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SV 1000 test ride :)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Roarin, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a real fan of larger capacity bikes. So it may come as a bit of a surprise that I've found one that I actually quite like. And as you might guess, that would be the Suzuki SV 1000.

    The first thing that grabs your attention would have to be the motor. This engine is what a litre bike engine should be. It ROCKS. In any gear. Any where in the rev range. Well, as long as you're above about 4000rpm. It really is a case of simply twist & GO. No lofting the front into the air or breaking out into wild wheelspin. It simply hooks in and boogies. Perfect for spirited twisty road riding. And it doesn't mind a bit of a rev either. It really is an impressive engine. Yes I know the current crop of race replicars would tear the arse out of it above 200, but how often does one venture above that on the road. Give me instant grunt every time thanks.

    But an engine on its own does not make a bike. It should also be able to scamper round a corner or two without major dramas or fuss. And in my humble opinion, the SV also delivers on this score as well. At this point in time, I should mention that this particular test ride was undertaken with a distinct lack of safety gear. Envisage shorts, tee shirt & thongs & you're not too far off the mark :LOL: :LOL: So I can't really comment on the high speed cornering prowess. Not above 160 anyway :LOL: :LOL:

    But it does feel nice & light & nimble for its size. An impression that really did surprise me -as I'd just hopped off my KTM motard which weighs 3/5ths of bugger all. Quite surprised was I. Nice light tip in, yet quite happy to hold a line -or change the line if you so desire. The only time things start to get a bit fidgety is if you grab a bit much of the loud handle while still tipped fairly well over. Not scary -just enough to let you know there's 120 odd hp trying to escape your grasp.

    Once one has attained their preferred cruising speed, it is inevitable that you will have to slow down. And this shows up the SV's weakness. The brakes. Or lack thereof. Or more precisely, lack of feel. They do slow you down effectively, but not with what you would describe as awe inspiring confidence. I would imagine a set of braided brake lines along with some more performance orientated pads would solve the problem. If I owned one, that would be the first mod performed.

    So there you have it. In my opinion, one of the most under rated real world twisty road sport bikes. One that shuffles along a lot quicker than the engine note would have you believe. One glance at the speedo after a couple of seconds of throttle twisting confirms that :) :) Grab yourself a test ride if you ever get the opportunity.

  2. Paging biceps, I'm taking yours for a ride soon :LOL:

    SV650s is almost similar in the 'any gear, any revvs, give it a bit of gas and GO', except its more of an illusion - you get the sense that you're taking off even when cracking the throttle from low rpm (but in reality you need 7000-9000 for face melting fun). Its the beefy vtwin exhaust note that just BEGS you to pull from low revvs so you can hear that mighty rumble.

    Theres something awesome about vtwin grunt for catapulting you out of a corner.. Granted I haven't ridden a big i4 yet!

    I love my sv! :)
  3. Mate, great to see that you have enjoyed the experience. But as with many bikes, you get what you pay for. These are ok bikes, but falls short for longer trips (fuel consumption) and handles quite poorly in terms of brake fade and suspension tare.

    Try a second hand SP2 or a ducati and you will see what a twisty bike is all about.

    But for 10 grand on road, the SV is a resonable purchase.

    Good luck with your future buy!!
  4. Andrew, take the T out for a ride...60 degree V-Twin, 11,000 rev limit, 250+ top speed, awesome brakes, great chassis. Might be a bit more than 10k +ORC, but it's the best bike I have ever owned.
  5. Only 60 degree hey? WEAK :p

    Ya SV's have fairly $hit suspension, and the brake feel is terrible!

    I'm putting on braided lines and heavier fork oil + springs this week, hopefully it'll make a great improvement!
  6. Hey, I got a little SV too! Dodgy suspension, dodgy brakes and an exhaust that weighs a ton...but wilbers rear end, front end re-work, braided lines, M4 eaxhaust and carbon pads help!

    Seriously, for the money, they are great bikes. I can only imagine that the 1000 is more of the same, but on steroids.
  7. I agree with your impression there Andy - it is indeed a brilliantly built and tuned motor for the road, right up there with the best twins I've ridden. It's amazing and a bit of a worry how quickly and unobtrusively it gathers speed.

    The brakes are, as you say, totally wooden - I wouldn't mind betting that the master cylinder is part of the issue there - and I found the tank too narrow to really hook into with my legs under braking.

    Apart from that I reckon it's a cracker - and I prefer the naked over the S version, it feels like there's just nothing under you.
  8. Hey bloke, I think you missed the point totally & completely. I wrote the review in regards to STREET riding. Not as a track or race bike. I am well aware that a Ducati or SP2 would make a superior RACE or TRACK bike, but as for street riding I would wager that the average half decent punter wouldn't notice any real advantages with the bikes you mentioned.
    Please enlighten me as to the superior fuel range of an SP2. I was under the impression that the fuel range was somewhere between totally shit & absolutely woefull.

    Sort of off off the topic but I would imagine that one would be able to replace the rear shock with a quality item, revalve the front forks & fix the front brakes for significantly less than the difference in purchase price of the other bikes you mentioned.

