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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, first post here. I have recently found myself interested in the EX500 for the apparent low cost of ownership and the good reviews I read about it. I have a couple of questions for the people in the know (that's you!).

I am 6'2", 180 lbs with a 34" inseam. Would I fit comfortably on this bike for any considerable distance? If not comfortable stock for tall people, what aftermarket products can help?

Does this bike have enough alternator output for electrical accessories? I will at least want to run heated grips and possibly heated vest and aux. lights.

How is the long term reliability? Any horror stories of major mechanical failure?

Anyone have their EX500 set up with luggage for touring (let's see some pics!)? Any stories of cross country trips on one of these bikes?

Thanks for any responses!
 
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For your size, it'll be fine. Some people here will suggest you upgrade the springs, which isn't too big a cost. I'm 5'11, 155 pounds and I routinely took 4-6 hour trips with limited breaks this past season. For comfort, replaec stock springs, consider a Corbin seat (I don't have one though...)

Electrical output? I plan to install heated grips and driving lights this winter, and understand the bike puts out more than enough for that. Not sure about the vest though, but I would assume so. You can save power on this bike by replacing lights with LED's, which gives you extra power to shift to accessories.

Reliability? The bike is pretty much unchanged since 1987, so this is a bulletproof bike which has been tried and proven. I put 20k on my bike this summer, and all I needed to do was change oil, clean air filter, adjust/lube chain and replace the speedo cable.

Luggage? I don't have any info on hard luggage, although I've seen people with it.



That's how me and my fiance went away for a weekend snorkelling trip three hours north. For a solo tour, you can easily attach saddlebags, tail bag, tank bag and more.

Mileage on this bike is also terrific, so it makes going for long, uneeded rides extra fun!

Hope some of that helped :)
 

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I'll second the fact that it fits bigger guys. I'm 6'3", 265lbs, 33" inseam, and before I screwed up my back I had no problems whatsoever. Now I get a little stiff and sore after long rides, but it's the same anytime I ride just about anything. I did the spring-spacer upgrade and it made things a lot stiffer and hard braking is a little more confidence inspiring. I also swapped the sprockets and went -1 up front and stayed at 24 out back and it's got a little extra punch. I've not been disappointed.

I've also got a handlebar conversion on it's way here so that I can upgrade to bars and get my back straightened up a bit, so we'll see how that helps. If you don't mind leaning forward a bit (but nothing like a full blooded sport bike) you'll never have a problem.
 

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I'm about 6'1", with a 34" inseam too, and I found the EX to be very comfortable. Remember the type of bike you're buying, it's not a cruiser, but with that taken account, I don't think the comfort could be any better. The seat is like a couch compared to many other sport bike seats, and while the riding position is somewhat forward, I found I was able to alternate between an almost upright standard stance and a more aggressive crouch on long rides to prevent any muscle groups from getting cramped or uncomfortable.

I've done 500 mile days with only short breaks on the bike, and would do them again.

I can't help on the question of alternator output - others may have had more experience there.

Reliability-wise, I bought mine new, and put ~9k on it as fast as I could. Not a problem to speak of, other than that my dealership caused a coolant leak by not installing a gasket properly, and my speedo cable fell out of the gauge cluster at 8k (right on schedule, I think!), which just requires some Loctite and screwing back in.

If you abuse it, it won't live long. If you perform regular maintenance and take care of it like you should, it should last you a long, long time. And in the event that you DO have a problem, parts are all over the place, given the bike's ~2 decade run :)

Quite a few luggage options - I was always interested in Cortech's Tourmaster Saddlebag/Tailbag trio (look on EBay), but got my new CBR before I ever picked it up. I can barely strap a wallet on my new bike with a rubberband, the EX is much more luggage friendly. Metal tank is great for tankbags, too.

All in all, I think of the EX as a small-scale sport tourer, with a little more sport than tourer thanks to its light weight. Just powerful enough to put a grin on your fast, not so powerful that you can't 'vroom-vroom' the heck out of it just for fun. Comfortable, reliable, and versatile, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replys!

A couple of other questions: Just about every bike I have owned with a windshield had buffeting issues. How about this bike?

Does the EX500 come stock with a centerstand?
 

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It comes with a center stand. On the windshield, I've never noticed any unusual buffeting, but keep in mind that the windshield's effectiveness doesn't really come into play unless you're in full tuck.
 

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Well, I can at least tell you that it makes a big difference when you take the fairing off altogether :p. That was one thing I didn't consider when I took mine off, but I realized the difference immediately. I can't attest to the stock screen, though, since I'm riding a 1st gen w/ a Lockhart Phillips screen that's got about 2 inches missing off of it.

And yes, all come with a center stand, but if you want to go with an aftermarket 2 into 1 exhaust, not all will work with the center stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Feedback From a Current Ninja Owner

Well I picked up my 2002 500r last night and I got to say that so far I am very pleased. For a fraction of the cost of what I would have had to pay for other bikes I am interested in, I get a bike that handles well, seems comfortable enough for my purposes, and is FUN.

Now I just need to figure out how to mount my top box plate on the thing. Anyone have a luggage rack or have any ideas where you could mount one?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yup. Luggage like that. Those really reach pretty far down on the bike. Are those the typical mounting points for a luggage rack or top case?

Do you have a link to the manufacturer of that mount? I assume that its not home fabbed.
 
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I'm pretty sure that's a Givi rack - I know it fits for the case, so I assume it's the rack too. PM Tuttdog and he may be able to answer you for sure.
 

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A lot is already covered, but just to add a few things. The helmet lock is useless with the stock cans on it. A single sided system will make one functional however.

If you buy a new one there are a few things you should do right away. First adjust the headlight beam. It comes way low from the factory. The other thing is you'll want to tighten your speedo cable on the cluster end. A lil locktite and a tool will do the job.
 
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