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Suzuki SV650S

Suzuki SV650S

SV650S and SV650SL1
5.0 from 4 reviews

See the Best Sport Touring Bikes in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Amazing all rounder - and don't let anyone tell you it's not fast enough

I bought a 2007 Suzuki SV650S brand new from a dealership, and it was the best purchase I've ever made.

* Sure, everyone would like just a little more power sometimes - but riding this in it's torque range was an absolute blast.
* The comfort wasn't amazing, but a few customisations made it far better.
* The finish quality could have been better - you always get a bit of surface corrosion with these, particularly if you don't keep the forks clean.

* Not only is it a forgiving setup when you have good tyres (highly recommend the Michelin Road Pilot series), but it'll keep a smile on your face through any set of twisty corners.
* If you get a tasteful after market exhaust with a baffle in it, the sound is genuinely amazing without being offensive.
* Excellent all round bike - with the fairing on the front, it's absolutely perfect as a light weight tourer

* Suzuki gel/comfort seat - tried it for 20,000kms and still felt too hard, so went back to the std one.
* Superbikes riser kit - came with new bars, top triple clamp, and braided brake-line. This basically turned it into an SV650N with the fairings.

My biggest regret was trading it in at 85,000kms... it was cheap to run and easy to maintain; being my everyday rider though, I was needlessly worrying about the "recommended repairs" listed in the service manual (eg, valve grind/replacements and timing chains). I should have just kept riding it - there are plenty of forum users claiming 200,000+kms with no more than basic maintenance.

Memorable repairs:
* high pressure fuel filter - the one located inside the tank. It's a $300 part (from the US - much more expensive locally), but was easy enough to replace myself. Apparently common to clog up with our poor Australian fuel (check out the Vstrom forums).

Purchased in September 2009 for $9,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Mileage 85,000 km
Acceleration / Power
Fuel Efficiency
Gear Shifting

Sweet Ride

I bought an SV650 after going through a few road bikes after I decided my body was no longer up to riding trail bikes (GSX750F, ZZR600 and a ZXR750). I thought a V twin would best suit my desires - I missed the torque of the DRZ400 and DR650 (I had between the GSX and the ZZR), and I remember the awesome experience riding a good mates TL1000R was many years ago.

I first test rode a 2005 model SV650N at a bike shop a few months ago. I was trying to be critical as I am over buying bikes I am not happy with. Other than slight vibes through the footpegs, I couldn't fault it.

I now own a 1999 SV650S that I got for a steal but it needs some love. However, this particular bike has less vibration than the later model bike I test rode. My bike has an aftermarket can on it, which sounds awesome but I can't comment if there is a noticable power gain.

Ergo's - The older model fits me better (173cm tall), and the seat has a little more padding. The N (naked) model has a more upright riding position which takes more pressure off the wrists. Seating position is comfortable and less cramped than most other road bikes I have ridden.

Engine - What a gem, it's not the fastest thing out there, but acceleration is strong thanks to the torque of the twin. It's forgiving too and doesn't take ages to spin up or bog like some 4 cylinders can. Injection is slightly better than the carb model, don't have to wait for warm up (where most engine wear occurs) and is more responsive through the mid range, however, the EFI does have a slight jerkyness or snatch to it with small throttle applications. Clutch and gear shifting is spot on, although I found the clutch does take a little getting used to as it appears to have a bit more of an on or off policy compared to other bikes I have ridden, almost like a hydraulic clutch even though it's cable. This bike will power wheelie in first and second gear despite what people think on you tube.

Handling & Suspension - Now it's time to pick on the SV a little. While the suspension feels well balanced to me, it's lack of adjustment in particular the forks, is where Suzuki decided to save money. This could be a problem if your weight and skill level is not matched. I find the steering a little on the slow side too, needs more input than other bikes I have ridden, though at least it has good steering like unlike the ZXR750.The conventional forks are also subject to errosion which takes away from the looks. This bike feels light, which is a welcome change for me and doesn't have the top heavy feel the TL1000R of the same era had.

Brakes - They work well enough. Rear is adequite, front is strong enough but has a woody feel. I don't rate tokico brakes very highly, nissin would have been a better option or better still brembo.

Quibbles - My bikes speedo reads double the speed I am actually doinig, a common issue that is usually due to a dealer giving you a speedo drive off a later model. The side stand does not extend far enough forward, so be careful to ensure the bike is stable before wandering off (test bike nearly fell over on the sales rep) and my stands spring is sagging. Horn is pathetic. Really should have adjustable USD forks in todays day and age.

Overall, best road machine I have ever owned, and equal with my DRZ400 for fun factor. You will probably have just as much fun, and be less at risk of loosing your licence than on the inline 4 croutch rockets. Once again Suzuki has put a smile on my face. The low cost and reliability
Light, Torquey motor, looks, reliability
Non adjustable forks, side stand, steering on the slow side

SV addiction

After buying a new sv650 back in 2002 I have just got rid of it with 312.000km on the clock and it was stilling running strong . These bikes are way better than their price tag would suggest , I was running around 120km each way to work and back each day and the only time it was ever off the road was for general maintainance , tires , oil changes , brakes etc . In which case i would ride my SV1000 . I could not afford to spend big $$$ on flash oil etc so i always used the cheapest oil i could find which here in NZ was Red Stamp oil 10-40 which was produced in thailand and was $20 for 4ltrs .

