliantly. I've done touring on her and no worries!

I've done a lot of sitting at my local dealerships and I have to say sitting on the SV 650, GS 500f, and GSX 650F were all comfortable bikes for me. The SV has a much more "hugging the tank" position than the other two. I liked the 650F for its comfortable saddle (and room for another on back) and its well-placed controls but when I sat on the GS500 it was just as comfortable and I definitely felt more confident that I could control this lighter, smaller bike as a beginner. True, I might want to upgrade later but that's the point of a first bike right? To be the first of many!!

Is the Gs500 a good bike for someone who has never rid a bike before? I'm about 5'4 would I be able to balance it pretty well?

I just compared and sat on the Suzuki and Kawasaki 500s a few hours ago at the dealership...turns out the Suzuki is roomier for us taller folks (I'm 6'0", 185). Although the footpegs seem a little high on both of the bikes, the cutouts on the tank for your knees on the Kawasaki were about 2-3 inches too low for me, check it out and see what you think.

By the way, is it normal for the pegs to feel a little high on these? The dealership recommended that if I don't feel comfortable on the 500 I might think about moving up to a bigger bike, despite the fact that I'm beginning. Any recommendations?

sure, the dealer will sell you a Haybusa if you'll buy it ... sheesh. of course they're gonna want you to buy bigger. more commission for them!

OR this salesman knows that the sv 650 (although double the power) is slightly taller, giving more leg room. It is 20 pounds lighter, has better braking and overall handling. Has fuel injection so the beginner won’t have to mess with the choke or changing the jets for different air temps or just the general carb cleaning/adjusting/maintenance. Plus, the sv650 only costs $500 more than a gs500f and it has a better resale value. As far as the extra power-just don’t twist the throttle wide open-problem solved and then next year if you want more just twist the throttle more. Any roll on is not going to be an uncontrollable difference between the two bikes until you get to rapping it tight. Oh ya-my dealer won’t even let a beginner buy a gsx-r1000 let alone a busa-sounds like you just got screwed somewhere.

I just bought a 02 GS 500/naked front end. First bike, little nervous. I know how to ride a bike but the thing that kinda scares me is not being able to make a turn while riding. I am taking the riders course and I know they'll teach that, but still nervous of that. Any tips?

P.S. They are harder to start in colder conditions.

Hey everyone, I recently purchased a Suzuki GS 500. I haven't ridden it yet but I thought about putting in a K&N filter. I'm unestimating the bike on how it performs and if I'll get bored of it quickly. Worried that it doesn't have the get up and go so to speak, and if I wasted my money. I have heard read good reviews on the bike but I'd like to know what people think of the bike, people that have had time to ride it. I'm only 5'11" 175lbs. not a big guy. Help me out

This was my first bike and I loved it. It had quite a bit of "get up and go".

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

Do not worry about the "pick up". The bike has plenty of juice to scare the hell out of me at 8k rpm. You and I are very close to the same size, and I love my 07 GS500f. I have not been riding very long, but I can see this bike being fun for a long time to come. I was thinking about a Vance & Hines exhaust some time this summer. The only problem is I mite have to mess with the carb. No one has given me a strait answer on the carb rebalancing with the new exhaust yet. But I love the bike the way it is. Check out www.gstwin.com they have a bunch of info. So between BBM and gstwin.com you can get just about any question answered. Let me know if I can help you out any more.
Aaron

You said it Aaron. I've been riding for 30 years and I ride a 1994 GS 500E. It is fun to ride and the initial thrill doesn't go away because this bike is the perfect size for the average rider, has adequate power, great handling, and it sips gas. I'm 5'9" and 198 lbs who likes to commute and run errands on his bike as much as he can to save $ and have fun at the same time, and this bike is very gratifying. When I bought a new chain I also switched the 16-tooth front sprocket to a 17-tooth. It's still easy to pull away from a stoplight and it's smoother all speeds, especially on the highway. Unless you like to race on short tracks, I suggest every GS 500 owner use the 17-tooth sprocket, but you can't use the stock 110-link chain. You have to get a longer one and cut a few links off, but it's very much worth doing. It now loves to go 70 on the highway instead of starting to feel busy at 65. The only change in riding style this causes is not using 6th as much when riding around town. The little engine can pull the taller gearing no problem and now it's more long-legged, love it!

