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GS500F review from M&M

posted: 23rd February 2005 06:44 PM  

Tigz
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Was looking on the men and motors and come accross this cool review.


[quote="Tom Rayner" ]SOME things work so well they never need replacing, like the wheel or the inside toilet… or Suzuki’s 500cc parallel twin. Tom Rayner rides the latest update to ‘old reliable’, the GS500F.

THE GS500 is like the villain in a horror film- it just can’t be killed off. This old dog makes the two-year lifespan of today’s Superbikes look ridiculous.

When this humble parallel twin was first introduced to Britain, Gazza was the most promising footballing talent, George Bush Senior was President of the USA and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ by Band Aid took up its customary position at number one in the charts for Yuletide. How times change.

So how has the GS500 survived and thrived in today’s fickle marketplace? Simple – a blend of economy, simplicity and a classic style that never seems to go out of fashion. People will always want a cheap, reliable bike to run them around during the week yet offer that extra puff for longer journeys that a 125 simply couldn’t manage.

The biggest problem with naked bikes is their nakedness. They’re no sweat around town where speed limits keep you below 30mph, but on the open road your arms, neck and head will soon be crying for mercy as the windblast tries to rip you off the bike.

It’s no wonder so many people fitted aftermarket fairings to their GS500Es. Suzuki, not one to miss a trick, cut out the middleman and fitted a fairing themselves- the GS500F was born. And, it’s a rather splendid fairing, at that.

[/quote]

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posted: 23rd February 2005 06:45 PM  

Tigz
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In Suzuki’s racing colours of blue and white (also available in black and mustard yellow) it really looks the part. From the front you could easily mistake it for something more exotic.

I was unwittingly involved in an impromptu traffic light grand prix with a Ninja rider who thought he was lining up alongside Suzuki’s latest Supersports bike. Little did he know I was on a sub 50bhp commuter with a 15-year-old engine – needless to say he disappeared over the horizon in a cloud of rubber smoke.

However, for its capacity and its age the GS is surprisingly sprightly and has respectable pull at the bottom end if you work both the engine and the gearbox hard. On a track if you click it into sixth gear at 90 you’ll be astonished to find it pulling to over 100mph with an admirable willingness.

On the other side of the coin, you can tap it into sixth gear on a motorway and cruise at 75 to 80mph with a mere 7k on the rev-counter. At this speed you’ll return well over 60mpg and cover hundreds of miles in relative comfort.

What else does the GS500F have going for it? The gearbox is slick, the handling is precise and the new disc brakes, front and rear, are a big improvement on the previous set up.

A lot of people criticise the GS range for its poor finish and its inability to face a British winter without corroding before your eyes. I’d like to dispel this myth once and for all. I owned an old GS for six years and it lived outside for four of those years. The only area prone to rusting was the exhaust and an annual coat of heat-resistant, matt-black paint soon solved that problem.

I can see the GS500F becoming a big hit all over again. For newly qualified riders the choice for user-friendly sports bikes is short. Kawasaki’s GPZ500S was, for years, the best option but that’s been chopped from the line-up. There’s always the option of a 400cc grey-import but they’re less reliable and much less practical than a 500cc twin.

Insuring a GS is cheap and an annual service will rarely cost more than £150. There’s not much that can go wrong with the engine providing it’s well maintained. Financially speaking, riding a GS500F rather than a GSX-600R could save you over £1,000 a year. Granted, there’s a considerable difference in performance levels – around town the lighter, nimbler 500 is much quicker.

Will the GS500F still be going strong in fifteen years time? You’d be mad to bet against it.

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posted: 23rd February 2005 07:24 PM  

Kawa
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Im gonna wait fer the smarties review before I make up me mind.



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posted: 23rd February 2005 09:05 PM  

Tigz
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Thought it was cool, normally the bike press (well the Sports bikes I used to read when my Dad bought it a few years back said it was useless.
Just good to see that the motoring press can see what it is and why its such a great bike, instead of compairing it to a CBR600RR.

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posted: 23rd February 2005 09:25 PM  

Hodgy
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The general bike press are only interested in balls out sports bikes, anything less is crap in their opinion. the only bike mag I tend to buy is Ride, at least they live in the real world, the most biased has to be Performance Bikes.





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posted: 24th February 2005 04:22 PM  

slimmyreed
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But i suppose this is indicated in the titles of the two mags. Surely a mag called performance bikes is going to be biased towards....performance bikes

So why no "Comuter Bikes" Magazine?

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posted: 24th February 2005 09:42 PM  

Davedanger
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My fav mag is Fast Bike. I dont expect to see a GS5 in it and to my shock one day they reviewed a gs500F. They do not swear as much as Superbike and are not as bland as Performance bike. They are funny and yet at the same time give pro's and con's to everything they ride. They just had Polish Pete's trip to Poland :-D

On top of that I read Superbike sometimes but they have a bit where they bullshit about other mags and always getting onto Fast Bike which I hate cause I love the mag.

My must by every month is Bike. They are fair solid reviews and their riding skills section is well worth it

Nearly forgot.... SPOT ON REVIEW OF THE UBER GS5!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!

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posted: 25th February 2005 05:15 PM  

chickenlover
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I think for general commuting you can't go far wrong with a gs. It's not a rocket on wheels but it is not slow either.
I drive on the dual carriage ways alot and in busy traffic most of the time I am in the outside lane with nothing behind me so it can't be bad.

 

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posted: 25th February 2005 05:21 PM  

Davedanger
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I notice its strong point is not Motorways and needs a bit more gas with headwinds but hell Im no racer. I sit at 80 as I do in the car unless I see a hazard in which I slow. I never need it to do more. My fun comes from the twisties and even then not belting round them either.

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