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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

28040 miles

£1,075

Suzuki
SV650

8063 miles

£2,895

Suzuki
SV650

1 miles

£5,106

Suzuki
SV650

29328 miles

£1,499

Suzuki
SV650

19260 miles

£2,599

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(58 reviews)

  • Suzuki SV650

    theobulldog

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    A very good cheap reliable bike. When I went into the bike shop where I bought it from it was one of the least bikes I would of chosen. I took a few bikes for a test ride and when I got to this one I couldn’t believe it. The handling was brilliant. So light and easy to flick about. That sold it to me. The only thing I wish it had more of was power, but I guess that’s what the SV1000 is for. Top bike.

    15 April 2007

  • good bike

    Wozza

    OAKHAM , UK

    Average rating rating is 5

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    test

    02 March 2007

  • '02 still going strong

    asphaltscraper

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I bought my SVS on U.S soil after owning one at home in Blighty and then selling her to move here. The bike has done absolutely everything. It started out as my daily commuter, then it became a weekend toy seeing 500 miles a weekend of hard riding, it saw a track school and a handful of track days, then it went across the U.S two up without any problems. Crashed it and then put it back together for it to be my commuter bike again. 34,000 miles and still going well, the rear shock needs replacing, but asides from that it's running strong. Strengths: Great bike for novice through to experienced track rider. It's a twin so it's great off of a turn,throw a pipe on it and it sounds magic. Budget biking at it's best. Economical to run. Weaknesses: Suspension is cheap, but it's a budget bike so you get what you pay for. Expect your front fairing stay to bend up in a spill. It's only a 650 so you will find it's performance limitations sooner rather than later.

    09 October 2006

  • Great first bike with plenty to keep you interested.

    duffbattye

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I've recently come back to biking after a break of 6 years. I previously owned a cbr600. I was drawn to the sv650s due to low insurance and all the good reviews. I haven't been let down. It's a really good fun bike - very flickable and looks cool. It's much more fun to ride than the cbr6 - I love the engine braking on a twin. Not that comfortable for long periods on either wrist or bum (anything over an hour)so can't imagine it would be a great tourer. It's also pretty hard work at anything over 90 miles an hour - but if you are new to biking or have come back to it that's plenty to be going on with. Great bike - highly recommended. Strengths: Easy to ride, cheap insurance group, looks good, the feel of a twin. Weaknesses: No wind protection at speed, front fork corrosion and general lack of build quality, standard brakes are not great.

    25 July 2006

  • Great fun bike at the right price which needs a few tweaks to get the best from

    steveeg

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Due to 2 insurances claims , I needed a lower group bike, have owned lots of previous bikes my last being a kwak 750. The sv650s came with free servicing for 2 years ( actually 3 free services up to 8000 miles) this I would guess would be worth 400 quid so bike was a bargin. Straight line speed is obviously down on a like for like sports 4, however there is enough go for UK's roads . The bike is an ideal commuter & is still great fun on the weekend, it is cheap to buy & run & insure eg returns 50 + mpg Front suspension needs upgrade is you are over 11 stones & oe tyres are not great. Front plug is exposed & you need to fit a fender extender , or water proof grease the front plug to stop problems in the wet, front fender keeps a lot of dirt off front of engine etc. Bike is really best for solo use, as struggles 2 up but I am a big bloke. Strengths: Price , fun , cost of ownership. Weaknesses: Front suspension, build quality is not great as dunlop d220's are not great esp in the wet.

    21 May 2006

  • Purchased new K6 version 2006 for £4295 with lower fairings, hugger, scottoiler, and seat cowl.

    chabbychang

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    After returning to biking last year (after gap of 15 yrs), purchased a Yamaha XJ900S Diversion, great bike but very heavy... Decided to trade in and considered SV1000S 9insurance too high) or highly rated SV650S. Choose latter. Does exactly what it says on the tin.... sounds a bit lawnmowerish from new, but 70kgs lighter, and more flexible and benefits from modern design and technology. Strengths: Running in at moment, keeping to below 5500 revs for 500 miles = 65 mph. Very happy at moment, practical and a good lucker. Weaknesses: Too early to say, have read ALL internet reports and BIKE reviews. Very highly rated, best decision I've made for long time!!!!!!