You're thinking too much and not riding enough. Don't bother with the K&N filter. I have one and it's not worth the bother. The stock filter doesn't require cleaning, just replacement when it gets dirty. The filter on this bike is under the tank so it's not convenient to get to, so the stock filter is a better option in my opinion, just change it every year or two depending on how much you ride. Now get out there and RIDE IT and stop worrying!

i have had a 92 and now i got an 02 the old bike i put a very high flow muffler on it and took out the air box and had a filter on both carbs and the new was the same but no muffler at all and a jet kit was added and a 01 katana front end so i have dual brakes so if you think you want more power change the muffler and air box for more flow but the breather hose must go back into the motor or it will smell like oil my bike stops and takes off to fast for its size now but did not gain any top end thats in the sprokets.

Ride fast take chances...

When I went out to buy my first bike back in 1995, I look mainly at the GS 500 and the Kawasaki EX 500. I took both for a test ride, and while both were great bikes, I found the Kawasaki felt more solid and was more comfortable (I am 6' 2"...) I think that there is almost no difference in horsepower, maybe one or two ponies, and the weight difference is that the EX is about 4 or 5 kilos lighter than the Suzuki. But also found that the Kawasaki looked a bit more sporting than the naked GS, and that also won me over. I think that if you are looking for a 500cc bike, neither is the wrong choise. I think it comes down to personal preferance.
Maybe even better than the EX 500 is the ZZR 400...but I don't know if it ever got to the US...

Am not an expert with octane and after reading comments it has me wondering. ATM I have a KLR 650 running 98% and next week I pick up my brand new 08 GS500 and was going to run 98% in it as well.

I spoke to my mechanic about this and his comment was the higher the octane the less crap builds up in the engine and burns much cleaner than the lower octane fuels. He said unless the bike is tuned for it you will see no power difference but engine ping will be reduced under load and less carbon build up will form on piston and combustion chamber giving a longer engine life?

Now I have no idea if this is true or not as I said only going off what my mechanic told me......Can anyone clarify this comment?

Cheers

I heard that higher octane fuels burn longer than lower octane fuels. This will increase performance if you have an engine tuned to use that type of fuel, but if you engine is not tuned for that high of an octane then you could actually hurt the engine since the rings and seals aren't made to withstand that long of burn time.

You should look in your owners manual and see what it says. I have a big sticker on my bikes gas tank that says "Use 91+ octane, if you don't then it could damage your engine!"

Ben
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin

He has no idea what he's talking about...

All of you, check your facts. The higher octane gas does not burn longer and is not usually cleaner (different petro companies put different additives in, so cleanliness depends on what station you buy at). Higher octane means that it is more stable, and less likely to combust. The fuel/air mix is supposed to BURN in an engine, not explode! Lower octane gas is actually more volatile and may have a bit more energy than higher octane, but high performance engines that run hotter than most, or have a higher compression ratio than most, or both, need high octane so that the fuel won't detonate in the combustion chamber before it burns.
If it does detonate, you'll hear it as engine "knock" and it's usually a bit loud and noticeable on bikes. That's when you know you need higher octane, and frickin' fast (there might be something wrong with the mixture or timing if the knocking comes out of the blue). Obviously, the owner's manual has the answer for what it needs. I just bought a GS500, and I'm going to be using 87 octane unless problems arise.
Those symptoms that were posted, like the sluggishness issue, was probably due to bad gas. Go to a gas station with a better reputation, and in the meantime flush the gas from the tank. Who knows what they were cutting it with.

