My Savage is a 1987 model that I bought two years ago. I would not change it for anything else.
Fun to ride, easy to maintain, cheap to run and loads of parts on eBay. Although it does not have much chrome, the aluminium engine parts can be polished to high standards.
Bought a set of crash bars (where you can install highway pegs), a set of chrome controls (made for Harley) a couple of fancy mirrors and it's almost a show bike.
I live in Texas and have a 1987 Suzuki Savage. When I got it, it ran great, but if you leave it in the heat, even in a garage, for a month or so, the carb clogs and needs cleaning. There is no OFF on the fuel tap so you can't easily drain the carb before leaving it. If you don't clean the carb, it pops and bangs like a clown car and won't hold an idle. When I have the hour or so to clean the carb before a ride out it hums along just fine, idles like a dream and is a pleasure to ride.
All in all, I have been put off bikes with carbs, and especially singles, which are all or nothing. At least with a 2 or 4 cylinder, if one pot is off you don't stall out. Would I get another... no, been there, done that got the embarrassing looks from riding the clown bike.
I'm from Buffalo New York. and staggered upon this web-site, and just wanted to say thanks for all who mentioned the above motorcycle.
I've driven a lot of bikes - Honda 550-600, Yamaha Seca, Suzuki 550 Ltd. Had a lot of fun with them, and now have a Savage 650 and I'm hoping I'll like this bike.. being only 5'2, 130 lbs.
Well wish me luck.
P.s. by the way, I bought my wife a Honda Rebel 250, it's her first year of riding and she is so excited about this upcoming season as well..
So happy riding to all.
I love the LS 650 Savage (except for the name... there is nothing savage about it). A few mods made it even better.
Mod 1: Went to chain drive for higher top end at lower revs.
Mod 2: Adjust carb for richer condition, less popping.
Mod 3: Drilled holes in air box cover and removed snorkel for a little better air flow.
These bikes are a blast. I have owned everything from a 100cc to an 1100cc, and this thumper is as much fun as any I have owned. Get one, I don't think you will be sorry, unless you are a poser :) It is a 1996 with 22,000 miles and a 92 mile round trip commute to the job.
Which is the easiest way to convert from belt to chain drive on a LS 650? OK, I know all about the maintenance freedom with a belt, but I'm probably too old school - like a bike with more than two cylinders isn't a bike anymore, and a bike should have a chain drive.
I am new to biking.
I bought a Suzuki Savage last year, a 1989.
Started on a journey with the bike, getting to know how to restore it to its former glory.
It was rusty, just about started and needed a face lift.
Started with a service, then it ran fine, and put the following parts on it.
I covered the seat and gave it a paint job.
Bought a new wind shield, saddle bags and a set of foot boards.
Got a lot of information from SuzukiSavage.com.
As I never drove a bike before, the Savage meets all my needs.
I bought a 2007 S40 after 45 years of owning and riding various bikes, from a Honda 55 trail bike through Harleys and Gold Wings. I'm through with the long tours now, and with a bad back and weak legs, the little Suzuki works just right. I put a small windshield on and a set of throw over soft luggage, so I can still do some shorter trips. The little Suzuki is a blast to ride on the secondary roads here in western Washington state, gets great mileage and is comfortable enough to ride about 100 miles at a time. You need to gas up anyway at about that time. I recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy the ride. Not for posers.
I have a first-year 1986 Savage (hate the name). First accident the tank dented (handlebars weren't tight and pushed into the tank) so after repainting I didn't bother with the tank decal. It looked better. Took the side plates with the "Savage" logo and got them chromed. Looked even better. I replaced the stock muffler with a 3' chrome car exhaust extension, flared end to the downpipe and slash-cut end to the rear, and had a Harley drag baffle expanded at a muffler shop to fit inside. Took the tube off the air box and replaced with a K&N "cone" filter, got bigger jets for the carb since it was already lean (backfire shutting it off).
I removed the chrome trim from the head, looks better without. Replaced the sissy bar with a short "jumper" made from bar stock, and removed the back seat.
If you're going to do any long distance, get a lambs wool seat cover, and some highway bars which aren't too hard to fit to the singe downtube with a U-bolt and bracket. Then switch feet from hiway bars and leaning back, to front pegs sitting upright, to rear pegs while leaning forward. That way you don't get stiff and different parts of you are in contact with the seat. And fill up if you've gone 100 miles. Hitching to a gas station with everything you own isn't worth the extra few miles.
If the LS Savage 650 came with the name Harley Davidson on it, this bike would be on back order. To hell with the price, this bike is great! But one draw back; it is meant for people under 6 feet tall. For once I'm glad I'm a shorter man. Have a great ride!!!
Got a 2001 in very good condition for 1800 dollars after about a year of looking. I must admit I saw some real junk, and some of them were too far away to bother. After selling my 2007 650 Ninja, I had the rest of the money and a lot to spare, and I went to pick up the bike. I had the bike serviced at my local independent shop. Took it home, polished and did a deep clean.
I really like to ride this bike; very dependable, light, a head turner with lots of chrome. Runs strong even at freeway speeds. Backfires only at shut down and sometimes at deceleration, only a minor annoyance.
I run completely stock and it has plenty of power for my 245 lbs. and 61 year old body. It's my current favorite, and I have had many motorcycles over my 45 years of riding.
The Frisco Kid.