The SV650 and variants are street motorcycles manufactured since 1999 for the international market by the Suzuki Motor Corporation, featuring a mid-sized V-twin engine and medium performance components. In 2013, Suzuki replaced the SV650 with the SFV650 Gladius. Suzuki introduced the SV650 in 1999 as a budget entry in the emerging bike market and, as of 2008, offered both and fully faired. The bike provided a sporty though easily manageable ride. The combination of light weight, rigid chassis, strong handling, and the V-twin’s strong mid-range torque appealed to beginner and experienced riders alike. While Suzuki has clearly modeled the first generation of the bike’s aesthetics after the Suzuki TL1000S, there is also a clear influence from the Ducati Monster. The TL is still considered the “big brother” of the SV650. The 2003 SV1000 replaced the TL Series and Suzuki marketed it as a bigger alternative to the second generation SV650.
The SV650 immediately became popular, but American buyers wanted the sportier ‘S’ version that featured lower handlebars, higher foot pegs and a bikini fairing and windscreen, available only in the European and Canadian markets. American magazines ran articles describing how to import it into the United States. In 2000, Suzuki began importing the SV650S to the USA. Because of the relatively low purchase price and excellent handling characteristics, the SV650 became popular with racers which prompted a rebirth of the “lightweight twins” racing classes across North America and the SV650 began winning against the aged Suzuki GS500, Honda NT650 and Kawasaki Ninja 500R, which previously populated the class.
In 2003, Suzuki redesigned the SV650 with a new pressure-cast aluminum truss frame, new bodywork, new swing-arm with revised rear brake caliper mounting, new exhaust, brand new digital speedometer display and a new electronic fuel injection/induction system to replace the carburetor. The new model failed to gain initial acceptance by riders, largely because the new angular aesthetic looked more aggressive and visually larger than the “curvy” first generation SV650. The 2003 SV650s also supported some first generation parts. The subframe is also angled up higher than 2004+ models. The different subframe has year-specific parts, such as the rider seat, plastic frame covers, exhaust hanger brackets and passenger pegs.
For 2004, Suzuki used a new, 40 mm lower subframe and a seat with a narrower design in the front. The trail was raised by 2 mm, and the rear fender was restyled to clean up the area under the tail lights and provide more protection against flying debris. In 2005, the frame was changed from silver to a matte black finish. For 2007, both SV650 and SV650S added twin spark plugs per cylinder and an exhaust gas oxygen sensor for reduced emissions. An anti-lock braking system(ABS) was also added as an option. For 2008, alongside the traditional SV650 and SV650S models, Suzuki offered a new SV650 Sport (UK) or SV650SF (US) model with a more traditional complete fairing. The SV650S was removed from the US market. In September 2008, Suzuki Australia introduced the SV650SU, a detuned version of the SV650S, to augment their range of motorcycles that comply with the country’s Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS). The 2013 Suzuki SFV650 Gladius replaced the SV650 version in the USA, however a 2013 Sv650 is available in Canada. For more info about Honda Motorcycle Fairings and Suzuki Fairings, please visit our website!
I still haven’t decided and haven’t been in this section for a while, and I like the looks of this bike, but also like the looks of the Ninja 650. What would y’all personally pick? I’m already planning on saving $ 15,000 not just for the bike for gear, course, license fees, registration, insurance, gas hoping I can have at least 500 left over so I can put it away for gasoline as 500 will do me for a while at least I’m hoping it will. I plan on using the bike for work, when I go to college to get my credits so I can enlist, and just roaming around. So which bike would y’all say to get? I trust y’alls opinion which is why I’m here
I already got my gear priced out at a little over a grand or so I figured with 15k I wouldn’t have to worry about not having enough and I can do all my purchases at once and have some left over spending money, and I’ve been looking at used ones on Craigslist, that are in really good condition.
Answer by Mr. Smartypants
The Ninja 650 and Suzuki SV 650 would both (IMO) make excellent first bikes. They are standards, ‘medium sized’, not too big to learn on but big enough to cruise at highway speeds comfortably and safely.
