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.
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