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Suzi SV650...?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by still_riding, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Hi All

    I am looking at buying a Suzuki SV650S, what are people's experiences of them?
    How long are they lasting?
    How many km?
    Anything that regularly breaks etc?

    I'm looking at it as a commuter up and down the monash, so I rack up Kms pretty quickly.

    I've got an early GSXR as my weekend toy, but it's not really a commuter type and I don't want to destroy it by flogging it each day.

    So any info would be great.


  2. I had a 1st gen from and rode it for 45,000 kms. Loved it. It's pretty much the ultimate all rounder if you have nothing to prove in the power department.

    My tip - fit a fork brace, drop intimidators in the forks and ride the crap out of it.
  3. I have a first generation curvey 2002 model SV650S, What can I say.

    Service correctly and it'll last you a very long time, they get fairly good fuel economy depending on how you ride it, i'm seeing anywhere between 4.4 - 5L/100km so fuel range before the low fuel light comes on varies between 240 - 295km for me. They'll eat up highway kays very easily and are very easy to ride. The V-Twin's torque is just lovely for riding in traffic, I can gas it off the lights pretty much off idle and it just explodes away without any fuss. That's about it, Heaps and heaps of fun, reliable and just a fantastic all round bike.

    Mine has 47,000km on it now. The only issue's i've experienced have been the need to replace fork seals as one was leaking when I bought the bike at 39,000km and my rear cylinder's cam chain tensioner wasn't doing much tensioning. This is a common problem on the SV650's and actually to a lot of bikes. My solution to the problem was to just retract the tensioner manually then release to unstick it. Problem solved!

    Superunknown says it's nothing to prove in the power department, it's a bit of a moot point when even a numpty like me can get it to 100km/h in 4 seconds and do a quarter mile pass in 12.1 seconds. It's still quick. There's just a lot of faster bikes out there. Let's face it, we're riding on public roads. You can ride a SV and still have a lot of fun without doing stupid speeds and this is something the SV is great at.

    Ridability. If you've got 3000rpm onboard in any gear you can wrap the throttle on hard and it'll pull acceptably. By the time you've got 4500 it's boogy time. Wrap it on hard from about 3500 - 4000rpm and the front wheel will reach for the sky.

    Comfort. This is entirely subjective. My SV when purchased was setup for touring, with helibars fitted leather tank cover and other cushy stuff. I found it a bit crap to be honest. I've since bought some standard clip ons, ditched the leather tank cover but kept the sheepskin seat cover, I'm comfy :) The standard seat is quite hard.
    The helibars don't work well on the SV because yes they do make you sit more upright but for them to make the bike truly comfortable to ride as a faired sports cruiser type machine you would need to get the rear sets off a SV650N which I believe are set lower and further forward which would place your body in a much more natural posture. Helibars and those rear sets however i'm sure would make the SV a comfortable long distance tourer which you can still smash through corners are great speed with a big shit eating grin.

    Suspension. The SV's suspension is built to a price and is rather umm simple. Preload adjustments only front and rear from i think 2001 onwards, earlier models have rear preload only. They're a simple damper rod front end and can be quite harsh and yucky at times. For this reason I've ordered a set of cartridge emulators which are known to improve fork performance out of sight. The standard rear shock is known for ending up flogged out as early as 30,000km. in cases of where this happen a popular mod is to swap in a higher performance adjustable shock from another bike. Mine has one fitted from a Kawasaki ZX bike, not sure which one though but that works very nicely. Because it's got a decent rear shock that tends to make the front end feel much worse. :)

    How long will it last ? How long is a piece of string. If you don't wheelie it to the point of oil starvation the engine will likely last longer then the rest of the bike. I've found examples in the USA that have gone 100,000km and are reported to be running like a new engine and some still cranking along at 200,000km. It all comes down to servicing and how you treat the engine. Being a v-twin you probably won't feel like revving it out to redline every gear change (you can however and it's a lot of fun), power begins flattens out at the top of the RPM range so you are rewarded by short shifting a little off redline when you are going hard.

    I hope this helps you with your decision.
    I recommend the SV650S. They are quite cheep and cheerful but more importantly, brilliant bang for buck and with an exhaust will always put a smile on your dial when you open it up. I find the twin isn't fatiguing to listen to like a constantly high revving 4 cylinder.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. nice review..
  5. Thanks @crashdummy for the review.
    That is pretty much what i've heard, interesting info about the suspension, I'll keep it in mind.
    What's it's agility like?
    I am inclined to lane split when necessary, for instance last tuesday on the Monash (grreeww) took me an extra 5 mins to get to work from dandenong...Agility is critical, possibly above comfort.
    P.S. another bike I have been looking at for a while is the honda hornet 600, anyone got any comparison between the two.

    P.S.S. For those of you who look at the public profiles, I've just been told by mum that I have to let you know I'm her daughter and it isn't her doing these things....
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  7. It's very agile and plenty narrow. Filter till your hearts content :)
  8. I had the 650, now have the thou version. They are great little bikes and as others have said plenty of mods to make the best of the budget gear. I'd take the 650 over the thou any day for commuting in sydney traffic. Highly recommended
  9. Are you looking at the S (bikini fairing) or N (nekkid)? What year (or budget) as well?

