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Discussion Starter #1
I've read all the posts here about learning to ride and not going too big, I've gone out and got good gear (Joe Rocket, Teknic, KBC) and I've signed up at PRS to learn to ride. Right now I'm trying to figure out what bike I want as a first and probably as my only bike for the next few years. I'm going back to school in September and won't be able to upgrade for a little while. I haven't ridden before and haven't done any dirtbiking so riding is entirely new to me. On the one hand, the gs500f is easy to learn on and forgiving but I'm worried that I will outgrow it before the summer is out and then be stuck with a boring bike. On the other hand, the Bandit 600 is probably harder to learn on, a little more intimidating but I would be able to have more fun with it and also be able to do more road trips later in the season. I'd like to hear some opinions on the different bikes from guys who've ridden them. I'm also still learning so other suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks to all the riders who've posted on learning to ride and where to start, it's been really helpful.
 

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n00b
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ok what is your cashflow like? You mentioned school and iirc, the two bikes are in two different brackets for insurance, with the bandit costing more.
Are you going to buy new or used? If you will buy used, try and find a 250: gas is cheap, its super light, and you'll get most of your money back. My '99 250 was prob one of my favourite bikes.
And when it comes to fun, it is all interpretive. I rode a first edition F650gs and it was not nearly as fun as my 250. Sure the acceleration was better, but top speed was equal. Plus the 250 handled better (granted their geometry was different, but you get the picture).
 

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gs500f or Bandit 600?
Are these the only 2 for sale in your price range right now?

There are a tonne of great options from the late 80's to early nineties for starter bikes. Really anything under 600 should be fine, and don't worry about getting bored in your first season that can be a sign of overconfidence in your riding skills.

If you have the funds go for a used sv650 though :thumbup
 
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Discussion Starter #4
One of my goals for the summer is to ride to Edmonton for a family reunion. For that reason I really don't want to go smaller than 500cc. I can't really afford to spend more than $5000 all together on a bike (I know that gives me lots of options). What are long rides like on the sv650? And can I find one in good shape for between 4 and 5 grand?
 

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bahhh, the bandit is a terrible bike, dont even compare it to the sv. And if you can buy a 2003+ SV, lots of needed changes occured in 2003. And i highly doubt you will be bored with the GS in one summer.


^______^
 
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Discussion Starter #7
That's what I want to hear! If the bandit is garbage I wanna know. It seems that pretty much every review in a bike magazine of any bike is positive so they don't feel like much help. I've been leaning towards the GS500F but I keep running into people who say I should be getting a bigger bike. Thanks for the input.
 

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mikey604 said:
honestly, the 250 is a girls bike, you will get bored in 2 weeks.
Where do you get this from?

Driftland said:
bahhh, the bandit is a terrible bike, dont even compare it to the sv. And if you can buy a 2003+ SV, lots of needed changes occured in 2003. And i highly doubt you will be bored with the GS in one summer.


^______^
Do you have a bike now or just looking at your Hayosung or whatever knockoff?:laughing

Where do you get your opinions or experience from, it doesnt sound very broad. The bandit is a great bike in its own right, i'd still take the sv over it though.
 

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Go sit on both. Which do you like? Which makes you want to take it out as soon as you possibly can? Get _that_ one.

Both bikes should be fine the first yea of riding. I would think the bandit would be a bit more comfortable on longer trips. IIRC, the bandit and the Katana share an engine. If so, it's oil cooled and quite tough.

Before you decide, take $ 1000 - 1500 off the price for gear. Helmet, gloves, jacket+back protector, pants and boots.

Good luck.

Bjorn
 

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ex500 and gs500 are both sissy twins.... If you're looking at 500cc bikes, the interceptor 500 (1984-1986) is better than both of those, provided you paint it black :rockon It's a V4, and packs about 20 more hp than the Kawi, and you can grab one in good condition for $1500-$2000...

Oh, and yeah, I know I'm biased :laughing
 

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The GS500 isn't half the bike the EX500 is. But I would still go for the Bandit over either of them. One caveat, though: Are you a large enough person that the Bandit feels comfortable under you? I mean, does it feel like a larger bike than the GS500 to you, or does it just feel like a different bike?

The Bandit will be more comfortable for longer rides (more upright) and more suited to a beginner (more upright). Not saying that a sportier stance isn't good for a beginner, just that you'll be more comfortable with the more standard layout of the Bandit.

