Table of contents
- Entry-level bikes for around 2000 euros Popular movement
- Yamaha XJ 600 S / N Diversion
- Kawasaki GPZ 500
- Driver’s license – I bike, therefore I am
- Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
- Kawasaki ER-5
- Honda CB 500
- Suzuki GS 500 E.
- Yamaha XV 535
- Chokes – what fits?
Entry-level bikes for around 2000 euros
Entry-level bikes for around 2000 euros
If you want to ride a motorcycle for the first time or after a long time, you need a solid base that does not overwhelm your driving skills. MOTORRAD shows what can be done sensibly with a budget of 2000 euros.
While young bikers are struggling with horrific prices for driving license training, many former motorcyclists wonder whether the second car could not be replaced by a motorcycle. The opportunity is more favorable than ever. New machines are pumped into the market with aggressive discounts, which also depresses used prices. In the class around 2000 euros there are tons of offers. From the almost new 125cc to the aged big bike, everything is represented. But even if the dream bike of yore is financially within reach and almost every model can be throttled, (re) beginners should keep in mind that the driving pleasure does not increase proportionally with the engine power or even the weight. On the contrary, less is often more here. For beginners under the age of 25, 34 hp are mandatory for the first two years anyway, and you shouldn’t expect too much after a long break. On the following pages, MOTORRAD presents machines that are easy to handle and do not devour huge sums of money to maintain.
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Yamaha XJ 600 S / N Diversion
Had the affordable all-rounder XJ 600 Diversion Yamaha in the program from 1991 to 2003. The air-cooled four-cylinder shines with a high level of smoothness, uniform power output and a long service life. The main drawback: the high consumption despite the six-speed gearbox with a brisk driving style. But the diversion wasn’t intended for lawns anyway. Depending on the performance variant (27/34/50/61 PS), the under-damped chassis tuning and the weak braking performance of the individual disc reach their limits more or less quickly. Moving at a measured pace, the XJ is reluctant when it is thirsty. The shock absorber was improved in 1992, and from 1998 a stiffer fork and a double disc brake made the front more quiet. The half-faired S offers some wind protection, the upright and comfortable seating position for driver (and passenger) is the same as on the unclad N. Many Diversion are pepped up with harder fork springs and struts from the accessories. Otherwise, you can still find protective bars or luggage systems from time to time, although the accessories market doesn’t offer much more anyway. Annoying with all variants: the ignition lock attached to the steering head. If you are often out and about in pairs and / or in the mountains, you should look for a model built after 1998, as the second brake disc cannot be retrofitted.
(Year of construction 2000) Air-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 599 cm³, 45 kW (61 PS), weight 214 kg, load 183 kg, tank capacity 17 liters, seat height 770 mm, top speed 180 km / h, consumption 5.2 to 6.9 l / 100 km (normal).
The range is large, as is the range of year of construction and mileage. It’s worth comparing! When it comes to throttling, there is sheer chaos due to the many performance variants, so it’s better to look for the desired version right away. We recommend models from 1996 onwards (changes to the engine, among other things). The revised version from model year 1998 onwards rarely appears in this price range.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
18/1995 (VT), 23/1996 (GK), 26/1997 (T), 8/1998 (VT), 16/2000 (MR), 24/2003 (GK) VT = comparison test, GK = used purchase, T = Test, MR = model report; reorders by phone 0711 / 182-1229
Internet www.xj-ig.de, www.xj-600.de
Not only beginners, but everyone who is looking for diversion from everyday life, also as a couple, with relaxed paddling, will find a suitable base in the XJ. Future world champions probably not.
