Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner

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Discussion Starter #1
What's up - I'm a new member to this forum. I've been riding an EX250, but I'm looking to get a new bike in the near term and am seriously considering an SV650s. Here's the thing though - I've rode on a few of them and I like everything about the bike except the degree of comfort. The stock seat isn't so fantastic. Also, the bars are much lower than the mini-ninja. I could probably get used to this, but for some reason I find the reach on the SV less comfortable than the reach on a lot of bikes with even lower bars - go figure.

I know a lot of people on here have modded their bikes for touring comfort. Can anyone give me advice about how much of an improvement I can honestly expect and for how much $$? I tried out a naked and it just wasn't my thing, so I'm only talking about the S model.

Also, one of the bikes I tried out was a ZX6E. Man, that thing was comfy (for the short term anyways). I've had a hard time coming up with a decent one at a price I like, so I was thinking about looking at some ZX6J's. Anybody on here have enough experience with these bikes to offer a comparison with the SV in terms of comfort and ownership (and also regarding the power of the 600's vs the 650 twin in normal traffic riding)? Thanks!
 

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I don't have an S, but it seems that lots of people drill the S upper triple and put N risers and bars on it. Seems to me that would be a good way to go, just don't drop it as your triple isn't quite as strong as an N, easy to replace though. It would probably cost you 200 bucks or so if you got all new parts. Biggest pain I think is that you need new clutch and throttle cables. That will basically give you pretty much the exact same riding position as an N, which you say you've tried.

It's heresy, but you could also look at the ninja 650, very similar to the SV and it's faired with bars instead of clip-ons, really similar to your 250.

I think that you'll find a 650 twin to be easier to ride in traffic. They generally make more torque lower down than 600s, even if they are much weaker up top. Plenty of power in a 600 for traffic though.
 

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Hi Man,

personally I don't find taht the seat is such uncomfortable. I can ride over km without any uncomfortable feeling. For sure the SV is my first bike and I have no reference with other seats.

I dont know if it exists in US, but in France we have web retailer that can sell you comfort seat with some gel in it.
I have read on others forum that people are really happy with this king of change
=> link to this partshttp://www.bagster.fr/fr/showroom-sellerie.php?id=6&id_marque=6&id_cylin=6&id_modele=SV%20650

or
http://www.aiglons.fr/produits.php
 

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get the sv, you can get an aftermarket seat to make it more comfortable

sargeant sells seats, so does corbin, and suzuki has the gel seat for it
 

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You can buy higher/adjustable clip ons, and change the seat. Personally, coming off of naked bikes with bars I was a little weirded out by the positioning at first, but I'm getting used to it. I didn't find the stock seat uncomfortable, but it did make me feel perched on top of the bike. I brought my seat to a local auto upholstery shop and had them carve out a bunch of the foam, now I sit deeper and less hunched over so it's definitely more comfortable.
 

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I felt pretty much the same way as you. The greatest thing about the SV, is the number of aftermarket options you have. I have an SVS. One of my first mods was to change the clip ons. I went with Helibars and they work great. Much more comfy and more control than the stock clip ons. Other options are convertibars, variobars, and swatts. You could also swap a SVn top tree with bars. Finally, Spiegler / LSL makes a handlebar conversion kit.

Next went the seat. I tried the Suzi gel seat, but believe the posts that criticize it for getting hot. Yes, it gets ball frying hot. I purchased a Corbin and never looked back. I've done 200+ mile rides on the Corbin with no issues.

I think the final ingredient in finding the ultimate SV would be a set of adjustable rear sets, but, I've never found enough fault with the stockers to replace them.

As for a power comparison, at traffic speeds < 80 mph, you are not going to see huge differences between the performance of the SV and 600 SSs. The SV is pretty darn quick up to 80. After 80, the SV's HP disadvantage vis-a-vis the SSs starts to show.

