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Hi Folks,

New user here. Bought a lovely 650S in late May. Was quite impressed on the way home till I went over a slight pavement irregularity and heard and felt a nasty clunk from the front end. Brought the bike back to the dealer who took the bike out and agreed it was odd. A check of your site indicated the steering head bearings as the likely culprit and the dealer thought this made sense. They checked good, however. Suzuki Canada were contacted and they wanted the front end dismantled and thouroughly checked. No problem found and the clunk was still there. They decided to replace the bushings in the forks, top and bottom. No change. Next, it was decided to replace the very flimsy steering head bearings with a nice robust tapered roller unit. No change. Suzuki Canada then took one of their demos out and guess what? Same symptom. They stripped the bike of fairing, calipers and rotors to isolate things. Same symptom. Their conclusion? The noise is coming from the forks and is completely normal. Two months after my first ride they tell me to pick up my bike, there is nothing wrong with it. I'm furious. Calls and emails to Customer Service are ignored. No apology, no compensation. What do you guys think? Is there a way to fix this problem? Are cartridge emulators the answer?
 

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My 03 has also done it since new and nothing is wrong with it, but it didn't take them 2 months to figure that out. Several ppl on here have had the same "problem" that wasn't really a problem either.

FWIW, it's NEVER caused any handling problems (headshake or otherwise) or any other problem. The only thing that worries me now, is that the sound has went away!
 

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"Nasty clunk" is a pretty vague, subjective description.  But yeah, the SV has cheap suspension bits and which are generally regarded as the second (get frame sliders) obvious modification to make. You could get more specific (useful?? well that's asking a lot  ;D) feedback if you told us:
How "slight" the "pavement irregularity" was
Your weight
Your speed when you heard the "nasty clunk"
You might benefit from the simple expedient of swapping out the fork oil for some 15wt or 20wt. You might also want to get springs.  Go to Traxxion Dymanics web site and see what they recommend for a rider of your weight.
Since we don't have any control over Suzuki Canada, we got nothing more helpful than "Good Luck". But it's pretty shabby when their techs can't tell the difference between a problem and normal bike performance.  
BTW, Welcome. Ride well and be happy.
 
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Bike is a brand new '05. I'm fairly light at 160lb. I'm talking a slight irregularity (not a pothole )at maybe 20 mph. Fork oil has been changed to 20wt. The other thing that rots me is that Suzuki Canada ( and Suzuki US, whom they contacted) say they have absolutely no complaints about similar problems.
 

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FWIW, the front end 'clunk' is/was a very common complaint of stock 1st gen. SV's. Not sure about the 2nd gen.

If it makes any difference, I have progressive springs and 15w fork oil (inexpensive but effective upgrade) and the clunk hasn't gotten any worse or better on my '00 through my first 60K miles...
 

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I have an 03' and know exactly what your talking about. It only happens on sharp bumps. I have heard a couple people on this board mention it also. It has not effected handling in any way.
 

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Not too sure how much it will help as this is the method for fixing the 'Clunk' in the Gen ones

Info taken from http://svrider.com/tips/clunk.htm but I will save you a click.

Date: Friday, August 31, 2001
From: Nathan Simon

Referring to the sound of the front forks over small to large bumps...

The clunking that you hear when you go over bumps or hit the brakes too hard is coming from the steering bearings inside of what
looks like the frame on the front of your SV, what must be done to fix it is:

First, remove the triple tree, do this by loosening the two allan screws on either side of the tree, then remove the large nut on the middle of the triple tree, it is a 30mm nut, then carefully pull every thing off, the instrument cluster will come off with it, then you will see a round nut with three notches in it, you need to tighten that down with about five pounds of torque, put everything back on, and never hear the clunking again...

Email me, Nathan, with any questions regarding the process.
 

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I don't understand why you're furious with them. Turned out there's nothing wrong with your bike, and they put a lot of time and effort into making sure there wasn't. Most dealerships would have given a song and dance and moved you along. You also got better head bearings out of the deal. Be happy that you're bike is fine and go ride.

It's already been established that it's not the head bearings.
 

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I hear a plastic-sounding clunk on my naked SV which is the instrument cluster bouncing around... which I've heard is common. Are you sure it's not that?
 

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i have a first gen, and i've never had a clunk in my front. I have racetech springs and 20 wt oil. It didnt make any noise when it was stock either.
 

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are you sure it's forks? I had similar a clunk on commuter.. hitting a bump mid-corner. I could swear it was fork; turned out hard parts were coming in contact with pavement.
 

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I had 2 gen1 SV's, one made the clunk one didn't. Never had any problems caused by the clunk, just a noise the bike makes.
Try riding a KLR, it makes more noises than a bunch of A.D.D. 2yr olds on a sugar rush.
 

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My bike had the steering head bearings replaced at about 35K. It clunked periodically and I kept having the bearings tightened and it would go away. I have tapered bearings in there now and I still have a clunk (a different one). My shop advised me that it is the springs slapping the tubes. I have 20 wt oil and emulators, so that isn't your answer. I don't worry about it. It's irritating, but whatever.
 

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Well, maybe it's the princess and the pea. It take them a while to figure out nothing was wrong, but it does seem they went the extra mile to make you happy. Many motorcycle front ends clunk. Is this your first bike? Is it really a clunk or is it your perception that there is too much noise from the front end? It is a damper rod fork, so that could be part of the problem. Change the fork oil out for 15W or 20W oil. Part of the problem could be the pads slapping in the calipers.

In any case, in spite of numerous complaints about a noisy front end, they seem to hold up just fine over many, many miles of riding. Don't obsess. Enjoy.
 

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Mine clunked....never had a problem.


Then one day...the clunking got worse, and it sounded different and I felt slight vibrations through my bars in the corners when it clunked.

When I pulled over...I found my horn dangling by the wires clunking against my front fender.

So basically, this post has nothing to do with what you're talking about, but it entertained me nonetheless to type it.

The clunking seems mostly normal....unless it's your undertorqued horn dangling by its wires. ;)
 

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My front end cluncks, I agree with a previous poster that it may just be the instrument cluster.

That said, one day during a spirited ride on a relatively bumpy road, I notice more clunking and mirrors that seemed to shake more than usual. Thought not much about it and kept going another 15 miles, but kept seeing the mirrors shake too much. Pull over and come to find that one of the two bolts that hold the front fairing stay to the steering head is gone :eek:... and that the other was 2 threads away from falling too :eek: :eek: Can't imagine having the whole upper fairing-light-dash assembly falling off the bike at 80mph :eek: :eek: :eek:. Grabbed the tool kit, tightened the remaining bolt with all my strenght and rode gingerly back to my buddies house, where I found a bolt of the right size to replace the missing one. Locktight is my friend ;D

Okay, enough smily use for today.
 

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my '05 did this as well up until I adjusted the preload in the forks, it doesn't happen anymore. maybe not the same problem as you are having but worth taking a second to play with.
 

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I can understand your feelings. I never liked the SV suspension. I had mine for about a year and couldn't stand the forks or the shock anymore. You can have Traxxion Dynamics install cartridge emulators for about $250. The shock is also bad news and Traxxion sells Penske, Elka, and Ohlins. Unfortunately, Suzuki cut corners on the suspension to keep the sticker price low.
 
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