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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I'm definitely new here, as I should be, since I don't own an sv yet.
My name's Thomas, and I live in southern california.
I've been riding for about 4-5 months now, and I'm ready to sell my first bike and move on to one that I really want.
Right now, I'd like just a little reaffirmation that the sv is that bike.
Granted, I'm 18.
I hope that if you have stereotypes about 18 year olds, you can try to push them aside for the most part.
But I cannot deny that from time to time I get a little agressive on a bike.
No stunting, and no Excessive speeding. Just maybe a little too much leaning. ;D

So to the point of things, I'm headed off to college at UCSD next year, and looking for a bike that can both take care of both the dense rush hour madness of san diego, and keep me comfortable on the 2-4 hour trek to my house/my brothers place/wherever.
It would also be nice if the bike would feel solid were I to take it to a track; that's an area where I hold high interest.

Is the sv650s the bike for me?
I hear complaints about the suspension and brakes, I really do NOT want another never ending project bike.

Not too long ago, I finished pulling the engine out of my 88 ninja 600r, splitting the case halves, and replacing the starter clutch; I'm not afraid of wrenching.
But like I said, I will be expecting a couple rides a month of 120mi+

Please, tell me what you like or don't like about these bikes;
I'm looking pretty intently at taking up a loan and buying one in the 2003 zone, around 5Kmi range.
I like the Idea of fuel injection.
but what else is going on in this equation?
thanks
-Thomas.

afternote: I almost always will make posts way longer than they need be; I'm working on it ;)
 

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hey man this bike is great but.......
as you said the suspension is something to complain about, at first i didnt know the difference but after riding several other bikes ( harley, 750 gsx-r) of my friends & fam. and gaining experience the suspension is deffinitely holding me back. also i have the s modle which i took on a 5hr. trip and will never do it again. the naked looks way comfortable and i am considering switching to one. power is great, low in the rev range, easy to access, never had a problem with the brakes. all in all you get what you pay for. the insurance is cheap and so are most of the upgrades/mods
 

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I bought it because it is a constant project...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
also i have the s modle which i took on a 5hr. trip and will never do it again. the naked looks way comfortable and i am considering switching to one.

Do you think that risers would help with this? The particular bike that I'm interested in has heli risers already on it.

I see a lot of guys with gsxr front ends on these, and I understand that they pretty much "drop in".
is this more common than I think it is?

It's not sounding like a track bike.

thanks for the insight guys; keep it coming.
 

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yea i also enjoy the upgrading almost as much as riding. it gives you a chance to see how things work and really in the end makes you a better rider cause you know your bike. the risers are a good option, i didnt like the looks but they should ease the arm and hand pressure. invest in a good cruise lock, the v-twin's torque really slows the bike quick as soon as you let off so if you want to switch hands or stretch your going to need the lock. as for the gsxr forks- looks sweet- rides sweet- why not. i think it costs about 800.00 and doesnt just drop in. i believe there some custome brackets and tweaking to do. new cables and lines, also the speedo will not work. i have heard that having stock forks rebuilt by traxxion yeilds just as good a front end just doesnt look as cool. i took a spin on a 06 naked with the gsxr front end and it was a very different feel. i felt much more confident to lean the bike. this may have something to do with the bars vs clip ons.
 

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the SV650 to me....

Well first off, i have 2 nicknames dupped by my friends Ratchet (i'm a mechanic by trade and choice) and Willey (Cyote) cause im a tickerer and imo the SV is a really nice bike to personalize, for example SSSA options you have 989 ducati and 93 VFR, you can mob whatever kind or LIGHTS you want on it, Buell lightening, gsxr hell go custom, and LOOKS options, i ride a 00 nekkid and can change from streetfighter, to full fairing as i please and have you seen the ATX kit for the sv i like it and will eventualy get it, SUSPENSION, as youve seen by the writeups you can used gsxr front forks easy or a busa rear shock so suspension isnt a big deal, and w/ you living in san d parts should be easy to get to. ENGINE if your crazy enough they have mods to use busa psitons to make it 666CC (evil) and lighter, 744 big bore kits and stroker kits (say wha-...) yes they make a stroker kit for the SV ive researched and am gonna do it eventually.

all in all for me the sv is perfect for feeding my imaginaltion

and this is coming from a guy that put tracks on a yamaha 350 warrior rear tires, and put a mr2 engine in a 96 toyota celica

-DMC
 

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ohh and ill see you in san d in about 2 month VACTION TIME!!!!

(<--- im am old jarhead and was stationed in camp pendleton for 5 years 2000-2005)

-DMC
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
aww guys, c'mon.:p

I never said i was afraid of wrenching, or even don't like wrenching.
I love working on anything for sure.

