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View Full Version : 2001 Suzuki SV650 - Impressions


Monica
11-02-2009, 10:04 AM
I purchased a used, well cared for '01 SV650 w/9600 miles this August and I've put ~400 miles on it since. Straight to the point, it's a good, solid bike that's fun and easy to ride.

About me and my perspective:
I'm a 5'3" female, 110lbs w/26.5" inseam. I spent ~2300miles on an '01 Honda VTR250 (Japan spec).


The SV is my second bike. I wanted a midsized sport standard/naked Vtwin. I needed the bike to be able to handle fun weekend riding, some road trips/touring on the highway, and present respectable city manners. I had a fun list of midsized sport standards to shop around including Ninja 650R, Ducati Monster, Triumph Street Triple, Aprilia Mana & Shiver & Suzuki Gladius. What the final decision came to was affordability, availability, and ease of modification* to get on and ride.


SV650 Impressions (First Generation, carbed):

Seat height: Tall >31"
Suzuki stuffs a lot of foam into the seat. For the inseam challenged riders like myself you'll want to do a seat modification. The ergos of the bike make it such that even if you go to a super-slim seat profile you can still maintain a comfortable saddle. Other options include lowering links but I don't like that bike geometry changes or that parts are now lower to the ground upon lean. Instead I went to a bare seat pan with a thin, high density foam layer. It looks like it would be as comfortable as a piece of plywood. But alas, that is not the case. A regular gas stop &/or lunch to stretch the legs is all it takes to remain comfortable. YMMV



Weight: Heavier than a 250
Anyone moving up to the SV will notice this, both taking it off the stand and learning the new bike, especially your turns. A quick word about the stand, it is short and curved and makes the bike lean way over to the point you think it's going to topple. This design combined with the weight make the bike difficult to stand up. Shorter and lighter riders will have the disadvantage here. I still have to have my husband help stand me up when we stop :haha: Monica :doh: I would suggest one think about a modified stand to alleviate this.



Clutch/Throttle/Controls: Easy
Before I took my first ride I was concerned that the 650 would be an unmanageable beast with a twitchy throttle and a difficult clutch. I was happily made wrong. The controls are very malleable. If you need the bike to be docile, it will respond accordingly. If you want to bike to get fired up, it will readily do that too. Treat the bike as if you were taking MSF for the first time and you will get a feel for it's behavior in no time.



Engine/Power/Acceleration: :rider::lol2::rider: <-- Monica merging on the highway for the first time
The low end is beautiful and it gets up to a smooth sprint in no time. The shifts are easy and effortless. The stock exhaust makes the Vtwin sound a bit weak and fluffy. However a good quality muffler makes the note sound proper.



Brakes: Adequate
One of the first things I did to get acquainted was some emergency brake drills. I'm a lighter rider with a conservative style so I found the brakes able for my riding. The rear is set for a very light input and I've not got it lock yet. My VTR had a single front disc so from where I was coming from the SV works for me. I would imagine if you're going to track or putting heavier demands on the brake system you would upgrade the lines and probably the calipers & master cylinder depending on the feel you want.



Aftermarket parts: Good selection & support


Like any model bike the SV650 has its electrical and mechanical quirks that can/might/will/should be addressed with ownership. But nothing a a rider and DIYer shade tree mechanic can't handle


*I only have the use of my right arm so my bike was modified to right side controls. I placed the clutch under the front brake and moved switches over so that I'm able to control everything with my right hand. A clutch cable is easier and cheaper to modify compared to a hydraulic clutch.

whitesands
11-04-2009, 10:48 AM
Do you have a picture of it ? I really like the look of the older SV650's with the tubular frame....Really nice little bike and I've heard alot folks say it handles well...

Monica
11-04-2009, 11:07 AM
Do you have a picture of it ? I really like the look of the older SV650's with the tubular frame....Really nice little bike and I've heard alot folks say it handles well...


http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u48/MMK13/sv650/th_inthedriveway.jpg (http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u48/MMK13/sv650/inthedriveway.jpg)


Not the best shot but the best one I have right now :lol2:

For the handling, it does a good job. I can't judge that very well since I'm not a super-skilled rider and the riding we do here isn't as technical as the riding we did in the mountains. So, there's some variables there that make it tougher to compare. For the most part, its very well behaved and will do what you need it to do. Many riders have upgraded the rear suspension because it doesn't adjust out to the proper setting. I don't have trouble with though.