Kawasaki GPZ 500
In 1986 the Kawasaki GPZ 500 presented. Following the fashion of the time, it stood on 16-inch wheels. Although they ensure a low seat height of 770 millimeters and agile handling, they are annoying due to the wobbly driving behavior and high righting moment when braking in an inclined position. In addition, the tires available today in this size are consistently outdated designs. Up to model year 1988, one disc at the front struggled to slow down, after which two of them provided good braking performance. In 1994 there was a major overhaul. Main changes: 17-inch wheels and rear disc brakes. The lively GPZ remained largely unchanged until it was discontinued in 2003. The reliable twin with 27, 34, 50 or open 60 hp is offered on the used market. A change in performance can be done quickly and cheaply with other throttle valves and / or carburetor covers. Thanks to adequate wind protection, even longer stretches of the motorway are no problem. There, however, the GPZ tends to drink, while on country roads there are over 300 kilometers with the 18-liter tank. Passenger riding is not the domain of the small Kawa because of the high pegs. During the inspection, special attention should be paid to the cladding and front spoiler. Due to the fine vibrations of the twin, they tend to crack.
(Year of construction 1996) water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 499 cm³, 44 kW (60 PS), weight 202 kg, load 178 kg, tank capacity 18 liters, seat height 770 mm, top speed 182 km / h, consumption 5.1 to 10, 0 l / 100 km (normal).
GPZs for 2000 euros are mostly built between 1997 and 1999, rarely younger, with running tracks between 20,000 and 40,000 kilometers. Even well-maintained models with 16-inch chassis rarely cost more than 1500 euros. Although the GPZ 500 is a typical entry-level bike, the majority of the offers are not throttled.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
15/1994 (VT), 15/1996 (VT), 17/2002 (GK), 20/2003 (GK), 7/2006 (GK) VT = comparison test, GK = used purchase; reorders by phone 0711 / 182-1229
Those who do not have to rely on the lower seat height of the first model should concentrate on the years of construction from 1994 onwards. The larger wheels ensure more balanced driving characteristics, the design is much more modern.
Driver’s license – I bike, therefore I am
Whether you are eighteen or twenty-eight, getting a motorcycle license is not an easy one these days.
If one can believe veteran two-wheeled warriors, the motorcycle license was a kind of bycatch to the car license until the 1980s. You snuck behind the driving school golf for a few hours and drove once to the right and once to the left during the test, braked briefly, and the arbor was ready. After that, we liked to go straight to the thousands and, unfortunately, far too often into the ditch. Today not only has training become much more intensive and, unfortunately, much more expensive, but the set of rules has also multiplied. If you get your driver’s license at the age of 18, you can only drive motorcycles with a maximum of 34 hp and a power-to-weight ratio of at least 6.25 kg / kW for two years. After this period has expired, the performance clause automatically lapses. This restriction does not apply to driving license applicants from the age of 25, they are allowed to drive motorcycles of any strength immediately.
Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
Why settle for a boring two-cylinder when you can get an extremely nice-looking four-cylinder for the same amount of money? In contrast to GS 500, CB 500 or ER-5, the Bandit 600 already looks like a fully grown motorcycle. In the range of around 2000 euros you get around ten year old bandits with a mileage between 30,000 and 50,000 kilometers. Disguised and disguised models are balanced. The sturdy and beautifully ribbed air / oil-cooled row quad easily puts away the mileage, as does the exhaust system made entirely of stainless steel. The 34 hp, with which novice drivers under 25 have to get by for two years, are achieved via other throttle slides and carburetor covers and can hardly stress the balanced chassis. After all, it is designed for 78 horses. The Bandit is therefore suitable for people who would like to ride their motorcycle longer. This also applies to the daily stages. Several hours at a time are no problem thanks to the comfortable seating position. The half-clad S model not only has much better wind protection, but also a main stand as standard. The biggest weak point in both versions is the very soft chassis, which runs out of breath after a few years. This is the case with the rough-running engine when it is new, but only in the lower speed range. Due to the concept, there is not too much going on, speeds are required for rapid progress. High speeds. Thanks to the precisely switchable six-speed gearbox, the four-wheeler can easily be kept in the high-performance speed range.
(Year of construction 1998) Air / oil-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 600 cm³, 57 kW (78 PS), weight 225 kg, payload 195 kg, tank capacity 19 liters, seat height 800 mm, top speed 204 km / h, consumption 5.4 to 7.3 l / 100 km (normal).
