I’m having a dilemma with my ‘96 GS500E and am looking for some advice. I bought the thing last August for $850 right after I got my motorcycle license. I probably put around 500-1000 miles on it before parking it for the season in November. In that time I was able to determine the bike was a case of “you get what you pay for” and needs a bunch of work.

The necessary & desired work are listed below, based on my very limited bike knowledge and a lot of research/googling. What I’m trying to decide is if it is worth my fixing up this bike, or buying something else. So I’d like people’s opinions.

Related, if I go with something else I’d like suggestions for sub-$3000 bikes. In my limited riding I’ve learned I like a good handling but not twitchy bike, that this bike has plenty of power for me, and I prefer an upright stance over a hunched streetbike stance.


Work absolutely needed:

-cracked tires replaced(have a set of brand new tires i the garage)

-damage from falling over fixed(replacement handlebar installed, bar weight installed, scratches/etc. touched up)


-new clutch and probably clutch basket(bike wants to lurch forward when started with clutch in)

-engine oil leak(s) fixed, and valves checked/adjusted.

-fork oil replaced, almost certainly fork seals replaced.

-rear rotor replaced(grooved, squeals on braking despite new pads by prior owner)


-complete brake fluid flush & line inspection/replacement.

Work wanted/possibly needed:

-choke cable mounting fixed, possibly requires new left switch pod and/or choke cable.


-gas cap replaced(lock punched out prior to my buying).

-headlamp upgrade(LED bulb or dual LED headlamp pod).

-New fork springs, fork preloads or otherwise some way to reduce terrible front suspension feel over hard bumps.


-Some sort of saddlebags/ammo cans/etc. for carrying stuff.

-re-wrap bike to fix damaged wrap from fall, possibly re-wrap in another color scheme.


-carb syncing, possible rebuilding.