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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
edit: realized there was another board for new-riders and their questions. Can this be moved?

Hello riders, I'm new to the biking world and am thinking of purchasing a bike within the next 3 months or so. I've already taken my MSF course and aready own a class M1 license. Right now, I'm deciding between two well known beginner bikes, the Ninja 500 and the GS500.

I've done a LOT of research on the Ninja, and I'm liking it. However, I recently discovered the GS500, and I prefer the looks of it a whole lot more (the Ninja looks like an elongated bike, I think due to the fairing design, I like the shorter look the GS provided me).

I would like the help of the forum to discuss the pros/cons of each bike, personal experiences, etc. Also, whats the difference between the Suzuki GS500 / GS500E / GS500F?
Thanks, much appreciated,
red_led
 

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~ Master Technician ~
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Motorcycle Consumer News did a review of these two bike last year. See if you can find it. MCN liked the Ninja better due to better brakes, better engine performance and handling.
 

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pretty sure the Ninja would be cheaper on repairs and parts, but the GS500 just looks NICE.. the GS500F has the fairings from the GSX-R600, and looks sweet, while the ninja looks outdated.. But the GS will be a lot more to repair if you drop it, since it is brand new.. (unless you are talking about an older GS500.)
 

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Motorcycle Consumer News also got so many things wrong about the GS that I seriously doubt they actually rode one. They couldn't even get the redline right.

That said, the EX definitely has a sizeable power advantage over the GS, putting almost 50hp to the rear wheel versus the GS's 40. Reviews I've read were split on which handled better. I had a GS500E and was very happy with the handling. The GS is slightly lighter, less so now that it has a fairing. The main problems with my GS were the seat, which got very uncomfortable after an hour or so, and the vibration through the handlebars, which got annoying in about the same amount of time. The GS got a new seat in 2000, so newer ones may be better. A GS500F is the same thing as a GS500E, except with a fairing and an oil cooler added.
 

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I used to ride a friends GS500 all the time, even when I had much new, much faster bikes. I loved it. That bike is a kick in the ass!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. Looks to me like that Consumer review isnt to be that trusted, but I'll read it thoroughly later.

I'm sorta leaning towards the Ninja... true, its cheaper, and I want something thats comfortable (better seat it seems). I didn't know about that power difference, and I suppose extra 10HP will be incredibly noticeable on a bike.
 

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The Ninja is far better than the GS. The Ninja beats the GS in handling, braking, and price. The GS is the same old air cooled GS in new clothes. The air cooled GS compared to the liquid cooled Ninja...means the Ninja probably would have less heat issues in warmer temps. As said before the Ninja also has more HP.
 

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red_LED said:
Thanks for the replies. Looks to me like that Consumer review isnt to be that trusted, but I'll read it thoroughly later.
Read the magazine article and make your own judgement. One thing nice about MCN is that they don't take advertising from anyone. If they think Yamaha or Suzuki made a piece of crap bike, they will flat out say it sucks. You will almost never read about an article in Cycle Word, Motorcyclist, ect... giving harsh critizism to a bike. They are too scared of loosing money.
 

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(think, Mr. Subliminal)

The are both great bikes. (Hawk GT)A little different style for different taste. (Hawk GT)The Ninja being liquid cooled would be a huge plus. (Hawk GT) The power advantage is nice too. (Hawk GT) I thing the GS looks better. (Hawk GT)They will both be very capable. (Hawk GT)

:twofinger :eek:nfloor
 

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I have a GS500E, rode several EX500s before eventually buying the GS. The GS500F is faired and has an oil cooler as mentioned earlier; the E is the naked version w/o the oil cooler.

Stock, the EX is faster and has a grabbier front brake. Stock, my GS had a flat spot between 5 and 6.5k that was cured by an aftermarket exhaust/intake and a rejet. According to the dyno run from my rejet I'm putting now 46 hp to the rear wheel.

I can't speak for the EX, but parts are plentiful and cheap for the GS, and there's a good community built around the bike as well. Lots of potential for cheap mods, but I'm sure the same can be said of the EX.

My gripes about the GS - stock front end is way too soft, quickly fixed with a $60 set of progressive springs. Rear shock is also sucky, can be directly swapped with a Katana shock to firm up the rear a bit. Hard to find decent tires in stock sizes. No wind protection on the E model (duh, it's a naked bike). Very cold-natured if the carbs haven't been jetted.

Things I enjoy about the GS - pretty flickable, very forgiving of newb mistakes, reliable, cheap to fix when you break it. Very fun to ride, even if it's not the fastest thing in the world.
 

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Gs! Gs! Gs! Like I mentioned earlier, the GS500 is a FUN bike to ride. You'll be surprised how easy it is to rail newbs in the twisties on it. Then when they catch up at the next stop on their 05 R1's, and "Gixxers" you can just laugh.
 

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I was in the same boat as you almost a year ago and I went with the Kawasaki. The GS500F is definitely a looker but I was more concerned with performance. One of the things that really solidified my decision to get the 500R was its liquid cooled engine. Add that to the higher HP numbers and better suspension and it seems like a no brainer.

I'm sure you'll be happy with either bike but I just wanted to share my experience with you. Good luck :cheers
 
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