SUZUKI SV650 (2016 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
Power: 75 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 785 mm)
Weight: Medium (434 lbs / 197 kg)


New £5,599
Used £3,800 - £5,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The reworked 2016-on Suzuki SV650 is a fun little bike that will appeal to new riders and give older ones a thrill too. It’s more refined than the outgoing Gladius, has impressive new features and will also undercut its main rivals on price. The only question mark hangs over its anonymous styling.

However, to redress the balance a little, Suzuki have ushered in various colour schemes for the SV650 during the bike's lifecycle. In 2019 you could have it in black with red detailing, white with blue details (below) or black with blue details.

Gareth Evans on the 2019 Suzuki SV650

In September 2019 Suzuki announced a set of new colours - metallic silver with a blue trellis, matt black with red frame and wheels, or gloss black for a more understated look.

If you're after a more retro take on the SV650 formula, check out the cafe racer-styled SV650X.

During 2016 MCN ran a Suzuki SV650 on our long-term test fleet, and found it a lively, solid and rewarding machine. We took it to the Isle of Man for TT week, and even compared it with the bonkers 207bhp Kawasaki H2, with a very surprising result.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The non-adjustable forks are never going to be the most compliant, but they’re effective and don’t dive at the first sign of weight transfer under braking. The shock has seven-step preload adjustment and it coped well with our tester's 14.5-stone frame throughout a challenging launch ride. The suspension is basic and effective for the budget price, but it will be one of the areas for attention for more demanding riders.

The twin-pot, sliding piston brakes don’t give the most feel but they are comparable with others in the class and do the job well enough. The ABS system works well and will be attractive to new riders while only interfering with the more experienced rider under heavy braking over sizeable bumps, as we found on our first ride.

The 785m seat height remains from the old model, though it is now narrower and the side covers have been on a diet to give a more direct route for the rider’s legs to point towards the floor. Suzuki has shown images of a 5ft 9in rider with feet flat on the ground and a 5ft 3in rider with the balls of both feet in contact with the floor.

The riding position is slightly cramped for taller riders, but I’m 5ft 10in and didn’t find it uncomfortable, with some riders on this test who are considerably over six feet also reporting ache-free riding on the little SV.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The SV gets into its stride at 6000rpm and charges on to around 9000rpm before the rev limiter kicks in somewhere north of 10,000rpm. Torque stays the same as the old bike at 47ftlb, but it’s now strongest at 8100rpm rather than 6400rpm. For more experienced riders, the new tune makes for a more rewarding ride. Whether newer riders will feel the same about the more demanding power delivery remains to be seen.

Latest 2016 Suzuki SV650 specs

The extra 4bhp in the 2016 SV650 comes from less internal friction thanks to resin-coated piston skirts and plated cylinders. This lets the bike rev harder than before, and also contributes to it passing the new Euro4 emissions regulations. It also means the 2016 Suzuki SV650 top speed is 130mph. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The SV engine has been around for 16 years and there are plenty of long-in-the-tooth examples bearing testament to tip-top reliability. The chances of the new tune making the bike less reliable are very slim indeed.

We've only got two Suzuki SV650 owners' reviews on MCN, and both mention the bike being brilliant except for the hard, poor-quality seat. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The new SV650 has a massive heritage a heap of helpful aids for new riders, is more economical and comes with ABS as standard. To get a Yamaha MT-07 or Kawasaki ER-6n for less than the SV you'll have to forego ABS.

In 2017 Suzuki offered £400 towards fuel, and with a claimed economy of 74.34mpg, the SV is a bike that will go far on £400 in the tank. It could even see up to 5,000 miles covered before you have to start filling up from your own pocket – that’s over a year’s worth of riding for the average UK rider!


3 out of 5 (3/5)

A new Low RPM mode makes pulling away and low-speed riding easy, ABS is standard and the new dash includes helpful info like fuel range and current/average fuel economy. Suspension and brakes are competent without shining, but are good when taken in context with the rest of the class.


