This was my response earlier this evening to a comment they the ER5 is little...


This was my response earlier this evening to a comment they the ER5 is little more than a commuter bike.

"I don't agree that the ER5 is not much more than a commuter bike. This is why. In 1976 I had a new air-cooled Yamaha RD350. Regarded then as the dog's bollocks, great acceleration and also much kudos. You were a real cool cat and a biker's biker if you had one. This was definitely not a commuter bike. Move on to 2017, if you now have one of these RD350s they are looked on through rose tinted spectacles. You are still regarded as a cool cat, the bike is considered rapid.

Now reality, the RD topped out at 105 mph, and was very unreliable.

My ER5 is untampered with yet accelerates better than the RD, has a higher top end, does 65mpg and has never broken down.

The difference today is that there are much faster bikes out there and the ER5 is compared to these, how many people can actually use the performance they provide is debatable, it's more to do with image.

A commuter bike to me is a modern 125, or like my first bike a Suzuki B120 which I still have."

What does the group think?

%d comments
  • The ER is a nice bike , a defined gpz 500 s , but gpz cams and upjetting the carbs from 100 to 130 its the same power , i have had alot of bike over the years old one new ones big and small , but this does everything I need without fuss and don't cost stupid money to keep.,I don't regard it so much as a commuter more a mid sized do everything bike .Love the ER and the gpz 500s Vulcan and kle .Alot nicer and cheaper to keep than a sad zxr just as handy in everyday life .

  • I get what you mean as years ago i used to have the yamaha rd 350 lc and if you had one of these you were top of the bunch and they command a top price if you want to buy one now. But when you look back they only had 47 bhp, was flat out at around 110 mph, a chassis that would twist and fight you all the way and was completely flat and powerless at any revs under 6.500 rpm :D .

  • Didn't mean to offend Norman and will admit the ER is the first bike I've owned and it is reliable and easy to ride and pretty much bullet proof but for me I wouldn't fancy going to far on it as I find it rather cramped brakes could be better and and I might be being unkind as my other bike is a Fazer thou which does make the ER seem agricultural by comparison

  • Well if you enjoy it keep. it if you don't buy something else , simple ain't it .I like mine does everything I need

  • No offence taken, when you say cramped I'm guessing you are a tall chap.

    At just 5'6" I'm not at all cramped on it. Comfort however is subjective. Two years ago I rode Spain North to South then home via France to Wales on a 35 year old Honda CB250RS which is a lot smaller than the ER5.

    I can't ride the "adventure" bikes because they are too tall in the saddle for me.

    Yet, are my trips around Europe on my collection of small classics any less of an adventure I wonder.

    I merely suggested that it depends on one's perspective. I think that what is important is that whatever bike you have, ride it and enjoy it. I love my 1979 Suzuki ZR50 moped as much as anything and have done France on it!

  • the er5 is far far more than just a commuter , but simmilarly you can't fairly compare them to an old 2 smoke a more favourable comparison would be a 500 twin from the 70s and development is huge a more favourable comparison would be say a cb 400 n , compared to that commuter close in engine size and type as a commuter the difference is vast

  • I had a Suzuki GSX400 twin new in 1981. That was sort of in between the two bikes in size and performance. Today I have a 1979 Suzuki GS450 twin that I restored that has almost but not quite the oomph of my ER5.

  • Er5 wasn't first produced in 1976, the rd was a sports bike 2 stroke. By the mid 90s bikes had moved on. The er5 is what it is. I bought and use mine for commuting. Its been rock solid reliable and id ride it to anywhere. However, when i jump on my 1200 bandit or 1977 xs750 they make me smile much more. Love the little er5 but to be fair it is what it is and fit a slot in the market. Midrange twin, good for commuting on :-)

  • 5ft 9 and agree with you there personal choice guess I might need to ride a few more to appreciate the old girl

  • I quite like that the ER5 is underrated by most and a bit of an under dog. It makes them very affordable. Also it has classic-is looks and more performance than I use. Also being a short arse, I can touch the floor and don't fall over. Never commuted on it though.....

    So mine's not a commuter lol.

  • If someone rides to work on a Honda Blackbird does that make it a commuter?

  • Out of interest how many other bikes have you owned/ ridden norman?

  • End of the day it's wot it is to you , winter hack , toy , or a commuter .

  • I have owned 14 in total. Started riding in 1975 on a new Suzuki B120 ( in my garage now). However, I had a bad accident in 1983 and took a TWENTY year break.

    Returning to riding in 2003. I suppose if I had any sense I would have left bikes alone but, it's in the blood isn't it?

    I owned 7 up to 1983 and 7 since 2003. I wish I still had every one that I've owned.

    As far as ridden, lost count, my best mate owns a small bike shop that does MOTs tyres and servicing so opportunities are many.

    My only rule since returning to riding is if it's too tall or heavy I leave it there.

    I'll be 60 this year and would like to think I have ten years of riding left, but none of us know how long do we?

    I just bloody love the sensation of being on two wheels whatever size of bike.

    Earliest memory is being about 3 in the sidecar of my Dad's Ariel 500 on the many trips we made from The Rhondda to St.David's where my grandparents lived. I often wonder what my Dad would make of bikes today!

  • So many bikes out there to choose from , we swap and change as we can afford (or sometimes can,t ) I bought my er5 new on 1/3/2008 , i use it to commute and for pleasure and whatever takes my fancy , my er5 as been 100% reliable , picked it up tonight from it,a 2nd major service , valves etc , most years servicing as been oil & filters a bit of grease and wd40 on the cables , never had to change a bulb still on it,s original chain & sprockets and covered 24,600 miles on it,s 3rd set of tyres , yes there,s more exotic bikes but my er5 is a keeper though would quite like a tdm 850/900 to keep it company , the er5 a great bike in it,s own right

  • if someone takes an er5 and tunes it with the gpz 500s cams and uses it for track days does it cease to be a commuter