I bought a 1978 toyota celica that didn't run and had it fully streetable in days; rebuilt the carbs, rewired essentially all of the main electronics, and even did some body work personally.

and like i said, I've pulled and split the motor on my current bike.
It's just that I'm not going to have a garage like the one I do at UCSD, and I don't even sort-of have the money to afford mods.
I've never been, nor will I ever be, one to have my stuff worked on in a shop.
If work gets done, I do it personally.
That being the case, I'm going to need to be able to depend on the bike to take care of me with what I pay for it.
I'm taking out a loan on a $4k bike; I'll only have the ~$2000 my bike is worth and the meager wages from my two low hour jobs to offset the payments.

Moral of the story: my two complications are
1. Soon to be broke college student.
2. Soon to be garage junkie without a garage.

I will look into the cartridge solution, as well as rear shock swaps.


I've heard this bike be called a beginner/intermediate bike, how appropriate do you think this title is?

thank you guys very much for the insight.
more points?
similar points?
counter points?
brownie points?
 

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Many people make the SV out to be worse than it really is. The factory suspension and brakes are just fine for anything less than serious corner-carving. The main drawback is they're sprung for lighter folk, whereas a lot of the people here (myself included) aren't exactly 'light'. Even if you do want to upgrade the suspension, you can do it for less than $200 and have a decent-handling bike. Good tires also help a good bit.

The SV makes a GREAT traffic dissector, highway cruiser, corner carver, whatever you can think of. I would definitely get a new seat (Corbin, Sargent, or send your to be modified by GreatDaytoRide.com - what I do and am very pleased). I'd look for a touring windscreen (Givi, for example), a throttle lock (Throttle Meister, Vista cruise, etc) and/or a throttle boss/cramp buster. Really, that's all you need if the bike in question already has HeliBars. If you have long legs you might look into Buell 1" lower foot pegs. They install with little modification and considerably increase leg comfort.

Get the SV - you'll love it. It's a jack of all trades.

P.S. For suspension - get springs and oil for the forks from SonicSpring.com. If you're under 190-200lbs, look for an '06-'07 ZX-10R rear shock. If you're over 190-200lbs, look for an '06+ ZX-14 rear shock. Both install with no modification and are a great deal better than the factory unit. Be sure to get the lower mounting bolt/nut for the new shock.

I can travel 500 miles on my SV without much, if any, discomfort, go shred some tires in the twisties, negotiate 5 o'clock Dallas traffic and be home ready to do it again the next day. My 'important' mods are:

* Swatt 3.5" clip ons (similar to HeliBars) with necessary longer brake/throttle/clutch lines
* GreatDaytoRide.com-modified factory seat
* Buell 1" lower foot pegs
* 1.0kg/mm Sonic Springs with 20W oil in the forks
* '06 ZX-14 rear shock
* Michelin Pilot Power 2CT front tire and Pilot Road 2 rear tire
* Power distribution block with two 12-volt accessory outlets (with room to add more)
 

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I have the stock fork right now cranked down all the way and the rear shock on the second hardest preload and still find the bike to be way under sprung. the good news is the rear shock replacement is cheap and the fork just needs springs (and emulators if u want to track it) so it wont require too much money to get the bike where u want it. The torque makes this bike so enjoyable and its really easy to work on. i have no problem going for a few hundred km anytime on the bike even with my insanely hard corbin seat. the SV wont let u down, specially in the financial section.
 

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As far as comfort goes, that is what you get with a sport bike. Maybe less comfortable than a gold wing, but way more fun. As far as performance handling is concerned, if you want or expect a SS bike, get a SS bike. I currently own a Honda VTR1000 as well as the SVS and have had most of the SS models that have been out over the last 20 years.
My point, I dont have one.;D Get the SV and ride the S#!t out of it. It is a great low cost bike that will provide either a stepping stone to a SS bike or just a great low cost Ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The factory suspension and brakes are just fine for anything less than serious corner-carving. The main drawback is they're sprung for lighter folk, whereas a lot of the people here (myself included) aren't exactly 'light'. Even if you do want to upgrade the suspension, you can do it for less than $200 and have a decent-handling bike.
Dubtec, thanks for the reassurance.
this sentence makes me glad and sad at the same time.
Glad, because I am indeed a "light" rider at just over 155lbs.
But not so glad in that "less than serious corner carving" is there.
i really like to throw my weight around.
But maybe that's a good thing; I probably shouldn't be pushing it on the streets so much.
Anyone that lives in or has been to southern california will know what I mean when we talk about the ortega, that's pure heaven for me.