Basically they are the same bike made by two different manufacturers. The Ninja is prettier (I think) but it has a side-by-side twin, which is older technology. The SV has a water-cooled V-twin with a counterbalancer that gives it ‘perfect’ primary balance, so it should last longer and vibrate less. (But I think it’s also more expensive.) But they are both roughly the same size, weight, and power. Both are very popular, long-lasting designs. If it was me I’d get the SV because I think the design of the engine is more ‘elegant’, but they’re both good machines and you’d probably be happy with either one.
$ 15k is a lot of money! I think both these bikes are under $ 10k brand new, and you’d have to be really extravagant to spend more than another $ 1k on helmet, jacket, gloves, even boots.
But I think you should learn to ride on a used bike. Because you’re likely to be very hard on your first bike. You will likely drop it once or twice, and you’d feel bad if it was a shiny new bike, plus you will almost certainly abuse the clutch. If you bought a used bike, and bought carefully, after 6 months or a year you could sell it for about what you paid for it, and by then you’d have a better idea of what you really wanted.
Answer by Candid Chris
In my opinion the Suzuki but that’s only based on my limited time on the Ninja and a lot of time on the older model SV 650 that the SFV was geared along.
Another Suzuki that is slightly different but still close to the same realm is the V-Strom 650, not quite as sporty but still a well handling bike that can be used in a more adventurous mode, has a bigger fuel tank and does the highway a bit better. If you wish to save money on insurance, have a nice dependable bike and still scoots along just fine just about anywhere the V-Strom would be my pick over the other two.
Answer by Rodney
Personally I would pick the SFV650, I have had 3 Suzuki’s myself and found them to be the most reliable of all the Japanese bikes, not to say anything bad about any of the others but I have always been a fan of Suzuki, really either of them would be good but personally I would say the SFV650,
Good luck, I’m sure you will find a great bike that suits you very well.
I had my Suzuki SFV650 Gladius stolen so as soon as the insurance get their finger out I’ll be on the lookout. Now I’m only a little bloke (I measure up where it matters tho’!!!ask me wife!) and weigh just under 9 stone. There’s nowt wrong with me I just take after me mother who’s a little short-4rse! Anyway I could ride the bike fine (once I got a lowering dogbone for it) It was never a problem but always was wary in cars parks, slow traffic and parking in me garden as it weighed 220kg. At speed it was great and I could throw it round corners as good as anyone else…(picture a monkey on a greyhound. Yep ,that’s me!) I’ve been looking at the MCN reviews for the new KTM 390 but its only 44 HP. its about 130kg and will still do 100mph,its a v-twin, I’ve always liked KTM’s and about 4 grand which is in my price range so I’m thinking hmmm! should I go for another 650 or go smaller more suited to my frame? I know they’ll be some of you telling me to go bigger (I love the new GSR750!) but 80% of riding in UK is 30-40-50 mph anyway. I remember when I used to have my YBR125 and then had some lessons on an ER5 and afterwards my 125 felt like a BMX! would going from the Gladius (about 75HP) down to 44 feel the same. whadda y’guys think? thanks
Answer by Dan
My KLR600 only has around 40BHP (Probably less now; it’s a 1984 model!) and it’s fun enough for me, and I had a 60BHP VFR400R. Dual-Sports are fun bikes, instant power and good for the twistys. Even though I cant really touch the floor great on mine, I dont mind as it weighs nothing to keep up. They are not build for speed though, more for acceleration..but still mine sits at 70 nicely. I’m about 5FT9/10 with my boots on, cant flat foot the bike but it only took a few days to get used to it. The seat height is around 34 Inches, and my leg inseam is about 32 inches [That's the thing that counts the most, doesn't really matter about overall body height]. Also remember, the seat height is measured when the suspension is not being compressed.
Overall though, it probably the most fun bike I have owned from the other 6. That KTM is alot newer then mine, and will more then likely beat my KLR.
If you like the naked sports style, then the Honda Hornet 600 is a good bike; quick and light-weight.
Answer by Tim D
The 390 Duke is a single. If you like cornering then I suspect (obviously I haven’t ridden one) this will be an eye-opener and should be ideal for mainly town riding with a few B-roads thrown in.
However I would wonder about the height, the original Dukes (625s) were quite tall (and a hoot to ride), this one seems to be similarly tall.