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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, new to the forum. I am a 54 year old soon to be new motorcycle rider.
I am trying to decide between the suzuki sv650, the kawasaki k650 and the yamaha mt-07. I have kind of eliminated the kawa 650 because of looks, sound and vibration. The mt-07 seems kind of like a young mans/womans bike and I am trying to stay alive and the mt-07 seems to have too much low end torque. I think I like the sv650 the most but one youtube review is really upsetting me. This review is highly critical of the sv650 sound, throttle response and ergonomics. It is on youtube by chaseontwowheels if you care to see it.

Any help deciding between these bikes would be appreciated.
 

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Hi svtroyrider, Welcome to SVR.

:hello:

Go and demo ride the bikes if you can, or at least go sit on them to see how they feel to you.

I bought a 07 SV650 naked new and added 1" risers and it fits me fine! 102,000+ miles later still having fun on my SV! :fiddy:

That is my first street bike as well!

Good luck!
 

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By K650 are you referring to their new naked 650? I've heard nice things about them. That said...

You can find a low mileage 2nd gen SV650N for $2500 - $3500 in excellent shape, and you can find low use MT-07's for $4500- $5000. The $1000 difference for a 10+ year newer bike is the clear route to go for me. MT-07.

If you're pinching pennies, you cant go wrong with the SV.
 

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Welcome to the forum! I don't listen to chaseontwowheels, he's a hack in my opinion. See what twowheelobsession, motorcyclist magazine, visordown motorcycles, spicy110, and Revzilla say on YouTube.
The difference in torque between the MT & SV is 3 Nm but the SV has more horsepower. Torque will not get you in trouble, horsepower will.
Get an after-market muffler (Delkevic or Fuel Exhausts) and the SV will be the best sounding bike of the three. A different handlebar is a cheap mod and can drastically change the ergonomics if the stock bar is too narrow or swept back too much for your liking.
Have you read the Cycleworld comparison of the three? I think it's pretty much on point.

Build thread | Instagram @sv650nyc
 

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Hi and welcome. The brutal truth is, you'll have to go and test-ride these bikes to see which one suits you best ... tough gig, huh? :)

The SV has been around in various forms for nearly 20 years for one very simple and compelling reason. The engine is an absolute peach: it's quite simply one of the best motorcycle engines ever made.

It's got plenty of low-down and midrange punch so you're almost never caught in the wrong gear: a twist of the throttle will punch you past most things. But if you want to play tunes on the gear lever, above 7,000rpm it's a little screamer and will put three figures on the speedo in no time at all.

Have fun looking at the bikes, and pick the one which stirs your feelings most.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the excellent advice. Problem is I have never ridden a bike before except for my 2 day training session to get my endorsement (which I barely passed). Would not feel comfortable test riding a bike at this point and not sure I would know what to look for in the first place. SV650 does seem like it suits me best and I would just have to learn to drive it in my driveway and in a parking lot for now.
 

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Problem is I have never ridden a bike before ...
What's your experience riding bicycles, scooters or mopeds and in traffic? If you are a total beginner the bikes you mentioned are not for you yet. You'll have a more fun time and learn faster on lighter bikes. Get a cheap used 125-300cc bike and have fun with it for your first season. You can always upgrade and the bike will have lost barely any value. Do not buy a new bike just yet.
 

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What's your experience riding bicycles, scooters or mopeds and in traffic? If you are a total beginner the bikes you mentioned are not for you yet. You'll have a more fun time and learn faster on lighter bikes. Get a cheap used 125-300cc bike and have fun with it for your first season. You can always upgrade and the bike will have lost barely any value. Do not buy a new bike just yet.
This is really good advice. All the bikes originally mentioned will not be the easiest to learn to ride on, as they have a much greater weight than what you were riding in the training courses, and enough power to be a little scary - especially when dealing with traffic. Spend a year on something with less motor (500cc and less) that is easier to pick up and harder to drop than any of the bikes originally mentioned.

For reference, there was an MT07 at the shop I used to go to that had 7 miles on the odo - the rider had just finished his course, bought it brand new, and flipped it leaving the showroom. THere was about $1k of damage. Don't be that guy, and start with something that won't surprise you as much. Especially if you don't have any previous "two-wheels in traffic" experience.

