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Hello everyone,
I am looking at pulling the trigger on an SV650(s) for a track bike. In my stable is a 2011 Suzuki Hayabusa, 1998 Honda Valkyrie and 2005 Honda ST1300. I have never done a track day but getting the itch to do so. My 2 top choices are very different bikes. SV650 and GSXR600. I just have a feeling that the SV650 is the way to go but not entirely sure why. Pros: cheaper, naked so easier access, V twin (never had one), very positive feedback on the sv650 for many purposes. Cons (compared to GSXR650): GSXR meant to be a sport bike, more hp and torque, probably very similar to my busa just downsized.

I am guessing this is a conversation or thread that has been discussed before. I would appreciate any advice or links to threads that discuss the SV650 as a first track bike. I assume I want an SV650s, right? What would be the top priority mods for a good track bike? Any model years to look for or avoid?

Thanks all!!! I appreciate your help.

-Souljacker
 

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Gsxr is a track bike & Sv650 is a street bike. There is no need for us to convince you to get a sv. For track purpose, the gsxr has better all around components and is track focused.
 

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Messed up that last sentence. But yeah, each has a different purpose. Convince me I should take a Honda helix to track days. Convince me I need a Hayabusa for city commuting.
 

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...convince me I should take a Honda helix to track days. Convince me I need a Hayabusa for city commuting.
Thousands of professional and amateur racers around the world would disagree with your comparison. With a few suspension upgrades, the SV650 is a great track bike because of its reliability and forgiveness. It won't be the fastest but it will let you focus on skills development and, over everything else, having fun!

There is a reason this is a thing: https://motoamerica.com/twins-cup/

Also, browse around the racing section of this site and see for yourself: https://www.svrider.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=19
 

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If you just want a track bike then a GSXR 600 would be much closer to the requirement than any of the SV650s. The standard GSXR has far better suspension both ends, better brakes, a much higher power output and a full fairing, it could be used as a track bike as a stock bike (although one might want to remove unnecessary stuff like lights for safety and to save some weight). The SV650 is a good road bike, but built down to a low cost and so would need considerable modification to make it very suitable for the track. One would almost certainly end up changing the front end for GSXR, the rear shock absorber for something better, improving the brakes considerably and fitting a proper fairing and seat. That would still leave one with 30HP less than a GSXR600, and it would take some considerable work to get the SV up to 100ish HP.

All that doesn’t mean you could not make a perfectly good track bike out of a SV650 (many people have done so and there is even a race series for that bike here in the UK), it is just that you would have to spend some time and money to make it as good as the GSXR600’s starting point. You could of course run a more or less standard SV650 as a track bike (less unnecessary stuff) if you just wanted to try it out, but you might find the suspension, brakes and only 75HP frustrating.

I suppose this comes down to time and money. Pointy SVs can be picked up very cheaply. Here in the UK the bottom fell out of the 600cc sports bike market a few years ago when the government changed the licensing laws (so one might as well get a larger bike as the full licence is now the same) so GSXR600s can also be picked up very cheaply, and so as a consequence are probably cheaper to convert effective track bikes.

To conclude: unless you particularly want a SV650 (perhaps to compete in a model specific or twin cylinder class) then a GSXR600 (or similar other 600cc super sports) would make a far better track bike and require a lot less modification. Get a SV650 anyway as a cheap and cheerful road bike and enjoy it like the rest of us.

Good fortune.


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Yes a 600 cc race replica is a more capable bike than an SV650, but the v twin is a hoot on the track, (somewhat) more forgiving of operator error, cheaper to operate (doesn't go through tires so fast) and benefits greatly from easy inexpensive suspension and brake mods.

But I see no reason not to use one of your current bikes for your first track day(s). Obviously none of them were designed for that specific purpose, but I've seen similar bikes on the track many times, and with a competent rider they can easily hold their own in beginner and even intermediate group. Why not start out with a bike you're already familiar with, and go from there as you get more into track riding?
 

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Heck yeah! Valkyrie track day!!! :vroom: I guarantee you wouldn't be the first one to do it :naughty:

Honestly I'd track the ST1300, I bet you would have an awesome time and learn great stuff in the process.
 

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Picked up my 2000 SV650 that was used as a track bike for the track. After spending as much on upgrades as I spent on the bike, came to realize it will not really work out all that well "for me". I grew out of my 2000 in about 6 months. Loved every minute of it but I always seem to be ringing the heck out of the fueling and brakes and wasn't really all that confident in either at high speeds. Same as when I am up in speed on my FJR even after spending $2,500 on suspension and brake upgrades

Picked up a 2011 GSXR750 and there really isn't much I needed to do. Just steel brake lines and I am all set. Bike came with a full Yosh, PC5 and pretty decent tires. Not only does it check all the boxes but really is pretty fun and comfortable on the road. More stable above 90 than my FJR on the highway. Funny how that small screen can cut through the air.

If I had to do it all over again, would have saved a few more pennies and have gone with a naked liter. Still love and ride my SV650 a ton but just saying...... Looking at a Thruxton R for now. SV will be come my cafe racer.
 

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Picked up my 2000 SV650 that was used as a track bike for the track. After spending as much on upgrades as I spent on the bike, came to realize it will not really work out all that well "for me". I grew out of my 2000 in about 6 months. Loved every minute of it but I always seem to be ringing the heck out of the fueling and brakes and wasn't really all that confident in either at high speeds. Same as when I am up in speed on my FJR even after spending $2,500 on suspension and brake upgrades

Picked up a 2011 GSXR750 and there really isn't much I needed to do. Just steel brake lines and I am all set. Bike came with a full Yosh, PC5 and pretty decent tires. Not only does it check all the boxes but really is pretty fun and comfortable on the road. More stable above 90 than my FJR on the highway. Funny how that small screen can cut through the air.

If I had to do it all over again, would have saved a few more pennies and have gone with a naked liter. Still love and ride my SV650 a ton but just saying...... Looking at a Thruxton R for now. SV will be come my cafe racer.


I think I’d agree with that sentiment. One could easily spend more on modifying a SV, which would still not be as good on the track as a standard GSXR, and I think if one was taking that route one would become frustrated with the SV quickly.

This still comes down to cost, and there is clearly a place for SVs on the track (as one may notice at any track day). If one bought a well used SV650, about a K6, for £800 and ran it in standard form (less the unnecessary bits) one could get into track biking for less than the cost of some people’s leathers or helmets. It would of course get overtaken by everything with more than 75HP on the straights, and would not be much better in the corners due to the standard suspension and brakes, but it would be great fun and very good for improving one’s riding technique.

I can’t help thinking that if cost is less of a factor then it would be better to buy a bike that is more suited to the track without significant modification in the first place (a GSXR or any super sport 600/675).

Anyway, it is up to the OP what he fancies, good fortune OP.

Alan


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