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Discussion Starter #1
Today my brother got a Ninja ZX-6R and I rode it. Wow! I really liked it. It had great control and was very very easy to maneuver. It has a lot more power than my SV but that isn't my concern really, I just like the way it handled.

Is there anything I can do to my '05 SV650S to make it handle similar to a bike such as the Ninja or am I just better off planning on trading in for a Ninja or similar next year? The SV is bone-stock in concerns to suspension and performance.

I'd hate to get rid of the SV so quick but I really really liked the way the Ninja rode. The best way I could describe it was that I felt like I *was* the bike :)

Thanks for any suggestions for mods to the SV!

*****UPDATE*****
It's been several months and 5000 miles since I posted this. I still have the SV and am glad I do. Yesterday I rode my brother's Ninja again and have to say that now I completely understand why people say the SV's are more fun. Because of the I4 in the Ninja you have to really get on it to have fun. With the SV you've got torque and acceleration all the way through. The Ninja has more acceleration and speed when you're getting on it but the SV gets up to 100mph just fine enough for me. I also like not having to worry about the RPM's and what gear I'm in so much.

I also have the SV stock suspension to my liking now and have done some mods (TRE/TPS/Exhaust Restrictor) which has made it more enjoyable. I love my SV :)

*****ANOTHER UPDATE*****
Had Cycle Zoo install springs and emulators up front and a gold valved gsxr shock in back. Love it!
 

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Sure you can upgrade the suspension. Lots of options, depending on how much you're willing to spend.

You'd have to be more specific as to what you think your bike is lacking though if you want more detailed advice. If you're a new rider I'm guessing you noticed that the front end didn't dive under braking and that the bike turned in quicker?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, those two things for sure.

The main things I noticed was that it turned easier and tighter and that when quickly shifting left to right it seemed to flow smoother where my SV seems a bit sluggish moving quickly like that.

What would you recommend to tighten the turns and the dipping?
 

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suggestions

I can suggest doign what i and many many others have done.
These are no hype upgrades as i am finding out for myself.

Upgrade your brakelines to galfer, or equivalent steel braided performance brakelines. This is easy to do and Really helps boost the feel and power of your front brakes. Dont bother with the rear.. you dont need more feel or power back there. Wth mine i can practically feel the brake pads moving on the discs through the lever when i squeeze!! brakes are improved.

Swapping the springs and oil in yoru forks will provide you witha night and day difference to the handling characteristics of yoru bike without making the ride harsh. Infact, it refines the suspension and it performs WAY better than I or you coudl have imagined before doing the job. It took me about three hours, taking my time and was quite easy with the help of many guys on this board including Rich at SonicSprings.com. Go to the website and research the proper spring rate for your body and riding style. after you have determined the spring rate you need, you can get recommendations here for oil wieght. It will REALLY help alot!!.

Second. Also very popular and not too difficult is swapping the rear shock for a GSXR rear shock. Im putting a gsxr750 shock on mine as i got one for a reasonable price used (40.00usd shipped) off of another svrider board member. The adjustability of this shock i have no doubt will also reallyl help in the handing department and if it helps even 25% of how well the fork sprigns upgrade helped the sv i am going to be Super pleased! Apparently this upgrade is just as great!

Lastly, I am also planning on rasing the rear end up a bit using shorter dogbone links for the rear shock. (the gsxr shock is about the same length so it doesnt really alter the ride height.) Raisign the rear end up, or raising ride height, changes the geometry up front, steepening the angle of the forks and shortening the 'trail', which in essence should quicken up the 'flip flop' handling aspect you speak of. it will quicken up the sterring and handling.

So far i have only completed the fork upgrade and the brake lines done but, wow!... I am confident that these other upgrades i am plannign in addition will help your bike just as much as mine has and will be more.

Hoepfully some of the other guys and gals on this site can put their two cents in and help you get that ride quality you are lookign fo rout of your sv, without spending a fortune.

