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Suzuki SV650 Naked Motorbike Review

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Suzuki SV650/S motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Suzuki SV650 is a straightforward middleweight V-twin all-rounder which proves you don’t have to be boring to be practical. The SV650 is versatile, affordable, a doddle to ride (making it popular with inexperienced riders) and yet is a hoot to muck about on - or even to race.

 

- SV650 Ultimate buyer's guide - everything you need to know when buying an SV. 
10 years of the Suzuki SV650 - we celebrate a decade of SV with everything from a model history to a list of the top 10 accessories.
- Video: Suzuki SV650 longterm report - report on owning an SV.
- Watch the Suzuki SV650 Sport take on Aprilia's 850cc Mana, Honda's Silver Wing and the three-wheel Piaggio MP3 400.
- Watch the Suzuki SV650 take on the BMW F800, the Aprilia Shiver and the Triumph Street Triple.


 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Suzuki SV650's liquid-cooled dohc unit is so smooth and eager it makes most European V-twins seem crude and impotent. The Suzuki SV650 is flexible and predictable, has a thrilling zest for revs and yet is completely reliable, too. What’s more, the gearchange is typically Suzuki slick and the clutch is light and easy. The SV650 has an all-round great engine.   

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Better even than the engine. Forget fancy cycle parts, instead the Suzuki SV650 has a super-light feel, accurate steering and assured suspension and brakes. Tour by all means (it’s plush enough) but the Suzuki SV650 revels in thrashing through the twisties, too. Six-footers may find an SV650 a little cramped.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Budget price means the Suzuki SV650 has everything you need but not much more. Common SV650 owner mods include belly pan and full fairing lowers.
Click here for the 10 best parts for the SV650, as recommended by real owners at www.sv650.org.

Suzuki SV650/S (1999-current)

Detail Value
New price £4,975
Dealer used prices
£1,930 (1999) - £4,680 (2013)
Private used prices
£1,740 (1999) - £4,210 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 645 cc
Power 69 bhp
Top speed 123 mph
Insurance group 9 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Build quality of the Suzuki SV650 is fair but expect some corrosion and furring of alloy surfaces if you ride through winter. Reliability is good thanks to the SV650's fuss-free chassis and a fairly routine but gloriously under-stressed engine.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

A budget initial price coupled with low running costs and cheap insurance makes the Suzuki SV650 a top-value package. Cheaper bikes (Suzuki’s GS500, Kawasaki’s ER-5) can’t match the SV’650s performance and Kawasaki’s recent ER-6 is too new to compete against older used Suzuki SV650s on price. It remains a stylish and classy buy despite its increasing age. Find a Suzuki SV650 for sale or Suzuki SV650S for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 9 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

Model History

1999: Original ‘jellymould’-styled half-faired Suzuki SV650S launched.
2003: Suzuki SV650 revamp. New angular styling, new angular, lighter die-cast frame, revised clocks and lights and fuel injection in place of twin carbs.
2004: Catalytic converter added to Suzuki SV650.
2005: Suzuki SV650 frame and swingarm now black-finished instead of silver.

- Full SV650 model guide

Other Versions

Suzuki SV650: Has slightly higher bars and lacks half-fairing of ‘S’ model, so slightly lower asking prices.

Specifications

Top speed 123 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.5 secs
Max power 69 bhp
Max torque 45 ft-lb
Weight 169 kg
Seat height 800 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 9 of 17
Engine size 645 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 290mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/60 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

See all Suzuki SV650 motorcycles for sale

Suzuki
SV650

22989 miles

£2,249

Suzuki
SV650

15000 miles

£1,600

Suzuki
SV650

23000 miles

£1,850

Suzuki
SV650

17165 miles

£1,850

Suzuki
SV650

16085 miles

£1,850

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(59 reviews)

  • not a bad bike, but

    BUSA666

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    wish it had the 1000cc lump out of the TL1000R in it, but still a good bike.

    01 June 2010

  • Can't go wrong!

    cookieowl

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have recently bought my first big bike, and having weighed up many contenders, I had it down to a Transalp and a SV650 - as second hand, I'd seen similar 6/7 year old examples for 2.5k. I had a Varadero 125, I thought the Transalp would be more of the same, and decided to go for the SV. I am DELIGHTED with my choice! The bike looks great, if you can get it with the optional full fairings - setting the look of a sports bike, without having to fork out the inevitable higher insurance premium. I picked up the bike it rotten weather, and with the potentially problematic new rubber on back & front. The bike did not miss a beat from slow tight corners, to long motorway sweeps - and all with loads of standing water. The bike has an engine that feels like it always has more should you need it, and on the public roads, you'll never be short on power and speed. The ride is comfortable, and I am planning long tours on the bike as the weather improves. I highly recommend this bike to anyone who has passed their test, and is looking for an all-round bike which will provide fun and practicality. You will struggle to find anyone who has rode this bike who does not think that this is an excellent way of getting into motorcycling!

