2003 Suzuki GS500E
This is the best beginner, or learner, bike in my opinion
It wouldn't start after sitting for a week. No lights, no noises... nothing. I thought it was a connection issue, but it turned out that the battery had gone completely dead. I pulled the battery to check it out, and the fluid level was down on every cell. I got some distilled water and added fluid to about 1/4" above the plates, and put it on the charger. It took a couple of days to completely charge, and I was worried that there was a problem with the charging system. After I re-installed the battery, I started the bike and checked the charging system... all seems good, and the battery has held up.
It had been 26 years since I had ridden a bike, so I signed up for a BRC course. During the course, they let you ride different types of bikes... all 250cc. I stayed with the dual sport type bikes. They are light and nimble with good sight lines. Anyway, when I jumped on my GS500 after taking the course, it seemed very heavy. It also didn't seem to maneuver very well in tight spaces.
After riding the bike for a couple of hours, I was used to the weight, and when moving the bike was more stable and seemed to track better.
I really enjoyed the increase in power compared to the bikes from the course. It zips out ahead of traffic in town, and can stay out of its own way on the highway as well.
The riding position is more sporty than I thought when I bought the bike. It's nowhere near a GSX-R type riding position, but compared to the dual sports, your feet are closer to your butt and you are leaned slightly forward.
The bike seems to love corners, and now that I am more used to the bike I find it quite comfortable. I'm 5'11" and weigh in at 275lbs, and the bike still moves along pretty good.
I can see myself riding this bike for quite a while to get more skill and experience... I am used to the acceleration now, but I still have learning to do with the cornering.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th May, 2010
I'm up over 31,000 kms now and have had to do some maintenance on the bike... an oil change and replace a turn signal lens... oops, dropped it... This bike is very easy to work on, especially for someone who has never worked on a bike before.
I have now worn out the rear tire, so I will be replacing the tire before next season... and probably selling the bike to the new lucky owner.
It has been a great bike and learning tool, but at 40 I don't want a sporty bike anymore... moving to a cruiser, probably another Suzuki because of the satisfaction that I have had with them... looking at a 2009 Suzuki Boulevard M50 SE...