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View Full Version : Suzuki SV650S ('05)


macktruckturner
11-25-2006, 02:08 PM
I figured by now someone would have reviewed this great machine, but they have not, so I will!

My SVS was purchased way back in August of '05, I didn't get to throw a leg over it until late September due to a little thing we like to call Operation Iraqi Freedom III. In the two weeks that followed, only about 8 of which I actually got to ride, I managed to put about 1200 miles on the bike. Even during the initial break-in the little V-twin proved to be plenty of fun, and sip the gas quite lightly. On my initial distance ride (from Katy, TX to College Station, TX - fleeing Hurricane Rita just to be safe), I saw over 60mpg.

Fast forward to February '06, when I finally got to do some real riding after my deployment. I quickly found the SV, in stock trim, to be quite very capable of producing a high grin factor. Georgia solidly has Texas beat in the FunRoads(tm) department, and there's a good number of twisty bliss within 200 miles of Ft. Benning. On my first few transgeorgia rides, I did note at least one shortcoming of the stock SVS - the windscreen was for all intents and purposes useless. I got a lot of windblast to the middle of my chest, and at 5'8" I'm hardly what anyone would call tall.

Suspension could use some help, but as light as I am, I honestly did not have a problem with the stock components. As my bike sits now, with AK-20 cartridges from Traxxion Dynamics up front, a Penske 8981 shock out back, a full M4 exhaust, Power Commander III USB, and dyno tuning from Marrieta Motorsports - I still get great fuel economy (around 57mpg on average thanks to the tuning), and enjoy tuned suspension that keeps the SV planted wherever I'm at. The windscreen was replaced in favor of a double bubble that pushes the blast up over my shoulders and gives me something to tuck down behind when need be. As far as brakes go, I've never felt like I wasn't going to stop before I needed to - there is a little fade when really hot, but that can be said about anything.

For a first bike, I think the SV is great. Learn to modulate the clutch, and the vtwin will do the rest. Some may think it is too powerful, but I disagree - the SV650 may well have the perfect level of power. I was not overwhelmed at any point by the torque or horsepower, and a year and 12,000 miles later, I am not underwhelmed by the power either. For a street bike to commute, and even tour on, it is pretty perfectly balanced if you ask me. Two-up is no problem either, not even in the mountains.

All I can ask for is hard luggage that looks like it belongs on the SV. I have yet to find it, so I'm going to do what I do when I can't find something I want, and make it myself. That would make the SV perfect for me - a sport touring bike, more on the sport side. Great power delivery, great fuel economy, easy to work on, and very reliable.

wczimmerman
11-25-2006, 02:33 PM
Nice review!

For luggage options:

Link1 (http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/269/202/)
Link2 (http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/478/202/)

macktruckturner
11-25-2006, 03:24 PM
I have seen those options, and was looking at the SW Motech option for a while, but none of the cases look right, and I'm not too thrilled with either mounting option either. When I get the chance to actually start the planning, I'll start another thread.

Jack Giesecke
11-25-2006, 06:08 PM
I fitted mine with the Ventura rack/pack system. I had that on my old VX and liked it. You can go from naked to 96 quarts of luggage capacity (though I only have one 48 quart pack) in a few minutes. I have a "sport rack" I keep on mine.

Centerline
12-04-2006, 07:40 PM
I figured by now someone would have reviewed this great machine, but they have not, so I will!

My SVS was purchased way back in August of '05, I didn't get to throw a leg over it until late September due to a little thing we like to call Operation Iraqi Freedom III. In the two weeks that followed, only about 8 of which I actually got to ride, I managed to put about 1200 miles on the bike. Even during the initial break-in the little V-twin proved to be plenty of fun, and sip the gas quite lightly. On my initial distance ride (from Katy, TX to College Station, TX - fleeing Hurricane Rita just to be safe), I saw over 60mpg.

