Used Test: Suzuki SV650 S

Suzuki's fun-sized V-twin won't have you quivering with lust, but it won't disappoint if you're after a competent machine that'll keep you smiling all day

Posted: 13 September 2010
by Chris Moss

Click to read: Suzuki SV650 owners reviewsSuzuki SV650 specs and to see the Suzuki SV650 image gallery.

Suzuki's SV650 isn't the sort of bike you get really excited about - it's not raunchy and sexy enough to do that. But it still has stacks of virtues to make it well worth considering - especially if you're a bit new to the biking game, having another go at it after a break, need a basic all-rounder, or if you're on a budget.

It's one of those quietly efficient machines that can do an awful lot of things well. And though you'll never rave about it, the SV will constantly command healthy dollops of respect every time you ride it. It always ends up generating plenty of smiles of satisfaction and lots of praise, even if those compliments are murmured more than screamed.

The V-twin is a very versatile tool, and suits runs to work, runs in the country (to destinations both near and far), and even runs round racetracks. But not only is it a great little all-rounder, because it's so light, small and easy to master, it's also perfect for those who are a bit vertically challenged or a bit daunted by anything too big and bulky. It's a bit of a toy - and a great one to play with.

One of its best features is the way it can devour corners. The SV's handling isn't 100% perfect and improvements can be made but few will feel that it's anything less than impressive to chuck about. And that praise applies at whatever speed you're pushing the little V-twin.

In town the poise and balance of the SV means trickling through heavy traffic is a job devoid of any drama. And its low weight is a nice bonus when you're pushing it to and from parking places. Up the pace and the ease and certainty continues.

Flat-out knee down action can be sampled all day - with no worries about scary stuff like wheelies or tankslappers. In keeping with the bike's overall personality, the SV just gets on with its job effectively. In fact, if it's ridden well, the Suzuki can raise the eyebrows of bikers mounted on much sportier tackle as they struggle to master the excess performance of their own mounts.

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User test is accurate in general bar a few things. Suspension is VERY soft at the front. A set of Debrix emulators and a change of the watery 5wt fork oil to thicker 15wt oil makes a huge difference to the front end for around £50. Go further with a set of k-tech linear fork springs and you'll have a superb front end setup. The rear shock can be easily replaced with a gsxr one of various years.
Brakes are actually quite good, the lack of overall weight is the key. If it was 10kg heavier they may struggle a tad.
So fit emulators, 15wt oil and bridgestone bt-023 tires and you have a capable bike for little outlay.

Posted: 28/03/2012 at 23:28

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