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Discussion Starter #1
This question may have been posted already but I haven't been able to find any real reference to it so I'll ask here. In your opinion, is the difference between the first gen bikes and the second gen bikes worth the difference in price? I have found several for sale in my area that are first gen for $1200 and less, some times much less. The second gen bikes seem to be a bit higher in price. Does the disk brake rear and shorter transmission casing make enough difference to make them worth the price difference? I want a bike that I can ride back and forth to work, toss into some twisties on the weekends that won't cost a lot for the initial outlay. I also decided that I wanted a twin because I got sick of working on a set of four carbs. Two cylinders, half the maintenance, that was how I came to the 500. Any input from people who have ridden both would be appreciated.

Thanks

Jeremiah
 

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the engine / transmission hasn't changed in 20 years. the only difference between the two bikes (really) is the wheel size, swingarm, the rear brake, dash, and the front brake position.
 

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Look at the bikes (1st gen and 2nd gen), side by side if possible. What you see is what you get, and if you like the styling of one over the other it's the most likely variable to sway you. The biggest argument from most outside of that is going to be tires - you get a few more options with the wider, 17" rims, but it's still fairly easy to find rubber for the 16" rims.

It'll also be easier to find a 2nd gen in one piece with low miles, but there are plenty of great 1st gens out there. My '90 was banged up a bit when I bought it, complete with holes in the fairing, but mechanically I've got no complaints.
 

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I got an 03 with less than 1700 miles for $2500. I consider that a decent deal since it was in great condition. Look for someone who just bought a new supersport and needs to sell the 500 to help cover the cost of the new bike. The guy I bought it from just bought a brand new R6....haha.
 

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The 2nd gen is a better bike. You get a few more aftermarket options too. But personally I like the 1st gens, I think they have more character.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What do you mean by "More Character"? My big thought was that I would prefer a rear disk as I hate changing shoes on drums. Also I don't like the gauge cluster on the first gen bikes and I would like to eventually put this on a track so the 16" wheels would be a big asset as far as tire selection goes. I think I'm going to keep looking for a second gen bike.
 

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tr3kilroy said:
What do you mean by "More Character"? My big thought was that I would prefer a rear disk as I hate changing shoes on drums. Also I don't like the gauge cluster on the first gen bikes and I would like to eventually put this on a track so the 16" wheels would be a big asset as far as tire selection goes. I think I'm going to keep looking for a second gen bike.
LOL, IDK how to explain the character thing. It's just a feeling i get from it.

But for those reasons you listed, you are right to wait for a 2nd gen. (pretty much the only differences too :p )
 

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My 1st bike was a 1997 Ninja 500R for $4700

I now owe a 1990 EX500 $2000

there's not much difference between the 2 and to me, it made way more sense to have the equivalent bike on the 2nd time for 40% of the 1st bike. But I never race so the tire issue isn't one for me.
 
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