    Cejay -the only drawback with the T (only in my humble opinion mind you) is the bolt upright seating position. I am one of those strange creatures that find the "humping the bowling ball position" quite comfortable. At the moment I am having strange visions of a full on sport bike -complete with clip-ons but minus the fairings. But I'm not really enamoured with the 4 cylinder power delivery. Which severely narrows my options :grin:

    PS pro-pilot -did you miss the bit where I wrote I ride a KTM motard? I suspect I might have a tiny bit of an idea on what constitutes a "twisty" specialist bike
  9. I thought the same, until I rode it. It's really versatile and allows you to hunker down when you need to, but relax when you don't, but I accept it's not everyones cup of Chai Soy Latte. Me olde bones couldn't take the CBR's Japanese torture anymore, but about the only bit I miss from that riding position is the absolute 'front wheel nailed to the floor' feeling you get from the clipon riding position. But a flighty front end has it's own fun :)

    So, all we need is a bike with the insane handling of the VFR400, the nuttiness of the KTM, the engine of the SV...what a machine!
  10. great review!

    as a side note and my 2 cents,
    im just about to buy the sv650s (just need to ride the FZ6 first). the SVs are great bikes but would also recommend riding the firestorm (honda vtr1000f), there going out the door cheap at the moment and after riding both the main difference is that the honda feels higher quality, especially the shocks and just general build quality (IMO of course).

    my dad has the firestorm, and admittely he has fiddled with it a bit, put megacycles on it and dyno'd with setup etc, but what a bike!! you can still smile when your at the service station filling it up, which is quite often :)
  11. +1 to what roarin has said, brakes leave a bit to be desired, though am looking into changing the pads atm to see if that helps, suspension well still chasing a decent setup, but rode another mates sv who has just had his front done and wow, what a completely different bike to ride, so may look at getting that down down the track......just depends if i can stop riding it for long enough for someone to work on it, all in all great bike and would highly recommend then to any rider :wink:
  12. :LOL: Love the language. Well expressed! I've never ridden the SV, but I'm sure you could think of a few people who've ridden them hard to see how they got around any issues :wink:

    Let us know how you go with any other test rides, and what you eventually buy.
  13. Have to agree with the posts here, they are a fantastic do everything kind of bike, sure they are not perfect but you would be pretty hard pressed to find a bike as capable as an all rounder... :)
  14. Not really. My comment was to your OP, and how you have talked up a 10k bike into the mother of all rides. Which is of course understandable from your perspective and I respect.

    I have no problem in your enthusiasm or report, thought it was good. My statement is on the limits of the machine and a focus on "you get what you pay for".

    To say that the SV series of bikes is a testiment to engineering or performance is at least to say....thin.

    Whilst these bikes satisify a pricing and position in the market. Track or not, they are no way developed or refined as performance machines.

    My re-direction to the SP2, Ducati and even Aprilia. Is that here you starting to see the pay-off in technology, performance and refinement.

    But I guess its what you have been exposed to. The more bikes and brands you own and play with. You suddenly realise why there is a price difference (track or road).

  15. I took Chef's SV1000S for a short spin last year. Overall it reminded me much of the old VTR1000F's that I rode for 4 years. As you say, throttle response pretty much everywhere. The bike feels lighter than what it is, and they are quite a heavy bike (~220kgs or so without fuel), and while it doesn't feel like you're going all that fast, a quick look at the speedo confirms that you'll be tomorrow's front page hysteria headlines if the thin blue line were holding a hairdryer in your general direction. I remember getting on the bike, giving it a bit, and thinking that it was a bit gutless, until I looked at the speedo and realised that there was a pretty good reason for why it wasn't pulling too hard any more! :shock: :shock: :grin:

    Criticisms by a track day junkie: Brakes are wooden, suspension was under-damped on the rear end (would wallow unless being super-smooth), and mid-corner maneuverability was limited. I wouldn't want to have to need to react quickly (brake or change line majorly) mid-corner.

    Very stable mid-corner though, and soaks up the bumps well. Can make rapid progress on bumpy roads that'll leave a more fimly setup bike skipping about.

    After riding it, I had great respect for how quickly Chef was able to push it along, but I also got the impression that he was pushing it along at pretty close to its absolute limit. They're a nice bike, but I think that you'd find its limits pretty quickly Andrew if you lived with it long-term. Chef did. They are a very capable sports-touring machine, and in the right hands can embarrass any lesser rider on a better bike, but for the type of riding I know that you do, I can help but think that you'd feel a bit different if you owned one.

    I still think that you need to take a Street Triple out for a ride Andrew, if you haven't done so already.
  16. Now that is a sweet looking bike. Any reports on these from owners? I know that Triumph skimped a little on the front spendies, what about the back? And any mods available or required to trick them up?

    I saw one in the city the other day and it just looked great.
  17. Bl00dy hell -will everyone stop telling me the obvious. That if you want to spend more, you will be able to buy a bike with better componentry. Hello. I think I may have figured that out on my own.
    So to recap, for those that did'nt quite get it, is that for your money, you will buy a bike that is a very entertaining & enjoyable ride at a pretty decent pace out in the real world. In other words bl00dy good fun. Thats it. No more no less. I'm not trying to portray the bike as the be all & end all of sport bikes. End of story.
  18. Do you like the half faired or naked version?
  19. Is the poor tank range due to a small tank, high consumption, or both?
  20. Most big twins will return worse consumption figures compared to IL4's. This is a generalisation, but whereas my 140hp Fireblade would routinely do 18 to 20km/l, my 120hp Tuono does anything from 14 to 18 km/l. This doesn't mean much until you take start taking of 40-60km from your usual riding range before it's time to go looking for fuel.

    Perversely, my bike returns better figures the quicker I go, mainly to do with getting above the 4k rpm rev range which is artificially throttled to get over the drive by noise tests. Speed averages in the 120-130 result in better economy than legal 100kmh cruises.

    I was speeding to save the planet.