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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So - I'm about a month into my Yellow 05 SVS and getting comfortable enough that I can loosen up my death grip on the bars. The basic mechanics of riding are becoming a little more automatic (though I still have to maintain a mental count of what gear I'm in), I'm trusting the bike a little more, and starting to concentrate more on technique.

From lurking on the board for the majority of this time, I've seen lots of folks make lots of different suggestions about things to change on the SV, but I was hoping to get some help building a priority list of what are the most effective changes to make, what I can put off, what's cheap, and what I'm going to have to save up to do.

My personal priority is primarily handling and safety. I don't care much about getting more horsepower out of the bike (it's got plenty for me as a new rider) and I'm not worried about changing the exhaust or doing a snorkle-ectomy in order to get a louder bike or a few more HP... If it makes the bike smoother, that's different, though.

I'm also not so worried about these changes that I'm inclined to change out the entire front end... In short, I'd like to make modifications that provide benefit without requiring so much money that I'm spending a substantial fraction of what a better-performing bike would cost in the first place.

Finally, I'm trying to avoid things that require me taking it to a shop. I'm pretty handy electronically, and have several friends that have offered to teach/help me with the mechanical side of things.

So... enough conditions? :D

Here are the things that seem like cost-effective changes I can make either by myself or with the help of a knowledgeable friend.

Handling / Ride
A recent thread contained a post with the opinion that learning to deal with the SV's handling characteristics was a worse option than fixing the basic handling and learning "correctly." This made sense to me.

  • Replace front fork oil with heavier weight
  • Replace front springs with progressive springs
  • Replace rear shock (expensive but sounds worth it.
  • Front dampeners (not sure about this one... are the springs enough?)
  • Power commander to smooth out throttle. Will I need to take it to a shop for new mapping? Not currently a huge priority on this one

Safety
  • Reflective decals for helmet / tape for bike (plan on Streetglo yellow pinstriping to outline the fairings - unobtrusive during the day, but good visibility at night)
  • Headlight modulator*
  • Backoff tailight modulator (plan on 5-strobe, then steady until brake off setting)(
  • Nate's motosliders (Body, Handlebars, and Swingarm)
  • Riding suit (leaning toward 2-piece Roadcrafter) to replace current armored jacket & jeans
  • Riding boots to replace my Doc Martins
  • Amber LED accent lighting for conspicuity (low priority mod for me)

*I'm aware of the opinion split on modulators, but I plan on getting one with selectable settings so I can turn it off at times where I think it would be overly distracting or annoying to other drivers.

Obviously, I can't do all of this at once and, with the exception of the riding suit, will most likely do the cheaper/easier things first. But I wanted to get some feedback about what you all thought would be the most important things, if any of them aren't worth doing at all, and if there's anything else that you consider a "must-do."

Sorry for the long post... hopefully your answers will help other new riders as well. Thanks!
 

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well sounds like you have been lurking here long enough to compile a very good list.
Heres what I would suggest for the bike (not YOUR safety gear, because that is more important, but can differ from person to person- Buy what you KNOW you will wear), in order of importance and giving the most significant impact to attain what your attempting to gain, as well as being cost-effective:

1) Nates Motosliders - you cant beat them, and they pay for themselves very quickly if you tip it over, drop it, lay it down, etc....$64.95
2) new fork oil & springs - I would suggest Sonic Springs - Rich is a supporter of the board (just like Nate from Motosliders) and provides a great product and support at a great price. ~$100
3a) Rear shock - either GSXR or 636/ZX10R depending on what gen bike you have $30-$60
3b) Rear shock - SV Raceshop budget shock - more properly set up, you would probably keep it longer, have a higher resale $250-$300

shock choice has to do with how much you want to pay, and how long you plan to keep it and what type of riding you plan to do with it. this argument can go on for days, so my only suggestion is to start with a 3a and notice the improvent, then down the road when your more advanced, trade it up on a 3b and see if a more properly set-up shock feels better for you.

Hope that helps and gives you a place to start....
 

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1-- Full Gear
2-- Motosliders
3-- Suspension (front)
4-- Suspension (rear)
5-- Exhaust + remap/rejet
 

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I missed where the chrome, extended swingarm, 12 O'clock bar, NOx, and Neon are on the list?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DucOwner said:
I missed where the chrome, extended swingarm, 12 O'clock bar, NOx, and Neon are on the list?
Well... you see, first I have to get the "Type R" sticker on there and those don't come cheap... 8)

Seriously, though, thanks to everyone for the feedback. Regarding the suspension, are the front fork springs and oil change enough or do I need dampening up there as well to do things right? I hadn't seen that mentioned much on the various forums, but the guy at the shop spoke about it when I was picking the bike up from it's 600 mile first service. (#*$&@*@ $180!!! - I'm definitely going to learn to do that stuff my self!)
 