Everything this poster posted is correct except for one thing. Higher octane gas does have more energy per volume than lower octane gas, but that doesn't mean you should use it! Go by your manual or use compression ratio as a guide. If your vehicle has 9:1 compression, run regular gas, don't waste your money or listen to the B.S. people say about premium or racing gas making it go faster or better, that's bunk. If you have 10:1 compression or higher, you need better fuel. If you have 12:1 compression, you definitely need premium. That's it, real simple, folks!

The GS500 engine is not a very advanced type of engine. (its a pretty ancient design!) but they are good. My point is... you should run the motor on what is recommended by the manufacturer. Running an engine on fuel which is too high an octane can cause serious damage such as burned valves as the higher octane fuel burns at a higher temperture which your engine mayl not be designed for. Hope this helps.

Please stop regurgitating this crap! None of you have any idea of what your talking about! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating READ!!! AND LEARN!!!

dude, you aren't seriously using wikipedia as your source for valid, accurate facts are you?? come on. wikipedia is updated and written by, well, morons alot of the time. I have read multiple articles on nuclear fission in stars that were almost all incorrect. wikipedia is not to be taken as fact, ask any college professor. trust the manufacturer's suggested octane rating.

I bet those morons know better than to spell a lot "alot" like you just did....

for hard science, long-established, well-characterized (i.e. subject matter of undergraduate text books) subjects, wikipedia is excellent. I'm pretty sure octane ratings falls into that category.

u mean fusion? ;P

Hey guys, first off i love the site and all the comments are really a lot of help. I was just thinking about my first bike. I want a sport bike, and i need the "sporty look". Do you think this is too much bike for a beginner? Im 18, about 5'8'' and 150. Also i will be taking the safety class. Also any suggestions of what to look for or any information on buying a first bike. Thanks.

I love my GS500F. It is my first bike and I enjoy the heck out of it. My problem is regarding the throttle. It seems to get stuck when I've been riding for a while. The engine will be all revved up and I can't seem to lower the RPMs. What can I do about this? Other than that the bike is great.

Is the choke stuck? or the throttle?

Be sure to join the GSTwin web forum: http://www.gstwin.com/
It's quite helpful.

That aside, I'm pretty sure you have a "hanging idle" issue which is common to the GS. The reason I'm "pretty sure" is my bike done the same thing! It probably idles fine (unchoked) after a short warm up but then after 10 minutes or so of riding it wants to idle much higher whenever you pull in the clutch. The trick is, once you get it warm enough to where the idle begins to hang, then stop somewhere and adjust the idle down using the idle adjustment screw.

Here's a helpful page (with photo) so you can see what you're looking for:
http://cgi.stanford.edu/~sanjayd/gs500/Maintenance/AdjustIdle

sticky throttle cable?

Have you done any work on the bike. possible kink in throttle cable running to carbs unter fuel tank. or squashed cable from tank resting on cable?

Broken return spring on throttle?

Take it to dealer or mechanic to have a look at if you cant fix it. this is dangerous

It is the throttle that is stuck, not the choke.
The only work I've had done is a recent oil change and the dealer reccomended adjustments.
It doesn't always get stuck and it will get unstuck once I engage the clutch. A friend reccomended that perhaps it's a stuck cable and I should spray some graphitte inside the cable.

Thanks for the comments regarding this issue. I picked up my brand new 2008 GS500 yesterday and went to the petrol station and topped off with 91%.

Hace been riding now for 18 years and have owned a few bikes in that time and as a work commuter bike I am in love with the GS. Maybe it is the new bike love story we all get with a new bike or maybe for me it just runs and performs much better than I expected it to for a 500cc

Will write a short review once I have put say 4000km on the clock.

Thanks again for the octane comments, much appreciated.

Steve
(Honda Elite 50)
(Yamaha RS125)
(Suzuki GSX ES550)
(Kawasaki GPX 750R)
(Kawasaki KLR650)
(Triumph Daytona 1200)
(Suzuki GS500)

i have a 93 gs500, the headlight an tailight work but, the side lights and also the console lights dont work...any answers? i have checked the fuse, maybe a relay?

