Suzuki GS 500E


Make Model

Suzuki GS 500E


1989 - 94


Four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves


487 cc / 29.7 cub in.
Bore x Stroke 74 x 56.6 mm
Compression Ratio 9.0:1

Cooling System

Air Cooled


2 x 33mm Mikuni BST carburetors



Max Power

28.7 kW / 39 bhp @ 8500 rpm

Max Torque

35.9 Nm / 3.66 kgf-m / 26.5 lb-ft @ 5900 rpm


Twin spar


6 Speed

Final Drive



1400 mm / 55.1 in.

Seat Height

759 mm / 29.9 in.




94 mm / 3.8 in.

Front Suspension

Telescopic forks, 7-way preload adjustment

Front Wheel Travel

119 mm / 4.7 in.

Rear Suspension

Rising rate single shock, 7-way preload adjustment

Rear Wheel travel

114 mm / 4.5 in.

Front Brakes

Single 310mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 250mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Front Tyre

110/70 H17, Bridgestone Exedra G550

Rear Tyre

130/70 H17, Bridgestone Exedra G550


177 kg / 390 lbs


189 kg / 417 lbs


383 kg / 845 lbs

Load Capacity (full tank)

194 kg / 428 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

17 Litres / 4.5 US gal / 3.7 Imp gal

Average Consumption 

4.5 L/100 km / 22 km/L / 52 US mpg / 63 Imp mpg

Braking: 48 km/h / 30 mph - 0

7.6 m / 25 ft

Braking: 97 km/h / 60 mph - 0

32 m / 105 ft

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.75 sec / 152 km/h / 94.3 mph

Standing 0 - 97 km/h / 60 mph

4.9 sec

Acc: 64 - 97 km/h / 40 - 60 mph

6.1 sec

Acc: 97 - 129 km/h / 60 - 80 mph

7.7 sec

Top Speed

174 km/h / 108 mph
Review Cycle World

The worst thing about a comparison test is that there has to be a last-place finisher. And in the ease of ihe Suzuki GS500E there could not he a more undeserved one. Because as bad as we feel about giving the Kawasaki EX500 third place, we feel even worse about giving the GS fourth. It earned a spot in our testers" hearts as the underdog: one editor, in fact, threatened to elect it his favorite before sense — and a long, winding uphill road — prevailed.
Simply put the GS lacks motor. With less displacement than the Seca, fewer cylinders than the Bandit and fewer valves than the EX it was old.
Cursed from the start. Plus, its two-valve per-cylinder DOHC parallel-Twin of the ancient GS450T is air-cooled. The poor thing never stood a chance. On the dyno the GS is down 8.5 horsepower to the EX. and 10 to the SECA

And though its tachometer is redlined at 11000 rpm. the engine peaks much lower — at about 8500. What this means is that to keep pace with the other bikes, the rider must ride the GS harder. So it is a measure of the GS's fine handling that, no matter which bikes our testers rode, the GS was always in the hunt. That wasn't the case during our dragstrip or top-speed testing, but on twisty mountain roads, the GS was able to keep up even when the pace quickened. Most of the credit for the GS's backroad performance goes to its rigid, twin-spar steel chassis, an item that would not look out of place on a modern sportbike. But some of the credit should also go to its suspension and tires.

The GS'a air-cooled motor looks out of place in its twin-spar chassis, 17-inch wheels, nicely balanced suspension and light weight make the GS a handler. Like the Bandit, the GS has excellent brakes, a single disc at each end offering more power than needed, considering the GS's light. 390-pound dry weight. And though all four of these bikes have 30-inch seat heights, give or take a few tenths, the GS is the shortest and the lightest. Those facts make the GS the easiest lo maneuver at slow speeds.

What the GS lacks in outright performance, it makes up for in civility. Its smooth-running, torquey engine is easy to control, even for a novice, its riding position is comfortable, with a low wide tubular handlebar, low footpegs, and a nicely contoured, though thinly padded, seat.

But, while all four of these bikes will tolerate the abuse dealt them by novices, the GS is the most good-natured. It's a Labrador Retriever on wheels. And if you're on a budget, there may not be a better choice.