Suzuki GS500

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Suzuki GS500 [1]
1997 Suzuki GS500E
Manufacturer Suzuki Motor Corporation
Also called GS500E
Production 1989–2012 (GS500 / GS500E)[2]
2004–2013 (GS500F)[3]
Assembly Japan 1988-2003, Spain 2004-2013[4][5]
Predecessor Suzuki GS450
Class Naked bike (GS500 / GS500E)
Lightweight Sport bike (GS500F)
Engine 487 cm3 (29.7 cu in), 4-stroke, air‑cooled parallel twin, DOHC,
2 valves per cylinder
Bore / stroke 74.0 mm × 56.6 mm (2.91 in × 2.23 in)
Compression ratio 9.0 : 1
Top speed 115 mph (185 km/h)[6]
Power 51.3 hp (38.3 kW) @ 9500 rpm[6]
Torque 30.4 lb·ft (41.2 N·m) @ 7500 rpm[6]
Transmission 6-speed
Frame type Duplex cradle[7]
Suspension F: Telescopic, spring preload adjustable
R: Link type, spring preload adjustable
Brakes F: Disc, twin-piston caliper
R: Disc, single-piston caliper
Tires F: 110/70-17, R: 130/70-17[8]
Rake, trail 25° 30′, 95 mm (3.7 in)[9]
Wheelbase 1,405 mm (55.3 in)
Dimensions L: 2,080 mm (82 in)
W: 800 mm (31 in)
H: 1,060 mm (42 in) (GS500),
1,150 mm (45 in) (GS500F)
Seat height 790 mm (31 in)
Weight 169 kg (373 lb) (GS500E)[9]
174 kg (384 lb) (GS500)[10]
180 kg (400 lb) (GS500F)[11] (dry)
193 kg (425 lb) (GS500)[2]
199 kg (439 lb) (GS500F)[3] (wet)
Fuel capacity 17.0 l (3.7 imp gal; 4.5 US gal)
20.0 l (4.4 imp gal; 5.3 US gal) (2001—)
Fuel consumption 56.3 mpg-US (4.18 L/100 km; 67.6 mpg-imp)[12]

The Suzuki GS500 is a popular entry level motorcycle manufactured by the Suzuki Motor Corporation. Suzuki produced the GS500 and GS500E from 1989 onwards and the fairing model, GS500F from 2004 onwards.[13]

GS500 / GS500E[edit]

The unfaired version of the GS500 was first sold in the UK in 1988 (model code GS500EJ)[14] and the following year's model (code GS500EK) was released for sale in Europe and North America. It was equipped with an air-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine derived from the earlier GS450. In the motorcycle market, the GS500 occupied the low end of Suzuki's mid-sized range for over twenty years.[15]

Suzuki also produced GS500 models, identified by a 'U' suffix, with engines restricted to satisfy the maximum power-to-weight ratio for use in countries where restrictive motorcycle licenses were issued (the GS500 meets current EU and UK licence level A2 conditions without restricting the engine)[16] or for countries with a Learner Approved Motorcycle program (such as Australia and New Zealand)[17] enhancing its worldwide popularity.[18]

In 2002, Suzuki stopped producing the GS500E for the US market and did not release a GS500 for 2003. In 2007, Suzuki dropped the GS500E from its UK range, but it continued to be sold in many other countries. In 2008, the GS500 and GS500F models appeared in the official UK Suzuki Dealers "on road" motorbike list.


2004 GS500F

In 2004, after a year hiatus, Suzuki came out with the GS500F to fill the void left (in the US market) by the GS500. In other countries the two models were sold side-by-side.[19] This bike was very similar to the previous E model, but came with a fully enclosed fairing. The fairing offered a sportier, aggressive look and improved rider comfort by providing wind protection and better aerodynamics. An engine oil cooler was also added to improve reliability.[20] As with the previous E model, the F was able to be restricted for use in countries where restrictive motorcycle licenses are issued. The GS500F was dropped from the UK Suzuki range in 2007 and from the US range after 2009 model year, but was still available in Australia and Denmark.

Model history[edit]

Text in this section is translated from the Danish-language version of this page.

Inline-four engine GS500E model

Confusingly enough, Suzuki produced two completely different models of Suzuki GS500E. The first Suzuki GS500E was part of the original GS series from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The second is the more recent version of the Suzuki GS500E.[21]

Production continued until 2009 which was the last year of Suzuki GS500E. The year 2004 saw the debut of new edition of the GS500E Twin, a faithful copy of the original model, called the GS500F and equipped with a full fairing.

