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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 4.5
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

1 miles

£5,106

Suzuki
SV650

29328 miles

£1,499

Suzuki
SV650

19260 miles

£2,599

Suzuki
SV650

18200 miles

£1,495

Suzuki
SV650

7 miles

£3,999

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(58 reviews)

  • Easy Ride

    Edward Hutchinson

    Warwick , UK

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bouoght a 99 reg SV650 S as my first road bike and it's been faultless, easy to ride with plenty of power to entertain on twisty A and B roads. I have fitted a Quill exhaust system which has made the bike sound fantastic as well as improving the mid range performance. As a first bike the SV would take some beating, it's reliable, cheap to run and comfortable on longer runs. Additionally they last well, mine has done 30,500 miles and still looks mint.

    18 February 2008

  • wicked

    ranksounds

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    the bike is great, got mine in July '07. I've got the fully faired sport version. My only gripe is with the front suspension, it bottoms out over speed humps and pot holes, it's currently under investigation Feb'08. Apart from that everything about the bike is great, it's light and keeps up with the big to a degree

    12 February 2008

  • Champion Material

    toe_down_sv_racing

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

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    Engine

    Everyone these days who waffles on about making makes "like a 250 gp racer" are complete loooosers. no one really wants a 250gp bike, but what people do need to get them on the start to being able to ride like a demented frence 250 works rider is a solid grounding in a bike that is simple and friendly. its very easy to say how the SV is less than the modern competition, but it is still for my money the best clip on bar budget bike you can get. lets look at why people want an SV? -They want a cheap first bike that isnt hard to replace parts and get serviced -Simple and easy power delivery letting you know how to get on the power earlier on -Unsung sportsbike so no ones always expecting toe down on a trip to tesco's. as well, the modern classic looks and still-distincting features endear this bike to be a real machine people will love to restore in 25 years time, just like the RD's are today. the best bit is the fact that after only 7 months of riding, and being 22, i am track-daying alongside the GSXR600/750 posse and in between trackdays, i spend hours on the roundabout GP telling people how to get knee/toe down everytime. always a treat, never a bore, SV IS the best first bike for pretty much everyone.

    10 February 2008

  • Buy One!!

    skellyjelly

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've owned many bikes but have never owned a V-Twin. I've recently run in my 07 SV650S and it has been a hoot. It's light, handles like a bike should and is easy to ride. I had a foreign license (and 20 years riding experience) so had to do my CBT, theory and practical test, and I used a Suzuki GS500 (which was a cinch to ride), but the SV blows it into the weeds. I tested everything before I bought my SV, and whilst all had their good points, none came close to the bangs for bucks deal the SV offers. If you want a totally reliable, easy to handle and good looking bike, buy one of these. Never mind what the reviewers say, I ride in the real world and don't get much chance to explore the top speed of ANY bike, and in the real world this bike is the real deal. Go on, wind up Ducati owners by having something more reliable, annoy CBR600 owners by having something more "exclusive", show FZ6 owners that your bike will pull out of corners in any gear and above all, wind up an SV650 and revel in the sound of a V-twin. It's addictive. Plus points - everyone loves the looks, it's easy to ride, reliable and sounds great. Minus points - ride for more than an hour and the seat begins to numb your bum. I can't reccommend this bike enough.

    29 November 2007

  • Top newbie ride

    basstwiddler

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought a K6 Sport for £4300 before going through DAS (the thought of it sitting in the showroom waiting for me was a pretty good incentive to pass) and haven't regretted it. After training on a CB500, the SV immediately felt comfortable, controllable and very balanced Despite limited revs during the break-in period, it still takes off from roundabouts and overtakes satisfyingly quickly in any gear thanks to the V-twin torque...also thanks to the V-twin torque, can't say I know much about the power of the brakes as engine braking does most of the work. Most miles done on a daily M4 commute, which is comfy and smooth, not too much windblast but wrists can get a bit sore from the clip-ons. Dark wintery nights not a problem too thanks to headlights better than my car. MCN review's mpg figure seems too low - so far had around 55mpg without riding like too much of a slouch. No real issues so far - discs already a bit rusty outside the contact area, Dunlop D220STs are on the durable rather than sticky side, and paint on the tank and seat cowl is thinner than Nicole Richie, but that would appear to be old news. Other than that, go and buy one - plenty fast enough for long-distance blasts and greenhorn shenanigans, corners and stops really well, and the full fairing does a fine job of hiding the crows feet of the slightly elderly naked underneath. NB: people talk about older versions misfiring in the wet due to raod spray getting in the front spark plug - looks like Suzuki have sorted this by hanging a square rubber flap off the bottom of the radiator, so no need to buy a fender extender.

