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415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Six years into SV1000S ownership an the two of us are finally settling in!

It has taken me THIS LONG to finally get the suspension to a point where it rides like a Magic Carpet, and I can really trust it way over in a corner. I've messed with it over & over... and finally hit on a winning setup- the Penske shock out back, about 80% out on the Preload... and I finally bought Race Tech front springs to MATCH MY WEIGHT. This made a HUGE difference. I also realized that I was running my head bearings too tight (tapers). Now it's just a f***ing joy.


Motor is stock, except for Yoshimura cans and a very excellent Werks Clutch basket. I've decided to stay with the twin exhausts, mostly just for the aesthetics - it's what gives the SV it's character! I like Power...but it makes plenty for me as is. I've chosen to run without the muffler DB killers... it's just a little louder and I LOVE it, thrag-g-g-g-ing up a hill. The Harley Boys don't know what just went past them!

Corbin seat: a vast improvement over the stock plank... the only issues are that it drops you lower..(at 6' 1" and 250 lbs I'm already cramped with those pegs)... and also, I've found that on longer rides, you slide forward on it too much and find your MARBLES crushed... or at least vibrated painfully. So I often ride with a small slab of light foam-rubber tucked into the front of my Fruit-O-the-Looms.

Bike doesn't use much oil... starts and runs all day without complaint. A GOOD FRIEND did me a Solid and re-mapped the curve, which really softened the part-throttle performance,making for a much more Gentlemanly power delivery. It's a LOT smoother, loping around town, and everywhere else.

One minor complaint: For some reason the bike has this aerodynamic issue that just doesn't want to change - a slight "head wag" at speeds, in wind turbulence conditions, especially say, like when passing a big truck running alongside. I've reduced it to a bare minimum so that it doesn't bother me anymore, but I'm pretty sure it's due to some aerodynamic situation... maybe my size... plus the raised handlebars... the shape of the fairing (plus lowers),... I don't know... But I've pretty much just learned to live with it.

Next up- see if I can drop those PEGS a tad... I have the reverse-plate things that can RAISE your pegs.. they won't fit DOWNWARDS ... unless you fab a couple of spacer blocks to move the footpeg plates out from the frame a little.

So... we're PALS now, me and the K6. It's a real joy to walk into the garage on a sunny day and see two bikes (the Bandit 1200) sitting there... and have a HARD TIME CHOOSING, because they're both so much damn fun.


6,765 Posts
Nice report Greg! A nicely sorted SV is a joy...just a shame that they didn't sell so well in the US that many people won't get to experience them in their full potential. The 'wag' from aero isn't abnormal....especially when passing big trucks at high speed. The SV is the least affected bike I've owned...while the worst was the RZ-350. Combine lots of side area with light weight and that thing was a handful in a crosswind. We've got a stretch of RT119 that goes past the local Penn State campus where there's almost always a strong breeze and many times the RZ would literally be leaning at 30+ degrees just to stay in lane! Trucks were an adventure because the wind they're shedding is rolling down them in vortices so very quickly it would be sucked in then pushed out so being beside them had to be limited to as brief a moment as possible. That's why they make the throttle!! :)

I have a stack of parts going on mine which should be finished this weekend: fresh rotors and pads (rotors look like the Bandit' do you like them?), Bridgestone Battleax T-31 tires and a set of Sonic .85 fork springs with fresh Maxima 5W (85-150). Have .90's in there now from RaceTech that, as you have found, were a huge improvement over the stock progressives...I can't use the last 3/4-1" of travel even hitting bumps hard on the a little softer will work, I hope. Are you still running the soft Penske spring? I remember you fettling with that a while back...great to hear you have it dialed in now. Suspension is a funny thing and little adjustments can make a world of difference once you're getting close to being right. When it's way out of whack even large adjustments just don't seem to make much difference, but like you mine is almost 'right'. It tracks like a lazer through the corners and isn't disturbed even by the worst just needs a little more compliance in the front to be good to go.

