Justjim75 HalfDork
7/22/19 11:07 p.m.

A friend has one in great shape for cheap, at least cheap for around here.

Unsure of year, but its the purple and grey which is early 2000's right?

Anyway, ive read hundreds of comments about the "great starter bike" but im not a starter bike guy anymore, and this may be my only shot for a while. Any honest comments and opinions are welcome.

jfryjfry Dork
7/23/19 2:31 a.m.

Any bike is better than no bike!   It’s just gonna be a bit slow

Woody MegaDork
7/23/19 6:55 a.m.

I think that was just a name change from the earlier EX500.  I rode one once and didn't find it to be either sporting or comfortable. The front suspension will be too soft if you are close to 200 pounds. Starter bike? Sure. But if you have been riding for more than a year or two, you will be disappointed.

NGTD UberDork
7/23/19 8:15 a.m.

I considered both the Suzuki GS500 and the Ninja 500, when  I decided to get back on a bike, but feedback on both seemed to indicate that for a guy my size I would find them small and underpowered.

I stepped up to a Suzuki GSX650F and I am really glad I did. It's a big bike (Suzuki puts a 1250 in the same frame), so it's a bit heavy but much more oomph and I am big so I can handle it. I think you would be happier with at least a 600 class or 750 bike.

Wally is right - they are a repackaged EX500.


pinchvalve MegaDork
7/23/19 8:29 a.m.

My friend has a GS500 and while he likes the light, tossable nature of it, it really runs out of steam on the highway. At 70, I can just crank the throttle and blast past cars on my V-Star 950. He has to downshift, tuck in, and be patient.  

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/23/19 1:12 p.m.

Underpowered or slow are relative terms...500cc bikes like the Ninja or Suzuki mentioned above aren't going to be like their 1000cc big brothers, but they're still pretty quick.  From what I can find online the Ninja would do zero to 60 in under 5 seconds, a GS500 was under 6 seconds.

XLR99 Dork
7/23/19 2:20 p.m.

Small bike > no bike

You do the math...


If it's your only shot for awhile and you're not inheriting someone else's nightmares, go for it! 

As Stuart mentioned, slow is relative; to me bikes are fun regardless of displacement.  My son hasn't been riding his DR250 since he got his Mustang, so I commandeered it for my own use.  It's slower than my wife's Sorento, maxes out at 68ish but you sure feel like you're going fast when you're throwing shifts constantly.  I just ride back roads to work, which adds about 5 minutes to my commute. 

wheelsmithy SuperDork
7/23/19 7:00 p.m.

I'd rock one. Fast, no, but anvil tough, cheap fun. Even a pro can have fun on a beginner bike. (slow bike fast vs. fast bike slow)

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/23/19 7:05 p.m.

I came in here thinking nighthawk 500. One of the first 4 stroke bikes i ever rode. 86ish. It was awesome. 

Jim: sounds like the bike you are taking about is like a miata. You just gotta try it to see if it fits you.

Justjim75 HalfDork
7/24/19 12:00 a.m.

Thanks everyone, ill give it till the weekend and then ask if its gone.

Nugi Reader
8/26/19 1:47 p.m.

I can comment here, having owned 2 Gs500 and a ninja aka ex500. The ninja is the same as the ex500, which is just a sporty version of the 454cc cruiser engine. 

The ninja is buzzy at speed.Get weighted bars and comfy grips or end up with 'lawnmower hands' from the vibration. Handles well, but has a bit of flex compared to a modern bike. Reliable, but more finikiy than the gs500, and feels a lot smaller. Great for short riders with no inseam. Its an old design, but decent. You will not get any more hp from the engine. Geared a bit short for highway rides, maybe a spricket would help.

Gs500/e/f  - bigger, 'full size' bike. Better for a adult sized person. Less top end, but more torque. Air/oil cooled, no radiator. Same deaign for ages just like the ninja, making parts easy to find. Later 04+ bikes got bigger carbs, electronic spark adv. I would suggest this to anyone 5'10 or over. Much more low end grunt than the ninja.

Both struggle to keep up with the gf's fuel injected 650 twin, and are left in the dust by any sportbike. But are great standard bikes that wont hurt your back, but arent amazing. I can drag knees on either with good tires and some gall. Decent city commuter bikes. 

I would sell my naked gs500, if anyone is interested. 

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