SUZUKI SV1000 (2003-2007) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Big capacity, sensibly priced, road going, sporty V-twin"

Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding

"Big capacity, sensibly priced, road going, sporty V-twin"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

The Suzuki SV1000 is a purpose built big capacity, sensibly priced, road going sporty V-twin. Ok, the engine’s nicked from Suzuki’s old TL1000S but the rest of the SV1000 is all-new yet the price tag is very reasonable new or used. The faired Suzuki SV1000 ‘S’ version has lower bars but is the better all-rounder. The unfaired SV1000 with higher bars is a real funster if less competent on the motorway.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Suzuki SV1000's chunky aluminium frame with conventional suspension and it works better than the TL1000S ever did. The SV1000's suspension’s not quite as good as pure sports bikes but it’s fine for most people. If you do lots of track days and fancy aftermarket shock and fork re-build will enable you to flick from peg to peg in an instant with no grief. Brakes on the Suzuki SV1000 are strong but work best with fresh fluid.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Suzuki SV1000's big V-twin produced over 120bhp at the rear wheel when it first appeared in the TL1000S. Unfortunately the bike had handling ‘issues’ and Suzuki tamed it to little over 100bhp. Claimed power for the Suzuki SV1000 is 118bhp, actual figure is about 106 which is enough thanks to loads of torque – but an exhaust system and power commanded will release more if required from the SV1000.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Build quality seems to be a Suzuki problem lately and the SV1000 is no exception. Suzuki SV1000 owners report annoying problems, mainly corrosion and poor finish. Reliability problems are rarer with the SV1000, especially as owners tend to look after their bikes.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

New list price is reasonable for a Suzuki SV1000. But new motorcycles are sold at discounts for as little as £5000 for the faired SV1000 and a couple of hundred less unfaired. That makes the Suzuki SV1000 one of the biggest bargains out there. This keeps used values pretty low too. Even running costs and insurance aren’t too pricy for the SV1000. Find a Suzuki SV1000 for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Comfortable over distance but the Suzuki SV1000's seat doesn’t suit everyone. Reasonable if not brilliant pillion seat. Clocks are fairly comprehensive. The Suzuki SV1000's headlights are better than most bikes which is a bonus. Mirrors are acceptable and under seat storage is above average. Steering damper fitted as standard. Additional fairing side panels can ruin the lines of the Suzuki SV1000 and make the engine run hot.

Owners' Reviews

20 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI SV1000 (2003-2007) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI SV1000 (2003-2007)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.9 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
4 out of 5

Super Vivacious SV1000S

08 July 2016 by Phil

Full marks for being a unique bike. Top marks for motor, handling and bark. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
I love the way these bikes ride. Character, character, character. I have a plum CBR1100 as well with oodles of power, yet the SV gives me the biggest grin. Why?? I think it's because the CBR is so well balanced its borderline boring. The SV on the other hand can be a nightmare! But when you click with it, that smile is there long after the bike has cooled down.
Engine
5 out of 5
yes, yes, yes. I know it's cliché, but the torque really is wonderful. Yes the horsepower tapers off a tad quicker than you may like, but get to know the character of the engine and how to ride it, and you'll be silly fast on it.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
It is built cheap I have to say. Forks are basic. Brakes are basic. Rear shock... basic. 180 section back tyre. Keep up the regular services, and it'll never let you down though. It's like a faithful dog just waiting for you morning and night.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
If you can hold a spanner and have internet connection, you can pretty much do most things on this bike. Basic components makes for easier servicing.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Obviously pipes are a must but why I give it a 5/5 is because the bark you uncover with a good set of cans is so rewarding. I put a set of Yoshimura TRS titanium's on it. From there, I adjust the fuel mapping on the standard system and it goes lovely. Invest in good tyres, braided brake lines and EBC HH brake pads. Keeping fresh 10w fork oil in the forks helps hugely too.
Buying experience

Bought privately to be just a commuter to work. Now it's become my favorite toy.

5 out of 5

Mike

22 February 2016 by Gilly

Very light bike for a 1000cc Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Never had a problem
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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Buying experience

not what I was looking to buy. but once seen bought and repainted

5 out of 5

29 October 2015 by bikersar

Fantastic bike, in slow traffic being a v-twin does not like doing slow riding, but love it every other way :) Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
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3 out of 5

NOT an allrounder/sportsourer unless you're used to litre superbikes!

