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04 Suzuki GS500F?

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:15 AM   #1
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04 Suzuki GS500F?

I'm planning on buying my first bike this summer.

It's a friends used 2004 Suzuki GS500F w/ 10-12K miles.
It's a carbed bike so he says it needs to have it's carbs cleaned and jetted and a new back tire.

He wants $1200 but I bet I could get it for $1100.
Carbs cleaned and jetted w/ basic tune-up - ~$300
New rear tire - ~$200.
So I get a well running bike for $1600.

I have a friend who rides motorcycles and his dad is very into it. They do their own maintenance on their bikes. I was going to have them come along when I look at the bike and give it a looking over with me.

My question is the price and bike itself sound worth it?
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:25 AM   #2
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
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Go for it! The GS500 is going to be a great starter bike. Being a 500cc, there's room to grow with the bike, unlike say a 125 where you'd get bored of it pretty quick.

The F is the faired version which looks sporty.

As for re-jetting the carbs, I don't believe that to be necessary. Just a carb cleaning. Re-jetting would be recommended if there was a performance upgrade on the bike. As in, if you friend put an aftermarket pipe on the bike and didn't get it re-jetted.

Replace the rear tire with the exact same one. Don't mix and match. You want to have the same tire profile and compound characteristics as the front.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by buck View Post
Go for it! The GS500 is going to be a great starter bike. Being a 500cc, there's room to grow with the bike, unlike say a 125 where you'd get bored of it pretty quick.

The F is the faired version which looks sporty.

As for re-jetting the carbs, I don't believe that to be necessary. Just a carb cleaning. Re-jetting would be recommended if there was a performance upgrade on the bike. As in, if you friend put an aftermarket pipe on the bike and didn't get it re-jetted.
Thanks! I think there is an aftermarket muffler. Not sure if it's full piping or just the can.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NumNutz View Post
Thanks! I think there is an aftermarket muffler. Not sure if it's full piping or just the can.
Even with just an aftermarket muffler, re-jetting wouldn't hurt.

The GS500F is a comfortable bike, handles well and gets great mileage.

I have an R6 and find it hard to ride anything more than 300 miles in a day. Debating pulling the plates and running it as a track only bike. Want something more upright and comfortable, but something that can still handle well.

Yamaha is coming out with an FZ8 (not sure if it's coming to North America). That would be awesome.

There's also the Kawi Z1000 which is a very comfortable bike, but 1000cc's is just more than is needed for the street, and cost more to insure.... but it is super fun to ride.

Ducati has the Streetfighter.... so hot.. but $$$$.

... OK enough of me dreaming about my next bike
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by buck View Post
Even with just an aftermarket muffler, re-jetting wouldn't hurt.

The GS500F is a comfortable bike, handles well and gets great mileage.

I have an R6 and find it hard to ride anything more than 300 miles in a day. Debating pulling the plates and running it as a track only bike. Want something more upright and comfortable, but something that can still handle well.

Yamaha is coming out with an FZ8 (not sure if it's coming to North America). That would be awesome.

There's also the Kawi Z1000 which is a very comfortable bike, but 1000cc's is just more than is needed for the street, and cost more to insure.... but it is super fun to ride.

Ducati has the Streetfighter.... so hot.. but $$$$.

... OK enough of me dreaming about my next bike
What exactly is re-jetting? Does it increase the power? Is $300 an accurate estimate for cleaning carbs and re-jetting?
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:09 AM   #7
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Re-jetting is just changing the orfice size of the gas supply to the motor.

For instance, when putting a can or performance cams on a bike, the amount of fuel that the motor requires to run at peak efficiency changes. Changing the jets to match the new fuel requirements of the motor from add-on devices will help it run better, give more peak performance and better fuel consumption.

$300 sounds ok. No harm in getting a 2nd quote.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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I cant see much jetting changes with exhaust... maybe one bigger on the pilot, leave the main along and a needle adjustment.. Might be cheaper than $300!
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:22 AM   #9
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So I could get away with not doing it. I'm new to two wheels. I have my license and have taken the MSF safety course but I'm trying to save money.