Fast forward to February '06, when I finally got to do some real riding after my deployment. I quickly found the SV, in stock trim, to be quite very capable of producing a high grin factor. Georgia solidly has Texas beat in the FunRoads(tm) department, and there's a good number of twisty bliss within 200 miles of Ft. Benning. On my first few transgeorgia rides, I did note at least one shortcoming of the stock SVS - the windscreen was for all intents and purposes useless. I got a lot of windblast to the middle of my chest, and at 5'8" I'm hardly what anyone would call tall.

Suspension could use some help, but as light as I am, I honestly did not have a problem with the stock components. As my bike sits now, with AK-20 cartridges from Traxxion Dynamics up front, a Penske 8981 shock out back, a full M4 exhaust, Power Commander III USB, and dyno tuning from Marrieta Motorsports - I still get great fuel economy (around 57mpg on average thanks to the tuning), and enjoy tuned suspension that keeps the SV planted wherever I'm at. The windscreen was replaced in favor of a double bubble that pushes the blast up over my shoulders and gives me something to tuck down behind when need be. As far as brakes go, I've never felt like I wasn't going to stop before I needed to - there is a little fade when really hot, but that can be said about anything.

For a first bike, I think the SV is great. Learn to modulate the clutch, and the vtwin will do the rest. Some may think it is too powerful, but I disagree - the SV650 may well have the perfect level of power. I was not overwhelmed at any point by the torque or horsepower, and a year and 12,000 miles later, I am not underwhelmed by the power either. For a street bike to commute, and even tour on, it is pretty perfectly balanced if you ask me. Two-up is no problem either, not even in the mountains.

All I can ask for is hard luggage that looks like it belongs on the SV. I have yet to find it, so I'm going to do what I do when I can't find something I want, and make it myself. That would make the SV perfect for me - a sport touring bike, more on the sport side. Great power delivery, great fuel economy, easy to work on, and very reliable.

Nice write-up on a truly terrific machine! Know a gal who may be all of 90 lbs, who has absolutely no trouble keeping up with a bunch of Warrior riders on her SV650, and the Warrior guys (me included) go on and on about how fast the Warrior is. The Warrior is truly quick in stock form from 0-60, but that SV has no trouble whatsoever at any range, and I suspect, (but do not know) that the 650 would out top end the big bad Warrior as well.

kocook
12-04-2006, 08:38 PM
In looking for a track bike, instructor and racer recommendations were unanimous...get a SV650. It is one fine scooter.

tribaltalon
06-10-2007, 09:41 PM
i had a 05 SV650S (full fairing) for a while.. personally was not impressed with it, but then again i have had alot of sportbikes, and this one was the 2nd slowest i've had, the first slowest being my very first bike, a ninja 250r. that having been said, if i would have gotten this bike instead of the ninja 250r, i would have definitely loved it and thought it was fast as ****, and probably kept it longer then i kept the ninja before moving on to the next bike (cbr f2) I ran a best of a 12.4 at the track taking it pretty easy. if i would have really gotten on it hard i could see 12.0s. still a full 2 seconds slower then most of the bikes i've had. I bought the sv650 as a favor, to help out a friend, but it was so slow that i turned around and sold it 3 months later.

kocook
06-10-2007, 09:53 PM
If you are looking for engine, there are better choices. If you are looking to learn how to corner a motorcycle, there are fewer choices. Just depends on how you define fast.

Tourmeister
06-10-2007, 09:58 PM
:tab Well, on the stock suspension, on the track, for an experienced rider the bike could handle better ;-) For a novice, it is great. Interesting though that the SV's were such a big hit in CMRA for a while. I have not kept up with CMRA in recent years so I don't know if any of the newer bikes in that class have dethroned it :shrug: I am sure most any of the current crop of 600 (or near to that) bikes would smoke it around the track with each in stock trim. They cost a little more too ;-)

trvlngman357
06-11-2007, 05:02 AM
That was a great write up, Mack! I loved my svs just as much; however im a bit taller and weigh much more on the heavy side. With that being stated i felt as if something was always missing on my sv experience, maybe it was the suspension since I did all of the mods except that area. I can not really say I'm no expert but I had to upgrade a bit in order to feel more secure, so I have purchased a used R1 2001 and now I feel as if Im more stable in the twisties than before. I still have the svs though and will always hold it dear to me. I guess the added power gives me a false security of stability? But the R1 is slowly winning my trust on turns whether sweeping or hairpins.

