General Question

futurelaker88's avatar

Is the Difference between a gsxr 600 and gs500 THAT big?

Asked by futurelaker88 (1600points) July 25th, 2010

I’m looking to move up from my ninja 250, and i would prefer to get the gixxer 600, but the price ($9/10,000) is a little steep for me right now. I found a BRAND new 09 GS500 in the suzuki dealership by my house for $,4300! thats more my range. I’d be willing to buy used if i could find a good deal for a 600 but i cant! Is it true that upgrading from a 250cc to 500cc isnt big enough, and i’ll grow out of it real fast? Is it worth it? Should i just save up for a 600? It’s tempting because the 09’s are BRAND new and only 100cc’s less! I want to be smart! Thanks guys!

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10 Answers

frdelrosario's avatar

Sign that contract with the Lakers and buy both.

futurelaker88's avatar

@frdelrosario lol that comes later.

jerv's avatar

How much biking experience do you have? If you are used to a 250 then a 600 may not let you live long enough to grow into it.

That said, there is a HUGE difference between them. The GS 500 is an entry-level road bike with 47 HP whereas the GSX-R600 is a full-on sport bike with over 120HP yet both weigh about the same (~430 pounds). The suspension is likewise a bit different as the GSX-R600 is a bit more track-tuned and thus less forgiving than your current 250 or the GS500.

Look at the difference between a 152 HP FWD base Mitsubishi Lancer and the turbocharged 291 HP AWD Lancer Evolution (“Evo”) and that’s about the difference between those two bikes.

It should go without saying that the racier one requires a little more skill to avoid getting yourself killed, but some people can’t figure that out eve after being told; they just want the bigger bike and “know” they can handle it. I had a friend that felt that way and he got a 900 for his first bike. I say “had” for a reason…

futurelaker88's avatar

@jerv thanks a lot! I appreciate the help and concern. I’m a really smart driver, and I care about my life WaY too much to risk it trying to weave or do a wheelie. my biggest concern is spending this money and feeling like it wasn’t big enough of a jump. will the 500 feel the same as the 250? or almost the same? I’d like to feel like my purchase was worth it because I’m getting rid of a perfectly good 250 and spending almost every cent i own. I just don’t want to grow out of this one by next summer you know. if I went with the 600 it would NOT be to race or pull stunts. do you think it’s worth spending the $4300 on a 500 or save for a 600? thanks ago for your help!

jerv's avatar

I had to do some digging to find HP specs on the Ninja 250 and I had to laugh! The numbers I saw ranged from 28–36HP, so I am pretty sure that the GS500 will provide enough of a boost to keep you happy for a while without the steep learning curve of the GSX-R600

This review might tell you a bit about the GS500. It seems to be a forgiving bike, and a little quicker.

If you wait on the 600 then you will be getting a bike with more power than most of the cars I’ve owned and less than one-fifth the weight. It can be done, but I would try a test ride first just to see how bad it is. You might pick it up quickly, but every time I’ve driven something with more than double the power I’m used to, it ends badly.

futurelaker88's avatar

@jerv thank a lot man. I really appreciate your time and interest! kne more question. I just searched for the top speed of the gs500 and seem to be getting around 115mph. my ninja can hit 100mph and that’s a 250! so doubling the cc’s only gets me 15 more mph!? that seems like the power would barely be noticeable. the reason I’m asking is because top speed isn’t really the concern, but it helps me understand the performance at lower speeds. my 250 feels like it’s pushing hard to keep up at highway speeds (70mph). I want to be able to cruise at those speeds easily and smoothly! effortlessly. is the 500 going to disappoint?

jerv's avatar

Look at the ¼-mile and 0–60 times and I think you’ll see what doubling the displacement will do for you.

The relationship between torque, power, and performance is a bit complicated, especially once you throw gearing into the mix, but I’ll try to simplify it.

First off, HP = ( FootPoundsTorque * RPM ) / 5252
Second, thanks to aerodynamic drag, all else being equal, the relationship between HP and top speed is exponential; doubling HP will not double your top speed.

A smaller engine gets most of it’s power from RPM while a larger one gets more from torque (foot-pounds). It’s brute force (foot-pounds) that makes you accelerate, but that is also affected by gearing. That is why some Honda Civics rev higher and have shorter final drive ratios than most cars; they make a lot of HP but little torque, and they make it up in gearing.

Higher HP will allow you to gear down and supply more acceleration at the same speed or maintain the same acceleration and go faster. Given the respective top speeds of those two bikes and peeking at the numbers I think you will notice a difference in “punch”. If the gearing were the same then the top speeds would have a wider gap but since they don’t then the only logical conclusion is that the 500 is geared lower for better acceleration. More torque from the engine plus lower gears equals better acceleration and easier cruising.

The 500 will also have an easier time cruising at 70 MPH since the engine won’t be working as close to it’s limits as your 250, especially not if the gears are matched to the power curve of the engine which they seem to be. Odds are that your tach readings will be lower at a given speed with the 500 than with the 250, and you’ll have more twist left in your throttle grip.

I would still recommend a test ride if possible, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and you definitely won’t be shocked like you would be with the 600R. It’s not so much the extra 100cc in that case, but more that the 600R is a different breed of bike. There is a reason that it costs twice as much as the 500; the same reason an Evo costs twice as much as a regular Lancer.

I’m not saying don’t do it, but I strongly recommend that you learn to walk before you run and take things one step at a time. Besides, if you treat that 500 right then you will have a decent trade-in when you are totally ready for a 600R in a couple of years.

xgwxjethro's avatar

the gsxr 600 is way to powerful for you. No offense but going from a 250 ninja to a gsxr 600 is a bit crazy. i have the a gs500e. My personal opinion about it is, its a great starter bike, ive seen on multiple occasions a gs500 whoop that ass against a gsxr 600 (depends on rider and how far he/she will go). i would go with a gs500 for your starter bike. save up to a gsrx 600. ive ridden on one before they are really nice bikes but im still sticking with my gs500e… oh and what model is the gs500. (gs500,gs500e,gs500f, etc…?)

kinghrts's avatar

dont be afraid of the gsxr 600. its a good strarter bike, i own 2 of them and ready to trade them in for a 1000cc bike. these guys are right though that beast will get up to 184/mph fast… and will go faster if you get a power comander. as for that last post there is no way in hell that a suzuki 500 will come close to a 600 even if the rider is inexperienced, it wasnt made for speed like the 600 is.

djexplicit's avatar

I own a 2009 gs500f and a 1999 gsxr600. I started on the 500 and love it for daily commuting and joy rides. It is powerful enough to keep up in traffic without straining the bike. I have had several 250’s think they can keep up, didn’t happen. I have also tried to keep up with other 600’s and could not. The power from the 500 to the 600 is sick. I think you will be happy with the 500. you can keep the throttle wide open on the 500 in any gear, but will have to be careful if the first 2 gears on the 600. The 600 is a completely different ride and fit, from the position of the seat, handlebars, foot pegs etc.

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