Here is a review of my GS500…
- April 23, 2011 at 7:13 am #4376
This is a review video of my 2003 Suzuki GS500…let me know what you guys think…the ride footage is longer than I thought it would be, so the video is longer than I was aiming for…
Thanks for your feedback…
Later.April 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm #29524
Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
I liked your video, but I would divide it into two videos, one for the bike review and one for a riding video, and add more review info. In the US, only the faired version of this Suzuki is now sold. It looks a lot more modern than the similar 500cc Kawasaki that is not sold new anymore, and the other main differences are that the Suzuki engine is air cooled and the Kawasaki is water cooled and a little faster. Racers usually go from the Kawasaki 250cc Ninja to the Suzuki SV-650 to the 600cc, 750cc and 1000cc 4-cylinders, so it is more of a street bike than a race bike.
Here is a review for my 2002 600cc Honda Shadow VLX:
It is light for a cruiser (483 pounds) and the seat is low, good for cornering and for short legs. It has 30 horsepower and one carb and sold in the US from 1999 to 2007- a jet kit improves the takeoff power, and I drilled holes in the stock muffler baffles and added an oiled foam air filter, with rejetting for the changes. It is a little small for people more than 5′-10″ tall- you can loosen the handlebars to turn the ends higher, buy foot pegs that are further forward, and buy different handlebars to make this bike fit a taller person better. The 25.6 inch seat height is one of the lowest available, and makes putting your feet down at a stoplight easier, especially if your legs are short. The low seat height does make the back shock bottom out easier on big bumps- go around them or go slower over them to save your back, along with raising your butt off the seat for big bumps. The 4-speed transmission seems strange after riding 5 or 6-speeds for years, but I quickly got used to it. Some people add a smaller back sprocket to reduce vibration at 80 mph, but it reduces the already low takeoff power.
The 1988 to 1998 version in the US came with 2 carbs and 5 more horsepower, and a taller seat to make room for an electric fuel pump. The 1999 to 2007 with a single carb has a gravity fed fuel system (one less part to break later). My auto fuel valve designed for safety failed soon after the one year warranty ran out so the engine ran out of fuel- I bought a longer fuel hose and bypassed it-very few bikes with carbs have this new-fangled safety feature that I have lived without for about 7 years, that stops the fuel flow when the engine is off, during a crash or when the bike is parked.
A stainless steel reinforced teflon front brake hose greatly improves the front braking. The back braking is good stock- you can easily make the back tire slide on dry pavement with too much foot pressure, and the front tire will start to slide with the better brake hose and an extra strong grip.
Compared to my previous air cooled 1975 650cc Yamaha, it is cooler at stoplights in the summer and vibrates less at 75 mph. The vibration is annoying above 75 mph, and I added a gel and foam pad on top of the stock seat for more comfort on long trips. I also added a small windshield, that takes the wind off my chest and reduces wind noise.
The best tires I have found for it are the Kenda Kruz, and a larger 110 size front tire improves the cornering ability, but you need to raise the front fender for more tire clearance. A lot of people also like the more expensive Metzeler tires, but I have not tried them. I also added heavier and more fork oil so the low budget front forks do not dive and bounce as much for my 200 pounds.
For long trips at 63 mph, it will get 65 mpg on flat roads, that drops to 45 mpg for curvy roads and lots of extra throttle. Make sure you adjust the clutch lever looser than normal- my clutch plates failed early, and I replaced the clutch plates with the Vesrah brand plates and added the Vesrah brand stiffer clutch springs for longer clutch life. Overall, it is a great bike at 65 mph or less and on curvy country roads. The styling is like a Harley Softail, but with half the engine size and one third the price. The V-twin sound is addictive, especially when engine braking.
It is much less comfortable than a heavier, smoother touring bike like a Honda Goldwing for long trips at 75 mph. I have 20,000 miles on it now; and I am buying another bike (2008 Kawasaki ZZR 600) for longer trips at higher speeds, and keeping this Honda for my usual 22 mile trips a couple of times a week, on my favorite curvy country roads with a 55 mph speed limit.
Here is an article:
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