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Hey all, I'm on a 2017 SV650 and am enjoying the 'platform', and, like many of you, notice the handling characteristics of the budget suspension that it comes with.

While dumping money into upgrading the forks and rear-shock could improve the handling, I'm not convinced I really want to try to turn this bike into a track-lap contender.

One thing I have noticed, is that if I am very precise with my braking inputs, I can settle the suspension and wheel speed into a good line when making all sorts of maneuvers: late-braking, quick turn-ins, and/or quick transitions.. however, if I am NOT precise, the un-nerving "pogo-ing" and sloppy steering-feedback ensue.

Have any of you had similar experiences, trying to tame this beast using a combination of front and rear brakes when whipping it around town?

I don't expect this to perform like a GSX-R, but it sure is fun trying to maximize smoothness on such a budget suspension setup..

(FYI I'm 150 lbs. and just recently increased the rear pre-load from setting '3' to setting '6')
 

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Progressive springs, 15w oil, and a used zx10r rear shock made my 05 feel like a different bike entirely and thats not exaggerating. For less than 300 dollars it fixed all the wallowing and pogoing my SV was doing. After setting up the rebound and compression for my weight on the rear shock the bike holds a tight line in a way it was never capable of before .Brings it close to if not right up to par with the 600s Ive personally ridden. I weigh 220lbs also so the stock suspension was really lacking for me. I was resistant to upgrading for a while but its by far the most effective money Ive spent on my SV.
 

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My experience with exactly the same bike (2017 gen. 3) is the following.

When learning to ride it, it seemed well balanced to me.
Nothing exceptional in the braking department (after having installed braided lines and sintered brake pads) or suspensions, but all in all manageable.
Then I started moderately using the brakes, which means not only closing the throttle and downshifting before the turn, but actually braking with the front brake to decelerate before leaning into the curve, it felt weird ... the bike was nosediving and I was not able to keep braking while leaning and turning, because every little variation in brake lever applied pressure was resulting in more front diving or rising.
Last, I had to do an emergency braking when, right behind a blind road bend, I found a moron car driver doing a u-turn in three steps. I almost went over the bar and found myself sitting on the tank, due to the fork bottoming out.

I decided to upgrade the suspensions to cure nosediving (cartridges in the fork, new adjustable rear shock), and now I have a fully usable bike that I feel confident driving in any condition.
In the end I moved to 4-pot calipers on the front, because they give me a better feeling.

In any case, don't be misleaded in thinking upgrading the suspensions is a track-only modification.
You'll need it on the road too in any riding condition except (maybe) when coasting.
 

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Being smooth is always a good idea. However, the limitations of the stock suspension are still there.
The bike will be a lot more fun to ride if you put a little bit of money into it. Better springs and oil up front for starters, that will cost just a little over $100 and make a dramatic improvement.
 

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I did the fork and rear shock upgrade many years and thousands of miles ago. Combined with good tires and a little help setting things up with a friend, I was thoroughly impressed with the bike, and so were any of my riding buddies who tried my bike coming off their newer Ninjas and Ducatis.


I'm embarrassed to say I've not serviced either end of the bike in probably 30-40k miles, and I can tell now, especially in the front end, and especially now that I have a much newer bike to compare with.

Absolutely riding smoothly and using the brakes and gas properly to control the attitude of the bike make the experience much better. Yes, upgrading will make the overall riding experience better, but NOT upgrading forces YOU to be better.

Where it hurts you to have inadequate suspension is, as others have alluded to, is when you add the uncertainties of riding on the street. There could be a driver doing something stupid, a large piece of debris, a pothole that wasn't there yesterday, an off-leash dog, or whatever. You could underestimate a turn and it could suddenly tighten up on you. Good suspension will help you deal with those things.
 

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Agreed, trail braking is one of the answers. Also, just being on the brakes and slowing down makes all the difference. That's really the key difference between primo suspension and budget suspension: how fast you can go through corners. The more primo the parts the quicker you can take stuff. I have been getting back into the 250 class this summer and that comes with suspension that makes the stock SV feel high-end :D; staying on the brakes and setting up for your corner is much more important when the suspension isn't up to the task.

You mention two things though (or I'm inferring two things from your comments): pogo-ing and preload. These are things that can be addressed when you do want to go faster. Getting proper springs for your weight is good. Race Tech and Sonic springs are good sites to check out, and they both sell constant weight springs. (Progressive springs are a compromise, I wouldn't advise them). The pogo is just your damping not keeping up and a better shock helps that. The options are almost endless there.
 

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While dumping money into upgrading the forks and rear-shock could improve the handling, I'm not convinced I really want to try to turn this bike into a track-lap contender.
If you were able to ride my 3gen with fork and shock upgrades I think you would change your mind...huge difference in performance and comfort. The fork upgrade alone will help a lot. Your shock will start to feel like you don't have one in a short time and will need to be changed. Doing so makes the whole package work nicely.
 

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If you were able to ride my 3gen with fork and shock upgrades I think you would change your mind...huge difference in performance and comfort. The fork upgrade alone will help a lot. Your shock will start to feel like you don't have one in a short time and will need to be changed. Doing so makes the whole package work nicely.
Would you mind summarizing what your upgrades were?
After discussing with some nice folk here, I was looking at some stiffer springs and a fork oil change. The spreadsheet said I needed a 0.9kg/mm since I'm 220lbs, but there were guys in the 180-190 (.85kg/mm recommendation) range saying they have 1.0 (260lbs+) and are considering going higher.

