SUZUKI SV650X (2018-on) Review | MCN
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SUZUKI SV650X (2018-on) Review

Published: 08 February 2018

The SV650 gets a retro makeover with new café racer styling

SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)

The SV650 gets a retro makeover with new café racer styling

  • At a glance
  • 645cc  -  75 bhp
  • 72.43 mpg  -  140 miles range
  • Medium seat height (790mm)
  • New: £5,699
    Used: £5,500 to £6,200 See all SUZUKI SV650Xs for sale

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

There is no denying the SV650X is a lazy attempt at retro by Suzuki as it is little more than a few bolt-on parts added to an aging bike. But in the SV650 Suzuki have added these parts onto a brilliant base and that makes the X surprisingly appealing. It’s great fun to ride, reasonably well priced and an absolute back road weapon. But by the same token it’s also just an SV in disguise, which is a bit disappointing…

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Armed with a set of clip-ons rather than the SV’s flat bars, the X’s sporty riding position reminds you just how impressive this V-twin middleweight’s handling is. Through bends the SV is a joy, flicking from side to side with effortless ease. On the back roads it will destroy the softly sprung Yamaha XSR700 and probably also the Ducati Scrambler. In fact, it wouldn’t embarrass itself on a trackday!

Engine 4 out of 5

While we all wish Suzuki had increased the V-twin’s capacity in the 2016 update to nearer 750cc, the SV650’s engine remains a joy to use. The exhaust note is pleasingly deep, the clutch light and the V-twin revs in a soft and assured way that builds up its power with deceptive ease. It’s quick when required, but also extremely easy-going and relaxed.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The SV’s engine is a thoroughly tried and tested unit and as long as it isn’t run low on oil it is pretty much bullet-proof. Suzuki’s build quality is always called in for question and fasteners and nuts and bolts show signs of corrosion quite quickly if not cared for with anti-corrosion spray.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

There's no getting away from the fact that the SV650X is good value for money. It's cheaper than the nearest rivals, the Yamaha XSR700 and the lowest-spec Ducati Scrambler.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Retro bikes are generally quite low-spec in terms of technology and you only get ABS on the SV and no traction control or power modes. The addition of clip-on bars, a nose cone and a tuck and roll seat do add to the SV650X’s kerb appeal. It also has easy start and low rpm assist, which is good for newer riders.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £5,699
Used price £5,500 to £6,200
Warranty term Three years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 75 bhp
Max torque 47 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 72.43 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Specification
Engine size 645cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, V-twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 14.5 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 198kg
Front suspension 41mm telescopic forks
Rear suspension Single rear shock 7-stage adjustable for spring preload
Front brake 240mm single disc with single-piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm single disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

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.

Other versions

The SV650 naked bike costs £5699 while the V-Strom 650 adventure bike starts at £7399.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI SV650X (2018-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 SV650X (2018-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great bike in twisties with fun factor 10/10. Traffic, what traffic?

03 August 2018 by Geeman

The brakes could have had more bite, but i believe it is intentional for more novice riders. Pads can be swapped out to fix this to certain degree. They are an older design but work fine, one just has to apply more pressure.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Handles well for what you pay. Brakes havn't essentially changed besides ABS.
Engine
5 out of 5
Bah humbug to parallel twins, v-twin sounds great with aftermarket slip on. Peak torque has increased considerably over last engine. User assist is great even for a proficient rider, especially in heavy traffic. Near impossible to stall and appears to work in every gear. Just listening to bike warm as one readies for the trip to work is entertaining.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Bullet proof engine if looked after with an exceptional finish quality. Be aware the nut and bolt heads have a tendency to give a rusty like appearance eventually if not cleaned and/or protected with CRC or a like protective coating.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
The V-twin of course.
5 out of 5

SV650X - the best kept secret in motorcycling

21 July 2018 by Jon

If you’ve never tried a SV650 (because like me I was only interested in bigger capacity bikes) you would have no idea just how good they are!! The combination of sporty riding position, an absolute peach of an engine and a sweet handling chassis all add up to the best kept secret in motorcycling!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Ok so this is where we see some evidence of cost cutting. The brakes are only 2 pot sliding calipers but actually work surprisingly well. The suspension is a bit choppy at low speeds but works well at higher speeds. I may get MCT to work their magic at a future date.
Engine
5 out of 5
One of the great motorbike engines of all time! Don’t believe me? Take a test ride and be prepared for a surprise. The engine bark above 5k is addictive. It can be mellow when required but it so loves to rev. There is power everywhere and the roll on in 6th is nothing short of unbelievable.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No cheap bits, no dodgy bits. It’s all good. There’s no doubt this bike is a looker and the paintwork is to die for. The engine is obviously a bit more exposed than a faired bike so I’ll be getting liberal with the ACF50 just in case.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The first service was £99.
Equipment
5 out of 5
ABS but that’s it! No modes and nothing you don’t need. Less is more. This pure fun motorcycling at its best.
Buying experience

The usual great service from C J Ball. Always very helpful. Recommended.

Photo Gallery

  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
  • SUZUKI SV650X  (2018-on)
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