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Something else to think about is a set of stands. If you're going to be working on your bike, a proper set of stands makes it so much easier. If you only want to start with one stand, get the rear first. I use mine every time I leave the bike in the garage. Takes up less space that way, too. Just something else to think about after proper gear.
 

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Releaux said:
Well... you see, first I have to get the "Type R" sticker on there and those don't come cheap...  8)

Seriously, though, thanks to everyone for the feedback. Regarding the suspension, are the front fork springs and oil change enough or do I need dampening up there as well to do things right? I hadn't seen that mentioned much on the various forums, but the guy at the shop spoke about it when I was picking the bike up from it's 600 mile first service. (#*$&@*@ $180!!! - I'm definitely going to learn to do that stuff my self!)
To do it "right"? Well, that's subjective, but my opinion is that the forks are much better with the race-tech emulators installed. Here's some info on the fork upgrades:
http://www.svraceshop.com/SVForkUpgradeFAQ.asp
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great link, jarrelj - I had poked around the svraceshop site a bit, but hadn't found that page. $300 ain't cheap for the swap, but it sounds like that's probably the best "bang for the buck" option. EDIT: I don't mean that the price sounds unfair for the work involved, just that it's approaching my hard limit on modification price... $300 is 5% of the MSRP on the bike, and my wife's already talking about buying another bike so we can ride together. :)

One thought occurs to me, though... will modifying the forks like this (or other of the mods I've listed) void the extended warranty?
 

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I'd like to add to my above post: Insert stainless steel front brake lines above the exhaust and remap/rejet. And when the time comes, add a set of Carbone Lorraine SBK-3 pads (on the front only!)...




[edit: BTW, you can easily swap your own fork springs and oil with a minimum of tools and wrenching experience. Do it yourself and you should be looking at ~$100 give or take. Try a search on this site for Sonic Springs, as they are highly recommended by many posters and also a site sponsor I believe...]
 

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Releaux said:
One thought occurs to me, though... will modifying the forks like this (or other of the mods I've listed) void the extended warranty?
Never heard of anyone having a problem, and LOTS of people have modified their forks in this fashion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Six Chin Skinny said:
I'd like to add to my above post:  Insert stainless steel front brake lines above the exhaust and remap/rejet.  And when the time comes, add a set of Carbone Lorraine SBK-3 pads (on the front only!)...
I knew there was something I was forgetting on that list... actually, there's one additional thing I'm forgetting as well, but I'm sure it will come to me.

Jarrel, thanks for the info on warranty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
MeLLow_YeLLoW said:
TPS adjustment? Or is the bike to new?
It will be one month old tomorrow. I don't know what a TPS adjustment is, so I'll have to go look that up. :)
 

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its the throttle position sensor adjustment, basically smooths the jerkiness in first & second gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now THAT would be a lovely change... I've gotten better at dealing with the throttle's touchiness, but it would be nice to not be thrown against the tank when I decel or do that occasional herky-jerky thing when trying to find the right throttle position in slower traffic.

Is this something that requires an aftermarket purchase, or is it something that can be adjusted on the stock equipment? Also, I've read that the PowerCommander devices help this as well, though I probably wouldn't get one of those until I started messing with the exhaust.

I remembered the other thing I was contemplating adding, but it isn't exactly safety or handling related: a ScottOiler. Is this worth it or should I learn to love the smell of kerosene on the weekends?

EDIT: I found this thread on sv650.org... might be something to try out tomorrow...
 

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just wanted to add my 2 cents.... propper riding gear #1 and if you are working on it yourself at least a rear stand, saw that erlier and he/she is right, i dont have a stand and i am constantly borowing my brother in laws, 3rd frame sliders, as mentioned above you only have to drop it once for them to pay for themselves, doesnt sound like your looking for performance mods, stock rear suspension isnt that bad so i would go to the fork oil and springs next....have you considered emulators? oh and for anybody else reading this if your bike is naked, then bar end mirrors to see something other than your shoulders should come right after propper riding gear :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sigh. I have quite a shopping list already for having a "low-cost, easy to do" mod priority, eh? :) Especially when you add in the new tools like security torx bits, brake bleeders, etc., that I'm going to need to do the mods.

Visa is going to love me.

I hadn't had a rear stand as a high priority, but as I learn more I can see it's going to be a pretty essential tool. At least with Nate's swingarm sliders I can get rid of the hideous frankenstein-neck-bolt the shop put back there when they did that first service...

These are great tips, everyone. I'll probably compile another post when this thread dies with the "conventional wisdom" that might help newbies like me out in the future. I know some people barely have the thing in the garage before they've got the front end and exhaust torn off, but I'm sure there are also (cheap) people like me who just want to tweak the bike enough to overcome the deficiencies that accompany a so-called "budget bike."
 
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