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I hear lots of guys talking about "starter bikes" and "moving up" and "out growing", I guess some people have different priorities, and thats OK. Here are a list of reasons that I am completely satisfied with my 1992 EX500:

1. Adequate (not crazy) power. I admit it, I'm a pleasure rider/commuter. I have chicken strips. I am not a squid. I don't need or want power to do roll on wheelies in second and third gear. I want a bike that pulls me and my stuff well, will get out of its own way, and is nimble yet forgiving.

2. There are plenty of available parts. Even having a 1st gen bike, there are plenty of spares. Ebay makes is simple to find any part used, and sometimes new. Owning a bike made since the 80's means plenty in the salvage yards too. As a bonus, most parts from 2nd gen bikes fit, and some from other Kawasaki's too. I replaced my rectifier with one from an EX250. From Ebay. For $20. 'Nuff said.

3. It pretty easy to work on. Along with cheap and plentiful parts, the ability to do most of the wrenching for yourself should not be overlooked. Sure, some are even easier, but some are nigh impossible for the shade tree type, I'm sure. Get a Clymer and go to it!

4. It's cheap to buy. OK, I'm cheap. I call it frugal. Whatever. I paid $1700 for my bike on the used market. It was in top shape, never down, with the full Targa fairing, and extra parts to boot. Where ya gonna get a 'Busa for that? Or a Gixxer? Or about anything else? Maybe a nice GS500, but I like the fact that the EX is water cooled. And is a little peppier. You can probably find scraped up, but good running examples even cheaper.

5. Its cheap to ride. I have in mind here gas millage. On the highway I get about 60MPG. You could too if you ride an EX and shift at 4k RPM. Around town on very short hops I still get 50MPG. I wonder if my bike has paid for itself in gas savings yet. I suspect its getting close. I put way fewer miles on my truck now, and have a crate trunk mounted on my grab bar so I can haul groceries, books, clothes, etc. One time I even went to the hardware store and bought glass window panes and hauled them back on the bike. Sure you could take a gas guzzling SUV to do the same thing, but can you carve a sweet line through a left hand sweeper in a Yukon? Ever hear of someone riding the tail of the Dragon in an Escalade (and having fun)? I thought not.

6. I can afford the insurance. Geico Cycle Guard. $80 a year. I read the horror stories on sportbike forums. I even hear squeals of protest from our Canadian friends. In the immortal words of Lee Greenwood, "I'm proud to be an American!" Also, I don't ride a mortgaged to the flyscreen, fuel injected, digital dashed, 1400cc, turbo charged wheel-stander. I don't pay 3k a year in insurance either. I pay $80. And that makes me happy.

7. Decent riding position. Different strokes for different folks, but I'm not as young as I used to be. In fact, I'm creeping a little closer to 40 than I like. Maybe the EX is more a faired standard than a true sportbike, but that's fine with me. I can ride a couple hundred miles without needing a spine transplant. I still may "corbinize" the stock seat when I find a good upholstery guy around here. But it's OK as is.

I'm sure I've left some things out, and you might want to add to the list. All these things are just my opinion, of course. The EX500 is not perfect, but its just about perfect for me. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.
Rick
 

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I'm with ya, had mine 20 years, orig owner and feel no desire for faster or heavier.

The one that gets me is the "too slow" ???
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.....so you really have to go sub 12's in the qtr mile allot do you? (EX will do high 12's)

4.5 seconds 0-60 not fast enough, huh, even though that will slaughter alot of exotic sportscars off the line....

Need to go faster then 130mph on the street to get to work, huh? What type flowers do you want on the ole headstone i say?
 

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Good writeup, I think this will be used as a referrence next time I see qustions about the 500 being ok to start with :)
 

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I don't think anybody outgrows a 500r. But I know I want a little more acceleration than the 500r just because. It's like riding a rollercoaster. Why would you need any more G-forces? I don't know, but you just do. It's like being an acceleration addict. You just want more.
 

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donkeyman said:
I don't know, but you just do. It's like being an acceleration addict. You just want more.
That type of attitude comes from watching years of infinite commercials from the mass media. They have programmed us with the following adages: "Nothing is enough," "Always ask for more," and "bigger is always better," and "it doesn't matter if you can't afford it, you can still get it---your job is your credit, we'll finance you."
 

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donkeyman said:
I don't think anybody outgrows a 500r. But I know I want a little more acceleration than the 500r just because. It's like riding a rollercoaster. Why would you need any more G-forces? I don't know, but you just do. It's like being an acceleration addict. You just want more.
And what color flowers would that be?
 

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That line is a killer ;D

I love it
 

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Luv the little Ninja,but.....God,do I want a Ducati.I want one bad.ST3.Red,of course.I really,really want a Ducati.Is there a 12-step program?
 

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I"m happy with the 500 because its light and it goes PLENTY fast for me. for commuting, who really NEEDS to go 120+ on the street? 60 is good to me.

its a downright dependable machine if you treat it right.

handling is killer, it just flows like water to me.



I want a 600 for another bike, but that would probably be for track use mostly, not street.
 

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Billbo: If you can't get over the ducati, here's my advice: Buy a ducati, but keep the ex500. When the ducati is in the shop or in your garage awaiting repairs and waiting to get parts shipped in from Italy, ride the ex500.
 

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As it was mentioned before, because the 'strada costs so much. I find it hard to justify the expense of another bike. Let's see what doesn't the 500 do that I want it to.....? Exactly.

ps Love that bike! Does the lower protect you from weather? Please tell me it does more than just look fabulous!
 

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you left out a very important part. number 8 on your list should be that it is a huge chick magnet. chicks just love my blue 500r. i can't count how many want to ride it. just the other day i pulled out of the gas station and 4 chicks in a SUV pulled up next to me, and they all screamed. then one said "can i ride your crotch?" i said sure, they said follow us! so i did follow, haha. i'll stop there for now.
 

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What I like about it;

Parallel-Twin character is a break from 4 cylinder blandness

Parallel-Twin narrowness gives a break from inline-4 wideness.

400Lb weight makes it a joy at all speeds. Light enough for residential work and stable enough for the highway. Heck, it's more stable than my Concours.

Very honest handling makes it a great learning aid, even if you've been riding 20+ years.

Almost standard riding position.

Looks like a bike, not a rolling sculpture.

The combination of ergos, power, handling, stability, and wind protection make it the best 1-up sport-tourer for the money. I think of it as a baby-Concours.
 

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Billbo said:
Luv the little Ninja,but.....God,do I want a Ducati.I want one bad.ST3.Red,of course.I really,really want a Ducati.Is there a 12-step program?
+1, but instead of an ST3 I lust for an S2R
 

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Haha. It's so true that it's a great bike. To think that my next 2 or 3 bikes will actually be smaller...haha. I find it to be the "perfect" street bike. Emphasis on street.
 
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