Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I'm new here, and new to this whole motorcycle thing. I just got my license, after taking the MSF course, and am looking for a bike. There a quite a lot of options, even in just the 500-ish cc range that I am looking, so I come seeking advice and information.
I won't bother asking for recommendations on what bike; I think I know what most people's favorite is here. :) Rather, why should I get an EX500 rather than something else? Any interesting quirks to the bike you think I might want to know about?

Thanks!
Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
631 Posts
are you looking for something new or a few years old?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
If you are just learning or an experienced rider the ex500 is a great bike. It is a good starter bike, has enough power to get you out of any trouble. It also has enough power to get you into trouble to. It's fairly cheap as far as bikes go, and if you know how to really ride it then you can easily keep up with the larger 600+cc bikes with no problem in the twisties. It's fairly forgiving to ride, the riding position is not so leaned over that your wrists hurt after a long day of riding (I've done 500+ with no big problem in a single day). With a 600+cc sportbike most likely your wrists will hurt after a few hours. it's also sport enough that you can have fun on it. If you are into the look for the ladies it does have the sportbike look that the ladies love. The maintenance is fairly cheap and the design is proven. There are also enough of them on the road that used parts are pretty easy to find, there is almost always someone here parting out a perfectly good bike.

personally I've ridden a few bikes since I started riding, a CB750, an goldwing, almost all the ninja's 600, 750, and 1000, most of the suzuki gixxers, cbr's etc... Anyway the ex is just a good solid all around bike that can go fast or long, or off road (although it's not good at off road at all), and will treat you right if you treat it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
From a work-ability standpoint, wait drew me to the Ninja over other similar-sized sport bikes was
1. The centerstand. I've had them on all my other bikes and it makes working on it that much easier.
2. Two cylinders. I've had enough headaches with my father's CB550 4 cylinder to know that less is more.
3. 2+2 exhaust... I hate single sided exhaust... that's just me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,390 Posts
Originally I picked the EX because I knew the previous owner, it was fairly cheap, and when I sat on the thing I couldn't believe how light it was.

Now that I've had a while, I'd recommend it based on the ease of maintaining a 2 cylinder, the advantages of water cooling and extra 16hp over a GS500, and the great community that goes with it. When it comes down to it, though, no matter what you pick it's all about the fact that you're out there riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info everyone, I appreciate it. As far as what I'm using it for, it is firstly, a commuting vehicle, so both Gas milage and comfort/riding position are important to me. Can anyone inform me as to what the differences are between a ninja 500 and an ex500? or are they literally the same?

Thanks again!
Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
They're not literally the same. They are the same.
Depending on the year of the bike and the preference of the owner, you'll see it called anything like EX500, EX500R, 500R, ZX-5R, ZX-5, or some other crazy iteration that I've left out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Also GPZ500S in Europe - with some differences, but a lot of similarities, too (for parts, instructions, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
No there are subtle differneces which which distinguish the bikes from eachother, the biggies are pre '94 had smaller wheels, drum brake in the rear, and different bodywork. Other than that small amount yesy they are the exact same bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
derf said:
No there are subtle differneces which which distinguish the bikes from eachother, the biggies are pre '94 had smaller wheels, drum brake in the rear, and different bodywork. Other than that small amount yesy they are the exact same bike.
This is what happens when I post at 5 in the morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
The Ex500 is the perfect commuter. It gets at least 50mpg in mixed riding conditions. I should know I commute on one for 11 months of the year. It has more then enough grunt to out accelerate most cars on the road from a stop or low speeds for merging. It is light and easy to handle in heavy traffic or lane splitting. It is narrow making lane splitting simple, I fit through places people on harleys, BMW's and Goldwings could not even attempt. The riding position is great for commuting, it is upride which makes it easy to see ahead and over traffic. I have done some commuting on my R6 and it is nowhere near as easy to lane split or just see through traffic on.

The only work I do on my bike on a regular basis are washes, chain lubes, oil changes, and checking the tire pressure. I ahve done 12,000 in the last 12 months which isn't a lot for some people but i think that is pretty good for me. The 500's powerband is perfect for the new rider, it is nice and mellow, and when you do hit the power band it is smooth all the way up to redline, it isn't a sudden surge of power out of nowhere. The brakes are more then good enough to slow the bike. I wouldn't dream of selling my 500 even though I have a bigger faster bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,526 Posts
Jrocket said:
The brakes are more then good enough to slow the bike.
I did a flatspot on my front tire today, coming back from Calabogie, car suddenly swerved in my lane and locked it's wheels.. Had over 100lbs of camping gear on.. Didn't hit anyone or anything, this bike is great ;D

it's a 1990
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I started out on a Suzuki GN250, which, back in the 55mph speed limit days, was plenty. Now, with 80MPH being the normal traffic flow on interstates, I feel a 250 is a bit lacking, unless you plan to stay in town. The 500 still has plenty of power in reserve at 80, but is still a oy to putt around at 20 in the neighborhood.

I went straight from that 250 to a 2-valve 650/4, then to a 5-valve 700/4, and my other bike is a 4-Valve 1000/4, but is actually not as fast as the 700. I've been riding for over 20 years now, and got the 500 for my fiance to learn on, but instantly fell in love on the first ride. I've been riding it far more than the Concours, and figure I'll either keep the 500, or replace it with a 650R, which is the sucessor to the 500, but only when the used 650R prices come down more. The only reason I consider the 650R is because it weighs about the same as the 500, but has the same style engine with more power and better ergos. For the money, the 500 is in a class of its own.

The 500 has been a real blast, and is a perfect bike for beginner and experienced rider alike. I've been turning the 500 much more agressively than I ever turned any of the 4-cylinder bikes, and the confidence it gives me has translated into helping me take the corners faster on the bigger bikes.

I squealed the front tire, while braking, today for the first time in many years. I had reached that point on the 250, but was never able to get myself to do it on the bigger and heavier 4s. Again, the confidence the little 500 has given me has translated into helping me stop more quickly on the bigger bikes.

So the 500 helps teach old and young dogs new tricks, and since it has the power and handling to keep up with anyone riding at sane speeds on the street, is something you don't have to get tired of in a season. Of course, if you put it in your head that you WILL be tired of it, then you will be...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
from my point of view, the 500 is a superb first bike because,
1. it has enough power that you wont get bored with it quickly
2. very comfortable, nimble and simple to work on bike.
3. easy and inexpensive to fix if you drop or crash it.
4. dependable.
and my personal favorite: you can get back what you paid for it pretty easy if its in decent shape when you go to upgrade to a bigger bike.

I'm on my second EX500 because I like how they handle and feel to me. that and mine cost $400 when I bought it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Today I made a point to see what mileage I could get out of the bike. 138 miles on 2 lane state routes. Tried to shift at 5k. Rode at 70 indicated when possible, aprox 63 mph. Tank bag and saddle bags, high winds on return trip. 58.9 mpg. I will try the same pattern on my commute after vacation. I expect mileage to drop to low 50's. Ride it like a tourer and the mileage is great, flog it and it's still not bad.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top