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I have a 03 SV650N which I purchased 2 summers ago when I sold my cruiser and I decided to get back into sport riding. My original plan was to eventually rework the suspension and keep the SV for short to medium sport riding sorties.

Last winter I purchased a new BMW 1200GS to supplement the SV and serve as my daily commuter, 2 up platform, and longer distance touring / camping ride. The new GS has exceeded my wildest expectations and completely blown me away with its sporting capabilities. So much so, that I have been picking the GS over of the SV for the shorter distance sport rides.

This is mainly due to the confidence I get when riding the GS, It goes wherever I point it whereas when on the SV I have a 80/20 chance of maintaining my desired line. Don?t get me wrong, I enjoy many facets about the SV; it?s small, light and puts a smile on my face every time I ride, it just doesn?t inspire confidence and is quite dangerous to ride as quickly as I would like in its current configuration.

My ultimate goal it to end up with a bike (SV or other) to supplement the GS and relegate the big GS back to its commuting/touring role. This bike should blows me away and inspire me with its confidence in handling as well as be remotely comfortable for a short 200 ? 300 mile day. I live near the VA mountains and ride the pace method so out right speed is not a concern but corner entry through exit is paramount, I really enjoy nailing the corners and accelerating out. I also really enjoy what I call technical riding, where I focus on being real smooth and in control. I know, kinda gay but I enjoy it!!!!

This brings me back to my original question; Mod my SV or move on? It appears that there are several levels of suspension modification, beginning with a GSXR shock, new forks spring, emulators, and oil all the way up to a Penske shock and GSXR front end. So we are talking as little as $400 all the way through several thousand $$$? So, if I go the cheap route I am
sure the bike will be transformed from its current stock setup; but will it blow me away? If I go the expensive route, Penske shock and fork replacement it will be a substantial chunk of change. Will that be awe inspiring or should I just move on to something like a Gixxer 750?

How good is good on an SV? Those of you have modded your SV's are you able to get them to hold a line?

A little about me: I am 5?11? and 195 lbs. Although money is always an issue lets not focus on that as an issue for this discussion, let?s just assume I can come up with the money. BTW: although I own the GS I still owe around $3700 on the SV so if I sell it I will basically be starting from scratch to purchase a new/used bike and if I decide to keep it I would raise
the cost of ownership by that amount. I.e. if I choose to go all out it would cost me $3700 for the SV, $900 for the penske, ? thousand for new front end, wheels, brakes, etc? Basically getting into the low end money of a new Gixxer?

Let me know what you would do and why.

Thanks.
 

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The Well-Leathered Mod
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Well, before you go pouring money into the suspension, why not just throw on a $50 636 shock, some .95 ($80 or so) fork springs, and some 15wt fork oil (like $5).

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference, and the relatively small amount of cash you had to pay for it.
Then, if by some chance, those arent enough, and you still want your Penske or valved front forks, then the decision may be easier to make.
 

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Wow,

I've never heard of the SV having an 80/20 shot at hitting the correct line. I think that anytime I've missed it has been either my fault or a wretchedly deformed road that the stock suspension couldn't handle (but even then, I was close). I know the new GS is supposed to be good, but, hmm. Tires may make a difference (what are you running? Some triangular profiles may turn in faster than you are wanting). Maybe getting the proper springs and oil with emulators and a good shock would help. FWIW I weigh 140 and the stock springs with 20 wt and emulators work fine. The shock is getting jettisoned for a Penske as soon as I come up with the $ and my wife OK's it. The stock shock works, but after living a very, very hard life, it has seen better days.
 

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with less than $1000, the SV suspension can be made nearly equal to that of any SS bike. no one on this board can know if it will "blow you away" or not. it depends on what you're looking for. even the multi thousand $$'s setup with a penske shock and GSXR forks are not going to ride like your GS, because they're set up for racing. an indy F1 car rides rougher than a cadillac, even though the F1 suspension cost $200k and the cadillac suspension cost $1k.
 

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Hall Monitor
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Jut to add to the theme that's inevitably coming together here...

Your SV is undersprung for someone your weight. Drop a set of decent springs and the proper weight of oil up front and a 636 shock out back and be prepared to be amazed. You can completely change the character of your bike for about $200.

Bill
 
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bmetz99 said:
Jut to add to the theme that's inevitably coming together here...

Your SV is undersprung for someone your weight. Drop a set of decent springs and the proper weight of oil up front and a 636 shock out back and be prepared to be amazed. You can completely change the character of your bike for about $200.

Bill
+1
 

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Jut to add to the theme that's inevitably coming together here...