    23 October 2007

  • First big bike, loving it!

    Edd89

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    I bought a new 2006 Sv650s sports, meaning it's got full fairing and a rear seat cover. I use it for for commuting to college and back every day in all weather, then used at weekends for fun. Although the bike is standard(apart from a Meta alarm, R&G crash bungs and bar ends), restricted to 33bhp and I have only 4 months experience on a big bike, when I took it to a track day it was very good and easy to ride. The suspension set up was perfect at standard (I weigh 9 stone)and it was easy to take into the corners. However, the restrictor meant I was being overtaken on every straight going flat out, and the standard tires failed to impress me, especially in the wet and under heavy braking. That said, the Sv is perfect for commuting, and in the 4800 miles I've done on it in 5 months, nothing has gone wrong. That is apart from soon after I had a Meta alarm fitted, the bike had starting difficulties to do with the elecrtronics and re-wiring which were soon fixed. Ride and handling: perfectly set up for my weight and riding style and versatile enough to accomodate my larger dad comfortably. Equipment: I agree with the MCN verdict; everything's there, and works fine, but suzuki haven't gone over the top where equipment is concerned. Quality and reliability: nothing has gone wrong with the standard bike, just the Meta alarm difficulties. Value: great value for money so far. Engine: restricted but enough for commuting and weekend riding. Strengths: Fun, good all round bike, comfy commuter, lots of good aftermarket parts, easy to ride even for a big bike noob like me. Weaknesses: standard tires aren't amazing, restrictor kills the top end power, standard brakes are good but not great, no off road capabilities ;) If you're thinking of buying an Sv, I hope this review was helpful, and I would definitely recommend it!

    20 October 2007

  • Does what is says on the tin

    dmracing

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I purchased a SK5 Brand new to tackle my 100mile commute to work and back. 2 years on and its still going strong. Never even had a sniff of a problem. Its also very fun to ride around on twistys too! Only problem is that rust attacks this like termites munch on wood. Keep it clean and all will be good.

    10 October 2007

  • Does what is says on the tin

    dmracing

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I purchased a SK5 Brand new to tackle my 100mile commute to work and back. 2 years on and its still going strong. Never even had a sniff of a problem. Its also very fun to ride around on twistys too! Only problem is that rust attacks this like termites munch on wood. Keep it clean and all will be good.

    10 October 2007

  • Restricted big bike.

    dougie399

    CASTLEFORD , UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I plumped for the 03 SV650S on dealer recommendation. Its restricted through the ECU so doesnt get the cholking like you do with some of the carburetor models. Its sturdy as i have found out by sending it down the road on its own ahem twice. I have modified the exhaust system to high level Laser twin cans at a cost of £600 this system cost less than the Suzuki original exhaust and sounds beautiful. The Sv has helped to give me confidence and with some good tyres gives you the confidence to keep your speed up through the corners. Im not really in a position to comment on it fully as a restricted version gives you know where near the experience a fully powered one does. Its a great bike and i wouldnt part with it for the world now.

    23 May 2007

  • My First 'Big Bike'

    Simon Boulton

    Sandbach , UK

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    2005 K5 Got me back into biking after 17 year break. Suzuki sales service (thanks Single Tracker)was top drawer. The bike was just sublime... quick enough, forgiving enough, sporty, I could tour on it, cracking fuel economy. Sure, if you ride it throught the winter make sure you keep it regularly 'scott oiled'- that keeps it nice. Mine got wrote off by the old 'sorry mate, I didn't see you' scenario and I still miss it.

    11 May 2007

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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