Check out GStwin.com all things GS500, they should be able to help.

I just put a deposit on a new GS500f (my first bike ever - yay!) but I have been disapointed with sales people trying to talk me into more bike and telling me I'll 'outgrow' the 500 quickly. How do they know what kind of rider I'll be when I don't even know yet? Do I need a 95 horsepower bike when I've never ridden? I don't think so. I wish salesmen would be a little more responsible when it comes to helping newbies pick bikes. but I guess it's part of the North American attitude; more is better.

Don't forget the bigger the bike the bigger the commission!! Find a better dealer, one who wants you back (safe and educated) in a year or 2 for the big bike.

We americans usually think more is better, but not me. This causes most of us to buy too much bike. I've been riding since the '70's and I think midsize bikes (500-650cc) is where it's at. Best value and overall performance for the money on real roads with real traffic. Don't let those salesmen "up-sell" you! I love my GS 500 but I'd say the best overall bike out there right now is the SV 650, although I don't like the idea of motorcycles with radiators. (I'm an old fart, what can I say?)

id like anyones opinion on a 1981 GS 650GT. im buying one on e bay or $1800.00. it has 1600 original miles and in mint condition. i no nothing about motorcycling in the U.S.. i owned a GS 550E in the early 80s back home in new zealand. i have no idea of riding bikes with fairings. back home we lived in a very windy city and fairings were few and far between and seen as a novelty. how important are they over here in the U.S. for rider comfort and bike control, how does the GS 650 fare in cold starts?, (back home a cold day was 50 F, a cold morning was a nippy frost of 30) and will the GS650 have enough grunt to occassionally be on the freeways. ive long been convinced highways in ARKANSAS and MISSOURI are just made for motorcyles, but is my choice of bike a good one?. im not interested in big superbikes as my days of doing a ton are over. personally id really prefer a KLR 650 but all the real off road riding areas are private land and the latest model is very much a road bike. my real concern is cold starts because as stated here at 50 degrees bikes dont seem to want to go and im buying a bike for there better gas mileage and so long as the roads arent covered in snow i intend to ride.

Hey mate I hear you about the sales person but remember it has nothing to do with the guy being concerned about you outgrowing the bike. It is about how much commission he makes on a motorcycle and that’s that.

Any sales person will try and oversell or sell you something that is over your budget....hell it is their job. Do not be pushed about by them and if you are not happy with the sales guy tell him to get F****D and request another or go to another shop.

I have been riding for some time now and I tell you now you will love the GS500 or the GS500F as your first bike. Hell I have a Triumph Daytona 1200 as well but I still love the GS.

Keep your chin up mate and as a starter bike I highly recommend the GS.

Hope this helps ya out a little
Old Man With GS

and dont make the mistake of telling them ur highest price u can afford. i was in a dealership a month or so ago and was just looking at bikes that were economical. i was looking at the v star 250 ( which is pretty for a 250) but way to small for me but they were trying to make a sale till they asked me how much could i afford and then promptly marched me over to a used single cylinder suzuki 650 whch looks like a bike but might last as long as a lawn mower. so it was obvious they wernt concerned about which bike was best for me but how much they could get from my wallet. so i learnt in future id tell them my budget was $1000 less and just try anything that i thought was a possibility, however what can u learn about a bike just on sitting on it. ud think they could take one outside and let u hear it or even try one out. all these bikes nowadays have so much chrome they all look good, so its just a mine field out there.

I like my s40-its a great commuter, just not so much for interstate because its all torque and doesn't rap tight for the high speeds...and its only got 20,000miles on it

Sorry, Old Man With GS500 Blind LOL

It's all good!!

- gas stations may want you to buy their most expensive products - the higher the octane the more expensive.
- surprisingly, not all mechanics - and neither all experienced motorcyclists - are aware about the engineering side of fuel combustion and internal combustion engine - when it comes to octane rating.

