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I know there may be some bias here obviously. I am 5'7" 165lbs. My current bike is a Ninja 250. I use it as my only transportation rain or shine in S Florida.

I'm looking at upgrading and this seemed to be the most active forum I could find out of the 3 I'm debating about now.

I was told the sv650 might be a little tall for me. I'm not sure if the GS500 is similar to the sv650 or not. It is a 500 and the Ninja 500 is also there.

Do any of you guys/gals have opinions on these 3? I've outgrown racing. How much more power would the sv650 have over the other two 500s? Would the 500s be enough power to ride 2 up?

I'm not a power freak, but we all know having extra power is never a bad thing. I'm also looking for fuel efficiency and useful features and reliability.

My current ninja 250 annoys me slightly. There is no fuel gauge and no low fuel light. However it has been very reliable.

I'm also not sure how long the GS500 or the Ninja 500 has been around compared to the sv650. I'd like something reliable that I can find parts for ideally.

I'm sorry to annoy you with questions like this. Since I have no garage it would be a faired bike as it will be driven in the rain and kept outside.
 

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Can't speak for the GS500, but the Ninja 500 has been around for a quite some time (mid to late 80s I believe) where the SV has been around since 99. I've owned both the SV and the Ninja 500, go for the SV. It's just an all around better bike. More power, better handling, low fuel light, fuel injection (2nd gen). I'm 5' 8" and can fit on the SV pretty well. I think the SV will be able to handle two up riding better than the Ninja but can't speak from experience.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the height. I weigh considerably more then you but I'm just barely over 5'7" (stubby legs too) and have an '03 (taller rear subframe) and a slightly taller shock. You'll get used to it very fast, especially if you already have some miles under your belt. Shave the seat a little shorter and you'll have no issue at all.
The only time I have issue is coming to a stop facing steeply down hill: your legs hunt for the ground reaching forward so it is a few inches further. It only caught me off guard that first time thouh.
 

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Out of all of those of course the SV is the best one. The GS and EX have been around since the 80's, while the SV came out in 1999. I would say amongst your choices the EX might be your best option. The SVs are relatively new and more expensive. The older GS is not faired. Since you are parking outside i say get an older EX maybe late 90's or early 00's. The EX is a great commuter and is very reliable. My cousin commutes 75+ miles a day and has over 70k miles on the clock so far. With all that said if you find a good deal on a SV don't pass it up.
 

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I was told the sv650 might be a little tall for me. I'm not sure if the GS500 is similar to the sv650 or not. It is a 500 and the Ninja 500 is also there.
You'll be fine on the SV, height wise. I believe both the GS and the EX have a lower seat height however.

I've outgrown racing. How much more power would the sv650 have over the other two 500s? Would the 500s be enough power to ride 2 up?
GS500:
47 hp @ 9200 rpm
29.5 ft lb @ 7500 rpm
384lbs dry (390 dry for the faired model)
31.1" Seat Height
Carburetor, Air cooled.
50-60 mpg

EX500:
59.1 hp @ 9500 rpm
30.86 ft lb @ 8000 rpm
373lbs dry
30.8" Seat Height
Carburetor, Liquid cooled.
~50mpg

SV650:
72.5 hp @ 9000 rpm
47.2 ft lb @ 7500 rpm
370-390lbs dry
31.5" seat height
1st gen carb, 2nd gen FI. Liquid cooled.
~50mpg highway

I'm also not sure how long the GS500 or the Ninja 500 has been around compared to the sv650. I'd like something reliable that I can find parts for ideally.
Both the EX and the GS have been around longer than the SV, by a longshot. SVs are reliable though, some members here are over 100k miles.

Since I have no garage it would be a faired bike as it will be driven in the rain and kept outside.
The fairings on these bikes aren't really going to protect you or the bike from the weather much. The GS and the EX are *not* bad bikes, but I think if you're going to upgrade, you should skip the 500s :) My .02.
 

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I'm 5'6 145 and I do just fine on my SV. Got a friend that just bought a Ninja 500 and he likes it but really likes the SV too, he just couldn't afford one.
 
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