On the road, the SV and SSs do behave differently. The SSs make power on the top end. The SV has more torque available down low. That makes the SV a little more manageable tooling around town and in the canyons. The SSs have higher top speeds. The SSs are designed to operate at higher, i.e., track, speeds. The SSs are more top heavy than the SVs (which is more top heavy than other standard bikes), and will drop like a rock at parking lot / gas station speeds if you aren't careful. (I almost dropped my 750 at the gas station the first day I had it, although I was well conditioned to the SVS's low speed issues. The 750 is / was that much worse.)

Between an SV and a 600 SS, I'd personally go with the SV. Now, throw a 750 in the mix and wellll . . ..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your input, guys. I test road another SV650S yesterday and my impression is still the same: Perfect power for the street, but just not shaped right for the dimensions of my awkward, gangly body.

I didn't find the stock seat uncomfortable, but it did make me feel perched on top of the bike.
This is it exactly - the seat leaves you feeling very tall and on top of the bike, and the clip-on height and distance require you to look upwards to see what's in front of you. It's a lot like a modern supersport, and I'm hoping I can make it ride like a 15 year old supersport without spending a ton of money, if that makes any sense.

Does a modded seat leave you feeling like you are "in" rather than "on" the bike? Would a Corbin or Sargeant help? Incidentally, I test-rode a CBR600F4i with a Corbin seat and it was completely perfect. I wish 99% of US sport riders were not squids. Maybe then Honda would sell me a CBR400.
 

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Are you the guy who ride my yellow 05 naked?

Sounds like maybe the SV isn't for you if you don't like the naked and find the S uncomfortable.
 

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You definitely feel more in the bike with a modded seat if you shave down or replace the foam. It was actually exactly what I needed, much more comfortable now, seat wise, heightwise, reachwise. People rave about Spencer from Greatdaytoride.com, I actually just took mine to a local shop and had them reshape the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are you the guy who ride my yellow 05 naked?

Sounds like maybe the SV isn't for you if you don't like the naked and find the S uncomfortable.
I am that guy! And you may be right about the SV, there is for better or worse a significant chance of a 650r or can-o-tuna in my future.

As I recall, you have a lot of experience making bike ergonomics work for you. Do you have any other suggestions? This may seem like a dumb question, but I really don't know much about the subject. Do you find that small changes, like an inch here or there, make a big difference in the riding posture?

You definitely feel more in the bike with a modded seat if you shave down or replace the foam. It was actually exactly what I needed, much more comfortable now, seat wise, heightwise, reachwise.
So that inch or two of foam had that big of an effect for you? I'd hate to pass up on a bike I like if I can make it comfortable enough by taking the seat to an upholstery shop.

I keep trying to find measurements for the S so I can compare them to measurements for other bikes. The goal would be to tally up how much $ in parts or work it would take to make the seat-to-bar and seat-to-peg distances and angles similar to other bikes I like but don't want to buy. It know it's nerdy, but its a lot cheaper than trial and error. Anybody got numbers like that laying around, maybe from a magazine article?

Now for something completely different: the opinion of a 3 post user. I checked out Coop's bike for sale last weekend and it was real nice for the price he is asking. Plus he totally seemed like a stand-up dude.

Thanks for the help guys. This forum = :rock:
 

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The reason the SV's clip ons are not as comfortable as other bike with even lower mounts is because they're a further forward. I have the same problem - I can ride a CBR600RR all day long without much back pain, but 30 minutes on the SV and my lower back starts to sing. I have since cure the problem, though. I purchased SWATT 3.5" clip ons from Blair at SV-Racing-Parts (with longer cables/hoses to match), had my factory seat modified by Spencer at GreatDaytoRide.com, and bought Buell 1" lower footpegs. With this set up I can ride hours at a time without any discomfort (did just under 1,000 miles a couple weekends ago).

What's great about the Swatt 3.5" clip ons is you can easily lower them back down to stock height if you fell like getting frisky in the turns. The downside is you will have to purchase longer clutch/throttle cables and brake lines.

