Solid no glamour transportation
Problems early on in ownership: Broken cam belt, faulty ignition coil, badly tuned Mikuni conversion.
The former early in my ownership experience. I did a thousand mile weekend trip and experienced poor fuel economy - less than 30 mpg's. re jetted Mikuni that came with the bike with good results in starting and fuel economy.
The bike was always easy to start - even on winter nights in Chicago 10 degree F.!!
I use the MT 500 to cope with the terrible Chicago streets. I like the look and no nonsense attitude of the bike and the great luggage rack/cargo carrying ability.
The handling in tight traffic - with a good view of the road ahead is also a useful attribute.
Not really a fast motorcycle, but quick enough for an urban application. Runs out of steam on the highway, but can easily cruise 65 mph all day with out compliant.
Seat becomes uncomfortable after a bit - I might switch to an old style solo saddle with springs and expand the luggage rack.
With NO dealer - but parts from the UK available and Rotax USA for engine bits - YOU must become your own service person - get the manual on CD - once you are oriented it is a great bike.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st August, 2009