There are too many things to learn in the beginning, pick something that a) you can afford to throw away - i.e used, b) is easy to learn on - i.e small displacement, and c) won't you in danger inadvertently - i.e not so quick. Then, when you are comfortable and starting to get bored, you can ride into a dealership for a test ride on something else without fear, and be able to recoup 80-90% of the purchase of your starter bike. And pick the time of year to get the best price on your next ride, too. (End of "riding season" is always when the best deals can be made.)
 

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While there are many factors that contribute to a "good" beginners bike, learning on an SV can be done. I did it, sort of. Took the MSF class, first ever time on a motorcycle. Then my friend who took the class with me purchased a GS500 and I probably rode it maybe 200 miles before I went and purchased my SV. While I was going to get a GS500 as well, I am a bit large for it and I had to wring it's neck to keep me at highway speeds, thus I didn't get one.

I had a lot of bicycle experience and a lot of manual transmission experience. So I don't necessarily think everyone needs a smaller bike, but I would suggest it if I didn't know the person's background. I do see that you said you barely passed your course, with that in mind I would suggest you start on a smaller bike. Not to blow my own horn but I finished mine at the top of the class which may have meant I was more comfortable on a bike and felt better about the mechanics of riding than you did after the class, that is a big factor as well (I just mention this to maybe give some context to my "comfort" with motorcycling at a comparable stage to you).

As far as purchasing a brand new motorcycle, I do agree with everyone else in that I don't think it's a good idea. As r0ckrat said, purchase something you can afford to throw away (maybe you can throw away a new bike, but do you want to? Especially a mid-range bike). All in all lot's of great advice already mentioned by others. I do believe my experience with the GS500 definitely had me ready (more prepared) for the SV. The GS also gave me the "in traffic" experience that has been mentioned as well.

Anyway good luck with finding a bike. Gear up (yes, get some proper pants), and ride safe.
 

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All good info above.I find my Naked Curvy SV650 to be easier to ride than my old heavy Honda CX500s(80 Lbs heavier than the SV) I used to run and in many ways safer with much better modern brakes and fantastic Engine Braking on the SV.

The engine and machine give me smooth predictable power and have a very High SPM Factor(Smiles Per Miles) .

I don't think the OP would have any trouble riding an SV as they are very forgiving IMHO.Aso they can be,"Restricted" if required.

HTH :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All the bikes on craigslist are either too big, too expensive or too old. I would like a 2-3k beater bike but really hard to find. Also I would not know if it is operating as it should since I got no motorcycle experience. I do plan to do all my driving in an empty parking lot and empty street probably for the first season. Probably gonna go with the sv650 and learn slowly on my own.
 

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the mt-07 seems to have too much low end torque.
I'm almost 65 and was a re-entering rider in '03. I'm very happy with my 2002 S model. (I am a dumpy-shaped old man but the ergos seem OK to me anyway.) And I've kept it since March '03. So, by default I'd favor the SV. But my comment is about the above-quoted idea: "too much low end torque."

If you are a 17 year old idiot with just enough sense to realize you're stupid, "too much low end torque" may be a sensible concept, because if your default impulse is to pin the throttle every time you begin moving, avoiding recurring tree-climbing wheelies is important. But if you are NOT an idiot, and your self-concept does not demand demonstrating your bad-assness to everyone around at every moment, low end torque is a pretty good attribute in a street bike.

At road or highway speed, torque allows you to adjust your speed and your distance from harmful objects (inattentive drivers) more quickly. It allows you to enter highways with useful alacrity. The only downside (as compared to, say, the classically recommended learner GS500) is that riding a bike with punch lower down in the rev range requires some right-hand discipline. (I'm not talking about anything kinky here.) And the SV has a good bit of engine braking as well, which you can think of as the opposite of torque. That too can be useful, and just as destabilizing if you snap the throttle shut at the wrong time.

You got a formal riding instruction course. (MSF Beginner Rider was what I took) That serves two functions: acquainting you with the hazards and survival strategies which are unique to motorcycling, as opposed to driving; and, giving you some hands-and-feet-on practice to riding correctly. Learning with no instruction invites acquiring bad riding habits. And when you're riding, what you have been habituated to will determine your relative success. Learning to ride is the acquisition of a see-and-act loop that largely bypasses active decision-making. So, riding with control and confidence requires a rider to anticipate and avoid, rather than discover and react. (It's the difference between choosing the correct and safe line through a right turn, and finding yourself on the wrong side of a double yellow and just yards from an oncoming Dodge Ram. And a riding course will give you the chance to learn and practice a survival move in the latter circumstance anyway.)