This information is all over the web, and the executive summary and/or rule of thumb is:

a) high compression engines can and will take advantage of high octane fuel - someone said it right - the octane additive in the fuel slows the ignition of the fuel that is possible in high compression - if you've heard the term "dieseling", this is where it could happen, as diesel ignites it's fuel by compression, not by spark - but you don't want this in a gas / spark plug engine, so low octane in high compression engines, generally bad.

b) low compression will and can take advantage of low octane fuel - the fuel needs to be more volatile - well, the spark plug will take of that anyway - so burning high octane is a waste of money in low compression engines.

if you don't understand this general rule and you're not sure, there's always the manual to tell you, if it's available.

this is a good website. I am currently in the market for a gs500f.

something about me, i will be a first time motorcyclist this year. I just got my motorcycle endorsement and just finished my msf. last time I rode was 20 years ago in california on a gs1150r - like riding on a gas tank and 4 cylinders - i wiped out on it. before that was another 10 years, wear shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops, in a third world country, no helmet, a big smile on my face, a happy-go-lucky teenager, riding friends' motorbikes - the wildest then was a yamaha rd250 2-stroke - that's a scary/fun street bike.

sounds like the factory leaned the crap out of the idle circuit on the carbs google how to jet an tune bike carbs popular mechanics put out a great book on tuning yrs ago but its still the bible of tuning plugs an carbs exhaust to the factory does that for emissions should just be a small adjustment maybe a jet change easy to do might have to go to a differant plug to i had that problem on two goldwings hard to start in the winter but i in canada it was cold they need the gas an a plug that won't foul an runs at the right temperature

In my local paper there is a guy selling a 2006 gs500f for $4,200. The bike has been taken excellent care of in the off season by being winterized and having the battery on a trickle charger. and it only has 500 miles.... is this a good deal?.... and i have also heard that this is a good starter bike is this true?... because this would be my first bike. Thanks

And I love it. It has 2000 miles on it.. The only thing I dont like is it takes a minute to warm it up. Other than that I love it. I used to ride Motocross when I was young and turned 30 this year. It has great power.. more than enough to pass cars doing 80 on the freeway. I am comfortable at 5 foot 9 inches 180 lbs. LOVE IT! Been driving it to work for the last 2 weeks (25 miles each way) I reecomend .. but of course my opinion is biased. ;] -Will

I'm looking for a bike to buy. I've researched the '08 Ninja 250 and I think it may be a perfect fit. I'd like to hear opinions about which bike would be best for me. i'm 5'2, 125lbs, female and wouldn't use it for long distances. I've never owned a bike and would appreciate any advice.

Hey guys, I need a little help here. I think i'm buying this 1990 GS500 with 30,000 km on it. What are things that I should be checking before buying it? I'm 5'6'' and 130lb. I have experience with 125cc bike.Thanks

The issue I don't understand is everyone whining about using the choke? My girlfriend has a 2005 gs500f, When you go to start it, you turn the choke on ...it starts...wait 10 seconds and turn the choke off, why is this so hard for everyone???
Everyone talks like this is the most difficult thing in the world? "this is a great bike, BUT you have to use the choke to start it !!!! OHHH NOOO!!!
The bike is fantastic, its light , handles great , has plenty of power and it looks good. The ninja 500 might have a tiny bit more power but they are so friggin' ugly they are hard to look at!
Just my opinion.

I agree with your comments WK. Before I got my GS500F, that was an issue that concerned me because I had read about it so many times. However, like you said, it still takes right off, sometimes, without the choke if it hasn't been a few days since it last ran.
At first I had considered the Ninja 500, but the GS500F looks so much nicer. AND, Kawasaki is going to stop making the Ninja 500's. I think that will effect the re-sale of a Ninja in a few years.

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2004 Suzuki GS500F

I just bought an used 04 GS500F and it didn't come with an owner's manual. Does anyone know what the recommended octane rating is in the manual for 2004?

The manual says regular. I was told to stick to reg or mid-grade at the highest because they are air cooled, and over heating in hot weather is a possibility.

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