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5 no-nonsense 500cc commuters

Published: 26 June 2009

Updated: 19 November 2014

There's a reason why training schools across the country, couriers and commuters use 500cc parallel twins - they're cheap, easy to ride and they run forever. It's biking at it's most basic, but surprisingly good fun...

So much fun in fact, that the Honda CB500 even had it's own one-make series which has played host to riders such as James Toseland and James Ellison.

Here's 5 options if you're looking for a fun workhorse or commuter that won't break the bank:      


Honda CB500

Honda CB500 (1994-2003)
"The Honda CB500 is a first big motorcycle you’ll never want to sell. It’s huge fun because it’s so confidence-inspiring, meaning you can take it anywhere and it’ll make you feel you can push your limits. Very competent: commuters and couriers love Honda CB500s for their reliability and all-round, top-notch performance. In all aspects, the Honda CB500's a winner."


Kawasaki GPZ500

Kawasaki GPZ500 (1987-2004)
"Long in the tooth but surprisingly fast and easy to live with, the Kawasaki GPZ500S’s a true and reliable all-rounder. The  Kawasaki GPZ500S is a prime candidate for a “first big bike” and one with the performance and handling to tempt you to hold on to it after rivals have lost their (underpowered) appeal."


Suzuki GS500

Suzuki GS500 (1989-current)
"Having been around since Adam was an embryo, the Suzuki GS500 may be a trusty workhorse but it tends not to inspire passion in riders due to it's dreadful finish and its perpetual association with L plates. The GS500 looks ok and they’re dirt cheap but, for a few hundred pounds more, you can do a lot better."


Kawasaki ER-5

Kawasaki ER-5 (1996-current)
"The Kawasaki ER-5 has a straightforward parallel-twin middleweight commuter that’s as easy to use as a pair of pants. As a cheap workhorse you won’t find much wrong with the Kawasaki ER-5 - providing your expectations don’t go beyond simply getting from A to B."


Yamaha T-Max

Yamaha T-Max YP500 (2001-current)
"The Yamaha YP500 T-Max's twin cylinder 40bhp motor is a gem and the auto transmission makes commuting along urban motorways a joy. Car drivers cannot believe they've been overtaken by a scooter doing 70mph plus. The handling is on the sporty side, until you push it, because at 197kg the T-Max is as heavy as a Yamaha Thunderace 1000!"


If you're thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare. 

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