30 September 2015 by Stuart Mudd

Why do people say this is an "All Rounder"? It doesn't have the saddle of a sports tourer, or the riding position to allow commuting. It is LESS comfortable than a '93 ZXR 750! this bike should be rebranded from allrounder/sportstourer to performance... Read more roadbike/nearly superbike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Have any of these other reviewers ridden it? The brakes are NOT that good. Dunno why - I thought they were borrowed from the GSX-R 750, but they lacked initial bite, being a little too progressive for my taste and needing a dang good squeeze before they actually hauled up the bike pronto. New pads and fluid didn't really help either.... Suspension - I thought this was borrowed from the GSX-R 600 parts bin. Set to sporty (just means stiff). luckily there's some adjustment but backing it off reduces the firm feel yet you still get jarred over bumps? Not great. The frame is stiff (when has any bike of the last 20 years had a flexible frame?). The seat is rubbish. Would a bit more foam have cost Suzuki the earth and killed any profit margin? Geez. In fact, you might a well just buy a GSX-R for comfort.
Engine
4 out of 5
Yup. We laugh at the idea of 110 ponies these days. Pffft...girls bike (apparently). But these aren't ponies. They are shire horses. Annoyingly, I'm a long-distance-top-gear-all-day rider. At our speed limit, the bike just sat at about 4k rpm. Which is annoying as the bike didn't START to come alive until 5k. And it takes off at 6k. Unfortunately, that equates to 50km/h over NZ's speed limit. It doesn't run out of puff, either. It hit an indicated 267km/hr convincingly (on a closed road, honest guv'nor). That sporting DNA is still prominent and really eliminates it from being a real allrounder/sportstourer as its rubbish at legal speeds.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
the actual engine/gearbox/electrics etc gave me no issues, as per any bike made in the last 30 years. But the downpipes rot easily, and you must fit something (like a "Shock Sock") to prevent the rear shock getting gummed up.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Easy to service. Paid someone else to check the valve clearances once (not a big job and not that pricey). Like any performance bike, I struggled to get more than 4.5k miles from a rear. Economy was OK around the 45-50mpg value in real world conditions. Long haul, I saw that climb to 55mpg if I was careful. So not bad at all, considering it's TL1000 ancestor. Value -wise, its more money than the Firestorm. It's a bit more modern, suspension is more flash. It's more economical. Horses for courses, really. The real killer is comfort and the Firestorm is much more comfy. I bought the bike for $5400 NZD (bikes are expensive in NZ), rode it for 18 months and sold it for $5000 NZD. Pretty good really.
Equipment
2 out of 5
If it's an allrounder/sportstourer, why oh why can't we have a centrestand? Or a proper hugger. Or a front mudguard that stops muck being flung all over the front of the bike (and rotting the downpipe). I'll tell you why. BECAUSE IT'S NOT.
Buying experience

Privately bought and privately sold.

4 out of 5

A bit of an animal

24 October 2014 by Bikepete51

I don't know if my bike is standard or not, it looks like but I don't know if it's been remapped, etc. Not had it long and had to have the clutch modded by John Sykes in Yorkshire to cure the judders and make it rideable. Took it out for a spin the... Read more other day and it's the first time I've opened her up since all the work I've been doing (I'm returning it to standard spec) and I have to say the torque is amazing- like a bomb going off behind you, torque in any gear almost pulls your arms off. The roadholding and handling are good and the build quality must be ok because my bike looks like new even though it's 7 years old. Fuel consumption isn't the best, but not really surprising considering all the performance. I've read of other owners having magnets fall off the alternator rotor which isn't very clever-bad design Suzuki-magnets only epoxied onto the rotor, cost saving-not good for your reputation at all. I'd say for performance and price it's got to be an all time bargain.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Great Platform To Start

