Suzuki SV650 S (2003 - present)

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1 to 5 of 10 reviews
ImperialManiac
Reviewed: 16 May 2014

As far as value-for-money all rounders go, the SV is definitely up there.

The SV650 is cheap to buy second hand, cheap to insure, and cheap to run. It can do everything from 1000 mile touring adventures to everyday commuting and track days. Just the right mixture of sports styling/ergonomics and practical features.

I'm 6'6" and therefore finding a bike that didn't cause my legs to fall off was a priority, I can say that the bike does well in this regard. The engine is simply awesome, fires up in all weathers and is very torquey, which is nice when you've been restricted to 33bhp.
The SV is a bike that can do everything well, but there are always going to be other bikes that can do it better. The suspension (especially the front) is very spongy, and likes to dive a lot under heavy braking. The brakes could be sharper, the seat could be more comfortable, and it's not going to give race bikes any issues on track.

Many people have swapped the front forks for GSXR forks and swapped out the rear shock for that of a zx-10r.
The market is flooded with SVs for a good reason, they are excellent, reliable all-rounders. I have just returned from an 1000 mile trip around England and Wales, and it never let me down (although I did have to replace the clutch lever and gear shifter when someone knocked it over, but these were relatively simple repairs and the parts were easy to source). It is just as comfortable taking on the Welsh mountain twisties as it is with hours of motorway cruising. I was as quick as my mate on a 636, but also had all my stuff in a tank bag.

For me, as a first big bike, it does everything I want it to, and the fuel consumption, whilst a lot more than my CBF, isn't too bad either. I'm currently on a 33bhp restricted license and and the bike is restricted via an ECU, it doesn't really affect the bike too much, it still feels to me like it's accelerating pretty quick! I think most of the restriction comes from cutting down the top speed from 120mph to 90mph.

If you're only interested in buying a tourer, or a sports bike, then other more specialised bikes will do it a lot better. And if you've got the dosh, then a VFR is probably a better bike, but good luck getting one of those, and getting it restricted/insured when you're 21!

In the real world the relative ease of restriction and cheap second hand price of the SV really gives in an edge over the CB500 and the MT-06. Both of which are brand new and so can't be picked up on the cheap second hand.
Score breakdown



Engine:
5.0
Brakes:
3.0
Handling:
4.0
Comfort:
4.0
Build Quality:
4.0

ImperialManiac would recommend this product
Finbar888
Reviewed: 10 August 2013

Fun, good looking bike that is economical to run and reliable as a VW

Easy to maintain, loads of aftermarket parts, sounds awesome with a decent exhaust, good MPG, cheap insurance, handles well, brakes & suspension are easily and relatively cheap to sort, tons of character.
Overall finish is not great so requires regular cleaning greasing ( not a bad thing though as I enjoy cleaning my bike but may be an issue for some), suspension is soft and forks bottom out under heavy braking ( especially if you are hefty like me) - easily fixed though. Brakes are adequate but again easily upgraded with braided lines.
I have been to europe twice and found it delivered up to 65mpg and we weren't hanging around either. It is very reliable and fun to ride. I am having difficulty convincing myself to upgrade to something more modern as i love this little thing. Overall an amazing bike for the money. With a few tweeks to suspension & brakes it will keep you very entertained. You will easily fall in love with it's character - torquey, gorgeous sounding and good looking. £2500 - £3000 will get you a cracking bike with low miles (2007-08 around 6-10k). The vast majority of owners look after them and add the usual useful mods such as front fender extender, hugger, tail tidy and exhaust.
Score breakdown



Engine:
5.0
Brakes:
3.0
Handling:
5.0
Comfort:
4.0
Build Quality:
3.0

Finbar888 would recommend this product
jacpotsafc
Reviewed: 26 April 2013

Absolutely perfect first bike as very forgiving and looks like it goes much faster than it does

