Forum Replies Created
Why a 600cc Motorcycle is Not a Good Beginner Bike (updated)
Young male suck at not crashing new bikes/cars so the rates reflect that – plain and simple.
Frodo, you need to check out http://www.gstwin.com
A big group of GS500 owners and fix-it-yourself experts there. If you’ve touched the carburator then you know more about it than I do already, but from what I’ve read on the gstwin forum it seems your carb is running too lean or just need to be cleaned up. Anyway, if you go to gwtwin.com with your problem description someone will chime in immediately. You can also research old posts on similar problems. It doesn’t seem like a serious problem; good luck.
When I got my ’01 GS500 with about 8300 miles in Jan 09, I did not know how to ride, didn’t know how to start a bike, so didn’t even do a test ride. I talked to the owner, felt comfortable with him, and had him ride the bike to my garage and I gave him a ride home. I’ve ridden about 4500 miles on this bike and has had zero problem so far. It is a very simple and reliable bike. Since then, I bought a YZF600R and a SV650, both used and have had zero problem with them. I still enjoy riding the GS.
Normal. I have a pair of Revit Turbine overpants. When I stand the knee armors hang a littel low. When I’m ready to sit on the bike, I pulled up the pants a little to line them up better with the knees, and sometimes push the knee armors into position after I sat down on the bike.
I had a pair of FirstGear overpants that tend to ride up during the ride. The Revit overpants I have now (maybe 1/2 size too big/loose for me) have a heavier construction and don’t ride up much during the ride.
That about covered all the usual suspects for a first/second bike in the standard category. The bikes are at pretty different price points and looks like your desirability ranking did not consider pricing. For example, I’d love to have a Gladius (except not that teal/white color scheme), but never considered it due to the new/near-new price (around $7k?) It just seems too much to pay for a first or second bike, when there’re so many good used bikes at much lower prices.
Below is a rough range of what they cost used:
Suzuki GS500 – about $2-2.5k used (my first bike; even less if you go with the older naked models)
Ninja 500 – about $2.5k-3k used
Ninja 650R – about $3.5k-4.5k used
SV650N – about $3k-4.5k used (my third bike)
SV650S – about $3.5-4k used
599 – about $5k used (I love the idea of a naked inline-4, but this bike seems so rare and expensive it’s a semi-exotic in my mind)
Gladius – about $6k+ used? Too new? Are people even selling these used yet?
The power of the 500s are user-friendly, fool-proof, but after a while they can feel a little flat. I liken them to a Honda Civic in the car world – enough power for anything, but not much more. The 600/650s are more like an Accord/Camry with V6 – don’t “need” the extra power most of the time, but enjoyable to have it.
The SV650 is so highly touted and my expection of it was so high, I decided to buy one just to see what it’s all about. Durnig the test ride I felt a little underwhelmed, until I reminded myself that it’s almost unbelieveable that they can make a bike this good AT THIS PRICE. I think any bike on this list would be a sweet ride, so it comes down to personal preference and finding a good deal.
When I was riding mountain bike the following cycle would repeat about every two years:
Tentative – confident – over confident – crash with injury – repeat.
Now that I’ve done one cycle of this on a motorcycle within just 5 months of riding, I want to make sure the cycle does not repeat.
You will gain back your confidence in time. No need to push too hard to get it back right away.
Piror to my lowside, I had full confidence (false) that I’d never run out of traction in a corner, and that even if I did go down my gear would protect me 100% even at 80mph on the freeway. Well, a 30 mph lowside in the hills shattered those notions. Even though I escaped with relatively minor road rash and damages to the bike (about $1k worth), my confidence took much longer to rebuild. After I got the bike fixed enough to get back to riding about 2 weeks later, I felt like a brand new rider – very uncomfortable with leaning the bike. I didn’t have flashbacks, but the sound of parts scraping on the ground during the crash stuck in the back of my mind.
I can’t pin point exactly how long it took, but it must had been 2-3 months before the memory of the crash faded enough and I regained the confidence to be comfortable with cornering again. Now, 5 months after that crash and with a lot more riding experience, I’m more cautious with cornering than I was before.
