How to Customize a Suzuki GS 500

Written by william bronleigh
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How to Customize a Suzuki GS 500
There are a variety of customisation options for the Suzuki GS 500 depending on your vision and skill level (socket wrench image by Jim Mills from

The Suzuki GS 500 is an entry level street motorcycle with two variations, the GS 500E, made from 1991 to 2004, and the GS 500F, which began production in 2004. The GS 500 is a relatively light motorcycle, making it well suited for beginners, but it's 500cc parallel twin engine provides plenty of power for most street riding. Customising this motorcycle can include a variety of major and minor cosmetic changes and mechanical alterations.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Automotive tools

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  1. 1

    Source an aftermarket muffler or alter the stock muffler by removing the baffling. This is a common modification for most motorcycles as you will gain a few horsepower for relatively little money.

  2. 2

    Obtain an aftermarket carburettor jet kit. While relatively difficult to install, you will reap some performance gains and increase engine efficiency.

  3. 3

    Purchase an aftermarket performance air filter, such as the popular K&N brand. This is a simple swap and will slightly increase performance and engine efficiency.

  1. 1

    Source an aftermarket sprocket kit with a 15-tooth sprocket. This is a moderately difficult modification to perform but this will change the riding characteristics by increasing the bike's low end torque and power.

  2. 2

    Upgrade the GS 500 by replacing the rear suspension. Furthermore, you can upgrade the front suspension by replacing the oil with a heavier weight and placing heavier springs in the stock tubes. Alternatively, there are other Suzuki motorcycles that can act as donors for suspension parts that will provide drastically better suspension performance, particularly for heavier riders.

  3. 3

    Obtain aftermarket brake replacement parts, including rotors and pads. As with the suspension, other Suzuki motorcycles may have cross compatibility with their brake parts, and these alternative brake parts can drastically increase braking performance.

  1. 1

    Plan a custom paint job. Choose what colour and style you wish to paint the tank and matching plastic parts. Select a reputable motorcycle painter. If you have the skills and tools, you can even complete the job yourself. This will set your GS 500 apart from stock bikes.

  2. 2

    Obtain aftermarket fairings to get a similar look to the GS 500F with your "naked" GS 500E. This is a time consuming project, but fairings will provide better wind protection and a distinctive look.

  3. 3

    Purchase aftermarket signal lights, tail lights, or under glow lights for your GS 500. There are a wide variety of accessories on the market to mix and match.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure you have adequately planned any mechanical modification and have the proper tools to complete it successfully. Always adequately secure the bike on a proper stand to prevent a tip-over.

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