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Old 06-17-2012, 12:03 AM   #1
joe camarda OP
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Help Me Decide: Yamaha SRX 600 vs Honda Hawk GT 650 vs GB500

I'm in the market for any one of the above, but have never ridden any of them! Since they are all somewhat rare I think my chances of just riding them and comparing them are slim.

I'm hoping the collective wisdom here can offer some insight and help me make a decision.

I'm currently riding a BMW R12GS, and I'd like something smaller for city and fun riding. The Hawk GT and the SRX6 as comparably priced at approx $3K and the GB at around $5K.

Which would offer the greatest "fun factor"?

Oh, and since I can't edit the heading... . Any comments re the Kawasaki W650 would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:36 AM   #2
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IMO, I'd let the deal dictate the bike. As you say, they are all kind of rare, so I'd just go with whatever good deal on any one of them you come across. If you buy it right (money-wise), you'll always be able to recoup your investment if you decide to sell and pick up one of the others.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
Carter Pewterschmidt
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The Hawk GT would be the better handler of the bunch considering the hardware. More like a modern sport bike than the SRX. Big 315mm front brake, aluminum twin spar chassis, 41mm forks, wide 17" wheels etc. My friend has 2 of them, one all stock, the other all modded. It's a good all arounder bike as well, he took the modded one out to deals gap last summer.

The SRX is a nice bike. Technologically a bit further behind than the Hawk, but a few pounds lighter. It's also kick start only, which doesn't bother me except when you stall it in traffic. The narrow wheels only support narrow bias ply tires so no sticky rubber options. Also with the air cooled single and dual shock chassis it will feel a bit softer than a hawk, but if you dig lightweight minimalist thumpers with a retro look then score it. I'd assume GB500 will more or less have the same riding character.

If you're not that concerned about riding hard and like the retro look then the SRX is the ticket. If you want to carve corners with nice tires and suspension and be able to hit the ton without much effort then the Hawk GT is your bike.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
joe camarda OP
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Good advice, thanks guys.

I am attracted really to the SRX as I'd like to try a single, having owned a plethora of twins throughout the years. The GB is essentially eliminated unless I can find one on the cheap. The W650s seem to br the most difficult to find, but I like their aesthetics.

So, the decision (and the search) continue. On a side note, there is a pristine SRX6 being offered by an inmate with fewer than 3K miles. I would buy and ship in a heartbeat if the State of CA would allow me to register it.... Bastards!
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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Hrm

I've owned two of those three (the Hondas).

The GB is a nice bike. Fires cleanly, the motor is a peach, and is good for a nice cruise. If you want to push it, I'd go aftermarket on the suspension, with the rear shocks being the first upgrade. I found the handling limits of this bike fairly quickly. There's decent underseat storage. Most GBs that I've seen on the market are trailer queens. The rear cowl is prone to cracking. Unlike some other singles I've ridden, this gives me "bees in my hands" after a couple of hours. I wouldn't ride this bike in the city.

The Hawk. The motor is nice twin. If you've gotten off a R12GS, you might like this one the best. The handling is good, suspension is decent, and the bike is *narrow*. This is an ideal learners bike, IMHO. It's just so flexible. I'd pick this one based upon your needs. Lots of bikes out there have lots of miles, so you know the whole thing will be bulletproof.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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The GB500 and SRX600 are both incredibly rare and currently very desirable, and the owners seem to be catching onto that. The only examples of those two models I've seen for sale in the last few months have been listed for $3-4k. Hawk GTs, though also fairly rare, are much more reasonably priced. I've seen them locally for $1200- $2000 in decent shape.

Having never ridden any of them can't say which one is best for you, but if you're set on those three models you'll probably be stuck just buying whatever happens to pop up for a remotely reasonable price.

There's also a bike similar to the SRX600 that you may not have considered. The MZ Skorpion 660 (specifically the round-headlight Tour)

Same Yamaha motor, similar layout, better suspension. They brought them to the USA 1994-2004 and they don't have a huge cult following yet, so prices are quite reasonable. The Yamaha SRX6 is a dream bike for me, but the MZ Skorpion Tour would be a decent substitute. Only drawback is no kickstarter.
http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/mod..._tour%2094.htm
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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I've ridden both of them several times and would definitely recommend the Hawk for several reasons:
Better engine for everyday riding, supposed to last forever, better ergos and handling especially in city traffic or when splitting lanes. Modern tires on the Hawk, maybe some updates on the brakes and you have a great bike for everyday use. SRX is a beautiful bike for a sunny sunday afternoon ride but would not be my choice for commuting. Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
joe camarda OP
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Thanks all... I have a line on 2 SRXs as well as a very nice Hawk. I think the hunt is narrowed down.

