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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
£1,980 (2002) - £4,590 (2013)
Private used prices
£1,780 (2002) - £4,130 (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 4.5
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

9500 miles

£2,795

Suzuki
SV650

23000 miles

£1,500

Suzuki
SV650

3700 miles

£3,295

Suzuki
SV650

20000 miles

£1,699

Suzuki
SV650

16500 miles

£1,600

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(58 reviews)

  • IAM WRITING MY 2 YEAR REVIEW, **MY BIKE IS MODIFIED**

    toe_down_sv_racing

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

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    Engine

    ITS BEEN 2 YEARS ON THE SV650S!!!!! Holy cow has it gone fast. 2 THINGS:- 1, IT IS MY FIRST BIKE, 2:- I have done 900(ish) motorway miles, the bike has done 17,000. T H I N G S I V E L E A R N T. Conti Road Attack tyres get SLATED (unfairly) in BIKE mag reviews, but give me 7500 miles and 2 track days with enough grip to go into winter and still get knee down in the "moist". The best upgrades are SMALL ONES. Its like many of the posts you see, they are the incremental steps which add up. If there is only one thing i now would have the original chnage is the swing arm and susps'. Apart from this, simple things like spark plugs, air filter, Scorpion Stubby (Highly Recomended) are the only other things to have different. A F T E R T W O Y E A R S.... It feels cemented, and worn like your fave gloves. It does everything perfectly, kneedown in snow, toedown in wet and peg down over Craner Curves with cheap tyres on. OH GOD i love this bike. "Girls Bike" reviewers dont last long when they see what i can do on my SV on any given day. B U Y O N E!!!!!

    15 October 2008

  • ' 00 sv 650s

    jimbob85

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Fantastic bike, great for big bike novices! Made my mate on his brand new ZX6R look silly out of corners! Sounds great with a can too. Front suspension a bit soft, but some thicker fork oil helps. Only thing to watch for are the camchain tensioners, if you do notice that dreaded rattle make sure you shop around, I ended up paying half what the main dealers were quoting me. Other than that a really great bike

    06 October 2008

  • thumping v twin

    newbikerbabe1

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    my first bike and it's great!!!! and doesn't punish new riders for mistakes either

    03 October 2008

  • '05 SV650S

    Tooshay

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I've had a 2005 SV650S for the last two years and have used it for mainly commuting. It's excellent value for money, and very reliable- i've covered 25,000miles in the time i've had it and its NEVER let me down, not once. it's also good on fuel as i regularly get 60mpg and 210+ miles from a full tank of petrol. And most importantly its good fun to ride and every morning i look forward to the trip to work. What more can you ask from a budget bike? Simply Awesome.

    26 September 2008

  • Another great V-Twin

    Mjollnir

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Engine

    The latest shape has a seat height more suited to the taller rider, but the seating position doesn't quite suit the larger frame. They are cracking bikes to ride, and the engine is fantastic, highly recomended.

    18 September 2008

  • SV650 sport 2007

    PegasusPlant

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    I Purchase a new SV650 Sport in 2007 it has been faultless for over a year of mainly dry riding, easy to ride i have taken it over the Cat and fiddle giving me plently of confidence in its handeling (it loves to be pushed), and to the Isle of Man with soft luggage and covered 500miles in 3 days. i go out with my mates on a GSXR 1000 R6 and Fireblade. performance wise ive seen 138mph on dig speedo and from the light to legal speeds kept up with my mates pass legal speeds im sure they would leave me standing. you can feel a more budjet feel to gear selector and suspension than on the fireblade but if your in the market for a road bike not a track bike it is worth a test ride, i would recomend one, and my friend who have had them before moving up would do as well.

    04 September 2008

  • What a bike

    si_megz11

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I am actually reviewing a 2002 SV 650S that I had a year ago, the reason I am submitting one now is that I have just realised what a mistake it was to sell it. I sold my bike to move up to a GSXR 600 K3, I then sold this and brought an 01 RSV Mille, these bikes may have been faster in a straight line but they didnt compare to my old SV, even the guys who I ride out with say that I could ride my SV faster than my newer bikes. It is such a great bike. The engine is so keen to rev and pulls and sounds so fantastic (especially with a twin port blue flame exhaust). The only thing I didnt like was the 120/60 front tyre, it sometimes gave you the falling off a cliff sensation commonally found on R6's, swap it for a 120/70 but you may have to tinker with the front mudguard to compensate. It is not just me either I have told my misses that I want to buy a 01 ZX6r or a 99 CBR 600F but she would rather me buy another SV. Also make sure you autosol the front downpipe as often as you can, stops it from corroding.

    28 June 2008

  • if you dont like this, stick to 4 wheels!

    Ash77

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    i really rate my 06 sv650s. passed in march and got it soon after. went from being nervous about leaning etc to keeping up with experienced riders on rideouts within 3 months (about 15 rides). it gives so much confidence with its low weight flickability and its low and mid v-twin grunt. was wondering if 70bhp would be enough, but below 3 figures it sure is. does 0-100 in a shade under 10 secs apparently. r6 owners etc tell me they have little grunt till 8-10k revs but this pulls nicely at 4-5 and is fully on song at 6-7k where it starts to sound less basey and more racy upto its 11k red. a beautifully linear power delivery makes it easy to keep up with the peaky 4cyls on all but the longest and straightest and it uses less fuel too! worst ive done is 48mpg. best 58! cheap insurance at under £220 with zero no claims. ultra reliable so far and with a scorpion can sounds like some sort of 5mpg v8/v12 with attitude! clueless about what to get next without lots of extra outlay and running costs. maybe a gsxr750 if i can justify, but if not i'll keep. dislike the ride on some poorer roads and lack of storage. its ok rather than great on m-ways with its smallish screen and you get loadsa flys on yer helmet, but id forgive it alot more. its best on the twisties but with great filtering ability due to its grunt and narrowness, its actually a strong all rounder. summer weekends = very happy days!

    21 June 2008

  • The Best

    NimoCheck

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Engine

    First big bike iv had but ridden loads of other 600s and this is the best by a mile. Sooo much fun and smooth but pokey engine, looks are great and handles excellent. Ant rode it through winter yet but i love every minuet im on it

    20 June 2008

  • Seriously understated

    Aron Ridgway

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Had my 2003 Sv for 1year and 1/2, and covered around 25000 miles on it.. went to the south of France with it twice, covering 4000 miles each time, only time it stuggled was keeping up the pace on the auto routes. but as soon as you get to the twistys nothing left it. also did a track day on it at silverstone, showed up my uncle on his fireblade but thats another story hehe.. only mods i really had were full fairing, which you need if your going to tour.. brembo hoses. to sharpen the brakes up.. and a new can and man does it rour. best sounding bike i've had.. my only wish was that i didnt need to use it all year round, but i did and it quickly deteriated in winter with all the salt and crap.. anyone starting off riding i highly reccomend,, cheap insurance..cheap to run..and a good looking bike in my eyes also can have ALOT of FUN! trust me

    15 March 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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