2003 Suzuki SV1000S from United States of America


8/10ths Ducati for 3/10ths overall cost of ownership


Nothing has gone wrong with this bike.

General Comments:

I bought this 2003 Copper SV1000S from a Suzuki mechanic, so I am the second owner of a low mile, well maintained SV. I have put about 1500 miles on it.

Aftermarket bits on the bike:

Heli-bars -- Highly recommended for comfort.

Zero Gravity smoked windshield -- Looks great, no complaints.

Full Suzuki fairing... looks great, hides radiator and plumbing.

Corbin seat -- fixes the awful stock seat.

Yoshimura TRS pipes -- true big twin sound, not too loud.

Power Commander 3: needed with Yoshi and fixes lean spots. It should have come like this from the factory. Smooths out the motor and provides much better power from low to mid RPM.

My observations:

This bike is STILL better than 90% of the streetbikes on the road today. In short, it is light, powerful, handles well, has good brakes and fully adjustable suspension, great headlights, low operating cost and is easy to maintain. It sounds great, and you don't see one at every other stoplight.

Large displacement v-twins are just great street motors. This one makes plenty of HP and torque. 0-60 around 3 sec and around 160mph top speed are plenty fast. Top gear roll-ons on the heels of the GSXR 1000. This motor is fuel injected, smooth, and very strong, has a linear power delivery and is stone cold reliable. High revs are not needed here, but they are certainly available. I have spoken to two SV1000 owners with over 100,000 miles on their bikes with very few problems. It also sounds great with some Yoshi pipes on it. It does need a Power Commander with the pipes and to smooth out lean factory fueling off idle to around 5000 RPM. As some others have said, there is a small vibration between 2000-3000 RPM... and then smooth from there on up. Finally gas mileage ranges from 38 MPG to 51 MPG or so depending on your driving.

Suspension is fine for the street up to 7/10ths. It is fully adjustable. Some people use GSXR or Ninja parts for the forks and rear shock for really fast street or track work. I have seen the SVs go very quickly on the track with suspension work. Mine is stock and I like it. No complaints here... especially vs some modern "one setting fits all" suspensions. Some use this bike as a sport tourer and have done long distances on it. I am too tall for that on this bike, but the suspension can truly be adjusted for a plush ride or fast street riding.

Brakes are good to very good with aftermarket pads. Engine braking is great so you really do not use a lot of brakes in normal riding.

Handling is stable, predictable. More than capable of keeping up with anybody on anything on fast buddy rides, and it is less tiring doing so.

Stock seat is terrible... change it at once. Use the Suzuki gel seat or a Corbin or Sargeant.


The stock bike has pegs too high and bars too low for all but the most dedicated racer wannabees. I am looking for a way to lower the pegs an inch. I also installed heli-bars, which do wonders for the front. I have seen this bike set up for track use and also for coast to coast adventures.

Overall: 8-9 out of 10.

SV1000S is inexpensive Ducati like performance for way less money, time, and maintenance. It looks great even today and performs as well as anything out there unless you are on 1000cc I4 sportbikes or the new hyper-nakeds. There are lots of bikes with better "specs", but in truth, this is all the bike... and more... that 90% of street riders will ever need or use. Fantastic.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2014

2003 Suzuki SV1000S from United States of America


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.

General Comments:

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