2001 SV650S Review - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-25-2011, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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2001 SV650S Review

"My motorcycle is my weapon". A phrase coined by Speed and Strength, made me laugh the first time I read it. Visions of a soldier riding his street bike over a berm into withering enemy fire brought an inexplicable feeling to my mind wondering what the marketing department was thinking when they produced this ploy. Blasting down a favorite one and a half lane country road, a moment of clarity struck me.

My good friend Brian and I swapped bikes for a weekend for no other reason than to just ride something different. Since my work is 110 miles round trip, I figured I would be able to get some decent seat time in on this beloved little bike. Most commonly referred to as a "beginner bike", the SV650 immediately impressed upon me how light and user friendly it is. Coming off of my 2006 Speed Triple, I was shocked how low to the ground I was, straddling the SV. Brian has replaced the fork springs and replaced the stock shock with a more adjustable shock from a Kawi 636 which raised the bike some 10mm. Even so, the bike sits quite low to the ground. Starting the SV up, the rumble of the 645cc engine lets me know that this bike means business. A little choke is required even on this 97 degree day and soon I am underway. I enter the interstate traffic and am astounded when I look down at the speedometer to find that I am doing 85 mph. The fairing really is well sorted without any trace of wind buffeting even at an illegal speed. Finding some of my favorite curves, I dive in testing the limits of ground clearance and speed. One of the best attributes I found for the SV is that I could go into a corner hot and at the apex just give it full throttle. The SV would just keep pulling out. If I did that on the Speed Triple, I would spin the rear tire and then go into a monstrous wheelie. The SV is incredibly forgiving. Here too, I was impressed with the Suzuki's gearbox. With smooth shifts, the SV feels as tight as a sewing machine and I never missed a shift. Problems with the gearbox only displayed when I arrived at work two hours later and tried to find neutral.

The bike had come with an aftermarket slip-on built by ART exhausts. The steel can had taken a beating and was quite long and heavy. Getting home Friday, I removed it and looked to see if there was a removable baffle. No such luck, just a straight through pipe. So, I looked around the garage and found the carbon exhaust that I removed after my accident on the Speed Triple. With the help of IndyTiger, we modified the carbon pipe to fit the SV's larger diameter mid-pipe. What a difference in sound! I had to cut 4" off the carbon can and drastically modify the honeycomb interior but I definitely think it makes a difference. It was easily 2-3 lbs lighter too.

Riding to work on Monday, I fill up for the second time and realize that even though I am riding the SV hard, it is still giving me 42mpg. Not bad! The more time I get with the SV, the more I like it though there are some glaring negatives. The instrument cluster is ludicrously bad. It is a 2001 but has a rev and speedo gauge that looks like it is off of my 1980 Honda CB900. Seriously Suzuki, what were you thinking? The trip is digital but the placement of the gauges makes it difficult to read in full sunlight and the speedometer numbers are so small that it takes a bit of time to make out what speed you're going. The brakes are very budget oriented with a lack of initial bite and a wooden feel. While I had the exhaust off, I replaced the brake fluid in the front and rear reservoirs to find that the rear reservoir is very difficult to get to without removing the side fairing and is very small. The steering also felt very heavy compared to other sport bikes I have ridden. It takes some effort to fall into a corner but man, when you get on a line, the SV just sticks.

All in all, the SV650S is hard to beat. They can be found quite cheaply and are a ton of fun even for an experienced motorcyclist like myself. I loved how power was laid down and how hard I could corner without fear of loosing the rear end. It loves sweeping curves and the only difficulties I had with cornering was when things got really tight. I imagine the naked version would be slightly more flick-able with a traditional handlebar. Thinking back on the phrase, "my motorcycle is my weapon", I wonder if the marketing firm was considering the SV650S. After riding the curving roads of southern Indiana, I did get the sense that this little bike whipped the tarmac into submission.




In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-25-2011, 11:21 AM
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Nice write-up! I'm currently looking for one for my wife; she's a beginner.

Although I want a FI one, as I don't want to mess with carbs any more.

And I might have to make it naked. That front fender looks like something out of JAWS...

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post #3 of 20 Old 07-25-2011, 12:00 PM
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These a great bikes to start on be it dedicated street or dedicated track or both uses.
For track use, I would think there should be a decent pool of prepped bikes that can be had fairly inexpensively.

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post #4 of 20 Old 07-25-2011, 05:27 PM
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A friend bought the SV650 Gladius for his wife, nice bike.

