Fix its basic issues and it's a hell of a bike
Added a relay harness so the "green connector" won't burn out.
Stock suspension is below average - fork springs very weak, rear shock barely adequate.
"S" model ergonomics are too sporty - bars too low & forward, peg to seat short.
Stock gearing too low, close ratio transmission too close - not enough RPM change with a gear change.
Steering damper hinders handling - too stiff. I took it off, no head shaking.
Bone stock the SV1000S is nothing to write home about. My ratings are for a stock bike. The overall rating for my bike, after modifications, would be a "9". Properly set-up though, it's a very good all rounder, a V-Twin Bandit (which is a great bike properly set-up).
Ergonomics - bar clamps added to the upper triple clamp with tube bars (Daytona bend), Buell footpegs added an inch (no dragging with tires worn to the edge), seat built up to raise and re-contour. Actually comfortable now.
Suspension - Racetech fork springs (1.0 kg/mm for my weight) with 5 wt HVI shock fluid - completely different front end now! Kaw ZX6R shock rebuilt with bleed hole works well, has the proper spring for my weight and raises the back end about 3/4", along with raising the forks ~10mm, quickens steering. The bike is sluggish with stock rake/trail.
Engine - let that wonderful V-Twin breath! Stock the bike ran very well, but was too quiet for me. A set of Yosh TRS cans allows the SV to play beautiful music. K&N filter, opened up airbox, and raised tank let more air in. The intake changes don't require it (pressure sensor corrects fueling) but the cans require a Power Commander, which really requires a custom map (all complete). The bike makes good street power, pulling well from 4000 to 8000 RPM. It won't outrun I4 600s on the track, but will outdo them on all day rides - those 600s get tiring at 10,000 RPM and above.
The SV1000 is my pick for a V-Twin sporty bike. It makes a great book end to my '97 Bandit 1200S. I'll take the SV over the far more expensive European brands.
I've been riding and wrenching on street bikes since 1974.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th August, 2014