If you don’t feel like recognizing your bike by its license plate at the meeting point, you shouldn’t ride a Bandit. Because around 46,000 Bandit 600 were brought under the traveling people, a good 42,000 of them are still on the way. This speaks on the one hand for the robustness, on the other hand for careful handling. Both are good for used buyers. The range is large, with a little patience you will find the right version in the right color not far from home.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
4/1995 (T), 6/1995 (VT), 15/1995 (VT), 2/1996 (VT), 15/1996 (VT), 4/1997 (DT), 20/1997 (VT), 24 / 2005 (GK) T = test, VT = comparison test, DT = long-term test, GK = used purchase; reorders under phone 0711 / 182-1229
If you love high speeds, can’t do anything with twins and like to be on the road with two, you can hardly get past the little bandit. Their price-performance ratio is unbeatable.
The ER-5 was Kawasaki’s successful attempt to establish itself in the two-cylinder entry-level bike segment. Until the mid-1990s, this was firmly in the hands of the Honda CB 500 and Suzuki GS 500. The concept of the ER-5, which at the beginning of its career was still called Twister, is very similar to the Honda. In keeping with the Kawa image, the water-cooled twin is more easy to turn and livelier than the competitor and the driving behavior is even more agile and lively. The Kawa also suffers from insufficient damping. The first two model years (1996/1997) had to do without a fuel gauge and adjustable hand lever. In 2001 the ER-5 got a fresher look. The seat was better padded, the suspension tightened, the tank capacity increased by two to 17 liters. That wasn’t necessary because the twin is frugal. Overall, the facelift was kept within limits, so that the year of construction plays a subordinate role. The frame, on the other hand, should be examined carefully, because of the economical paintwork, it tends to rust. Further points of criticism are the cooling system, which tends to leak, and the occasional bursting throttle cable. As with all entry-level motorcycles, special attention is paid to the search for hidden damage caused by accidents and accidents with the ER-5.
(Year of construction 2000) water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 499 cm³, 37 kW (50 PS), weight 195 kg, load 180 kg, tank capacity 15 liters, seat height 780 mm, top speed 174 km / h, consumption 3.8 to 5, 3 l / 100 km (normal).
The range of ER-5s is not as extensive as the CB 500. Most of the offers date from 1998 to 2000 and are in their original condition. A protective bar here or a luggage rack there are the highest of emotions. There aren’t many more accessories. The open and the throttled 34 hp version are roughly equally represented. The small hurricane is throttled by throttle valves and nozzles.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
1/1999 (DT), 19/2000 (VT), 3/2007 (GK) DT = long-term test, VT = comparison test, GK = used purchase; reorders can be placed on 0711 / 182-1229
A cool design is something else, but the ER-5 looks a bit more clever than the CB 500. In terms of functionality, it is on par with the Honda, but not in terms of workmanship.
Honda CB 500
It was love at first sight, and it is seldom mentioned as a selling point for a Honda CB 500. More like the absolutely reliable and problem-free function of the two-cylinder engine offered from 1993 to 2003. The lack of real defects also prompted not only driving schools to buy en masse. The model years 1993 to 1996 were produced in Japan, they can be recognized by the rear drum brake. From 1997 the CB came from Italy and also had a rear window. In 1998, a semi-disguised version, which was not in great demand, was added. Japanese CBs are said to have better processing quality and higher material quality. In the case of Italian specimens, the inside of the tank occasionally rusts. A general problem with mid-range bikes are the suspension elements. Even if they are usually too weakly steamed, they quickly lose their effect. This is also the case with the CB. Fork springs or shock absorbers from the accessories are more than just a plus point. A high mileage does not have to be a deterrent, the twin is easily good for six-figure mileage. More than half of the Hondas are throttled with other intake manifolds and carburetor nozzles to 34 hp suitable for beginners. Retrofitting is relatively easy and inexpensive, but in view of the many offers it makes more sense to look out for the desired variant right away.