24 June 2014 by dwfree

In stock form, the SV1000S is just ok, but it's a great platform to create a great bike for small cost. The stock suspension is a bit weak. Correct fork springs and 5 wt shock oil corrected the front. An '07-08 ZX6R shock with modified damping... Read more corrects the rear. Throw away the steering damper - too stiff - and raise the forks 10mm. With these mods it corners excellently and never shakes its head. Hit a rock large enough to bend the rear rim, at full lean, and it tracked straight through. The ergonomics suck, but putting tube bar clamps on the top triple clamp corrected that. The stock seat sucks, but is easily corrected with some firm foam and new cover material. The engine is a jewel for the street, sounds great with Yosh TRS cans, open up the airbox a bit and put on a Power Commander to correct the A/F, and it rewards with smooth, strong torque. Great headlights. Typical 1000cc heavy engine braking - makes one think it has a lot of driveline lash. Excellent brakes. The short wheelbase lets it change direction quickly. Not big enough for 2-up travel, short rides only, and only if you are small people. Many think it's a bland bike, and in stock form I agree. Correct the weak suspension and liven up the sound with aftermarket cans, and it's a joy to ride. Better than VTF and better value than RC51 and various Ducatis. My pick for best value big V-Twin.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Great all rounder

06 April 2010 by des077

The sv1000s is a great little sports bike if your kind on the throttle it will return around 50mpg and even on my last track day at Cadwell park i got 28mpg and it was being seriously thrashed and as for handling, well the pegs was grinding most of... Read more the way around the track and gave me no bad moments with no modifications to suspension and with factory settings. Upto an indicated 145mph it pulls very well only outdone by the likes of R1's and Fireblades. My only gripes are a poor standard of finish and a vibration around 3500rpm, this is slow round town and staedy 60mph type riding, once it gets around 6000rpm it's great but then its a V-Twin i suppose but a great bike all the same after owning it for 6 years i've still no plans to sell it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5

SV1000S K3

13 March 2010 by LukeZX6

Moved up to this from a ZX6R and was really suprised, handles really well, brakes are good, really torquey and a respectable top end. Was considering going for the 650 as I heard they have enough power as it is, but in my opinion it just isn't worth... Read more it, the extra you pay on the insurance doesn't even come close to the difference in bikes!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

SV1000S, Sargent seat, Scorpion cans, Oxford heated grips

03 August 2009 by Lightning Boy

I've had all sorts of bikes in the past but bought the SV to replace my Buell XB12SS. The Buell had been a great bike but I got REALLY hacked off with Harley and their inability to keep basic parts in stock. I bought the SV about 10 months ago and... Read more have ridden it through one winter so far. I've had some minor problems with the smooth running - now resolved after a major service. I was finding the seat hideously uncomfortable, it felt like I was riding on my nuts! This has now happily been resolved by the addition of a Sargent seat, a vast improvement. I also have some Hellibars on order - these raise the handle bar position by about 2 inches, I gather that this makes another huge difference to the riding position. Overall, a superb engine, handling is great (could be improved inexpensively I think), practical and sounds great with some fruity cans - all for a bargain price. Cracking!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

1st Big Bike

01 March 2009 by cushk3

After the standard "Shall I buy the 650 or 1000?" questions a mint 1000s turned up on the market that had been well-loved and looked after by its previous owner. Having only owned it for a week I feel I cannot contribute entirely to a worth-while... Read more review, however in the 200 miles+ I have ridden, I feel completely satisfied that I made the right choice. Being that my previous bike was a Suzuki GS500ES which I had to give up 3 years ago I felt this was a huge step up but so far the bike has done everything asked of it without scaring the hell out of me! It's very stable and responsive and after only a short while inspires confidence. My only niggles are that the seat leads to a numb bum quickly and the after market end bars seem to add to the vibration and I feel my hands going to sleep after only a few miles. Overall thoughts: Stunning looking bike with huge amounts of low-end grunt with a top speed not to be sniffed at - not like I'll need all the power anyway! I only hope I'll look after it as well as my predecessor...

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 20 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2003
Year discontinued 2007
Original price £6,049
Used price £3,000 to £3,200
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £120
Performance
Max power 118 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 996cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Cast aluminium lattice
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 189kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake Twin 310mm discs
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2003: Original Suzuki SV1000 and Suzuki SV1000S models launched.
2006: Suzuki SV1000 frames now black not silver.

Other versions

Suzuki SV1000SZ: Special edition with full fairing, multi-colour paint, black frame, crash bungs and slightly more power.

Photo Gallery

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  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Front view
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  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Brakes
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  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki SV1000 motorcycle review - Side view
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