But if anyone has a nice example of either that they would like to part with, PM me.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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decisions, decisions...

I sold my 1989 Hawk last spring to get my W650. I do have pangs of regret for letting it go as the Hawk is one of those "man becomes one with the machine" bikes that are so great. Unfortunately it would put a knot in my shoulders after a bit so it was mainly best for shorter jaunts (50-75 miles).
After riding my W stock last year (and enjoying it), I went w/ superbike bars, and the Progressive Suspension fork springs (a must, as the front end dives under braking otherwise) and shocks (the 12 series). I am in absolute heaven now, the handling and feel is superb, and it's hard to imagine wanting more. I am older (59), always appreciated middleweights best, and I mainly ride the "invisible roads", which are the paved back roads that only the residents use, so traffic is very light.
I just found my SRX 600 two weeks ago after literally decades of looking, but I'm waiting for my new supertrapp because it came w/o baffles, so my report will have to wait on that.
Besides, aren't you really asking, "Which one of these bikes should I buy first?!".
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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I've heard from friends who've owned them that the Hawk handles as sweetly as anything they'd ever ridden. For that reason I'd lean in that direction. The GB500 and the W650 are both pretty aggressively-sought for their aesthetics, and the W650 is now a big target for people wanting to build cafe bikes. From that perspective if you picked up a W650 on the cheap I'd bet you could unload it for even money or better down the road.

If you're willing to consider that bike I'd also throw in the modern Bonnevilles. The early ones are (finally) cheap.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe camarda View Post
Good advice, thanks guys.

I am attracted really to the SRX as I'd like to try a single, having owned a plethora of twins throughout the years. The GB is essentially eliminated unless I can find one on the cheap. The W650s seem to br the most difficult to find, but I like their aesthetics.

So, the decision (and the search) continue. On a side note, there is a pristine SRX6 being offered by an inmate with fewer than 3K miles. I would buy and ship in a heartbeat if the State of CA would allow me to register it.... Bastards!
Joe, are you talking about the "must have 7500 miles" thing in CA? I think that only applies to bikes 25 years old and under. The SRX would be excluded as it's 26 years old now.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:24 PM   #12
arkansawyer
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I bought a hawk gt new and still have it. It has about 85,000 miles on it. The small tank feels good, but limits range. I smile every time I ride it. I have ridden better handling bikes (CBR600RR,FZR400,etc), but there is just something about my hawk.
The seat cowl(plastic bodywork) on the hawk cracks at the mounting points. Take the seat off and look at the four bolts and the tits that stick through grommets. I bought a fiberglass copy made by a guy in Germany.
Tanks are getting hard to find for reasonable money in reasonable condition.
Lots of hop up parts available. Some are cheaper than OEM.
hawkgtforum.com
hordpower.com

My brother bought a perfect 800 mile SRX600 in '93 or '94. It was a fun bike to ride. One of the prettiest Japanese bikes ever made. Kick start only, steers heavier than the hawk, engine isn't as smooth, power isn't abundant but is enough. Skinny little bike. My brother regrets selling his and has recently bought an FT500 Ascot.

I've never ridden the W650 or GB500.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
joe camarda OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucifer View Post
Joe, are you talking about the "must have 7500 miles" thing in CA? I think that only applies to bikes 25 years old and under. The SRX would be excluded as it's 26 years old now.
Brucifer...thanks for tip... I'll check into that!
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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Hawk GT would be the clear favorite for me.

The GB 500 ( in stock form ) is a heavy, underpowered, poor handling bike. I don't mean it is a bad bike,
but it falls short in ways that matter to me. Because they are now considered "collectible", finding a good one for
cheap would require some luck.

The SRX is ok, I suppose. But I think it won't provide as much all-around goodness as a Hawk. If I were wanting a
thumper for street use, I have to say I'd seriously consider a KTM Duke or supermoto instead of an SRX. An older
Duke can be had for reasonable money. But I digress ...

So, of your three bikes listed, the Honda Hawk GT would be my choice, because it is such a well balanced package.

However, in the c. $3000 price range for a twin cylinder street bike, I'd rather have an older ( non-S version ) SV650 Suzuki than
a Hawk, hands down.

It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 06-19-2012 at 07:40 PM
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:42 PM   #15
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The hawk faithful would have me drawn and quartered for this, but I agree with the SV650. It is lighter, makes more power, has 6 gears, better brakes. The SV isn't as good looking to my eyes.
The carb SV isn't as nice as the injected one. I forget which year that happened. '03, '04?
My hawk still isn't for sale. #1287 might be buried with me.

I enjoyed my brother's SRX. If you really enjoy a thumper it is the one.
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