So I picked up my 2001 Suzuki GS500 at the weekend from deepest darkest Kent, ready for the ride back to Bristol. This was my first time riding this particular bike, having previously been using a Honda CB500 which I enjoyed, and was a little worried about the GS being smaller or more uncomfortable than the Honda.
No need to worry, the bike was incredibly comfortable (I'm 6'6") even on such a long journey back, and I was surprised to find that my wrists didn't ache as they used to on the Honda - not sure what this is down to - maybe the handlebar position, as the Suzuki bars seemed to have a wider grip? Who knows! I did stop after 100 miles to check the fuel usage, and was happy to see that I'd only used half a tank, so topped it up with £12 and of I went again. It handled really well and at no point did I feel I would lose control or that the bike would punish me for any minor mistakes I'd make.
Even with a large Givi box on the back, I managed to get it to north of 90, and would have been able to exceed that had I a) not had the box on, and b) not wanted to be disqualified for breaking the 100mph barrier...
The wind was quite rough that day, and my neck and head took quite the barrage, so I will be adding a wndscreen to deflect some of the resistance - even by pretty much lying on the tank to be more aerodynamic, you feel it would benifit from having the screen.
Around town and in built up areas it handles nicely, and has a nice safe lean feeling even at low speeds. Great for filtering through traffic, even on the motorway, and has a nice burst of speed for getting away at lights and overtaking, even in top gear there's enough power to get into the overtaking lane and push past those dreaded middle lane crawlers!
All in all this is a quality bike. Yes, it's a commuter and not a race bike, you won't be able to throw it around corners with reckless abandon, BUT, you will enjoy it and not feel out of place on the motorway or in areas where speed is required.