I'd suggest looking at Proficient Motorcycling and Twist of the Wrist II, a couple of classic texts on control of the bike and anticipating and avoiding street dangers. Keep reviewing the basic principles as you gain experience. And don't be afraid to ride in the street. Stopping, starting, and turning are things you can practice in an empty parking lot. Identifying hazards is impossible in a hazard-free parking lot. Managing traffic is impossible in an empty parking lot.

Ride well and be happy.
 

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Good advice Fatass SVS, I think the OP has taken a course though, mentioned it in his second post, although it doesn't seem he is to comfortable with it just yet. I think he just meant his continued learning will be done on his own slowly in a lot or empty street. I think, like you said, throttle control and knowing when to use the clutch to kill the power when needed are keys to learning on this bike.

To the OP, The SV could be a good choice. As far as "beater" bikes, for the 3k you mentioned, you should be able to find a good example of a 1st or 2nd gen SV, just a thought. A Naked 2nd Gen would probably do you pretty well. As far as knowing what you are looking at I found this thread,

http://www.svrider.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78855

I think there is a better guide somewhere too, maybe someone can link it.

You can also always take a friend who knows about bikes and get them to inspect it and maybe do a test ride for you (since you know you want an SV) to see how it rides if you don't feel comfortable.

At the end of the day, good luck with your search. You can even post some Craigslist ads or such that you are looking at on this thread and I'm sure people will be happy to give you an opinion on the bike in question. If another member is close to you, they might even offer to go with you, who knows. Just trying to give you some more ideas.
 

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Problem is I have never ridden a bike before except for my 2 day training session to get my endorsement (which I barely passed).
Let's talk about this for a moment...OK? What did you have difficulty with? If it's the real slow riding and sharp cornering....well, that's something that you can mostly avoid in the 'real world' so it's not that big of a deal.

But...and it's a HUGE 'but'....if you found it difficult to control the throttle the SV (or any 650) is not going to be kind to you. You can say 'I'll be careful' but you WILL make mistakes (as all novice riders do) and if that mistake happens to be a jerk on the throttle when you didn't mean to...you'll be off quicker than you can react.

The reason people are advising you to get something smaller is because they just don't JUMP as hard when you turn the throttle....deliberately or inadvertently. A mistake that you can learn from on a 250 will be a crash on a 650. And...worst case...a crash on a 250 is normally more survivable than one on a bigger bike just because you won't be going as fast.

I know...for many reasons we Males tend to think 'I can handle it...I'll be careful' and want to start out with an advanced machine rather than admit that we're a novice and learn how to walk before we try to run.

Motorcycles are very much akin to handguns in that operating them is not intuitive and requires many hours of practice to ingrain the muscle memory needed so you can focus your attention on things other than just operating the machine. We don't start people out with 454 Casull's....we use .22's and only move up once proficiency has been achieved.

This is where the European licensing scheme makes a LOT of sense. On an 'L' permit you can buy up to 250'ish or a restricted larger engine. Once you've made it (meaning survived without crashes or tickets) for a couple years you can move up to the next class of 500's. Another couple years and you qualify for an Unlimited ticket where you can get anything you can afford...but you'll then be around 6 years of experience which is a great idea for surviving on Liters. Of course...the sane among us will find the 500-650's plenty fast for them and have no interest in larger motors. (I don't qualify as that sane...hence the Liter.:)) Good luck with your riding in the future.
 

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Hey there. Welcome to the fun. I know exactly how you feel.

I'm a 6' 240lb somewhat in shape 49 year old guy. I got a gut but I'm working on it. December 2016 I took delivery on a brand spankin' new sv650abs because the used bikes I looked at were hammered or priced too high. My cycle experience at that point was the beginner class that previous summer, and a ton of quadracer experience decades ago. Lots of hours on a bicycle in traffic too. I passed the class easily, and felt confident in my ability to take things slowly, be an adult...you know...moderate. I should be able to handle an sv no problem, right?