When you first get on this for your first ride following just just passing your test on one of the bike schools crappy uprights you feel like you've gettin a moto gp bike. It's fruity engine makes u feel like your on a rocket which is perfect for newbies. There very forgiving and handle well and are ideal for starting your biking experience. Cheap to buy, cheap to run and cheap to insure.
Once your used to it you realise how slow it is compared to bigger bikes, the brakes aren't great and if you can modify them I'd recommend that. There's millions around so selling them might mean loosing out a bit but I managed to get my money back.
Perky v twin that grows your confidence and abilities. Definitely recommend this for your first bike
Score breakdown



Engine:
4.0
Brakes:
3.0
Handling:
4.0
Comfort:
3.0
Build Quality:
4.0

jacpotsafc would recommend this product
Nhead
Reviewed: 30 July 2012

Good looking, cheap, not intimidating!!

Good looking, cheap to run, cheap to insure, good handling, a perfect first starter bike!!!!
Very nervous on bumpy roads, and at high speed cornering.
A good bike to look at and sounds good, but brakes are crap and suspension is to soft, many times when traffic lights would suddenly change red and I would have to suddenly brake, the bike just doesn't want to stop, better brakes and suspension would solve that straight away, but what you buy is what you get!!!!
Score breakdown



Engine:
5.0
Brakes:
1.0
Handling:
3.0
Comfort:
3.0
Build Quality:
4.0

Nhead would not recommend this product
Phil w 6
Reviewed: 16 December 2011

Great bike, all the bike you'll need for uk roads nowadays, and it sounds sooo nice!

Great handling, tho front suspension is a tad soft.
Brakes are good, consistant and reliable.
Low all-up weight means its so easy to chuck around, and manouvre when parking.
Gearbox when new was notchy but after 1200miles is super slick with no false neutrals(neutral is easy to find every time).
Uses no oil.
Headlight has a good beam pattern, not massively bright but makes the most of what its got very well.
Underseat storage is enought to fit disclock, puncture kit and thin w.proofs.
50-55mpg real world riding.
Comprehensive tool kit(pliers are made of cheese tho!)
Tank hinges up-good access!
Standard fitment Dunlop D220's are rubbish and should be swapped for either Bridgestone BT-023's or Michelin Pilot Road 2(or 3).
Has a restrictive fuel tank filler so needs care when filling tank to full as nozzle needs to be held 'in mid-air'.
Suzuki service prices for what is a simple 1st service@600miles oil/oil filter change-£130!
Independant will charge about £85-90.
Short service intervals of 4K.
Mirrors do not stick out far enough.
Not able to turn headlight off(EU regulations)
No alarm/immobiliser fitted as standard.
No centrestand
At £4465 OTR (£4325 price tag in the Suzuki dealer Sept 2011-£650 off list price) its an absolute bargain!
Sweet engine, low state of tune(only 70bhp) it's super reliable, loves to be revved, tho has a really flat torque curve from 3k thru to 10k(i sit between 3K and 9K never more), and the engine is so tractable and smooth for a vee it defies logic. I get zero vibes from mine, no blurred mirrors etc, i don't understand the other review saying 20miles and hands numb??? Not true.
Standard form its a beautifully balanced bike, i average 52-54mpg weekend rides and weekday commutes to work.
The perfect bike for commuting in the week and fun on the twisties come the weekend. It really is so much fun, without the temptation of 'licence losing land' like gsxr's/Ninja's/CBR's etc.
You appreciate it for what it does do, i used to own a 'Blade and a 1200 Bandit and many occasions i was using it to its full potential, it is the temptation to do it. The Sv tho lets you revel in its flat torque curve, so your not trying to reach the power at the top of the rev band. Instead you find yourself enjoying the low down pull out of corners, short shifting, listening to that glorious vee twin engine below you! So much charactor, its parts may not be cutting edge but they all work together very well.
Not many bikes have charactor nowadays, its all performance figures and too focused at being a race bike.
So to sum up, its a great bike, bagfulls of charactor and a great all-rounder!
Score breakdown



Engine:
5.0
Brakes:
4.0
Handling:
5.0
Comfort:
3.0
Build Quality:
4.0

Phil w 6 would recommend this product
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