Here's a break down of the items I've purchased:

* Swatt 3.5" clip ons: $130
* Galfer SS brake lines for an 'N': $90
* Motion Pro extended throttle cables via Convertibars.com: $70 shipped
* 'N' clutch cable from Ron Ayers: $20 shipped
* GreatDaytoRide.com-modified seat: $100 shipped both ways (includes LD Supracor upgrade)
* Buell 1" lower footpegs from the dealer: $26
 

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I switched my 1st gen to Hawk GT handlebars and now it feels a bit better, but it wasn't a quantum leap and the swap caused its own problems. I'm sure a 2g would be no different. I think if you don't already have the bike it's better to keep shopping for something that fits. Have you tried a naked or a Gladius or are you sold on having a fairing? The Ninja 650 has a much more upright posture, and very similar power, have you tried it? The Versys or VStrom are better yet.
 

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I know you've said you like some things about the SV, however, if the bike doesn't fit you then you probably won't be happy with it no matter what you do to it. Find a bike that fits you better.

It's just one of those things, you'll know the right bike when you sit on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know you've said you like some things about the SV, however, if the bike doesn't fit you then you probably won't be happy with it no matter what you do to it. Find a bike that fits you better.

It's just one of those things, you'll know the right bike when you sit on it.
You are totally right. Plus buying a bike that fits poorly and modifying it is expensive, time consuming, and unlikely to translate into any real increase in resale value. Still, I'd be curious to know what it would take, and how much of an improvement could be expected.

The reason the SV's clip ons are not as comfortable as other bike with even lower mounts is because they're a further forward. I have the same problem - I can ride a CBR600RR all day long without much back pain, but 30 minutes on the SV and my lower back starts to sing.
I knew it had to be something like that. I sat on a 600rr at the dealer and I found it more comfortable than the SV, too. It looks like the cost for you to go from 30 mins. to all-day comfort was $436 and a number of labor hours swapping cables and stuff. Dude, I really appreciate you taking the time to break all the parts and costs down. This looks minimally more expensive than converting to handlebars, but way more like what I would be looking for.

By any chance have you ridden an F4i or ZX6E? I found the ergo's on both these bikes to be pretty much right-on (F4i had a Corbin, which may have been lower than stock). Still, being kind of a puss, the SV has way more power than I actually need. So these SS bikes are just gluttonous to me (when revved liberally ;D).
 

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I find my SVS pretty comfortable overall. I am 6'4" and have long arms which gives me more of an upright sitting position than most would have.

The OEM gel seat is more comfortable than the stock because of the dipped saddle like shape and of course the gel padding. I also have a gel pad with sheep skin cover for the SO on the passenger seat. She loves it.

The crampbuster is great also and helps prevent hand/wrist ache with clipons.
 

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As I recall, you have a lot of experience making bike ergonomics work for you. Do you have any other suggestions? This may seem like a dumb question, but I really don't know much about the subject. Do you find that small changes, like an inch here or there, make a big difference in the riding posture?
The changes I made didn't make a significant difference. I could notice them for sure, but that's the reason I have a different bike now, the low pegs and higher bars still didn't give me the comfort level I needed. The SV's are great bikes, but obviously not for everybody.
 

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have you tried the kawasaki 650R? a lot like the SV650S in terms of fairing, power, twin-cylinder torque, etc, but nearly as upright a riding posture as the SV650 naked - bars, not clip-ons. just a touch broader and 'reachier' to the grips. or check out the ER6-N if you are into the naked version. both offer very similar 'ride' experience to the SV.
btw, the stock SV seat gets a bad rap, but once u get used to being an active, mobile rider rather than just 'sitting there', it's not a limitation at all. i put in plenty of 6-12 hour days without discomfort. not to say that a sargent or corbin wouldn't be plusher!
cheers,
 
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