I am happy with my SV650s because of its versatility. I own a '04 and have ridden it from Minnesota to Pennsylvania and back. I've also trailered it to San Diego and rode back to Minnesota, coming through the Rocky Mountains on I-70 and detouring on the Peak to Peak Hi-way and then east on Boulder Canyon Road, which is a very technical ride. I've also done a lot of technical riding in California on Hwy 167 from Lakeside to Escondido. It is the first bike I've owned, and I haven't out grown it!
I put a gel seat on it, a K&N air filter in it, the Gold series RK chain and Vortex 520 conversion front and rear sprockets on it. I also upgraded the front brake lines to Gaffer Steel braided lines as well as put frame and swing-arm sliders on it. I've had the Dunlop D220 (No longer manufactured) tires on it and switched to Avon Azaro tires because of the way I ride, I need tire length with performance. I had no problems with the Avons in the Rocky Mountains, having excellent grip even at maximum lean on wet roads.
I've experimented with different sprocket teeth numbers for both fuel efficiency and for low speed pick up. I've topped my SV out at 131 (Clocked by police because the speedometer is 6 mph off at 131) and my only complaint is that the bike is sluggish to respond to throttle at higher speeds when geared for more torque. Although through the chicanes on Boulder Canyon road, both uphill and down hill, the bike responded beautifully between speeds of 50-80 mph. (Posted limited on curves for that road is usually 25-35 mph.)
All in all, the SV suits my needs in a motorcycle, and I challenge anyone with a crotch rocket to keep up with me on technical street rides. Jason Pridmore, an AMA champion racer, said of the SV "You will never out grow it!"
Isn't anyone else bothered by the abrupt throttle response on the 03 Suzuki SV650? Someone said that they nailed the EFI mapping on the bike. Like it was the best! Please! It totally sucks! How can I smooth out the throttle response and make it safer to ride! It's so -- notchy! It's too loose and it jumps out there! I'm still talking about the throttle response, fuel delivery, whatever ya wanna call it! My 1st V-twin, why are they so difficult to ride smooth? In-line 4's are smoother, tighter, when ya twist the throttle... could anyone share with me anything about this problem!?
I am personally very tired of hearing that this is a great starter bike. I have been riding for 15 years (since 15 years of age) and most bikes can be great starter bikes. I have owned a Jawa 250 dirt, Huskavana 500, Harley 1200, Kawi 636, and Honda 750. The 2007 Suzuki SV650 naked is the best bike yet.
I changed the exhaust out to a Scorpion system, remapped the fuel injection, and added a belly pan. This bike is great around town, and I can open up in the curves and hit 85mph in 3rd gear. Most riders would never use all the power this bike has to offer.
That'll fix your jerky throttle response.
And as for the chain rust... lubricate it! Bike maintenance... you're doing it wrong!
Nothing on a motorcycle should rust, if proper care and maintenance is provided. Just like anything else you want to keep for a long time, you'll have to perform regular maintenance on it. Just as you would change the oil, you need to dust/wash the bike once in a while. Else a bunch of dirt/grime/grease will accumulate, and somebody will start complaining of hotter temperatures or what not. The chain, especially since it's most important link between your engine and your wheel, need to be lubricated and cleaned to keep it in tip top shape. Care for your bikes!
I have a hard time believing anyone "outgrows" an SV as it's capable of breaking the speed limit in nearly any situation. The suspension IMO is a bit harsh, but that's cheap to upgrade. The fueling was great on my 2000 carbed model after a few carb tweaks (mixture screw and shimmed needle). I ran Pirelli Diablo tires and they worked good for grip, even in slush/rain/sub-freezing temps. The only thing it ever didn't do well was offroading, which it was never designed.
I also have owned and ridden several bikes. My 06 SV650s is a far superior all around bike, and my favorite for track days. The V-twin has all the power in the right places. Tires are sketch, suspension soft, seat HARD, but those are all easy fixes.
It might not be able to do 180 mph. I've ridden bikes that can, but have never found a track, road, or reason to do so.
So when trash talking a bike, keep in mind of what is practical, and what is just for BS sessions and bragging rights.
Also if you have to rely on straight-away speed to be fast, then you need to address your short comings of cornering.
I bought my SV650 brand new in '03. It has now 28K miles and is still very well preserved. It's a superb bike, capable to keep up with almost any other bike in the mountain roads, if you do some tweaks to it and learn how to ride it properly.
2 years ago it was almost sold (I was about to buy a supersport), really glad I didn't. I couldn't sell it. I rode some other bikes, but the SV is my dream one.
Fantastic bike. I'm a lifelong motorcyclist, and as a real world conveyance, this bike beats any of the others I've owned/tried. Only problem is rust forming on the front fork stanchions and on the lower cast steel fork clamp. Handling, braking, performance excellent, seat a little hard, riding position (naked bike) comfortable, especially with the addition of an aftermarket screen.