Lemme tell you, my first 3 months with my L7 was...not what I expected. Even with lots of off road experience with a clutch and throttle, I had a hell of a time training my paws to use them correctly on the sv. L7s are snatchy little fookers out of the factory and if you can't moderate engine braking and compensate for really ****ty throttle response (due to emission driven mapping) with clutchwork and proper braking, you are not going to like the sv. Or any mid-range fuel injected bike, for that matter. That's why it's a crappy starter bike.

At first.

Once you tame the engine a bit (I bought a PC5 and a different throttle to chill things out a bit ($$$)) and get your ergonomics and suspension situated (more $$$), you can start getting seat time that doesn't suck, and things start smoothing out. You will eventually start to develop the unconscious muscle responses that you need to ride a bike without killing yourself. It stops being scary and starts being fun.

But it took awhile. A long while. Longer than it would have if I was on a 500 beater that I didn't really care about, or whatever. I'm sure you get the point.

Long story short, it comes down to this: you have 2 tasks to contend with. First you have to learn to ride the bike. Fast and slow. Good road or bad.
Then you have to learn to ride it on the road, in traffic.

A fuel injected 650 is not the rebel 250 you learned on, at all. If you barely passed your class on the rebel, in a parking lot, with people telling you exactly what to do, I would recommend buying a more forgiving motorcycle.
 

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Welcome to the thread

I like the SV650 for many many reasons. I've been riding for 45 yrs. Wow that is a big number when you look at it. I always recommend the SV650 as a new rider or looking for just one good overall bike.


There are a million of them.
They are inexpensive (bargain) for what you get.
They handle exceptional.
They are very easy to ride. The ride, ergonomics and handling are comfortable for in the city traffic, on the highway or on the twisty backroads.
Easy to park.
They are dependable.
Parts are easily available if you ever need them. Plenty of accessories available.
This forum is great for any sort of question you can think. There is a huge dedicated following.
There is plenty of info around about any type of configuration touring, stock, racing.

I have had 6 of them over the years. I have 2 now that I loan out to in-laws, nephews. They are all new riders. There is usually a fight sharing them or getting them back.

If this is your first bike. You cannot go wrong. If you stay in the sport this is a good choice.

Good Luck
:icon_biggrin:
 

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I'm with Zenken13. There's an opinion directly from someone that was in a similar situation. Also agree with the safety gear suggestion. Get decent gear and use it all the time. Not just a helmet and jacket - gloves, boots, pants - everything.

I don't often suggest the SV as a first bike. It's not that small. It's not that light. It's not that easy to manage. It's got a lot of torque down low, and that can make it harder to handle at low speeds.

Some of us that have been riding for years and years (I'm coming up on 40 on the street, 5 more on the dirt) forget what learning to ride is like. Back in the day, a bike with the weight and power of the SV would in no way be considered a "starter bike".

I usually suggest a Ninja 250/300 or older Ninja 500. My youngest boy with over 10 years riding on the dirt started on a Ninja 250. His brother, a bit larger, started on a Ninja 500. Both are inexpensive and a lot more manageable than a SV. Both are common and inexpensive. Both boys broke even on their bikes when they sold them, even after installing new tires and a few other things.

I also would not suggest a brand new bike as your first - it is going to get away from you at some point. Best to have an inexpensive, less than perfect, bike to learn on.
 

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I feel like the gen3 sv's are quite friendly as beginner bikes. The throttle assist is invaluable and frankly the motor (this I assume applies just as well to earlier SV's, but throttle assist does not as it's new for gen3) can be surprisingly docile until you get it into the higher RPMs...

Whatever you get, OP, please consider going for ABS. ABS also helps to insulate you from locking wheels up under improper (read: beginner-mistake-induced) braking, and can give you (and/or your loved ones) peace of mind knowing that you CAN BE MUCH SAFER than your skill might otherwise allow should you find yourself in a panic situation that you are simply too new to be adequately prepared to deal with. We all have to start somewhere, and some amount of learning, even if it's just getting to a lot or whatever, needs to take place on actual roads, with actual insane drivers sometimes doing actual crazy things in your vicinity.

Practice all you like in parking lots, I am NOT suggesting that ABS is a substitute for skill, or that you should rely on it in place of sound emergency braking tehcnique, but you do have to get onto public roads eventually... And let's be honest, you are going to want to ASAP. ABS is such a no-brainer in 2018, and I feel like it is still grossly undersold as a tool for NEW riders specifically.
 
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