For the frames, I kinda like the 2-3Gen models. I'm not 100% certain if it is due to the black frame color or the angles. Maybe a bit of both. I would love to tear down and powder coat all the aluminum on the bike.


The bike is wearing a Targa front cowl/wind screen (put there by the PO) (I'd have done a different style and I still might. For now its functional.

I installed a Pazzo clutch lever, folding gear shift lever, Motosliders frame sliders and rear axle spool sliders (not shown). I'm planning to trim out the rear seat, remove the passenger pegs and sort of clean up the look a bit. You know how it goes, it's never done!

whitesands
11-04-2009, 04:43 PM
It looks brand new! Very nice...ride safe.

liltxfreebird
11-04-2009, 07:03 PM
[QUOTE=Monica;677248]http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u48/MMK13/sv650/th_inthedriveway.jpg (http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u48/MMK13/sv650/inthedriveway.jpg)


The seat looks thinner than the second gen I have :shrug:

I do love the twin though.. mine has been HELLA fun to ride.. rock on sister!!:clap::clap:

Monica
11-04-2009, 07:15 PM
[QUOTE=Monica;677248]

The seat looks thinner than the second gen I have :shrug:

I do love the twin though.. mine has been HELLA fun to ride.. rock on sister!!:clap::clap:

:sun:


I picked up a spare seat that had had the original foam removed and replaced with a thin layer of high density foam.

I tried shaving my stock seat but it was still too thick so I placed it on the shelf for the meantime until I decide to finish & recover or sell it.

The thin seat is working very well.

liltxfreebird
11-04-2009, 07:20 PM
[QUOTE=liltxfreebird;677440]

:sun:


I picked up a spare seat that had had the original foam removed and replaced with a thin layer of high density foam.

I tried shaving my stock seat but it was still too thick so I placed it on the shelf for the meantime until I decide to finish & recover or sell it.

The thin seat is working very well.

Cool!!! Happy Trails :rider:

JacknTexas
11-04-2009, 07:47 PM
Good review of the SV. I am a pretty big fan of any SV. I am no too impressed with the looks of the Gladius that Suzuki now sells though.

small hijack now.....:nono:

The SV is a starter bike for many people and they abound as track bikes. If you are a fan of the SV and other cleverly modified bikes, check out this thread (http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=43125)over on svrider.com. The work some of these people have done is amazing. Others, like a first car, do some milder mods but are done with a zeal for their bike and I really enjoy tooling around over there and watching what a lot of riders do to their bikes.

Monica
11-06-2009, 09:33 AM
Good review of the SV. I am a pretty big fan of any SV. I am no too impressed with the looks of the Gladius that Suzuki now sells though.

small hijack now.....:nono:

The SV is a starter bike for many people and they abound as track bikes. If you are a fan of the SV and other cleverly modified bikes, check out this thread (http://forum.svrider.com/showthread.php?t=43125)over on svrider.com. The work some of these people have done is amazing. Others, like a first car, do some milder mods but are done with a zeal for their bike and I really enjoy tooling around over there and watching what a lot of riders do to their bikes.


Thanks for the link. There are some great bikes in there and some talent & vision to get them built up. I am a member over at SVrider but I've yet to go through all the good threads. I'm a slow reader :lol2:


The SV is a versatile bike for sure. I was impressed when my cousin told me he was racing an SV650 in his circuit for a couple seasons and he did very well. The same year I had a friend get an SV as his first bike. That's quite a range!

cameron 996
11-14-2009, 07:17 AM
there is nothing like a sporting twin! congrats

A1A
12-30-2009, 10:05 PM
I think you discovered the most bang for the buck bike out there. Nice bike choice and beautiful color. You will have smiles of miles with a SV-650.

:sun:

safd
01-25-2010, 10:24 AM
I really like them too.

hardybaker
01-25-2010, 12:20 PM
Hey there Monica,
Where there's a will, there's a way. Great ride report. Your doing great.
I was up at Perry's motorcycle shop in Ft. Worth not long ago, and he was rigging a hacked (sidecar) rig for a guy that his left arm was,
was, was,,, missing the wrist. The clutch lever was turned straight up so that it could still be used with the arm. Ride on darling. HB

wanabeguru
01-25-2010, 02:42 PM
Glad to see you're posting again! How 'bout some pictures? Oh, and of your ride, too:sun:

pwillikers
06-07-2010, 11:28 AM
My favorite color too!

Who makes the fairing?