But again, maybe I should tone it down some before I get a ticket.

The SV makes a GREAT traffic dissector, highway cruiser, corner carver, whatever you can think of. I would definitely get a new seat (Corbin, Sargent, or send your to be modified by GreatDaytoRide.com - what I do and am very pleased). I'd look for a touring windscreen (Givi, for example), a throttle lock (Throttle Meister, Vista cruise, etc) and/or a throttle boss/cramp buster. Really, that's all you need if the bike in question already has HeliBars. If you have long legs you might look into Buell 1" lower foot pegs. They install with little modification and considerably increase leg comfort.
How tall are you? the footpegs will definitely be a consideration if I get the bike.
I'm just under six foot, but it's more leg than torso for sure.

Get the SV - you'll love it. It's a jack of all trades.

P.S. For suspension - get springs and oil for the forks from SonicSpring.com. If you're under 190-200lbs, look for an '06-'07 ZX-10R rear shock. If you're over 190-200lbs, look for an '06+ ZX-14 rear shock. Both install with no modification and are a great deal better than the factory unit. Be sure to get the lower mounting bolt/nut for the new shock.
I just perused ebay and had no difficulty finding the said shock for my weight for $100, that is reassuring.
I really want a good handling bike, I expect that I will invest in this as well as cartridges, regardless of wether or not I should financially.;D

* Swatt 3.5" clip ons (similar to HeliBars) with necessary longer brake/throttle/clutch lines


sv650's don't need a lot of work. It's mostly an intermediate bike, but will last you till you're advanced too. The biggest thing to worry about is traffic demerit points ;)
I feel you there my friend. I can't believe how many times I haven't gotten a ticket when I should have.
notably last week.
It was about 11:30 PM when I was cruising at 105 on my way home from work.
I rolled down to a cool 90-95, and saw a bike coming to pass me. it slowed in the back right corner of my vision, and lurked there.
I gave a friendly wave, and he then proceeded to pass.
It was a CHP motorcycle patrolman.
:eek:
 

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well said by all. I hope i wasnt too negative, there are short comings but over all the bike is all you need. If your coming from a I4 be prepared for a major change. I feel like sv owners/riders tend to be more knowledgeable, curtious and safe riders. sure get a 1000cc and pull wheelies at 130 mph. fall off and rip apart( this just happened in rich. va.) i wanted a 600rr for every, until i take a spin on the sv. there is a time and place for every bike but the sv seems to fill the gap in all cases.
 

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I bought my SVS when I was 17, and I'm 18 now. After owning it for more than a year (and having owned a DRZ dual sport beforehand) I feel that I couldn't have made a better choice than the SV. The power band is very usable around town, they're built to last (some 1st gen's on this site have gone up to 130,000 miles), and very easy to work on.

Plus, you won't find a better community of riders more fun and willing to help than SVrider. :)
 

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Ive been riding my 03 sv650s since I bought it new and havent had any problems outside of routine maintenance. If you are looking for track, I'd think you will eventually upgrade the components others have mentioned previously, but for around town/highway commuting, stock bike has done just fine for me. I am just about done swapping my clipons for naked model handlebars and am hoping to do more touring - or at least more comfortable touring this year - Deals Gap, here I come... I'd buy this bike again in a heartbeat if I was relatively inexperienced - moderately decent rider and on a budget. It does everything I need, has ample power and can be thrown around easier than a supersport. Keep us updated on your decision!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm definitely sensing a dang good community; the speed, quantity, and quality of responses to a new member here are downright uncanny!

I can definitely appreciate a blunt approach to the negative aspects of the bike; it's really what I was looking for.

I don't really want people to tell me that I'm making the right choice for appeasement; I want a well-rounded view of what I'm going to get, from multiple perspectives.
and that's definitely what I'm receiving.

9 of 10 says I'll take out the loan and get one of these bikes very soon, I've always loved them.
The suspension issue was still a little sore on me because I never new about it, but it really just seems like a fun bike.

If you're still interested in sharing answers to any questions, please don't stop, I will continue to appreciate them.
I keep wondering about specific things though.
does the bike feel light?
my current bike is a pig by modern standards.
 

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The SV doesn't feel quite as light as some modern supersports with low centers of gravity, but it's no pig. A lot of the feel depends on the leverage - tall, wide handlebars versus low, narrow clip ons. Having wider bars will give you more leverage to 'toss' the bike around, giving the feeling if being lighter.

Don't worry about the suspension. With you being only 155lbs it won't be that bad...I weigh 100lbs more than you and was able to flick my SV around pretty well on stock suspension.
 
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