Model timeline[edit]

  • 1989 GS500E introduced to North America[22] and Europe.[23]
  • 1990 Clip-on handlebars replaced with standard bars.
  • 1994 Gunmetal colored rims and slightly different frame color for this model year.
  • 1996 Front brakes changed from small and large brake pistons to two equal sized brake pistons.
  • 2001 Tank, rear plastics, seat, and tail light redesigned. Carburetor changed from a two-circuit design (pilot jet and main jet) to a three-circuit design (pilot jet, mid-main jet, main jet) to help with better carburetion throughout the rev range. Loss of "E" designation.
  • 2003 No GS500 model sold in the US.[12] Manufacturing resettled from Japan to Spain which also meant some changes in order to reduce costs and some improvements on the front suspension as well.
  • 2004 GS500F introduced. A full fairing and oil cooler added.
  • 2009 No GS500 model sold in the EU.

GS500 / GS500E Specifications[edit]

Year 2002 Suzuki GS500E made in Brazil
Year 1989 Suzuki GS500E with factory fairing and chin spoiler

GS 500 E 1979-1981

The origins of the air-cooled GS500E four go back to the debut of modern Suzuki four-stroke engines. The 1977 GS750 was the first four-stroke engine from Suzuki in over 20 years. Using the same inline-four engine layout, the GS550 was launched within months.[24] The 1979 GS500E engine[25][26] was essentially a sleeved-down version of 550 engine[27][24] with smaller carburetors, while retaining the same basic layout and qualities, such as reliability, that made the original GS engines so appealing.

  • Overall Length: 2,200 mm (86.6 in)
  • Overall Width: 850 mm (33.5 in)
  • Overall Height: 1,155 mm (45.5 in)
  • Wheelbase: 1,435 mm (56.5 in)
  • Dry Weight: 200 kg (440 lbs)
  • Engine type: Air-cooled 486 cc inline-4, DOHC, 8 valves. 46 hp.

GS 500 E 1989-2009

The model name GS500E suddenly reappeared in the Suzuki program in 1989. Again, the four-stoke DOHC formula was used but this time there were only two cylinders, with a 180 degree crank. A counterbalancer was used in the engine to get rid of vibrations but despite the double overhead camshafts the engine had only two valves per cylinder and modest power output.

However, the GS500E twin had a very rigid frame, full floater swingarm, slingshot carburetors, large disc brake at the front and lightweight, hollow 3-spoke wheels. The combination made the chassis better than usually found in ”commuter” bikes.

The GS500E was a popular model for many years.[28] No major upgrades were ever made and the bike remained popular, after more than two decades of production.[29]

The given specifications vary somewhat between the countries to meet emission/noise/insurance regulations, etc.


  • Type: Four-stroke, air-cooled Parallel Twin Cylinder, DOHC, two valves per cylinder
  • Bore: 74.0 mm (2.913 in)
  • Stroke: 56.6 mm (2.228 in)
  • Displacement: 487 cc (29,7 cu. in)
  • Compression ratio: 9.0:1
  • Carburetor: Mikuni BST33 Twin For France Mikuni BSR34 Twin
  • Air Cleaner: Non-woven fabric element
  • Starter System: Electric
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump
  • Ignition: CDI, maintenance-free battery
  • Engine redline: 11,000 rpm
  • Max recommended rpm: 10,000 rpm
  • Primary drive ratio: 0.368 (Engine 28T / Clutch 76T)
  • Horsepower: 1989–1996 52 hp (38 kW) at 9200 rpm. 2001 47,7 hp (35,1 kW) at 9200 rpm. 1997–2009 47 hp (34.3 kW) at 9200 rpm.
  • Torque: 1989–1996 30.4 ft·lbf (41.2 N·m) at 7500 rpm. 2001 40,2 Nm at 7.500 rpm. 1997–2009 29.5 ft·lbf (40.0 N·m) at 7400 rpm.
  • Fuel Economy: 50–60 mpg at 49-56 mph (3.9 to 4.7 litres per 100 km at 80–90 km/h (21.277 - 25.641 KM/L))
  • Top speed: 102-108 mph (165–175 km/h)
  • Acceleration 0-62 mph (0–100 km/h): 5–6 seconds


  • Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
  • Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
  • Gearshift Pattern: 1-down, 5-up
  • Primary Reduction Ratio: (2.714 (76/28))
  • Gear Ratios: Low - 16.29:1 (2.461 (32/13))
2nd - 11.76:1 (1.777 (32/18))
3rd - 9.14:1 (1.380 (29/21))
4th - 7.44:1 (1.125 (27/24))
5th - 6.36:1 (0.961 (25/26))
Top - 5.64:1 (0.851 (23/27))
  • Final Reduction Ration: (2.437 (39/16))
  • Drive Chain: D.I.D. 520VM, 110 links
  • Front Sprocket: 16 tooth
  • Rear Sprocket: 39 tooth