    16 November 2009

  • Perfect, especially for new riders...

    Jim Moorby

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I say perfect for new riders as its very forgiving but can also be 'twitchy' when it wants to, keeping you on your feet and steers you away from confident complacency. Its my first ever bike and I’ve very happily clocked up 8,000 miles on it, a track day and my first christening with the tarmac… and I also now have shares within the petroleum markets! Bad news first I’m afraid. The suspension and riding position are the downsides to this wonderful bike as it’s also split between a sports and a tourer. Despite it performing brilliantly on the track, (got my first knee down with it) and it also proving most efficient when touring over to Exmoor and Wales, it does give cramp on long treks, doesn’t soak up the typical British roads as well as you’d like and makes you feel like your really stretching over the tank after a while. I’m 6’2” and I personally wouldn’t want to be any less the 5’10” on it! The pegs are quite high, which is good for ground clearance and having the benefit of ‘clip-ons’ also helps with fast road riding and lean angles. I have also heard that the SV doesn’t have much to play with with regards to extras, though the only thing I’ve decided I need is the lower fairings, which I don’t need at all really?! Plenty adequate for a big bike newbie! Now for the good stuff! The handling and engine are superb which help you flow around roads and circuits as if you’re a natural. I’ve got Dunlop Qualifiers on at the moment and they are predictably grippy (not in the wet though!) and give confidence on the track. This along with the superb feel of the SV and you’ve got a perfect combination. A Yamaha Fazer 600 and a Suzuki Bandit 650 are the only other bikes I’ve ridden but the Suzuki tops them both with almost every aspect of biking apart from comfort. It has a better gear box, feels like it has a more torque ridden engine and therefore probably makes you seem like your quicker than you really are. It also gives better confidence when riding fast, sounds far better than the two, (good old V-Twin!), and to top it all off its cheaper on the insurance and I think cheaper to probably buy; especially now the new Gladius is out. All in all a brilliant bike for a big bike newbie who wants a go at track days and touring but also provides perfectly for weekend blasts! Recommend to anyone :)

    13 August 2009

  • Perfect! (for new riders)...

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
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    Value
    Engine

    I say perfect for new riders as its very forgiving but can also be 'twitchy' when it wants to, keeping you on your feet and steers you away from confident complacency. Its my first ever bike and I’ve very happily clocked up 8,000 miles on it, a track day and my first christening with the tarmac… and I also now have shares within the petroleum markets! Bad news first I’m afraid. The suspension and riding position are the downsides to this wonderful bike as it’s also split between a sports and a tourer. Despite it performing brilliantly on the track, (got my first knee down with it) and it also proving most efficient when touring over to Exmoor and Wales, it does give cramp on long treks, doesn’t soak up the typical British roads as well as you’d like and makes you feel like your really stretching over the tank after a while. I’m 6’2” and I personally wouldn’t want to be any less the 5’10” on it! The pegs are quite high, which is good for ground clearance and having the benefit of ‘clip-ons’ also helps with fast road riding and lean angles. I have also heard that the SV doesn’t have much to play with with regards to extras, though the only thing I’ve decided I need is the lower fairings, which I don’t need at all really?! Plenty adequate for a big bike newbie! Now for the good stuff! The handling and engine are superb which help you flow around roads and circuits as if you’re a natural. I’ve got Dunlop Qualifiers on at the moment and they are predictably grippy (not in the wet though!) and give confidence on the track. This along with the superb feel of the SV and you’ve got a perfect combination. A Yamaha Fazer 600 and a Suzuki Bandit 650 are the only other bikes I’ve ridden but the Suzuki tops them both with almost every aspect of biking apart from comfort. It has a better gear box, feels like it has a more torque ridden engine and therefore probably makes you seem like your quicker than you really are. It also gives better confidence when riding fast, sounds far better than the two, (good old V-Twin!), and to top it all off its cheaper on the insurance and I think cheaper to probably buy; especially now the new Gladius is out. All in all a brilliant bike for a big bike newbie who wants a go at track days and touring but also provides perfectly for weekend blasts! Recommend to anyone :)

    13 August 2009

  • Awesome 1st Bike!