So if I can get away with not re-jetting, how much would just cleaning the carbs be?
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:32 AM   #10
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If you are just starting out on two wheels, don't bother jetting the bike. Just get it back into good running condition and start racking up seat time. Then when you have more experience and can use more power, you can re-jet if you like, but you might decide you want a bigger bike. Still the Suzi 500 is a great starter street bike.
I think $300 is too much for a carb cleaning and re-jetting, of course that's just my opinion. Definitely take your mechanic friends to look at it, if they are offering their help then it's a free evaluation from experienced motorbike people. Needless to say, ride safely and most of all, enjoy!
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #11
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Great thanks guys. I'm really excited about this. I just don't want to crash. I have pretty much excepted that if you ride a motorcycle you are going to go down eventually. I just hope that it's slow and the bike and I don't get ruined.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:49 AM   #12
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I quit riding street before I ruined myself. I was extremely aggressive riding in traffic. Dont do the things I did!
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:51 AM   #13
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Wear all your gear! And that sounds like a great bike I say go for it! 6 years on a suzuki is nothing, those engines are rock solid.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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I have a great Arai helmet and gloves. I still need a jacket. Do they make like fashionable padded jeans or something?
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by NumNutz View Post
Great thanks guys. I'm really excited about this. I just don't want to crash. I have pretty much excepted that if you ride a motorcycle you are going to go down eventually. I just hope that it's slow and the bike and I don't get ruined.
That is a myth. Don't worry about the stupid "there are 2 types of riders, those who have crashed, and those who will" thing. If you are expecting to crash, you probably will. Most falls are usually slow speed anyway so you have nothing to worry about other than a little ego bruising if your neighbors see it.

As for the jetting thing, it will not be absolutely necessary if you only have an aftermarket muffler. If you are on a budget, just have the carbs serviced. After riding the bike, if you notice any hesitation, mis-firing or uneven power delivery, then maybe you need to get it re-jetted.

My bike is fuel injected and I have added a full exhaust. My bike has a flat spot in power delivery from 5,000 - 7,000 RPM, and shoots a flame when changing gears (under moderate acceleration). I need to get it tuned one of these days.... but shooting a little blue flame does have a bit of a cool factor .

Here's a couple of key things that I can think of (in no particular order):

- always ride with proper gear, never ride with exposed skin
- keep tires properly inflated at all times, check around once/week
- don't try and get that extra ride in on a worn tire... or you'll be waiting on the side of the highway for a tow truck when it pops
- keep the chain properly tensioned and regularly clean and lube the chain, it will do wonders for the life of the chain and sprockets, I clean mine once every two weeks depending on conditions. Kerosene and a soft brush is a safe way to clean a chain without damaging the o-rings, rinse with low pressure water, dry and lube right away
- I use motorcycle chain wax as it is clean and doesn't fling all over your bike
- regularly change your oil 2,000 - 3,000 miles. Doesn't matter what kind of oil (just make sure it's motorcycle specific). Our bikes are wet-bath clutches, which means the clutch is partially submerged into the engine oil. Synthetic, semi-synth, regular dino motorcycle oil is all good, just stick with one and regularly change it.
- keep your bike clean because you never know when you'll pull up to a pretty girl at an intersection. She is not going to check out your ass if you are riding a dirty steed.
- curves in roads -> slow in, fast out. Don't try to test your riding ability limits by coming too hot into a corner. Slow down as one approaches, and gently accelerate out if spirited riding/driving is your thing.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:29 PM   #16
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I have a great Arai helmet and gloves. I still need a jacket. Do they make like fashionable padded jeans or something?
Joe Rocket, Icon, Draggin Jeans (to list a few) make durable denim jeans for motorcycle riders.

I ride in jean pants 95% of the time when commuting to work. When riding leisurely on weekends, there's no better protection than leather from neck to toe.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:42 PM   #17
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Yea, those jeans do look really good. I watched some test videos on youtube as well. I have an idea on insurance but any idea what the test is for registering a motorcycle?
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:13 PM   #18
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the gs500f is an ok bike one of my female friends has one, and it was her first bike but she got bored of it really quick, for one it lacks power like crazy, the aftermarket for them is weak, you can't get just a slip on pipe for them if i can remember right because the pipe is welded on to the rest of the pipe. i mean you could dump the money into it by rejetting it to spif it up a little, and you could also regear it but in the end you still have a bike that you will get tired of quick. plus where the hell are you getting a rear tire for $200 jesus that what i spend for my R1 parelli's, your rear should be around $120 because they are alot smaller. if i was you i would go for a 600 kawasaki ninja, a 600 suzuki gsxr, yamaha R6, or even better for a starter bike a honda cbr600. and the insurance on them isn't to bad either, one of my friends who has an 04 R6 only pays like $400 a year for full coverage (example i pay like $1000 a year for my R1).
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #19
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The 09 R6 has 102 hp of I'm not mistaken. Some cars come with just a little over 102 hp.

I think I'll be okay on a 500. I might get bored but it will keep me in line as I rack up time. I love the feeling of two wheels. Being able to see the road right beneath you. Being able to smell everything. Feeling the temperature change. I like going fast but I don't need that right now. That's not what I'm in it for.

Plus... I'm not gonna be able to beat this price anywhere.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:41 PM   #20
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I've got a Honda 125 that i learned on last year. I'll be getting a bigger bike this summer but i'm very glad i started out with the 125. Had a few scary moments and i'm lucky i was on such a small bike. I think the 500 will be good for you to start on. Ride it for a season and if you get bored, sell it and get something bigger. Just my two cents.
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