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I will also say that the weight is close to the same (comparing GL500 to GL650) and in my experience they get similar fuel economy around town, but the 650 is noticeably better when running above 60 mph. Except for the ‘82 CX, all US 500s are CDI (ignition), the 650s are TAI, a more robust system that has proven to age much better.
 

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'82 GL500 '83 GL650 '21 RoyalEnfield INT650
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My favorite bike always seems to be the one I am riding. :).
You can't go wrong with any in the CX/GL family
 
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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Yes 81/82 GL500's are Ti with manual adjusters in the US
And Canada, and I think also Mexico based on what a couple of members from there have said so all of North America.

I think the 500 with TI and manual adjuster is the most reliable combination.
 

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81 Gl500i 83 CX650E
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Have to aggree there Bob ,just sold the 500 engine to a member in Calgary ,150,000 km and New owner put 3000km on it's first trip in its new home.
 

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I have both and like them both.
The 500 is better in town and the 650 is better on the highway.
Both have similar gas mileage, the 500 is smoother, the 650 is stronger, just what you would expect to hear about the comparison.
I ride the 500 more often, probably because on the highway I ride something bigger than the 650 anyway.
So, in the end, neither one is "better" than the other.
 
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