    Crashtestdummy pretty much said everything that will hold true for the first and second gen SV (curvy or pointy shape). The 2008 onwards models went twin spark for emission control reasons, LAMs popped in somewhere around that time too.

    The curvies had a habit of toasting their regulator/rectifier because of their location. If it has been replaced with a quality unit or relocated then it will be fine.

    The curvies also had a habit of not firing on the front cylinder, this was because spray from the front tyre would get up into the spark plug recess and the drain hole was blocked. This is remedied by unblocking the drain hole and a rubber flap off the radiator.

    The differences really are that the pointy got a different frame and fuel injection. They also got a different crank that can't handle as many power upgrades, but as a commuter that shouldn't matter.

    The first pointy (2003) was a bit of an orphan model in that it's subframe was steel and 40mm higher than other pointies. It also seemed to share a few more components (like rearsets?) with teh curvies.

    If you get an SV, I recommend getting emulators (either racetech gold emulators or Riccor Intimators) with linear springs to suit your weight, and a rear shock as your first mods. Braided lines, change your exhaust and a throttle tube from an R6 (gives you 1/4 turn goodness :) ) and then you've got a great sounding and well performing commuter that you could even take to the track and have fun.

    Keep up the good oil and frequent changes, good fuel and the SV will keep purring along. SV Downunder and SV Rider (US based) are great resources for the SV.

    I don't have a comparison to a hornet as I've always been biased towards the sound of a v-twin. If you decide to look at a few SVs, I'm happy to help (since you're in Melbourne).
  10. @Mekros thanks for that info, it was a curvie (love the description) I took it for a bit of a spin, my problem is that I get on every bike and I go 'hmmm, it's not the same as mine, I like mine better' really isn't helping with the whole upgrade decision.

    Plus I've now got my bike going again, so I don't need to upgrade any more!:D

    I will have to upgrade at some stage, but I think till my bike is proper broken, I'll just keep going.
    My aim is to get it to clock over 99,999km, but I heard someone say that their speedo never actually went round, I'll be so annoyed, only 9,000km left to go.

    and @Mekros, here's to being an engineer, me too! Are you a member of EA?
  11. What bike do you have now? If you don't have that feeling of "this felt good, I want this" after a test ride then I don't think that the bike is meant for you....for now.

    I was a member of EA for 10 years, never got around to getting my chartered status and then let it lapse because every job I've applied for they haven't proven to me that there is any benefit (financial or otherwise).

    What sort of engineer are you? I'm electrical, when my 6 week old is sleeping I get enough time to tinker around with a microprocessor I'm planning to use as the basis for a datalogger on the bike :)
  12. Along with the dreaded Across, the SV was the weapon of choice a few years ago on Netrider!
  13. i currently have a first gen as well as a few others one here (some who have posted already!)

    great little bikes, i cant add much that hasnt already been said. beautiful for everything from commuting (torque, n ot to big), twisties (especially, i hear, with a few choice mods) to track days (some people even race them)

    i love it, i recently had a few bad days and thought about selling it, just to try something else. instead, im planning a few mods. rear shock, perhaps something to the forks, braided lines, that sorta thing.

    go and ride it, you'll enjoy it. cheap, reliable and good fun!
  14. currently daily is a old gsx250. Which is great fits through everything, no one wants to steal it, if I drop it on wet tram tracks, who cares, pick up and keep going and it can't go fast enough for me to lose my license. Win Win really.

    I'm computer systems, EAs currently going through a review of what makes membership worthwhile and what would encourage people to get chartered. it's very much a chicken and egg problem.
    Industry doesn't care, employees don't care, no one will care until someone cares!

    Bikewise, i've hired a hornet and took that for a ride down great ocean rd with a pillion and I liked that, then when I was in japan I rode a zzr 1100 again with pillion and gear, good bike for the job, just still hard work. only touched a couple of cars when lane splitting.
    I hate change though, that is really my problem.
    I'm wondering if the DZR 400sm would be my perfect commuter.
    Quick, light, nimble, droppable etc
  15. DRZ400SM are quite tall, I hope you have long legs! I'm 5'9" and didn't feel comfortable, but I've always been able to atleast tippy toe both sides on all bikes I have ridden. I've always been tempted by one but if you do any lengths of highway stretches then it runs out of puff.
  16. Simple SV's are great, simple, good looking, strong bikes..........you'll do fine
  17. I am looking at these as my upgrade bike from the vtr and this thread has been most helpfull. Thanks :D
  18. @mekros
    Yeah I am tall, I think I saw a lowered version recently, that is being targeted as more of a road bike than a trail.
    I have no need for long hwy stretches. The monash is as long as I get and it seldom goes fast enough. if my little gsx can do it i'm sure the 400 could.
  19. got a 2nd gen SVS, 07 model. No complaints.

    It makes a great commuter and weekender. There are a few tweaks and upgrades, depending on how much work you want to put into it.
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