  • Front: Single disc 310 mm, hydraulic dual-piston Caliper
  • Rear: Single disc 250 mm, hydraulic single-Piston Caliper

Wheels and Tires

  • Front: 110/70-17 54H, tubeless tire - Pressure Solo & Two Riding 225 kPa 2.25 kg/cmª 33 psi
  • Rear: 130/70-17 62H, tubeless tire - Pressure Solo Riding 250 kPa 2.50 kg/cmª 36 psi Pressure Two Riding 280 kPa 2.80 kg/cmª 41 psi


  • Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
  • Rear: Link-type, 7-way adjustable spring preload

Dimensions & Geometry

  • Length: 2,075 mm (81.7 in) For Netherlands 2,105 mm (82.9 in) For Switzerland, Germany and Austria 2,180 mm (86 in)
  • Width: 745 mm (29.3 in)
  • Height: 1,045 mm (41.1 in)
  • Seat height: 790 mm (31 in)
  • Wheel base: 1,410 mm (56 in)
  • Ground clearance: 155 mm (6.1 in)
  • Caster (Rake): 1989-2000 25° 30' 2001-2009 25°
  • Trail: 1989-2000 95 mm (3.7 in) 2001-2009 97 mm (3.8 in)
  • Weight: 169 kg (373 lb) (dry, manufacturer claimed)


  • Fuel Tank, Including Reserve: 17.0 L (3.740 imp gal; 4.491 US gal)
Reserve: 3.5 L (0.770 imp gal; 0.925 US gal)
  • Engine Oil, with filter change: 2900 ml (0.638 imp gal; 0.766 US gal)
without filter: 2600 ml (0.572 imp gal; 0.687 US gal)

GS500F Specification differences[edit]

2007 GS500F with non-factory touring accessories.
  • Weight: 180 kg (400 lb) (dry, manufacturer claimed)
  • Height 1,150 mm (45 in)
  • MPG: 58 MPG[citation needed]

Comparative reviews[edit]

In March 1992, Motorcyclist magazine, in an article titled "Budget Bullets," compared the Kawasaki EX500, the Yamaha Seca II, the Honda Nighthawk CB750, and the Suzuki GS500. The Seca II came in first, with the CB750, and the GS500 following in that order.

In a February 1992 article titled "Bargain Blasters," Cycle World compared the GS500E to the Kawasaki EX500, the Seca II and the Suzuki Bandit GSF400. The GS500E finished last because it was relatively underpowered, but the testers praised its handling.[30] In April 1994, in a follow-up article titled "Bargain Hunters," Cycle World compared the Kawasaki Ninja 500R (the EX500 renamed), the Yamaha FZR600 and Seca II, in addition to the Suzuki Katana 600 and GS500E, choosing the Ninja as the best deal overall.

The GS500E fared better as part of a 2002 Cycle World comparison of ten mid-sized streebikes, which included the Royal Enfield Bullet Silver Classic 500 ES, Buell Blast, Suzuki LS650 Savage, Kawasaki KLR650 and MZ Skorpion Tour single-cylinder bikes, as well as the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD, Honda VLX, Yamaha V-Star Custom and Kawasaki Ninja 500R twins. The GS500E narrowly beat the Ninja 500R for top honors "on the grounds of its $700 lower price tag."[12]