Your SV is undersprung for someone your weight. Drop a set of decent springs and the proper weight of oil up front and a 636 shock out back and be prepared to be amazed. You can completely change the character of your bike for about $200.
+1 and stickier rubber
 

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Yeah I have to agree with the consensus here. Slap a set of Pilot Powers on your SV, put in some .85/.90 springs, 20wt oil and toss a 636 or GSXR shock on the back and prepare to be amazed. I've done all that and let me tell you it completely transformed the bike into a corner carving machine!

Now, l'm going all the way with a GSX-R front end, but you don't need to do that to get where the bike is a hell of a lot more comfortable and predictable.
 

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Will a shop install the 636 shock...wouldn't mind doing that but have ZERO skills to that kind of thing and would end up screwing up my bike if I did it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great, thanks for the advice and sorry for not resonding quickly. My Comcast Internet connection goes down more then Paris Hilton!!!

Earlier when I wrote 80/20 I was trying to say that 80% of the time I end up where I planned; however, the remaining 20% are times I end up either wide or short of where I aim (not good). BTW, it is always my fault, not the bikes. As mentioned, it is the predictability and confidence I have with the new GS that I want from the SV. I can lay the GS so far over the pegs are scrapping and the cylinder heads are hovering just above the road, I can get on the gas much early and it will hold the line without going wide. This is where I want to get to with either the SV or my next bike. I agree, 1st step is to go for the gixxer or 636 shock and new springs and fork oil.

Since I am already asking questions I have another question. My SV has always had a pretty sever on/off throttle response both at very low revs and when transitioning from adding throttle to reducing throttle. I know this is fairly common on FI bikes and I have work diligently on being smooth with the throttle but still get a lot of FI chop. Have you all noticed any reduction of this behavior with remapping the FI via one of the Power Commander type devices
 

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rlsrob said:
Great, thanks for the advice and sorry for not resonding quickly. My Comcast Internet connection goes down more then Paris Hilton!!!

Since I am already asking questions I have another question. My SV has always had a pretty sever on/off throttle response both at very low revs and when transitioning from adding throttle to reducing throttle. I know this is fairly common on FI bikes and I have work diligently on being smooth with the throttle but still get a lot of FI chop. Have you all noticed any reduction of this behavior with remapping the FI via one of the Power Commander type devices
Tru, though I couldnt tell if it was me being a noob to the whole sport bike (I've only had crappy older street bikes before the SV, '79 yamaha 450, '79 Yamaha 650 special) or what. But mine does the same, I try to balance myself better, but it still happens every once in a while. I was thinking of having the Dealer check on the throttle cable when i got my 500 mile service done...should be soon, I'll let you know if anything comes out of that. 8)
 

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rlsrob said:
Since I am already asking questions I have another question. My SV has always had a pretty sever on/off throttle response both at very low revs and when transitioning from adding throttle to reducing throttle. I know this is fairly common on FI bikes and I have work diligently on being smooth with the throttle but still get a lot of FI chop. Have you all noticed any reduction of this behavior with remapping the FI via one of the Power Commander type devices
Check your chain tension too, a too-loose chain will exacerbate the problem.
 

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rlsrob said:
Since I am already asking questions I have another question. My SV has always had a pretty sever on/off throttle response both at very low revs and when transitioning from adding throttle to reducing throttle. I know this is fairly common on FI bikes and I have work diligently on being smooth with the throttle but still get a lot of FI chop. Have you all noticed any reduction of this behavior with remapping the FI via one of the Power Commander type devices
Can't answer the suspension questions, but I know what you mean about the FI. I also notice it's mostly dependent on me. If I'm real smooth with the throttle, all is good.
 

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I just put .95kg springs and 20wt fork oil in to replace the stock equipment of my SV and I can tell you right off that it is a TOTALLY different bike with just that change. I didn't have much confidence in cornering with the stock stuff either, but now the only 'confidence' problem I have with it is that I'm not yet willing to get my head THAT far off of 'center' while riding. I can lean but I feel that I am limited only by MY confidence now, rather than feeling like I was limited by the bike's ability.

I realize that I was probably not ACTUALLY limited by the bike's ability before, but it FELT that way when trying to lean. The whole mod, including shop work was about $320. Would have been about $120 all told if I did my own wrenching.
 

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Yep,you need to spend a piddley $100.00 on the front end :D Just the correct springs , and 15wt. oil will transform your machine :lol: mine will nail the line,unless i have the hiccups :lol:
 

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this is first i read this thread

I understand the 80/20 completely. the GS has a 19" hoop up front doesn't it.

I've been riding my 920R the past couple days, the SVs seep rake andgle and 17 " wheel makes it turn in real quick, so quick that it is easy to over steer or understeer, I find that I am doing a lot less mid curve corrections with my 920R than I am with the SV

to me, the SV is most fun in the tightest twisties, but as curves open up and becom sweepers, I have much more confidence on my 920R that that a 19" wheel up front
 
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