As an experiment I have a can repack kit coming from Yoshimura and while the cap is off the can is going to get a wee bit the strap is closer to the middle it's going to lose about 6", I'm hoping it doesn't mess with the tune too much...almost have that dialed in right proper. If anything it should make it a bit peakier which it could use....torque curve is strong but really flat which is useful but not as fun as something that 'comes up' as it revs. Was looking at SuperTrapp mufflers and might end up playing with one to take advantage of the tuning ability to really get it exactly right. We'll see. Isn't this the best part of SV's? You buy a perfectly serviceable motorcycle that you can ride, but it's like a chunk of modeling clay that you can form into whatever your idea of what you want might be. Sometime this summer if you venture down toward Pittsburgh maybe we can meet up and say hello? Or...I could venture North and meet you half PA though, I can't go into NY or NJ being that my pistol permit would get me thrown in jail so I need to stay in PA for sure. That would be fun and two SV1K's together doesn't happen around here very often at all. I rode to Greensburg a while back to meet some fellows who were 'passing the gnome' and got to hang with several SV'1K's for a was fun. Vastly underappreciated machines we have. Later Greg....ride safely!

415 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
HEY Rob! Great to talk again!
Ha... you're so on-target about the SV...

Yeah, my SV seems to have a slight bug that won't go away; just a tiny (now) "wag" at highway speeds. Fixing the suspension and adjusting the head bearings did a LOT. Also, I realized my mirrors were off-plane, whih probably didn't help. My B-12 also has some slight wind issues... but it's much more stable at "normal" highway speeds, under 110, at least. After that it gets a little loosey-goosey. The SV shines at higher speeds.

I have been using Chinese rotors for some time, on both bikes. My problem is that I tend to F'-them up when changing tires.. bend them or put them back in a different pattern... but they're cheap ($165) and I've had pretty good luck.
I think there may be one major manufacture of the rotor style I like, but sold under different names. Photos on FleaBay often look exactly like it; but anyway the brand name I look for is ARASHI. I'm not sure if that is a manufacturer or just a secondary distributor.. but Arashi has a website and seems to be doing a lot of business, (auto included). I've had at least six sets of these now, between the B12 (160,000 miles) and the SV (65K). I can't see spending $600 on a pair of Galfers or EBC's.
I found (the Hard Way) how critical it is to use BRAND NEW PADS on new (or changed) rotors... ruined at least one set by that mistake.
Pads... I never know what's right here... sintered.. SEMI sintered... Organic.. Asparagus... Right now I have a fresh set of Vesrah "semi-metallics".. seem okay so far.

Penske 8971 or whatever... yeah, it seemed REALLY stiff when I bought it, and I ended up running it near the very top of the Preload. Now... I've tightened it up a bit. I recently did a CAREFUL sag check, using two friends and all the right computation... The front was about 45mm and the rear about 42, I think... both slightly high. That's when I bought the new 1.05 springs for the front. GOOD MOVE. GREAT improvement. The Penske.. I just tightened it up a bit... seems fine.
Could it be BETTER? Undoubtedly... but right now, it puts a huge GRIN on my Cookie-Hole. I ride the bastid like a big dirtbike: big handfuls of throttle modulated with some fine clutch-work. Love it. I can finally trust it firmly in the deep forest corners.

I generally prefer the Dunlop Roadsmart III's. I used the Twos for a while, which werent bad.. (had a set on the Bandit last Summer when I rode to Denver, Santa Fe, down to Galveston, up along the Gulf Atlanta.. Appalachians and home), got over NINE THOUSAND MILES out of them... Road Smart II's- great long-distance Sport Tour tire (and dirt cheap)..

But the Three's are better - excellent stick on their edges and great wear as well.
Currently I have a set of Bridgestone BT-023's on the SV, about half worn... they're not bad, good grip, steady.. pretty good...
I can't afford to burn sticky Hi Sport tires down every 2K miles.

I just rode BACK through PA last Saturday on the SV... but South to North. Went to see my old school bud at U Delaware. Came back through the southeast corner, up near Reading...all twisty back roads... by-passed Allentown as best as I could.. then up through the Poconos. A GREAT ride.. but that smooth Corbin seat puts a lot of BUZZ onto my Walnuts.. and smashing onto potholes whilst crouched-over don't help that.
ABSOLUTELY would like to meet-up one of these warm (dry) days. How far is SCRANTON from you? That's a bit of a hike for me...(especially on the SV)... but do-able, with an early start.

But anyway this thing's a real Pisser... just gobs of fun on the back roads.. and no slouch locally. I'm riding along and thinking, "How cool if Suzuki used this motor in a slightly LESS Sporty configuration... like my Bandit, maybe.. where you could sit on it all day and carry a small duffel? (and no... SCREW "ADV" bikes... I don't DO Dirt).

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