And, the Bandit would probably last you longer before you got bored of it.
 

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…sigh, here goes driftlands review on the bandit,

Ok lets start with the chassis, first thing is the weight of the bike due to the pressed steel chassis. The bandit weights 450lbs which is about 100 lbs heavier than the cbr, the r6, the zx-6r, the sv650, it actually weights about the same as the hyosung bike I was talking about in another post in which many reviews complained a lot about the weight.

Does that much weight make much difference, well first problem is if your short. People like me who are about 5,9” notice a huge difference when riding a heavier bike such as an older 600 at low speeds. The bandit is a top heavy bike as well and the forks are under damped which well get to, and nogood being a new rider will be taking a lot of low speed turns, in which he’s going to be struggling to keep the bike up and he will probably miss his footing, So its just going to increase the chance of him dropping it.

On the plus its said to be a great bike for long distance rides due to its seating position which is great, and the seat is a plus for passengers, but for a naked bike, it has far less wind resistance than other naked bikes. One major suggestions by most owners it that you buy the lower fairing, which seems to fix that problem.


Engine

When the bike came out in 95, it had the gsxr 600/katana engine in it. Not to say anything bad about the engine, but engines have come a long way since, and it hasn’t gotten much of a revamp aside from the new carbs with throttle position sensors, and fuel filters until 05. That said, it’s a carbureted bike not fuel injection, I myself would rather my bikes fuel injected as im not one to tinker with the engine.
You can look up some threads as to why I say this
http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38031&highlight=carb+fuel+injection

http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34305&highlight=carb+fuel+injection

The engine pulls out 77hp maxed at its 10,500 redline, but torque kicks in a lot earlier. In a bike I prefer a little more access to speed and smooth throttle than the kicking of a “shaky” engine and lots of torque. I say shaky because the engine being an older model vibrates a lot more than other new bikes would put you through, making your fingers num at high speeds. And its really shaky in the cold, takes a few minutes to warm up, then a bit or riding before it smoothes out.

Theres a bunch of other stuff to get into on the engine like the inline 4 vs the vtwin of the sv, actually coolio but up a good post which may clear some of that up for you.
http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/school-SectionSixB.htm

Now its not all bad, its got features like Suzuki’s SACS, Keihin CVR 32mm carburetors with a throttle position sensor (TPS), and for you environmentals a pulse-secondary air injection system (PAIR System). But you know for a new rider there is a lot better out there.


Breaks / tires

Ok on to breaks and tires, first thing is im not gonna say the breaks on the bandit aren’t good strong working breaks. From what I hear the brakes work great, the problem comes in with their lifespan. Bandit breaks get fried like crazy, so if you get the bike make sure you learn how to fix your calipers. The 2000 model got the tokico calipers which is a great improvement but still I read reviews on people complaining about the life span on their breaks.
As for the tires the scrawny stock tires as the last thing id want to ride on, and you will burn through them in no time. Hit the breaks hard and the tires will break loose before they should.

Suspension

Since the bike is heavy and a lot of that weight is at the front, the under damped front forks become noticeable, so if you need to do any heavy breaking your suspension will "bottom out" with a "knocking" feeling that can seriously affect handling. Because of this, your emergency breaking ability wont be to safe. I guess if you practice with it enough, and learn stoppies or something you can overcome it, but why as a new rider put yourself through it?

Also the bike is high, which reiterates the problem I mentioned at the beginning in low speed corners, they did drop the seat high by 10mm which helps a bit, but its still a high bike. Some suspension problems were fixed with the intro of the rear gsxr shock back in 99 though. Still though, It has a non adjustable front suspension with preload adjustment on the rear. So the whole soft suspension, top heavy and shaky engine don’t do together so well.


So Redrommel, that’s why im not to fond of the bike, I could on a little longer I guess but the rest will be just personal preference. Anyways im not going to post in this thread anymore, I get the feeling your trying to start a fight with me or insult me.

:2cents
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Driftland said:
…sigh, here goes driftlands review on the bandit,

Ok lets start with blah blah blah blah blah I get the feeling your trying to start a fight with me or insult me.

