Literally just got home from getting the new bike. BRR!!! Current temperature is 34*F with a 20mph crosswind. Layered up: long-underwear, flannel lined jeans, sock liners, socks, boots, long-sleeve t-shirt, Columbia base-layer, FirstGear riding jacket (textile, basically GORETEX material), latex gloves, glove liners, neoprene gloves, balaclava, helmet, and a shemagh for a scarf.
I've been out in this weather before, but not for 1.5 hours mostly on the express way! I've been in 33*F weather on surface streets for about 40min. But I gotta say, the GS500 being more sportbike like with a banana seat allowed me to scoot right up to the tank and keep the wind out of my... fly. That's the word I'm going to use.
Stopped once to pee and warm up for 10 minutes at a Taco Bell about 1/4 of the way home, then just buckled down, grabbed a handful, and dealt with it the rest of the way.
I gotta say, that GS500 is a completely overlooked and underrated bike. I've never really even heard of one until recently, and from reading reviews it was love/hate. Some people just had nothing good to say about it and the people who loved them said they are great commuters and everyman's bikes.
My $.02? Wonderful!
It's barely a 500cc engine, and gets like 50bhp, so it's not going to beat a Corvette in a straight line drag race. But, I was passing people just fine, 0-60 was definitely measurable in seconds that my Jeep would be VERY hard pressed to double, the entire trip of 75 miles or so looks like it used less than a gallon and a half of gas (4.5 gallon fuel tank, was maybe a heavy 3/4 when I left and now it's about 1/2), the riding position was VERY comfortable and a lot more natural feeling than my '82 650 (which was made for a completely upright position but I put "superbike" bars on it, now I'm thinking I might get some bars with more rise to them), it's super thin and I felt more like I was a part of the bike than on my 650, and either due to ergonomics, body position, weight, bike geometry, from being so thin, or all of the above the bike is simply agile! Agile like a fox! On my 650 you push the bike right and it goes right, you push it left it goes left, it's very benign. But the GS500, you think about changing lanes and you already have! The trip from the freeway to my house on surface streets was spent weaving around potholes, manhole covers, cracks, bumps, sensors, and all kinds of other pseudo-obsticals! Love it! While I was at it I let go of the controls and sat up straight, not a slight wobble or movement to either side, smooth and straight.
If you asked me right now to pick a bike and sell the other, I'll take the '96 GS500 I just bought...
Don't think I did bad for $1700. Has 23xxx miles, the factory petcock has been removed and replaced with an inline fuel valve, and it needs a wipe down, a bolt for the headlight cradle, and a new paintjob.
It came with a list of recent maintenance:
Wheel bearings front/rear
Brake pads front/rear
Battery + catch tank
OEM engine seals/gaskets
OEM piston rings
OEM intake/exhaust valves
Michelin Activ tires front/rear
"Superbike" handlebars + bar ends
NGK iridium spark plugs
K&N air filter
The whole bike has basically been rebuilt. I'll go to ACE whenever and get a bolt for the headlight, $100 +/- for the paintjob, and $50 for a new petcock so I can use the reserve function, done! Less than $2k for a beautiful bike!
I promised pics. Kinda crappy from phone/flash/night/etc but you get the idea.
Won't be that nasty red for long, going to get sanded, primed, and painted either this or next weekend. I've picked out the kolor:
That's House of Kolor Kandy Tangerine over Galaxy Grey metallic. I was pouring over the kolor swatches and came up with only three I could go with. A lot were nice, but Cobalt Blue, Pagan Gold, and Tangerine stood out. Went with the Tangerine because everyone does blue and it's really close to a factory offered color, and the Pagan Gold is a bit too 70s for this bike. If I was doing an old AMC Rambler in it that'd be great, but not a '96 GS500...
Galaxy Grey is what my '82 GS650 is painted. I love HoK paints, expensive but worth every penny! Pictures don't come close to doing them any justice...
Anyway, just wanted to share.
Oh, and not 20 minutes into the ride I almost get rear ended and merged into at the same time. Approaching an intersection with a 2 left-turn lanes, and I'm going left. So I signal, mirror check, head check, see car coming but I have time, downshift, brake a little, mirror check again, guy's right on my ass! WOA! Throttle bump and get into the turning lane. I hear them hard brake, I head check, now they're trying to speed back up, almost merge left into someone who took that lane, then get back behind me! I gesture to them impolitely and proceed forward. Look up, woman to my right wants to turn left into me! Oh crap! Brakes, left side of the lane, horn, "what the hell" gesture, I hear more horns behind me, I have just enough room so I bump the throttle to clear the mess and come to a stop behind my sister.
Whew! What a night!
Edited by Watcher, 20 April 2013 - 11:29 PM.