To those people who worry about 7 lbs, 10 lbs, or even 20 lbs, on a street bike, I say get a life, loose some weight.
megaspaz, you’re right that when the low fuel light starts blinking on the SV (at least the second gen) there’s still just over a gallon of gas left in the tank so you can easily stretch it to 185 miles between fill ups, but doesn’t that blinking light drive you crazy? On my two other bikes I fill up after 200 miles, and I can stretch them to 220-230 miles or a little more if I had to. Seems like a small difference, but on my SV when the light starts blinking I’m always like, what, didn’t I just fill up a couple of days ago?
I get around 52 mpg on my ’07 SV650N (some freeway and street and many moutain twisties) and thought that mpg is pretty decent. Except the low fuel light starts blinking around 150 miles, some times as low as 140 miles, which is annoying. I’d much rather have a 200 mile/tank range.
The SV has strong torque and very strong engine braking so it can feel abrupt if you’re not smooth with the throttle. Slamming the throttle shut in low gears feels like putting the brakes on and it’ll throw your body forward.
In terms of the power being linear, I feel my YZF600R is more linear than the SV; more twist, more power, and it keeps building as the rpm climbs.
I’m a California fair weather rider. Don’t even ride in the rain, although that seems fun (except for the hard-to-see-by-other-drivers problem and the hassle of having to clean up afterward each wet ride).
Riding on snow is for those crazy, ahem, hard core guys.
To me what makes a 600cc sportbike much harder to ride at low speed than a standard is not the power, but the low clipons that put your body in a crouched down positon. That makes low speed steering and downhill cornering difficult. It takes some practice to delibrately turn/lean a 600cc sportbike. A naked SV650’s throttle and strong engine braking can make it feel more abrupt than a 600cc, but the upright and wide handlebar of the SV makes it a lot easier to steer.
In terms of which bike is better, these modern bikes are so closely matched and so polished, you really can’t get a bad one. In magazine comparison tests they look at things under the microscope and exgerrate the differences. Those small differences count on the race track, but in everyday riding I feel it’s just important to pick a bike you enjoy looking at the most.
I was cross shopping those two bikes too, but they are pretty evenly matched it’s like choosing between pizza and hamburger. For me it came down to having a good bike and good deal available when I was ready to buy. I ended up getting a ’01 GS500E and still enjoy riding it even after owning a YZF600R and a SV650N also. The main attraction of the GS is it’s simplicity and user friendliness, although it can feel a bit under-powered and crude when riding back-to-back against a newer/bigger bike. I’ve never ridden a Ninja 500 and always imagined it to be just a bit smoother and more polished than the GS, but a comparable Ninja 500 usually cost a few hundred dollars more than a GS500E so that slightly cost difference sort of balances out the slight performance difference.
Don’t relax and think it’s all clear when you see one deer clear the road in front of you. When you see one deer there’s usually another (or more), so slow down and watch out for the followers.
That lowside happened at 30-40 mph during a group ride. We were pushing the pace but the speed still felt manageable. What got me was after a while I started target fixating on the rider directly in front of me so I was just following him into corners, reacting to his turns, and quit reading the road myself. Finally, a longer than expected turn took me off guard and caused the lowside.
To the OP (original poster), I wonder if you were riding your own pace (good), or if you were following a more experienced rider (your husband) into that corner at his pace (very bad). The usual advise is to let the less experienced rider lead and set the pace.
I now have about 9 months and 6700 miles of riding experience. When I’m on twisty roads (a lot) fun rides, I keep saying in my head to myself, “look thru the turn, point your chin toward the turn, lean your body into it, push into the turn, etc.” I keep reminding myself mentally because I still don’t fully trust my muscle memory to do the right thing when the pace picks up.
Eternal05, I re-read your earlier post and saw you touched on the point I raised. That just means the explanation for pictures 4 and 5 are plain wrong, and even the photos are wrong for what they tried to illustrate. Physically, when you sit tall, you cannot be sideways as much. When you crouch low, you can move sideways a lot more, i.e., hanging off -> more body lean -> lower the combined (body+bike) CG -> less bike lean -> better traction. Another point I want to make is hanging off is not just for speed; it’s also used in low traction situation (water, snow, gravel, etc.) to keep the bike as upright as possible to maximize traction.