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-25-2011, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
The instrument cluster is ludicrously bad. It is a 2001 but has a rev and speedo gauge that looks like it is off of my 1980 Honda CB900. Seriously Suzuki, what were you thinking? The trip is digital but the placement of the gauges makes it difficult to read in full sunlight and the speedometer numbers are so small that it takes a bit of time to make out what speed you're going.
Someone put 919 gauges on it!

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post #6 of 20 Old 07-25-2011, 10:16 PM
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always wanted to really ride a sv650... they seem like such a fun lil bike!!!

btw... as a side note.... saw a very sad looking white speed 3 (not crashed nothing wrong like it had been crashed) on a trailor behind a AAA truck on my way home from dinner just now... passed em on my 919 n waved.... cant beat jap reliability

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post #7 of 20 Old 07-26-2011, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Well, my S3 has 35,000 trouble free miles on her...



In 1915 T. Roosevelt said, in a speech to the KofC, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. "
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-26-2011, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaughnessy View Post
Well, my S3 has 35,000 trouble free miles on her...
knew id strike a cord with that one haha naw i have heard great things about the s 3.

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post #9 of 20 Old 07-26-2011, 11:02 AM
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Triumph Reliability has been good and bad over the years. A good friend had a 06 S3 with no problems but his 04 t-bird sport required a rebuild at 14k. I cant remember the exact cause for the rebuild, needless to say he was less than happy about the dealer taking it apart..

The S3 is the nastiest naked I have ever driven! It shakes it head and wanted to launch skyward every time i flogged it! I loved riding his bike.

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post #10 of 20 Old 07-26-2011, 11:41 AM
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ya... im just jealous of the s3... they are such mean bikes... literally perfectly flat torque curve and perfectly linear hp... talk about nutz.


but this thread is about the sv... another bike like i have said i really wish i could get some seat time on it... super light, super easy fun to use power it seems like.

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post #11 of 20 Old 07-26-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4spdbh View Post
but this thread is about the sv... another bike like i have said i really wish i could get some seat time on it... super light, super easy fun to use power it seems like.
nice little weasel job getting back on topic, you threadjacker...

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post #12 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 05:48 AM
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I'd like to check out the SV, perhaps Brian would like ride the Duke sometime?

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post #13 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 02:26 PM
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Who knows what years the SV started using FI instead of a carb?

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post #14 of 20 Old 08-03-2011, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g00gl3it View Post
Who knows what years the SV started using FI instead of a carb?
03+

I actually prefered my 1st Gens (99-02) to the 2nd Gens that I owned. If you weight more than a 2nd grade girl, you will have to do something with the suspension.

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post #15 of 20 Old 09-04-2011, 08:31 AM
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I've almost got 5k miles of seat time this year on my 01 650s....EVERY bike guys garage should have one of these in it. It doesnt eat parts, easy on tires, sips fuel and is just a pleasure to be on. Just wish I would have bought one 10 years ago...
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File Type: jpg sv_right.jpg (149.6 KB, 12 views)

That'll work........
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-04-2011, 08:45 AM
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Love the SV we have; it is identical to 97af's, except has a stock can. A little jetting and a desnorkeled filter can give it a little more zip

If you get one of the first gens, keep an eye on the turn signal stalks; both of the front ones on our bike got brittle and snapped off within a couple of weeks of each other this past May.

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post #17 of 20 Old 09-04-2011, 08:58 AM
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Older sv650s. IMO have to be naked the s models look so.... No thanks. The 03+ sv650s can go either way. Naked or sport.

Outside of being a cheaply built bike it is IMO one of the best bikes ever made. For what it is of course.

Cheap, reliable, and fun.

Pretty much a 919/599 but not a failure in the us.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-04-2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffie7 View Post
Older sv650s. IMO have to be naked the s models look so.... No thanks. The 03+ sv650s can go either way. Naked or sport.
Exactly the opposite reason I like the older "s" version...It doesnt look like every other sharp edged line sport bike out there.....You can keep any version of them naked......

That'll work........
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-04-2011, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97af View Post
Exactly the opposite reason I like the older "s" version...It doesnt look like every other sharp edged line sport bike out there.....You can keep any version of them naked......
Some one pointed out jaws....

Each to their own.
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-15-2015, 09:39 AM
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I have a 2001 SV has an Arrow big bore pipe, sounds just like a Ducati. Done 120,000 kilometers on it. Never touched the engine, only changed wearing parts. Been to California on it 4 times from Western Canada.
The only problem for me is, if it ever comes to it, what would I replace it with?

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