    J2uk

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I have had my SV650S for about 6 months now and i love it to bits, it looks amazing, sounds amazing and has plent of power and torque. You cant beat the noise of a VTWIN. It is my first big bike and i would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent first bike that is forgiving when you make a mistake. Good Points: Noise(i have Scorpion Cans), Torque, Handling and Looks. Bad Points: Corrosion, Standard Tyres aren't great, False Neutrals can be a problem. Overall 5*

    22 April 2009

  • Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Goes like s**t of a shovel, sticks to the roads like s**t to a blanket, BRILLIANT

    31 March 2009

  • Great 1st Bike

    Tom May

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have got an SV650S and have been very happy with it for the last year. I am a new rider and this was my first "big bike" after mucking about on a 125 for a few months. i have the full fairing which really makes the difference in the looks department! I've now covered almost 10,000 miles on the SV and am looking into going across to France on it. I've made several trips from Surrey to Yorkshire on it and it does a fairly decent job of shielding you from the wind although not spectacular. I think this is the perfect first bike to get for anyone who has just passed and is still gaining confidence. I did A LOT of research into which bike to get and everything i read said this was and it really hasn't disappointed. The only thing i would say is that after a year i am looking for a bit more power. Perfect 1st bike, top marks

    26 March 2009

  • I love my SV650S!

    Smit6000

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I have only been a qualified rider since November, but since then I have racked up nearly 2500 miles on my 1999 SV. It is a great bike to really learn to ride on. Loads of power when needed and I am now starting to build up my confidence. Most of my riding has been in the wet and cold of winter, but now the dry warmer days are starting, I am learning just how well the bike handles and corners. I recommend this bike highly, especially if like me, you are new to biking.

    12 March 2009

  • My SV

    MarkZX6R

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    I had an SV650 Sport for nearly 2 years, this followed the GS500F I had for 6 months after passing my test. I commuted on the SV over 500 miles a week, every week, come rain or shine. The only modification to the supplied bike was a touring scottoiler. I can honestly say I never had a days trouble with it. It was serviced regularly and the consumables changed as necessary but even with the high milage the only parts needed were at the standard servie intervals. Most of my milage was carried out on the motorway where it was comfortable enough for the hour or so run in. In the city it was easy to nip in and out of traffic were required. A good all rounder which I'd certainly recommend for new riders or those more experienced wanting a bit of fun.

    05 February 2009

  • first bike

    scousebikergirl

    Average rating rating is 4

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    It's difficult to write a review when you're a beginner as I aint ridden many bikes, BUT i will say, compared to what i learnt on (a Suzuki GS500) this bike is fab!! It's very forgiving, and does exactly what you ask it. I took it out in the cold the other day and it was just fantastic!! corners where a breeze (despite my adrenaline pumping!) and when i saw some clear road, it was dying to just go for it!! A bike that you have complete control of all in your right hand. LOVE IT!!

    13 December 2008

Discuss this

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scampisv

User's Badge

scampisvsays

best in its class

owned my sv650s for 4yrs now and have used it mainly abroad(26000) from portugal to romania,one trip was 4000 in 10 days,not had one problem & will never sell it,recently fitted rear ohlins shock & front springs which is a major improvement as is the superbike handlebar conversion if you intend to do long miles in the saddle,this bike is as clean as the day i bought it which considering where i'v been says it all & STILL on its original chain & sprocketts which will be replaced next.  

13 January 2010 18:41

toe_down_sv_racing

User's Badge

toe_down_sv_racingsays

CHANGE THE TYRES !!!!

My bike came with BADDDD Dunlop D220's, now if you like power-sliding on wet surfaces, spesh rounda-bouts, not havig a tyre warm up quickly and never get close to knee-down, these are the tyres for you.

However if you enjoy riding, and want something cheap and easy-going, the shock find of Continental Road Attacks - £189 fitted, really worked a treat!

Although blasted by most bike mags when ridden by a litre bike, stick them on low-power or light machines and they possitivly sing.

Stats..

Ive had mine now for roughlt 8.5-9000 miles, the front still had some tread left but the rear is boarderline.

All weathers, handling = amazing.

8.5-9K miles also includes 2 VERY fast track days at cadwell where i finished up running in the inters.

Also 1 trackday in the wet where i was in the inters before i crashed.  Still not bad for a stock SV on touring tyres right???

Im buying them again !!!

Knee, Toe, Peg .... Id get elbow down if i had a 180 section im sure of it.

Buy Now.

16 November 2008 09:38

davepreston

daveprestonsays

6 foot easy im near 7 and i will never sell my 99 curvy tried other 600s nothin comes close

02 November 2008 16:31

Tooshay

User's Badge

Tooshaysays

Height

I'm 6' 2" and have no problems with the bike. So yes, its good for a six footer and fantastic as a first bike.

13 October 2008 14:02

big ears

big earssays

susuki sv 650

Is this bike any god for a six footer as a first bike ?

06 October 2008 18:19

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