(Year of construction 1998) water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, 499 cm³, 42 kW (57 HP), weight 200 kg, load 178 kg, tank capacity 18 liters, seat height 790 mm, top speed 182 km / h, consumption 4.1 to 5, 2 l / 100 km (normal).
Early CB are available for as little as 1000 euros. For double the price, the years 1998 and 1999 with mileages of around 30,000 kilometers are mainly traded. Occasionally, 2000 models can already be found for 2000 euros. In general, the range is plentiful, only the S version with half-fairing is rare. The inspection is easy: check wear parts and the typical places of falls and accidents.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
4/1996 (DT), 11/1998 (VT), 19/2000 (VT), 17/2002 (GK), 17/2004 (GK), 7/2006 (GK) DT = endurance test, VT = comparison test, GK = Used purchase; reorders by phone 0711 / 182-1229
Apart from its driving school image, the CB 500 cannot be criticized for anything serious. You can live with that, and anyone who prefers driving than screwing can grab it. Because the Honda is one of the most reliable bikes ever.
Suzuki GS 500 E.
The Suzuki offered from 1989 to 2007 GS 500 is the epitome of the bread-and-butter motorcycle. A total of around 50,000 units were brought to men, women or the driving school. Around 40,000 are still on the road today. One reason for the success is likely to have been the extremely low purchase price over the years. For this there was a smartly styled and handy machine with an air-cooled two-cylinder. It is economical and robust, but its basic construction dates back to 1977. Not good prerequisites for top performance. The open version is content with 46, later 45 HP. In order to achieve the low price, it was red-hearted: simple equipment, cheap chassis components and economical paintwork. It is therefore essential to check the frame for rust during the inspection. Most GS drive in their original condition, protective bars, luggage systems, windshields or other exhaust systems are rarely installed. It makes more sense to invest in progressive fork springs and a shock absorber from the accessories. The driving behavior thanks it. From model year 2001, the cast handlebar stubs were replaced by tubular handlebars, and the tank volume increased to 20 liters. From 2004 the GS was also available with full fairing, which is used but rarely.
(Year of construction 2000) Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine, 487 cm³, 33 kW (45 PS), weight 189 kg, load 191 kg, tank capacity 17 liters, seat height 740 mm, top speed 177 km / h, consumption 3.3 to 5.0 l / 100 km (normal).
The range of GS 500 is extremely extensive. That depresses prices. For 1000 euros there are absolutely everyday models, as MOTORRAD proved in its “999 euros” series in 2007. For double the money, you can choose between 1997 and (rarely) 2002 models. The GS is throttled via the throttle slide and the jets. Since the GS is often and happily used by novice drivers, small quirks and scratches are more the rule than the exception.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
8/1996 (VT), 22/1996 (VT), 3/1999 (optimization), 19/2000 (VT), 6/2002 (VT), 26/2003 (GK), 8/2004 (GK), 8 , 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24/2007 (BB) VT = comparison test, GK = used purchase, BB = 999-Euro-Bikes; reorders by phone 0711 / 182-1229
If you are looking for a cheap and easy to ride bike for every day and without frills and can overlook the sometimes rustic paint quality, this is the right place for you.
Yamaha XV 535
The Yamaha XV 535, better known by its nickname Virago, is a motorcycle that polarizes. Either you like the slightly baroque soft chopper ?? or not. The former applied to around 57,000 Germans. Objectively speaking, there is also little to complain about. Low seat height, high-torque motor, cardan drive and very decent driving behavior for the chopper genre. Even in old age, the Virago hardly causes any problems, but it is not entirely without quirks: The exhaust collector likes to rust, the carburetor diaphragms occasionally become porous, and the electromagnetic reserve cock spins frequently. When buying, you should pay attention to the desired performance, because it becomes confusing and expensive in an emergency. Different camshafts are required to de-throttle from 27 to 46 hp. Conversely, two orifices in the exhaust are sufficient. The way from 27 to 34 hp leads via modified intake manifolds, that from 46 to 34 again via exhaust covers. As is usual with choppers, the 535 is often hung with chrome and fringed nipples; forward footrests and handlebars of any height and width cannot be excluded. Make sure that all parts are registered or have a certificate. Or have the original parts given to you.
