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Discussion Starter #1
between Suzuki GS500F and Kawasaki Ninja 500R?

I see some people advising that the Ninja is a better beginner... why?

Price is about the same. :nerd
 

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I haven't ridden either, but from what I've read the Kawasaki trounces the Suzuki in just about every category. About the only upper hand the Suzuki has is its good looks.

The Kawasaki has a stronger engine (12 hp!), an easier to use transmission (adjustable clutch lever, positive neutral finder), better suspension, and is still $200 less than the Suzuki.

In the Suzuki's defense, it does have stronger brakes and radial tires (the Kawi has bias-plies). And of course kick ass GSX-R styling.

The price advantage goes far beyond the sticker price. The Kawasaki's service intervals come every 6,000 miles, with valve adjustments at every 12,000 miles. The Suzuki requires regular service AND valve adjustments EVERY 3,500 MILES! And, despite it's superior horsepower, the Kawasaki gets 15mpg better fuel economy than the Suzuki. You'll save a lot of money on maintenance in the long run if you go with the Kawi.
 

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the guys at gstwin.com are like a cult following of the GS. Having that chat board is like a place to get any question answered about the GS. That to me is better than insurance. To my knowledge, the ex doesn't have the same following.

However, the EX has a little better performance, but the styling of the new GS can't be beat IMO. The GS is a simple bike to work on, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
bluesnowmonkey said:
MCN looked at this question just recently.

Part 1
Part 2
great write-ups. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a lot
 

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I started on a GS500 and loved it. It's a little softer and has less motor, but that's not the point on a starter bike. I liked the looks of the GS better, and I had access to a good deal on one. I'm a Kawi fan, though, and I'll openly recommend either.
 

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get the older GS500E naked, you won't have to worry about replacing plastics if you drop it. EX500 are great bikes too, but IMO they don't look as cool as the GS. Also the GS is air cooled where as the EX is liquid cooled.
 

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BuRn__ said:
ive been told the maintainence costs for the gs were 2x what the ninja's parts cost.
Or you could buy a 20 dollar Clymer manual and do it yourself. Screw the dealer, I do it myself. Maintainence is zip for me. And personally, I enjoy wrenching on the bike :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Stephen072774 said:
Or you could buy a 20 dollar Clymer manual and do it yourself. Screw the dealer, I do it myself. Maintainence is zip for me. And personally, I enjoy wrenching on the bike :)
here, here

I love wrenching on my car, and plan to do the same on the bike
 

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Stephen072774 said:
Or you could buy a 20 dollar Clymer manual and do it yourself. Screw the dealer, I do it myself. Maintainence is zip for me. And personally, I enjoy wrenching on the bike :)
same here. my bike sat for about a month while i tried to figure out what the hell was wrong with it. lol. im the same way with my cars, i refuse to let some1 else work on them.

i meant i was told parts were 2x as much for the gs. dontknow how factual that is, but thats what i was told.
 

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I would take the EX500 anyday over the GS500. I'm not saying that the GS is a bad bike, but it BOTHERS me that it is all show and little go.

I say and think that because it is a late 70s engine on a mid 80s frame with new looking plastics, but other than the plastics, it is a dinosaur performance and tech wise!

The EX is no state of the art technology by any means, but at least it is closer to a late 80s bike, with a DOHC 4 valve per cylinder engine and watercooled engine.
IMHO the watercooled engine is a critical factor, better driveability, more refined engine, less wear and if taken care properly, as reliable as an aircooling system.


Everybody knows they could do WAY BETTER with those little 500cc engines, why not repeat the history again? Those engines started their lifes as 4 cylinder engines that were basically cut in half, why not do it again?

Both bikes could be viewed as dinosaur-bikes, I don't think there is an older design being sold brand new (I'm talking about sportbikes, not cruisers, heck, not even commuters are that old). I think that apart from the EX and the GS the oldest one would be the ZZR and the engine on the Honda 599.

What bothers me more is that in Japan you can get a 250 4 cylinder bike that makes more power than the GS, and it is a Suzuki!!! I can only dream about what they could do if they really tried to with 500cc of displacement, but I guess we'll never know...
 

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Süsser Tod said:
I would take the EX500 anyday over the GS500. I'm not saying that the GS is a bad bike, but it BOTHERS me that it is all show and little go.
Bah. If it were more show, it wouldn't make a good starter bike. Asking for more power on this bike is missing the point.
 

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freeride said:
Bah. If it were more show, it wouldn't make a good starter bike. Asking for more power on this bike is missing the point.
The only point in wich the GS is clearly superior to the EX is "LOOKS" (doesn't that sound to you like "show"???)

By the way, the EX500 haves 12 HP more and is an excelent beginer bike...
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Whoever wrote the MCN review needs to put down the crack pipe and try riding one, or at least looking up the specs corrrectly. It redlines at 11K rpm, not at 9.5K rpm. It sure as hell doesn't come with radials, if you want radials you've got to put on a b***** rear tire. Motorcyclist's comparison from 94 is a lot better (http://www.formatc.org/ex500vsgs500.htm). It says the Ninja has a better motor and suspension, but when the road is smooth, the GS500 still handles better. They decide the Ninja is the better bike, but since the Suzuki was cheaper to buy (back then) and cheaper to run, there was a reason to buy one. The GS500's motor should last just about forever (at gstwin.com there's more than one story of a bike going more than 100,000 miles), while I've heard the Ninja runs into expensive problems as time goes on. Don't believe Suzuki's recommended valve adjustment intervals, they're just trying to screw you over with maintnence charges. Just adjust them when the bike starts making too much noise, or when it starts running crappy and there can't be anything else wrong.

Since 1994, the only thing that changed on the GS was it's seat, until 2004 when it got a fairing and an oil cooler. I don't think the ninja changed at all in that time. I would never buy either one new, but if I was going to buy a new one, I'd buy the Ninja. On the used market, I'd buy whichever one I got a deal on. Used GS500s are usually cheaper than a similar used Ninja, which is why I ride a GS.
 
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