@ 9000 rpm
review by Rob
I bought a new Suzuki GS500F K5 a year ago and have found it
to be an absolutely superb machine. I also own a 20-year old
GS250T which shares a very similar design of power plant. In
fact the older GS250T is an eight-valve engine with all the
complexities that brings, whereas for the GS500 the Suzuki designers
opted for a more reliable (though lower power) 4 valve design
which makes it even more reliable than its 250cc predecessor.
The engine design on the GS500F therefore has a very long pedigree
and I would be very surprised if there were any major design
or manufacturing flaws remaining. That said, my GS500F engine
did exhibit a knocking sound when the bike was leaned to one
side. I took it back to the dealers and they told me it was
a known problem with this engine. They got a complete set of
parts to fix the problem which, after fitting, completely cured
the problem (well done guys, I was impressed with your service).
Incidentally, the problem is cam shaft float. It does not affect
the performance or reliability of the bike, its just a bit annoying
and would obviously make it difficult to sell the bike on. So
my advice to anyone who buys a GS500F is to listen out for this
noise and take it straight back to your dealer ? Suzuki know
all about it and they won't argue.
I have done 12,000km on my GS500F in the last year and if I
take it easy on the run to work and back (30km each way) I can
get close to 80mpg. Yet the GS500F will go like stink if you
wind open the throttle and let it rev towards the red line.
Certainly plenty enough power unless you are a very experienced
rider and can handle more.
The handling of the bike is outstanding, it feels very reassuring
even in the wet and I have never had a slide out of it. You
can reckon on 15000km out of a set of tyres if you don't burn
rubber too hard. The brakes work well, though the rear does
squeak a bit unless you apply it hard.
My Suzuki GS500F has started first touch of the starter every
morning for the last year and has never let me down. It's powerful
and comfortable enough for two-up riding, though if rider and
passenger are on the big side I think it would struggle a bit.
I intend to use mine to do some touring as well as commuting
and am really looking forward to that.
If I have one gripe about the Suzuki GS500F it's build quality.
You have to be prepared to keep this bike sprayed with anti-corrosion
spray on all the vulnerable parts (you'll find out which they
are if you keep an eye on them and watch for corrosion to appear
- then give them a squirt regularly and you'll be OK). This
is especially important in the (English) winter when they salt
the roads. If you're not careful your bike will look like a
real dog by the end of the winter. Regarding after-market exhausts
for the GS500F, in the UK try Predator (Google it and you'll
find it easy enough) they do a nice stainless exhaust for around
£300 which should see you all right for many years (better
than the mild steel job that Suzuki put on which is never going
to last any time at all).
review by Chris
I've had my Suzuki GS500 for nearly a year now, and I've had
no problems. It's been great fun, really reliable, plenty powerful
and great on fuel. The only thing I dislike is the soft suspension,
when even on its hardest setting (rear only) it is still to
soft. But despite this, it is an excellent bike.