(Year of construction 1995) air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke V-engine, 535 cm3, 34 kW (46 hp), weight 196 kg, payload 219 kg, tank capacity 13.5 liters, seat height 715 mm, top speed 163 km / h, consumption 4, 8 to 6.5 l / 100 km (normal).
The XV 535 is a phenomenon: According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, there should still be around 46,000 units? only: you hardly ever see any. The offer is also quite thin, but stable in value. Nothing goes below 1500 euros. In the price range around 2000 euros, there are XVs with a mileage of 10,000 kilometers or more. Incidentally, heavily customized XVs are more likely to be cheaper than standard ones.
Tests in MOTORCYCLE
25/1987 (T), 7/1990 (DT), 11/1990 (VT), 6/1991 (VT), 8/1992 (VT), 10/1994 (GK), 6/1995 (VT), 2 / 1998 (anniversary), 17/2002 (GK) T = test, VT = comparison test, GK = used purchase; reorders by phone 0711 / 182-1229
Internet www.virago-club.com, www.stars-and-wings.de
The XV 535 was and is a timeless and classless bike. It drives much better than the chopper look suggests. Main drawback: You are not really taken seriously by non-XV drivers.
BMW F 650
The single cylinder is robust and reliable, the gearbox rustic. Very comfortable seating position and chassis set-up. The BMW doesn’t really like terrain. Big differences in equipment. The F 650 is Bavaria’s entry-level model.
Honda CBR 600 F, model PC 25.
Can do anything but swim and drive off-road. Very robust mechanics. The chassis and brakes are still state-of-the-art today. The egg-laying woolly milk pig among motorcycles.
Honda NTV 650
In principle, the same applies to the NTV as to the CBR. However, the NTV has no fairing, two cylinders and around 50 hp less. There is a cardan drive and a usable passenger seat. The twin is indestructible.
Kawasaki Zephyr 550
Even the smallest Zephyr skilfully combines classic design with contemporary technology. In addition to the soft cushioning, the main drawback is the non-existent main stand. Little macho with show potential.
Suzuki DR 350
Although now at least ten years old, the small DR is very popular with terrain novices. The reasons are the good-natured character and the steadfast technology. The aardvark’s greatest enemy is rust.
Suzuki SV 650
The first years have already arrived in the 2000 euro class. The weak fork and occasional problems with the clutch release mechanism have to be criticized. Nevertheless, the SV is a top quality fun bike.
Chokes – what fits?
There are many ways to slow down performance. MOTORRAD presents the most common.
Typical entry-level motorcycles are usually throttled at the factory or at the importer upon request. The technically cleanest, but also the most complex solution are other camshafts. Adapted control times compensate for the lack of peak power with a full torque curve. Disadvantage of this variant: On the one hand, changing the power later requires the corresponding camshaft (s), which are not very cheap, and on the other hand, the conversion is time-consuming and costly.
This easily adds up to several hundred euros in parts costs and the costs of a few hours of working time. Another way to reduce the power is to obstruct the gas flows. In the 1980s, reducing orifices were often welded into the exhaust manifold. In some models, however, this led to thermal problems because the hot exhaust gases were not discharged quickly enough. Today the reduction of the inlet cross-section has prevailed. There are several ways to do this. Limiting the throttle travel is quite mundane and cheap. But this takes a lot of getting used to and leads to inharmonious engine running. Throttle orifices that are attached in front of the carburetor in the intake tract are better.
Another possibility are carburetor covers, which limit the stroke of the carburetor slides. As a rule, the spraying must be adapted to the changed conditions. Cost of the throttle without installation: from 100 euros and up. Motorcycles with electronic engine management are usually throttled through the software. Alpha Technik (www.alphatechnik.de) is the absolute market leader for subsequent throttling.
If you want to screw yourself, you should contact the TuV beforehand to see whether they are ready to enter the change. Confirmation from a workshop is usually required.
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