:2cents

Your information isn't all accurate or is oversimplified in some instances. Weight is bad if you're too short for the bike, but for someone of average height the Bandit is pretty easy to move around. It's got an older engine, but it's solid as a brick and has easy cheap maintenance. That extra weight means that when you're on the highway (say for long hours hauling across country) the bike gets blown around less.

For a first time rider, forgiving soft suspension is a BENEFIT, unless they're planning on taking track lessons and practicing their corner-carving constantly. The Bandit is an awesome REAL WORLD bike, especially now that it has ABS, though I imagine buddy is looking at used bikes. There are a bunch of other great options out there too, and just about any bike out there will do what you've claimed you want just fine. Hell, back in the 60s people used to go cross-country 2up on 400cc air-cooled pushrod bikes.

Even most 250cc bikes will out accelerate 80% of the sports cars out there and top out ~140-150 km/h. If I were you I'd be more interested in maintenance and reliability of a bike. Make sure you get it inspected by a VERY knowledgable friend or a mechanic before you buy, too.

Many people will come into a thread like this and tell you all about their dream bike, or tell you how awesome their ride is. Forget about all that crap and worry about what'll keep you on the road.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Driftland said:
bahhh, the bandit is a terrible bike, dont even compare it to the sv. And if you can buy a 2003+ SV, lots of needed changes occured in 2003. And i highly doubt you will be bored with the GS in one summer.


^______^
I'd like to ask you if you have ever ridden the bandit for a long enough period of time to get the full meal deal out of it. I've been riding my bandit for the last 6 of so months and it is my first bike. I love the bike. It handles great, has good accel and speed for a beginner like myself. I am 5'9" and I fit the bike fine. Infact, it is the perfect height for me. I don't know about you, but my legs can touch the ground comfortably, maybe you just have short legs.

I don't know where all of your information comes from about the bandit. I own a 04' bandit and I can tell you that the redline iz definately not 10.5 KRPM. It is a solid 12 KRPM. As to the suspension, I have no idea what you are talking about. Underdamped? How fast are you going when you are emergency breaking? If you are noob, I don't think you should be going that fast anyways until you get used to the bike's ins and outs. Handling is great on this bike. Sure, I have nothing to compare it to, but I could keep up with my cousin on his katana 750. I think your arguements are a little off with little or no proof. Sure, the bike is heavier than supersports, but what do you expect? It is designed to have more weight because it is a sport-TOURER.

I think the bike is a great starter bike, but it should be treated like a loaded gun pointed to your own head. If you treat it with respect and learn to ride under your comfort zones and within reasonable speeds, it should treat you just fine. The newer bandits probably won't run in the 4-5 K range you are looking for. THe GS500F would definately fit under that category at 5K even. I just figured that the bandit 600 would last me a little longer. :2cents
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I like and want the bandit more so I'm going to go looking and see what's out there and available. I'm about 5'10 and weigh around 200 lbs so I don't think I'll have any trouble fitting the bike. Any more bandit riders who want to weigh in?
 
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Discussion Starter #16
This thread may be dead but just as an update I went and sat on a gs500f again earlier today and I really like it. I've pretty much decided that the bandit isn't for me so if you know anyone selling a gs500f let me know.
 

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You should go sit on an EX500 Ninja as well. I found the GS500F to feel rather cheap in comparison... The fairing is bigger, but there's a lot of air inside it, and the gaps between it and the frame are large enough that you can really see that you're riding a tiny bike in a big cosmetic shell. That's something that would bug the heck out of me.

As for the underlying hardware, the GS500 is a good solid bike. I rode a naked one for my BC Safety Council course and liked it. For your first bike, the naked one would probably be a better choice... It'll be a lot cheaper to fix up if you drop it.
 

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i started riding on a gs500f, but i'm 5'4" and a little lighter than you, so it was a good bike for me. very forgiving and easy to handle. older technology, but damn reliable.
 

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I'm so glad you're going with the GS500. It's considered the best beginner bike worldwide and by doing so, you're helping the residual value of my own GS500 :cheers
BTW, just so you know, it's the naked one and will be available in about 6 weeks :angel - will have about 8000 km by then and still under "warranty" until sept 30th.

Make sure you rejet it, the GS500 runs very very leans and is prone to stalling/surging especially when cold.

Stephan
 

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The GS is a good little starter. You'll need to adjust the jetting back to the spec from a few years ago, it's been leaned out enough to meet emissions that it takes forever to warm up and runs crappy.
 
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