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Niall's Spin: Suzuki SV1000S

The SV1000S may not be as dashing as the TL1000S but it fares pretty well in positive things

Click to read: Suzuki SV1000S owners reviews, Suzuki SV1000S specs and to see the Suzuki SV1000S image gallery.

BIG BIKE FUN for medium bike money. These sell new for about £5K so there are some sizzling bargains on the used market. They're a top sporty twin which works superbly on the road. If you're a die-hard track head, you might want to upgrade the suspension but for most of us it's fine.

When it was first launched the problem with the SV1000S was that people thought it would be the new TL1000S. It isn't, which lead to some unfair panning by the press. The SV doesn't really have any bad areas, as long as you appreciate it for what it is.

Think of the SV1000S as a great big SV650 and you'll start to understand the thinking behind this bike. Yes, the engine is a version of the TL's V-twin, but it has been re-tuned for a smoother power delivery to make it less intimidating. The big twin thumps along at a decent pace and has a very smooth and refined throttle response that riders new to big bikes will certainly appreciate -and it's perhaps they who represent a significant slice of the SV1000's target market.

Again, like the SV650, the 1000's handling is okay - up to a point. On the road, at a gentle to moderate pace, the SV isn't bad at all, but up it a bit and the rear shock isn't fantastic and the forks start to feel decidedly budget. Also the brakes aren't that good. Many owners do like to fiddle with their SVs though, and a fair slice of the used machines on offer have been treated to aftermarket suspension and the like - just make sure things have been done properly and ask for receipts if sellers claim the suspension has had specialist work.

In town the riding position of the half-faired S version can be quite wrist-intensive, which isn't very good, but the seat is fairly padded and fairing effective enough for longer journeys. And there is a solution to the handlebar situation. Suzuki do a naked version called simply the SV1000. It is basically identical but has a single front headlight, flat bars and no fairing. Good for fun and city riding, less good for commuting or covering more serious distances.

Key ID: twin strip LED rear light and booming twin exhausts.

Pay more for: a clean bike with a Power Commander and removable-baffle cans and quality belly pan or Suzuki's own colour matched fairing. Or an aftermarket shock.