macktruckturner
06-11-2007, 04:56 PM
To be sure, the SV is not fast by motorcycle standards. Most people consider a car that runs 12s to be "FAST" - I do not, as I've gone faster. I stand by my review though, in that the SV is an outstanding motorcycle. Right out of the crate it is plenty acceptable for something on which to ride to the hills and drop a knee, or to the grocery store to pickup a some Tin Roof ice-cream, corn dogs, pickles and strawberry cake icing for a pregnant woman's 3am craving. It does both equally well. If you want to add a little more to the go-fast factor in the turns, you can. Need to make an even more serious grocery run? There's luggage too.

There are few things in this world that do not have variety, and obvious places where you clearly use the best tool for the job. Were I wishing to win a world title in motorcycle racing - I'd likely not choose the SV as my tool of choice. Then again, there are some places where a pair of pliers work just as well as box-end wrench - and comparitively speaking that's where the SV fits in. It does a lot of jobs very well, with no fuss at all. Throw some suspension at it, give the fuel curve some TLC, and you can have way more fun on public roads than the law even allows.

Jack Giesecke
06-11-2007, 06:06 PM
It's fast enough to get you a ticket and in the real world of the street, hey, it's excessive. It's faster and quicker than the fastest, quickest production bike available from 1972 to 1978 or so, the Z1 Kawasaki. Maybe the H2 might have been a little quicker, but your average rider couldn't launch the thing. The SV is a total blast to ride, quick steering, stable mid turn, neutral handling. Sure, the suspension is a little behind, but fixable considering the entry price of the bike. I think it's pretty much the perfect pocket rocket, low bucks hot rod. Don't impress me with your R1s. There's no real need for that much bike on the street, totally excessive.

I've always preferred small, quick bikes, though. I loved the RD Yamahas, loved road racing 125 and 250cc GP stuff, my TZ Yamahas and my RS125 were awesome on the track. Anything that comes with a horn and lights just cannot hope to compare with a GP bike on the track. I've ridden the best, so it takes a bit to impress me when it comes to plain Jane sport bikes like the R1s and the Gixxers with their less than stellar track handling and stock hardware. A TZ250, you just uncrate it and go win races. You cannot improve it much in the area of suspension and brakes. You can throw money at the motor to get a few more horsepower, perhaps a hundred at the rear wheel if you don't mind rebuilding crankshafts after every three race weekends or so, or keep it at its stock 85 and ride happy with "normal" maintenance. GP stuff, though, is the ultimate in handling. Compared to a TZ or RS, R1s and Jixxers are just plain boring. So, you see, everything is relative. To me, on the street, the SV is all I'll ever need, more than I need really. I long ago quit caring about horsepower, never really did, actually. Always liked the little quick handling stuff.

Yeah, SVs still rule the small bike classes at the CMRA stuff and they're still quite popular. There are finally a few new bikes that MIGHT be able to compete, the Kaw 650 and such. But, the aftermarket support for the SV makes it the REAL choice for the lightweight classes.

MGN54
06-11-2007, 08:02 PM
The SV is a sweetheart all right. One of those decisions one regrets is the selling of my 2000 SV650 standard. Put some of the most fun miles I have ever put on a bike on that one. I know I'm talking about a first generation here but they are just great do it all bikes. Just ask Terrebandit! :rider: That right Dave?

Mark

trvlngman357
06-11-2007, 10:27 PM
Yes they are great bikes i love my svs but i was still in the market for something a little bigger not really a speed junkie or a track rider either just wanted the extra size because im a big boy myself... LOL... and my svs seemed to struggle on the highway sometimes or felt as if i was being blown all over the place at times. However my R1 is a little more planted feeling not really sure why maybe its the stabilizer and the suspension upgrades compared to that of a sv. I still and will always love the sv because i was never an in crowd follower i have always picked the underdog so to speak and then created my own platform...
By the way
Hello to you Jack G.

Jack Giesecke
06-12-2007, 08:56 AM
By the way
Hello to you Jack G.


:wave: