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Discussion Starter #1
I know there have been a bunch of threads about suspension adjustment on the 6R but didn't see anything about the 500R. I also checked the SportRider chart that someone put a link to in a earlier thread and I guess they don't consider the 500R worthy to include in their chart :(. Since a lot of you guys started on the 500, is there any way to adjust the suspension. I looked underneath and it doesn't appear there is an easy adjustment and I when I read the manual it was either unclear or I didn't understand it. I'm planning on taking my first passenger this weekend and thought it might be a good idea to adjust the suspension if I could. The guy I bought it from said he never touched the suspension even if he took a passenger. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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the only adjustment you can do on the 500R is rear preload...

And I think the rear preload adjustment is basically the same as the zx-6r...

you have 2 nuts that need a special hook or spanner wrench to turn...

you can also use a hammer and screw driver if you are careful...


you have to lossen the top "lock" nut or the shock, then you are free to turn the other nut up or down to increase or decrease preload, once you get it where you want it, tighten the "lock" nut down again...

here are the nuts I'm talking about....

/forum/uploads/andy_7676/shock.jpg
 

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Hey. Nice to see another EX500 owner (twas my first bike! :D ). Anyway, I've heard that Progressive springs do a very nice job of stiffening up the front. I think they're around 70 bucks or so. I know - that's not truly a way of *adjusting* the suspension, but you may want to look into it.

As for the bike "not being worthy", that's a bunch of crap. Put a good rider on an EX500 and he/she will ride circles around an average/poor rider on a 636, R1, Gixxer, CBR, whatever... Repeat after me: It's the rider, not the bike! :)

inca jones
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Andy, thanks for the help. I'll give that a try. Inca, I don't think I'm quite the rider to ride circles around anyone on a bigger bike yet but I hope to be someday. I'm feeling more and more confident everyday. Thanks for the support!
 

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heay yeah, the ex500 was a great bike...it was my first bike as well...

I had no trouble keeping up with riders on bigger bikes and to be honest I now surpassed some of those riders since I opted to start on something alittle more "tame" and was able to ride it more efficiently.

but becare the ex500 still is a pretty fast bike and really can't even be ridden to it's full potential on the streets safely...it surprised me a few times...

Also do youre self a favor and get some BT45 tires in stock sizes when you need tires again, they are some of the best tires I ran on my ex500.
 

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i agree with you inca.. i wish i would have started on a 500, i jumped from the cr 125 and ym250 to a 636... its fucking nutty fast.. and i have some chicken strips like 1/2 inch wide! i would love to find out how far over this baby leans, but ive taken off ramps at 75 and still not gotten her over fully.. gotta get some track days!
 

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Nice another rider that has a 500r, I started on that one as well. Good starter bike to start riding. After a year and half I traded it in for my black 636. Wanna get some more hp for your 500? get a full muzzy exhaust, a k&n filter, jet the carbs and you'll be surprised about the potential of that bike. I kinda miss mine already it was exactly like yours, I kinda got sad when I took it in the dealership and I got off the bike, but my 636 was already waiting for me.
 

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mdsuave13: "its fucking nutty fast"

LOL...that's gotta be the best quote I've heard today! :D

Anyway, 2 things:

1. mdsuave13, Slow In, Fast Out. Always remember that. Racers will tell you the same thing (I ain't no racer, BTW :) ). It'll help you become more comfortable with turns. Especially getting down low. Besides, the last thing you ever want to do is dive into a corner waaaaay too fast without knowing the corner first. It seems a lot of riders watch motorcycle racing and then think that they can take a random exit ramp at 120mph just like Max Biaggi or Eric Bostrom do. What these riders don't necessarily realize is that racers spend days, weeks, months, and sometimes years getting familiar with a track. They don't just jump on an unknown track and start doing 200mph around it. Take your time. Get to know the turns. Do a "surveillance pass" first (to make sure there isn't any debris, oil slick, cops on the other side...hehehe). Then go back and run the same turn again. This time a *little* faster. And then again...and so on. [disclaimer: don't do that too much on public roads because eventually people will call the police...don't ask me how I know. [:p] ). Before you know it, you'll wear off those chicken strips, and you'll be much more comfortable leaning your bike.

2. While Johnny77 does have a good point about the extra HP, I'd recommend against it. Here's why: you'll still want more. Rather than spending that money on a pipe, etc., buy better tires first (like Andy_7676 mentioned), learn to lean farther, then upgrade to a bigger bike (if more power is indeed what you want). I may be wrong, but I doubt you'll be satisfied with the upgrades done to the EX500. You'll still wish you had more. And by that time, the money you spend on stuff like a pipe, ignition advancer, jet kit, etc...will have gotten you closer to buying a 600 (or bigger).

Funny aside: when I had my EX500, I wanted a bigger & badder sound from my bike. But I was making 6 bucks an hour and paying my way through college. So I drilled the pipes. Sigh...yep, it sounded like a lawnmower going down the street... :D :D :D

inca jones
 

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To be honest, I never really wanted more power when I had the ex500, it was fun ringing the hell out of it to keep up with my riding buddies...

and after reading Keith Code's books, I have become such a better rider, and the slow in fast out riding approach is exactly what you need to do...going into a turn too fast is a sure fire way to set of your survival reactions which lead to stupid stupid mistakes.

I'm always really surpised how much drive I can get out of a turn without my tire slipping. It's amazing really...enter the turn slow with the thottle just barely cracked open, and once you initiate the turn and the bike is stable just start rolling on the throttle fast and smooth...You will be amazed out how much faster and smoother a rider you become.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Inca, I appreciate your comments. For a second I was really starting to think about the mods I could do to on my 500 but then two things came back to me: first, the rather small loan that I have on the bike that I'm struggling to pay off and second, the fact that what I like most about the 6R over the 500R is more the style not the power. The half fairing is nice but it definitely says
"I'm new to riding and my bike is small."

/forum/uploads/rather be ridin/500r_side__small_file_.jpg

As much as that may be true I'd rather not have my bike say that to everyone I pass on the street. I'll admit that I haven't pushed the 500 much and probably will the more I learn but it goes just about as fast as I really want. The cops around here are pretty good about issuing tickets and the last thing I need to spend money on is a ticket for 105 in a 55. I'm always on the lookout for cars with lights on the top and just about any vehicle that might resemble law enforcement but I've still almost filled my pants when I've sped past cops hiding in bushes and behind trees (no tickets yet thank God).

Actually, I just took my first trip on the bike, over 200 miles across New York state. It was a really good experience. I didn't end up needing to adjust the suspension (thanks anyway Andy) because I didn't find an extra helmet in time but did take some cargo, full backpack and sleeping bag. It was very good bonding time with my bike and there was no point that I wishing I had more power underneath me.

When the 500 seems like it just isn't cutting it or I feel like I've learned as much as I could and have had my share of "on the road experience" then the 500 will have served its purpose and it'll be time for the 6R. Hopefully when that time rolls around I'll have saved enough to actually upgrade to a bigger bike.

It's good to know that so many guys have had experience with the 500 because I know I'm going to have a lot of questions when it comes time to do some service on it.
 

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only reason I upgraded from my ex500 to a ZX-6R was for looks and for the suspension...

having twice the HP is nice too ;) but not needed...
 

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Im eternally struggling with this debate in my mind. As said before i have yet to own a street bike but i have had minimal experience on dirtbikes. The reason i am torn is...
1. The 500 would be an excellent starting bike for myself (IMO).
2. The 636 could be an excellent bike but a little big for starting on.
3. The 500 and 250 both look like shit.
4. I may get tired of the power in a matter of 1 year and there goes 3500 that could have gone to the 636
5. I love the 636
6. Might be to hot to handle :p
 

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dude,

buy a really old ex500(ninja500) or ex250 (ninja 250) and ride that for a year and get use to the streets, then sell the bike and you shouldn't loose any money, then buy the zx-6r...

you might be fine buying the zx-6r as your first street bike, but I garantee you will be a much better rider if you start smaller...

starting with a smaller used bike allows you to get use to the bike without worrying about killing yourself, so you become more confident. Where do you think all the racers running in MOTOGP started ;) Plus the 250 or 500 will be alot more comfy for longer riding which allows you to concentrate on perfecting your skills. I know there are times where I get kinda sore and worn out riding the zx-6r and my mind starts to wonder which isn't good when riding a motorcycle...

not to mention if you get a 500 or 250 your insurance rates will be alot lower so if you decide you hate riding on the street you're not out of alot of money...

just my opinion...