Engine size 645cc
Engine type 8V DOHC V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 13.8 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 197kg
Front suspension 41mm telescopic forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Monoshock, 7-way preload adjuster
Front brake 2 x 290mm disc, twin-pot calipers, ABS
Rear brake 1 x 240mm disc, one-pot caliper, ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR17
Rear tyre size 160/60 ZR17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 49 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £110
New price £5,599
Used price £3,800 - £5,300
Insurance group 10 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 75 bhp
Max torque 47 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 149 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 1999: The SV650 is launched in naked N and half-faired S guise
  • 2002: Fork spring preload adjusters are added
  • 2003: Model update with a new frame, look and fuel-injection
  • 2007: ABS is an option and the motor gains dual spark plug heads
  • 2009: The SFV650 Gladius replaces the SV650N
  • 2016: The SV650 is updated with 60 alterations including a new trellis chassis. The Gladius and SV650S are discontinued.
  • 2018: Suzuki SV650X revealed as cafe racer-styled retro
  • 2019: New colours introduced for SV650
  • 2020: More new colours revealed for SV650

Other versions

The 2018 Suzuki SV650X is a cafe racer styled retro take on the SV recipe. 

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI SV650 (2016 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI SV650 (2016 - on) 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 SV650 (2016 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
5 out of 5 Excellent fun bike.
22 August 2020 by Bill

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £100

Excellent value for money. A very genuine, well sorted, all round bike that will not disappoint.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The handling is generaly safe and predictable, but can get exciting on twisty roads with uneven surfaces. The new four pot calipers really sharpen up the braking.

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is outstanding. Wonderful linear torque and more than enough power for road use.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Well engineered and sorted. Looked after properly will give years of reliable service.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: Purchased new from main dealer. The SV650 has been around for 20 years and good discount are available.

4 out of 5 Great overall package at a bargain prive
22 January 2020 by Fresian

Version: SV650 ABS

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £120

Great mix of performance and economy, very strong pulling engine and excellend handling. As for the price, this has to be one of the best bargains out there.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Overall a great package only really let down by a crap, thinly padded seat ( uncomfortable after an hour on longer runs, although less of a problem on twisty roads where you are moving around all the time

Engine 5 out of 5

The basic engine has been around a long time, but is now tweaked to give a bit more power than older SVs. It isnt the smoothest, but then it is a V twin. My last bike was the inline 4 Bandit, which was smoother and I think more suited to long distance work.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I though 120 was a bit steep after 600 miles, but realise that most dealers do not include first service in the cost of a new bike these days

Equipment 4 out of 5

Pretty basic in terms of fancy features, but that to me is what biking is all about. Great information from the dash, I have made us of the ABS capability a couple of times and saved having to change underwear. I have added a small flyscreen which does make a difference, and occasionally use soft luggage other than that I might consider heated grips.

Buying experience: Bought from Saltire in Edinburgh at the start of the season in 2018, brand new for £4999 on the road. Great price for a great, albeit slightly basic, bike from a major manufacturer.

4 out of 5 Great mid sized bike
09 June 2016 by Bike mike

Version: SV650

Year: 2016

Best features are -easy to use. Vg motor for beginner or experienced rider. Vg handling user friendly braking (not too fierce) Has ABS. VG for shorter person.Not intimidating but plenty of power for enthusiastic riding. Seat is a bit loose at the back.Excellent position for commuting and riding twisties. Seat a bit low for anyone over 5ft 10'' approx. Suzuki need to have an alternative seat for taller riders with 40mm more padding.Very narrow tank and seat so rider can tuck in makes it easy to swing thru bends. Comfy upright position places little pressure on wrists and hands. Would be great for a girl or short male. Good 2nd bike once you have learnt the basics.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Nice all round bike for long commuting ,weekend warrior or with a carrier and small fly screen a trip.Rear of seat a bit wobbly for a pillion.Brake reach adjustable. ABS means a beginner rider cannot over brake and get into a skid.Im going to get about an inch more padding added to the seat (5ft 9")

Engine 5 out of 5

Very smooth linear power -vg power after 6000 rpm .Not a super bike but good usable power -even in the wet when super bikes are a hand full.VERY hard (impossible? ) to stall.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Too early to really tell really but these bikes have 17 years of development and previous models are bullet proof.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Too early to tell but previous models were cheap to own

Equipment 4 out of 5

Tyres seem fine but v few km yet.Instruments easier to read than on an MT07 I tried. Both bikes need a small fly screen for sustained hi speed riding.

Buying experience: Has all the essentials .Front suspension is not adjustable but doesnt need to be changed. Rear can be adjusted for your weight.Tried out an Yamaha MT 07 but the SV is a bit cheaper and a much better bike all round. Engine of SV (smoothness) is MUCH better. MT-07 has a strong mid range but gets quite harsh about 6-7000rpm. In my experience Suzuki dealers cant be beaten for good service (owned more than 20).

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