2003 Suzuki SV650


A lovely, if slightly flawed V-Twin


Throttle bodies needed replacing due to a fault with the servo motor.

Brakes are utterly rubbish for a 130mph bike.

Uncomfortable seat.

General Comments:

Suzuki's baby V-twin is looked upon in many circles as a "girly" bike, for new riders looking for an unthreatening ride, however it is far more of a sports bike than you would imagine. My 2003 "pointy" model had the superb 650cc V-twin motor with fuel injection, in a fine looking package mated to probably the worst budget suspension available on a production bike.

The engine is a cracker, no other word to describe it, my one had a full Micron system and the noise would make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I went beyond 6000 rpm. I fitted a Power Commander and K&N filter, which to be honest did little for performance (although the throttle response was a bit better), but gave a beautiful artillery barrage effect on the over run. Sure, every across the frame 4 cylinder 600 built from 1987 will leave an SV trailing in its wake, but it won't excite you at semi legal speeds. An SV might be only 70 BHP if you're lucky, but they're big horses.

Handling wise, the sound SV frame is let down by soggy forks and a weak shock. I fitted an aftermarket rear shock, which sorted the rear out, but it only showed how bloody awful the front forks are, Suzuki are missing a trick here, considering the amount of owners who happily shell out for suspension upgrades, Suzuki should do it for them, maybe an SV650R variant with the front end off a Gixer is the way to go?

Braking is a struggle between mass and the weedy 2 pot calipers that the Japanese have blighted motorcycles with since the 80's; the same caliper is used on everything from the SV to the Bandit 600 to the old CBR Hondas. Barely adequate when new, they need constant maintenance if they're to remain in fettle.

Which leads me onto the reason I parted with the 650, it's so bloody uncomfortable for someone of 6'1, the seat is like a plank and everything seems cramped. I have a CBR1000F in the garage that fits me like a glove, so it's the dimensions of the SV that I cannot live with, not the lean forward riding position, but for smaller riders, it'd probably be fine!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2011

2006 Suzuki SV650


V twin power over in-line 4 any day of the week


Nothing to date. It has done 12000 miles and it is still tight as a drum.

General Comments:

Basically, the bike is pretty damn great. I have owned a Daytona 600 and a GSXR600, and although they give you more of a thrill when pegging it on a aggressive ride 1 time out of 50 (UK weather!), when using the bike everyday through traffic it makes a lot more sense - and you can still have a lot of fun on the fast runs, you've just got to turn the handle thing on the right a bit more.

Smooth power delivery, great handling and nice and easy to chuck into corners. With the usual mods of uprating the front springs, aftermarket exhaust and lower fairings (s-model) you have a stable, great sounding and good looking mid power sportsbike, which you actually get to thrash on the road.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2009

2005 Suzuki SV650


Awesome entry level sports bike, or a great toy for more experience riders


Nothing wrong yet, had a low speed shunt by a woman in a car about 5 minutes after I picked it up, but the bike was fine.

General Comments:

Suzuki SV650 S 2005 500 miles 'Pointy' Candy Grand Blue.

Well I'm totally chuffed with this bike. I bought it 2 years old with 500 miles on the clock for £3000. Since the weather in the UK is rubbish at this time of year (Dec-Jan) I've only managed to get just over a hundred miles down, but it's amazing compared to my previous (and first) bike, a Honda CBF600 S.

I'm 6ft 2" and 17 stone, so quite a hefty guy when it comes to the smaller more nimble sports bikes with very focused riding positions. But I have to say this is a VERY comfortable bike. After 2 hours of riding, all I had to show was a slightly stiff right wrist (time to hit the gym and build my core muscles instead of resting my upper body weight on the bars).

The acceleration is great, with a lot more eagerness than the CBF. I was stuck behind a tractor for a quarter of a mile, then went for it in second gear, not realising the V-twin is more than capable of power wheelies.

It manages around 120 miles on a full tank with average to aggressive riding style. It's extremely light, which makes low speed handling a doddle and high speed is stable. I'm planning on fitting a double bubble screen just to take the edge off the wind blast. Apart from that, the semi fairing does a great job.

I haven't had it serviced or been on any long journeys yet, so I will have to report back when the weather's better.

I will say that this would make a great first or second 600 'sport' bike before stepping up to a CBR or GSX-R; just take it nice and steady and it won't catch you out.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2008