Right Bike Size Advice Needed
September 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm #28441RabParticipant
One thing going for the GS500 as a beginner’s bike is that it’s very light for a bike of that engine displacement. Lighter is better when you’re learning; less chance of dropping it.
I learned on a Honda Nighthawk 250 (230 c.c.) and had no complaints. I sold it after about 6-9 months in order to get something a bit bigger. That’s not a criticism of it though.
When learning to ride a bicycle as a child, many children had training wheels. Think of a 250 c.c. bike as training wheels.
That said though, 250s are perfectly adequate for pretty much most riding situations except prolonged freeway riding (with the Ninja 250 a possible exception)).September 3, 2010 at 3:02 am #28450briderdtParticipant
Their solution to fill the void is to take the 650r and sleeve it down to 400cc… All the weight of the 650 but less power. Yeah, not for the US market, but still…September 3, 2010 at 5:41 am #28454
You guys are all harping on the same weight of the 650R and less power…it weighs 440lbs, has 43Hp and is fuel injected…what does a GS500F weigh…um..430lbs and has 45Hp, but is carb’d and is kinda cold blooded…everyone likes the fuel economy of the GS500 and the Ninja 500R…I would think the 400R would be better being smaller displacement and fuel injected, not to mention the lower emissions associated with that…if that bike was available when I was looking, I probably would have gotten it instead…for the fuel injection alone…
I would have been nice to be lighter, but lighter is more expensive…who would buy a 400 if it cost more than the 650?
Get over it…September 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm #28456helix141Participant
Thanks for the advice, one other thing, what’s the maintenance like on these, assuming that the previous owner took decent care of it, how much on average a year? Is it better or worse than on a used cruiser? (eg. Honda Rebel/Shadow)
Are we talking just your average oil change, or does it get more complicated? It would suck to save coin on the initial purchase only have to shell out 5 grand or more a year just to keep it running.September 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm #28457Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
For maintenance, generally air cooled wears out faster than water cooled, carbs are more maintenance than fuel injection, and any bike not built for more than 10 years could become a big maintenance issue, especially if it was not mass produced. The 500cc Suzuki and 250cc and 500cc Ninjas were widely sold for about 20 years and until recently, and parts should be available from the dealerships at least 10 years after production finally stopped for each of them.
My tricks for carbs are to add a better fuel filter, put Sea Foam in the gas tank every winter, and to leave the fuel valve (petcock) on all the time. I have had no carb problems for the last 18 years, and only took my carbs apart to rejet for a more freer flowing exhaust and an oiled foam air filter. Another carb cleaner with a good comment on another forum recently is Berryman Chemtool, and rinsing with a regular carb cleaner afterwards if soaking the carbs and using a can of compressed air to clean the small passages, because this cleaner leaves a film behind by itself.September 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm #28458
If you have to pay $5000 in maintenance, you have a lemon…big time…in the 8000kms that I put on the bike this summer, there was an oil change (3L 10w40 oil, filter, and o-ring…all together…about $22), the bike needs a new rear tire $95-$215 depending on brand and where you buy plus install (the tire was half or more worn when I bought it), the broken turn signal lens $18…and don’t forget the fuel, I averaged 4.8L/100kms, so that is 384L @ $0.919/L…$352.90 to go 8000kms…pretty cheap transportation (and don’t forget fun!!)…oh yeah, you will also need a can of chain lube to lube the chain every 1000kms or so…approx $8…it would probably be a good idea to get some cable lube and a tool for injecting it…I haven’t bought that yet…so not sure on the price, but I think you can get the tool online for $20ish and the lube is probably close to the same price as the chain lube…
All of the maintenance listed above was parts only, I provided the labour…the price will go way up if you take it to a shop @ $80-$100 per hour, it will add up fast…also, these are Canadian prices…we seem to pay more for everything…good thing we are all rich…lol
This was all on my naked GS500e, if it was a GS500f…I could have been replacing more parts than the signal lens…so be careful of which bike you choose as your first ride…also check into how much insurance will cost you a year…I’ve been driving for 24yrs and have a clean driving record, so my insurance is cheap…if you are under 25 and have some issues on you driving record, well you may be in for a bit of a surprise…in Canada there is a company called Jevco that specializes in bike insurance, I would get your broker to check around for you.
Hope this helps.
Later.September 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm #28424Gary856Participant
I’ll go out on a limb and say that the only 250 worth considering is the Ninja 250. Between a GS500 and a Ninja 250, the choice is fairly easy for most people, because although these two bikes have somewhat similar maximum performance, they have pretty different characters.
First you ask if you like the fully-faired racy look? I prefer the naked look for my first bike, so I went for a naked GS500. If you prefer a fully-faired bike, then you can still compare a newer faired GS500 with the Ninja and decide.
Then you ask if you prefer a lighter bike with a higher-strung engine (the Ninja), or a heavier bike with a torquier/more relaxed engine (the GS500)? Do you like to rev it like you stole it without going that fast (this could be fun or tiring, depending on your mood), or are you happier to putt along at lower rev?
Then you search Craigslist to see what’s available, what’s the best deal, and weigh your decisions.September 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm #28459megaspazParticipant
Is that dry weight? the sv650s weighs in at 367 dry. 440 seems awfully high for that kind of a 650 twin bike.September 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm #28461Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
My favorite cable lube, and the injector for it is below. This cable lube helps make your cables and clutch plates last longer, and it is dangerous if your throttle does not go back to idle right away by itself:September 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm #28462
Kawasaki Canada states the curb mass of the 400R is 203kg…used a converter this time…447lbs wet weight…Suzuki Canada lists the curb weight of the GS500F as 439lbs…so only 8 pounds more and less power by a couple…should still fit in the “great beginner bike” category…the 250R is listed at 170kg curb mass…375lbs wet weight…that is a bigger amount, but it is down 25% in Hp to the 400 and only 16% weight gain…
Later.September 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm #28465briderdtParticipant
…which is the bike it replaces.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.