    06 May 2006

  • My first biggish bike, and an absolute hoot

    John_the_spoon

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Having endured the pain of screwing myself up on my 1993 NSR125R for a year, I got round to taking my test and couldn't wait to jump on a bigger bike. From the start I noticed how much power there was at all revs. OK, so I came up from a 125 and the SV's still restricted, but there's no waiting to get to the power - even in top gear it'll pull with ridiculously small numbers on the clock. I loved the styling, particularly with the newer black frame, and the post '03 shape really keeps this bike up to date. I was slightly worried about seeing my pride and joy become no more than a grey furry lump after winter, but regular cleaning (a bit of a hose down most weekends) has seen it shrug off the winter salt. I've recently started riding with pillions, and apart from needing the shock wound up, the SV has proved more than capable of dealing with two people at once. I love that the bike was gentle enough for me when I first got it, but as my riding improves so, it seems, does the bike. Strengths: Its one of the most versatile bikes I've seen - learners like me can wobble on it, racers can have real fun in the Minitwins series on it. Its so easy to ride, and so much fun! Weaknesses: The brakes aren't exactly overwhelming, suspension's a tad soft for my 11 stone and at 6'1" I can get a fair bit of wind over the screen.

    17 March 2006

  • It's a bike with 2 wheels and an engine...

    valllldondo

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Engine

    Loved the bike as soon as the K3 model came out. Looked good and felt a good bike when first introduced. Was an excellent 1st choice bike for performance, learning on and insuring. As time went on the bike does lose its charm with obviuos flaws in the build quality and robustness of bike. The brakes and front end are not the most confidence inspirring when wanting to brake quickly, especialy with 2 up! But once you get those standard dunlop tires off the bike and equip them with Continental Attack tires, the bikes grip and corning abilty is increased ten fold. Wet or dry, the sv will stick to any decent road surface with those tires fitted. Decent rear pre-load as well which makes a lot of differeance as the standard settings are way to soft for my liking. Strengths: Very good 1st time to learn your trade on... Decent Handling when fitted with decent tires Recommend Continetal Attack Tires!! A good looking bike once fitted with after market bits and peices... Weaknesses:  Brakes - Not Sharp Enough for emergency stopping Forks - Very soft and dive too easily on normal braking, especialy with a pillion. Robustness - 7200 miles on the clock and broken down twice due to electrical and wirring issues. Rusts easily on the Forks. Suzuki sales and servicing from Cupar motor cycles very dissapointing!

    06 March 2006

  • Bought new in 2004 (04) £4200. 1st bike after a couple of years off.

    nigelwood1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    It has been a real blast. 1st new bike and a good way to get back into biking after a couple of years off. With the right tyres and a bit of suspension work I can embarrass bigger and faster bikes when it gets twisty (even 2-up). Easy and fun to ride. Stock suspension is only limiting factor in the fun stakes. Got some uprated Maxton fork springs and jacked the back up 25mm. Now the front doesn't bottom out and it turns in real quick. I put an Art Race can on and it sounds like a Ducati and revs much cleaner and quicker. It makes me smile every time I ride it. Strengths: As a first bike it is excellent. You can learn to ride and not be intimidated by too much power.Handling is a peach (if its sorted). Value for money and smiles per mile you can't beat it. It aint nothing "Too" special but it is fun. Weaknesses:
    Built to the price. Very basic suspension not suited to anyone heavier than 10 stone. Not comfy for long distance if over 6 ft tall but thats not what it is for. Could do with a bit more power. Lacks attention to detail and finish quality.

    04 March 2006

  • 2003 Sv650s used daily all the year round

    badasspov

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I bought this 2003 model at the end of the reg, so its two years old at the end of Feb. I have commuted nearly every day during that time, clocking some 20,000 miles. Crap dealer ment I had a sticky clutch problem longer than I should have when I first bought it. I have did Assen last year and it coped well with a weekend blast in Europe. Finish on forks and fasteners looking poor now, however considering the abuse it takes I am not surprised. Strengths: Its pure fun,a genuine all rounder, great for commuting through traffic yet so agile. Very cheap to run very very reliable. Weaknesses: As with all Suzuki's the finish isnt great.

    26 February 2006

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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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