Anyone's thoughts are welcome. No rush, I think I had my last ride yesterday as it dipped to 6C.
 

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Would you mind summarizing what your upgrades were?
After discussing with some nice folk here, I was looking at some stiffer springs and a fork oil change. The spreadsheet said I needed a 0.9kg/mm since I'm 220lbs, but there were guys in the 180-190 (.85kg/mm recommendation) range saying they have 1.0 (260lbs+) and are considering going higher.

Anyone's thoughts are welcome. No rush, I think I had my last ride yesterday as it dipped to 6C.
The forks, Traxxion Dynamics AR 25 axxion rod damper kit, 20 wt oil.

Shock, K-Tech RCU Razor-R
 

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The forks, Traxxion Dynamics AR 25 axxion rod damper kit, 20 wt oil.

Shock, K-Tech RCU Razor-R
Thanks for the links.
And that red really makes your bike pop, looks real good.
 

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The forks, Traxxion Dynamics AR 25 axxion rod damper kit, 20 wt oil.

Shock, K-Tech RCU Razor-R
I'm using the same set-up and it works well.
 

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Would you mind summarizing what your upgrades were?
After discussing with some nice folk here, I was looking at some stiffer springs and a fork oil change. The spreadsheet said I needed a 0.9kg/mm since I'm 220lbs, but there were guys in the 180-190 (.85kg/mm recommendation) range saying they have 1.0 (260lbs+) and are considering going higher.

Anyone's thoughts are welcome. No rush, I think I had my last ride yesterday as it dipped to 6C.
If your skill level and pace has you still using all the fork travel with the recommended springs, then you would go up to stiffer springs. I know at least one racer who is using 0.95 springs and he is about my size (160 lbs) while I am using 0.80 springs.
 

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GC makes a good point relative to spring weight as it is use-dependant. Race Tech's calculator is not an exact science and you need to consider your pace, conditions, weight etc. For example: I run 0.90kg/mm springs on my SV (it's an S model so keep in mind my riding position puts more weight on the front than your SV) and I'm around 175lbs. If I were to re-spring at this point I would opt for 0.95 as I'm using all of my spring travel. Granted, I only ride in the canyons and the road gets pretty rough.
Contrast that to the 0.85kg/mm springs I just put on my 250 and I am surprised at how little travel I'm using so far. I could have gone lighter... as it is I think I need to wear them in a bit and worse case I'll just need to pick up the pace :devilish:
 

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Trail braking on any bike can save your ass in a corner. If I've entered a corner or about to enter too hot, a little rear brake will help pull you around without going too wide and potentially into oncoming traffic. It's a good thing to practice.
 

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Trail braking —properly executed— is an excellent tool to keep your suspension (and your traction) stable through a corner but it won't compensate for all the shortcomings of an under-sprung or improperly-set suspension. You need both.
 

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Trail braking on any bike can save your ass in a corner. If I've entered a corner or about to enter too hot, a little rear brake will help pull you around without going too wide and potentially into oncoming traffic. It's a good thing to practice.
Trail braking is typically (and more effectively) done with the front brake.
 

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Yeah, you gotta be really, really disciplined to dab the rear brake in a corner. For the vast majority of us, doing so is an invitation to high-side.
Well ... I can't comment on other's techniques or skills. For many of us(me included) and especially the less experienced, grabbing a handful of front brake whilst cornering may not end well. So many variables involved. Many, many different opinions and techniques.
Do what works for you but have you tried a little rear trail braking? Or are you just assuming disaster? I got turned on to it from an acquaintance who went to superbike school.
 

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Well ... I can't comment on other's techniques or skills. For many of us(me included) and especially the less experienced, grabbing a handful of front brake whilst cornering may not end well. So many variables involved. Many, many different opinions and techniques.
Do what works for you but have you tried a little rear trail braking? Or are you just assuming disaster? I got turned on to it from an acquaintance who went to superbike school.
I'm not saying that rear brake in a turn is impossible, I'm just saying that it's way, way trickier than trail braking with the front. With the unloaded rear wheel the chance for slippage is way higher than the front wheel, which is fully loaded. And when the real wheel catches, and it will, you'll get flung over the bike in a spectacular high side.

Also, if you're grabbing a handful of front brake while cornering, you're not trail braking, your low siding. Trail braking begins long before you start leaning into the turn, and you're actually slowly releasing the brake as you turn and throttle. If you start to apply the brake after you've started your turn, you're not trail braking, you're doing a form of panic braking. Every single one of us has done that at some point. I certainly have the pucker marks on my saddle from doing it. Trail braking feels entirely different. It's a very controlled, planned move, that (at least for me) actually increases my confidence in the corner.
 

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Well ... I can't comment on other's techniques or skills. For many of us(me included) and especially the less experienced, grabbing a handful of front brake whilst cornering may not end well. So many variables involved. Many, many different opinions and techniques.
Do what works for you but have you tried a little rear trail braking? Or are you just assuming disaster? I got turned on to it from an acquaintance who went to superbike school.
Hey beeboy, here's a video that may help you understand trail braking. Trail braking also reduces rake and trail which in turn enables the bike to turn better...only done using the front brakes.
 
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