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

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

At just under £6000 the SV650X appears pretty good value for money when you consider the lowest-spec Ducati Scrambler is £7950. But the Yamaha XSR700 is cheaper at £6849 and considering how old the SV is, you would expect it to cost less. That said, the SV does come with a small nose cone, unlike the XSR.

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.

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £5,699
Used price -
Warranty term Three years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost -
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.

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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