  1. ^ "Suzuki GS500". Retrieved 2014-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b Garlitos, Kirby (2 August 2013). "2012 Suzuki GS500". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Sulthoni (9 December 2012). "2013 Suzuki GS500F". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Ebert, Guido (20 November 2012). "Suzuki: Business as Usual for Powersports Ops". Motorcycle USA. Retrieved 17 January 2015. Three days after the ASMC announcement in the U.S., on Nov. 8, SMC confirmed it also intended to cease motorcycle production activities at Suzuki Motor España, S.A. in Gijon, Spain, by the end of the first quarter of 2013. 
  5. ^ Tibu, Florin (28 March 2013). "Suzuki Closes Down Gijon Plant in Spain". SoftNews NET. Retrieved 17 January 2015. Suzuki used to build the […] GS500 and GS500F machines in Gijon and they were selling in European markets and other countries, as well. 
  6. ^ a b c Maxx Biker (16 December 2009). "2010 Suzuki GS500F". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Gs500 | 2006". Suzuki Australia Pty Limited. Retrieved 13 January 2015. Model code: GS500K6 
  8. ^ Kodack, Anthony (28 November 2006). "2007 Suzuki GS500F". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Motorcycle Service Department (March 1999). Suzuki GS500E Service Manual (PDF) (in English) (10th ed.). Japan: Suzuki Motor Corporation. Part No. 99500-34069-01E 
  10. ^ "Specifications | Gs500 | 2006". Suzuki Australia Pty Limited. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Specifications | Gs500f | 2006". Suzuki Australia Pty Limited. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Catterson, Brian (December 2002). "Cheap Thrills". Cycle World. …everyone found the GS500 comfortable, its superbike-bend tubular handlebar, moderately rearset footpegs and plush saddle welcoming riders short and tall. 
  13. ^ Ash, Kevin (11 October 2003). "Back in the real world". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved 12 January 2015. Suzuki has added a touch of sportiness to its revised GS500 budget twin with a fairing inspired by its GSX-R sports bikes, although little beneath has changed. 
  14. ^ "1989-2006 Suzuki GS500 Service Manual". Repair Manuals Online. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Ash, Kevin (24 November 2007). "Suzuki GSX650F is the complete package". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group Limited). Retrieved 16 January 2015. …Suzuki makes good bikes at very good prices. This is especially the case in the budget middleweight sector, where Suzuki offers a very wide range, from the basic GS500 twin (a snip at £3,349) and the SV650 V-twin (£4,599), to the Bandit 650 (£4,449). 
  16. ^ "The 5 fastest A2 motorcycles - Suzuki GS500F". Visordown. Immediate Media Company Ltd. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2015. Its power, at 47bhp, is perfect for the class, and the 180kg weight means its power-to-weight ratio is close to the 0.2kW-per-kg limit. 
  17. ^ "Suzuki’s ‘09 GS500S And GS500 LAMS Stars Released". Suzuki Australia Pty Limited. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2015. …both models are eligible for the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS), governing motorcycle usage by learner riders in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, A.C.T., Tasmania and the Northern Territory. 
  18. ^ Smith, Rob (3 January 2008). "Buy Used: Suzuki GS500". Limited. Retrieved 13 January 2015. …with the impending Learner Approved Motorcycle scheme to be rolled out later this year or next, the GS may set a few learner pulses racing. 
  19. ^ "Suzuki GS500F". Limited. 15 October 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2015. We first saw the air-cooled vertical twin in Oz in 1989, designated the GS500E. […] In mid-2000 it was superseded by the GS500. Move up to 2004 and Suzuki announces the side-by-side import of the naked GS500 […] and the fully-faired GS500F. 
  20. ^ "Gs500f | 2006". Suzuki Australia Pty Limited. Retrieved 13 January 2015. Model code: GS500FK6 
  21. ^ Haapamäki, Jarmo. "Suzuki GS500E model history". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Mayersohn, Norman S. (June 1989). "BMW Powers Up, Honda Covers Up". Popular Mechanics (Hearst Corporation) 166 (No. 6): 58–60. Retrieved 16 January 2015. Everyone should sit up and take notice of the Suzuki GS500E. It might just signal the return of the universal appeal motorcycle. 
  23. ^ Tomanek, Łukasz (27 January 2012). "Suzuki GS500 czy Yamaha XJ600 - dylemat młodego motocyklisty". Ś (in Polish). Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Suzuki GS 550E". Retrieved 12 January 2015. Suzuki first introduced the GS550B in the spring of 1977, about six months after the debut of the GS750, their first four-stroke motorcycle. 
  25. ^ "1979 Suzuki GS 500 E specifications and pictures". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Suzuki GS 500E". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "1979 Suzuki GS 550 E specifications and pictures". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "Motorcycle Buyers Guide - Suzuki GS500E, GS550F". Total Motorcycle. Retrieved 13 January 2015. Suzuki introduced the GS500E mostly as a budget, entry level motorcycle. The way it was received was better than Suzuki could have hoped. 
  29. ^ Chapman, Rod (27 May 2010). "Suzuki GS500F". Limited. Retrieved 13 January 2015. …some 22 years ago the very first GS500 rolled out of the Suzuki factory, marking the beginning of one of the most long-lived motorcycles of the modern era. 
  30. ^ "Bargain Blasters". Cycle World (Machette Magazines) 31 (No. 2): 32–41. February 1992. Retrieved 16 January 2015. What the GS lacks in outright performance, it makes up for in civility. 

External links[edit]