Everyone says it is junk but its done me just fine. The bike itself was super user friendly , Lite , cheap to service, super fun to ride and would be a blast for noobs and pro's alike. For me this bike was a work horse and i should have treated it a little better, as in letting it warm up for a min before taking off , but i never did, and puting new oil in it every 5000kn instead of every 10,000km.

Yep i did abuse this beaut wee bike but it just kept on going. In its 300,000 km with me it never failed to get me home , I also did tours on it of about 4000km a time every year. She was comfortable and reliable and handled like a dream for weekend scratching. Honestly i don't have a bad thing to say about it and it was so good i have just brought another 2002 SV650 .... a sweet little one lady owner with only 12000km on the clock so i know i have years of trouble free riding ahead of me .

If anyone is thinking of buying one of these little beauties all i can say is do it , you wont regret it. Oh I forgot to mention performance ..... its great , pulls from any gear and rev's freely right to redline, though i didn't do that very often , but on a daily basis i would rev it to 9-10k revs and never let the engine lug as i believe lugging the engine is worse than red lining it. Suzuki hit the nail on the head with this bike.....perfect.
Excellent everyday bike that will get you there and back and you can have fun while doing it
front suspention if i had to choose something ... but you can live with it

1 comment
Bought my '06 model a couple of months ago. Really believe they represent the most outstanding value for money of any machine. What an SV may lack in terms of performance & handling (which is debatable anyway) is more than compensated by its beautiful character. I wonder if Suzuki engineers had ever dreamed of the outstanding success this bike has achieved. My SV certainly makes me smile.... can't really fault it, it's a cracker!

Great All Rounder

I have owned my 2004 SV650s for 3 years now.
WOW, What a great bike the SV is and I can see why it's hugely popular. Firstly, amazing engine! heaps of power available from low in the rev range and all 6 gears, perfect for town and highway riding. Extremely reliable and easy to service. I ride with wifey on the back and the sv handles this fine. Ample amount of mods are available for this bike as they are popular bikes to race in the V-Twin class.
Another good reason to buy this bike is the huge online community at SVRIDERS where you will learn everything and anything about this bike.
Powerful V-Twin, Lightweight & Nimble, Looks, Sound, Easy to Service, Many Mods Available...
Front Suspension pretty poor from factory but easy to improve with heavier fork oil and new springs.

1 comment
How did the Wifey handle the high seat and the way too high foot pegs. I am an older rider and I like the concept of a Japanese Ducati but the silly pillion seat and the way too high pillion pegs will need addressing, has anyone caried out alterations of this type on a SV650. Jeff

Questions & Answers

Has anyone found a good method of lowering the sv?.. After a few operations on my legs combined with old age i have no hope of getting my leg over the high rear end. I dont know why all modern bikes have pillion seats 5 foot off the ground. MANX.
2 answers
you can visit your local shop and they will be able to give you the details on lowering , but you can also remove the pillion seat and put the cover in its place( if you dont have the cover you can buy them ) and that may lower it a bit as well.Lowering (if not done properly) can screw up the geometry of the bike. Would suggest trying to change leg over techniques first such as step through ( leg over main seat) and stand over (bike on stand stand on left peg). Food for thought anyway.

I am an older rider and while I like the concept of a Japanese Ducati the silly pillion seat and pillion pegs will need addressing. My current bike is an RD400 Yamaha and it has the late 1970's seating and foot peg arrangement. This is very suitable for cruising with my beautiful Lady. The SV650 will need serious work in the pilion accommodation area for it to be comfortable for us older folks, has anyone caried out alterations of this type on a SV650? Jeff Eade
2 answers
Hi Jeff Im not sure on your age but im 50 something lol..... while i don't ride on the back of the bike I do take pillions on occasion and all of them except one very tall lass 6'1 found the position reasonably comfortable. Their is the option to recover/upholster the seat to a plusher level and there is hardware available to adjust the peg position , i guess the bike makers cant make it perfect for everyone so i think they look for a happy medium , it up to us to make it perfect .... or keep looking for a bike that is . BTW i love the RD range of bikes i owned 3 of them the 250 the 350lc and the 400 .... loved them all , But love my SV650 and sv1000 better lol. good luck with the sv650 and geting it right for your lady , because it really is a beaut wee bike . cheers Steve WYou can still buy universal swing arm mounted pillion pegs. They look dicky but would probably be more comfortable on most roads.

Just bought a 2001 Suzuki sv650s. I notice she dips in the front more so when braking. I believe I need to put heavier springs and oil. Any sugestions on what springs I should use? Thanks
3 answers
Heavier oil only will also affect the rebound action of the fork, so be careful. The limitation of the fork is it's lack of adjustment. Heavier springs sound like the go, as well as slightly heavier oil to compensate for the increased rebound. It's best to take it to a suspension expert, they can match the fork to your weight (static sag) and riding ability. I'd say around $500 would get you a revalved and resprung shock as a guide. The fork is the disappointing aspect of the SV. Many have done GSXR front end conversions and have reported good results. I don't go that hard, so can tolerate the fork as it is, mine may have had some work over the years as I find mine harsh if anything, it does dive a little initially in the stroke, but I have ridden allot worse.Hi Its all dependent on what weight you are , as you need to get springs suitable for you. their are quite a few aftermarket brands out there . I would say go play with google and see whats available in your area. Just a tip ....dont go crazy with heavy weight fork oil , just come up one grade at a time until you find one your happy with, hope this helps cheers and ride safe .I would suggest adjusting the rear to a lower ride height to reduce the weight transfer. Jeff


Suzuki SV650SSuzuki SV650SL1
CategorySport Touring BikesSport Touring Bikes

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