I have just seen a difference starting out on a smaller bike makes, all the people I know that started out on a smaller bike are still riding, and the couple of guys I know that started out on bigger bikes have wrecked and stopped riding, or they are afraid to ride the bike at all, or they just plain suck at riding becaseu they are too afraid of the bike...

again you have some dirtbike experience which will help...just giving you some food for thought...
 

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Hey andy I agree with you, the reason I started a year and a half ago with a 500 was because I was a new to motorcycles. First of all I couldn't afford bigger bike and the insurance. Second I didn't want to end up like some guys that I knew that rode up to the mountains and either totaled their bikes (600 and up)or killed themselves. Third I just wanted to learn how to ride or how to become a better rider and what better way to do it on a smaller bike. When I got my 636 I was like [:M6]and I realized that I had chosen to do the right thing starting with a smaller displacement bike. Three people have died riding up to the mountains since I bought mine, they were not my friends but acquaintances and I hear that they started on bikes like the r6 or bigger. Even though people talked shit on my 500 when I had it, I was still able to ride much better than they did. I see a lot of guys on 250's and 500's and I tell them that they made a good choice to start out on those. Well I feel like I am talking too much I need to shut up. [:M13] Thanks
 

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I know this a 500r suspension post but I'd just like to throw my story in here. To me, the ex500 & 500r are the best beginner bikes out there; to riders with experience. It has nice styling, adequate power, it's relatively cheap (retail price AND insurance), strong in it's mechanics, and kind to the rider for ergonomics (slightly upright). I tried, for over 2 months, checking all the dealerships weekly and classifieds, daily, to land one as my first bike. I had NO luck. In the midst of riding season, it's hard to get a beginner bike for under $2,000.

I did end up finding one in the back of a dealership (I put a deposit immediately) that "just arrove" but it had 25,000 miles, lots of scratches, cracks in the fairing, no lower/middle fairing, a hole in the gas tank, and a $2,000 price tag. I was heartbroken when I couldn't get an ex500 and nearly gave up on my search completely.

Then, by a fluke of chance, I found a 1989 "ninja 600" listed for $1,200 in the local classifieds. It was the day the publication came out, so I gave him a call and brought my bike buddy to look at it. It was in PERFECT condition cosmetically and mechanically. Also, my friend, who has a ninja and had been riding for 4 years, test rode the bike for me and gave me the big O.K. grin. I talked the guy down to $1,000, brought my dad to give it the final inspection, paid the balance, signed the papers and brought it home.

Needless to say, it was God's graces that landed the bike in my driveway. Bearing in mind it's a 1989, it has under 70 horespower (compared to the 500r rated ~55hp) so it's pretty mild but still enough to give me the tingling spook when I want it to. Riding the bike under 7,000rpm (most of my cruising speed) makes it fully manageable and the added weight makes it more stable above 40mph (as a newbie, stability is important amidst all that wind). The styling has the full front fairing, so even people that don't know much about bikes say it looks great. Furthermore, putting it down (which I can't deny might happen), is ok because it's an old bike to begin with.

Every ride brings excitement beyond belief and after a tough week of school/work, the bike relaxes all my senses. So in the end, even though I didn't get my dream bike, an ex500 or 500R, I did get a bike that I'm completely happy with. It should also keep me satisfied with engine size/power for years to come. I don't even expect to experience its full potential for a couple years. Until then, I'll keep it running and looking great (the tight-stock scheme) and enjoy riding with friends.

Too bad the 500R doesn't have a suspension adjustment [8D]
 

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Thanks for the responses gentleman....my buy date is august 2004 and i still have plenty of time to decide. Im really thinking like you suggested andy...buy a shitty beat up 500 and just run the shit out of it till i get bored.... then ill buy my dream bike [:M98]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not that this point hasn't been thoroughly made already but I've been reading a lot of posts from guys who are relatively new asking all kinds of questions about riding technique (i.e. sequence of events to ride through a turn, at what RPM you should be shifting at etc). I've been riding my 500R for just about two months now and I don't find myself asking too many of those questions. I did take the MSF course which helped but the 500R has been so helpful in allowing me too learn and develop good riding technique. I will always be a big advocate of the 500, especially to start on. It's definitely good to hear other people's success stories about starting a little smaller and slower and gaining a better appreciation for riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally posted by Andy_7676


Also do youre self a favor and get some BT45 tires in stock sizes when you need tires again, they are some of the best tires I ran on my ex500.
Did you get the BT45 V or H and what's the difference? Thanks for the suggestion because I am in need of some new tires.
 
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