Forks = ~ $110USD
Shock= ~ $40USD
shorter Dogbones= ~$60.00 ish....maybe less.
Galfer Brakelines=~ $100

if you want more power, a performance pipe and pommer commander with the proper fuel map loaded should add about 10% more power and responsivlness to yoru engine by allowing it to burn a little more fuel, in a little more air, alot more efficiently.

if you really want to spend some bucks, lighter wheels and better tires will help handling even more. different sprockets apparently can add to the acceleration of your bike aswell.

anyways, have fun and if you are to do only one or two upgrades i woudl say forksprigns and oil and either rearshock or brake lines second. all the work i did on my bike i did on my own so you can too. the mechanics invlolved in these upgrades isnt rocket science and only requires a determined mind a little reading for familiarity and a torque wrench.

cheers

Andrew

ps, my sv is my first bike and my first dabble into any sort of mechanics, repairs or upgrades, so you shouldnt have any problems. If your lazy you canhire a mehcninc to do the wrenching.
 
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sgf323 said:
Today my brother got a Ninja ZX-6R and I rode it. Wow! I really liked it. It had great control and was very very easy to maneuver. It has a lot more power than my SV but that isn't my concern really, I just like the way it handled.

Is there anything I can do to my '05 SV650S to make it handle similar to a bike such as the Ninja or am I just better off planning on trading in for a Ninja or similar next year? The SV is bone-stock in concerns to suspension and performance.

I'd hate to get rid of the SV so quick but I really really liked the way the Ninja rode. The best way I could describe it was that I felt like I *was* the bike :)

Thanks for any suggestions for mods to the SV!
I know how you feel. My friend has the 2004 ZX-6R and I had the chance to try it. I felt pretty much the same thing than you. I was very surprised how the bike is easy to maneuver and the handling in twisty roads.

I love that bike, but even if I want I can't get one ($$$) :(

In the meantime, I did some mods that really help to have a better feeling:
- Suburban Machinery Bar Type 1
- Changed Fork Oil (15w)

SM Bars are amazing. I feel like I have a different bike. I got a better feeling of the front and the bike seem to steer by itself. The bike feels great now. Maybe I'll change the rearsets to improve the overall position. This won't help you as you already have the 'S' model.


Well, I agree with you, the ZX-6X is a great bike. I'll maybe wait a year and I'll try to get one :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm going on vacation at the end of the week so I'll probably order some parts so they are here when I get back.

In the mean time can adjusting the shock preload help with handling much? It's at factory settings right now.
 

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How much do you weigh? i just swapped out my springs, oil, and rear shock and it totally transformed the bike. The turn is is ultra sharp and it's much more responsive as well.
 
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you can adjust the spring preload on the rear shock, but its just going to be like a pogo stick. i would try to get a GSXR shock, if your going for the best bang for the buck than this shock is for you.
 

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preload wont do anything to improve yoru shocks or forks unless they are set wrong. All prelaod does is put presure on the springs, or preload them with pessure so that when yoru bodywight is on them in riding, they compress optimally for your weight.. preload is kinda like adding or removing weight from the bike to best work with the springs...sorta stiffenign them up, requiring more pressure to take ahold of the preapplied pressure and then add more.. You want a certain amount of pressure on the springs to account for your weight which allows the spring to travel optimally, or react optimally for your weight .. Its kinda like setting sag. its difficult for me to explain but, all i can say is at 200lbs the stock springs and oil are way too light for you. they were way too light for me too and i weight 140lbs.

Twist the preload on the forks up two lines and see how you feel. It may improve the ride a bit. with your weight you may actualy need to twist it all the way down, if you want.. just do that.. With the rear shock though, you may want to start by adding one setting at a time. each notch on the preload in the rear shock has a more noticable effect than the front just due to design. ..for instance if you were riding two up, and doubling yoru weight on the bike.... you woudl want to add a notch or two or three of preload to compensate for the weight of the secodn rider (who would be farther back and have more leverage) ... its allso difficult to explain but go about adjustign the preload in the back slowly... add one notch at a time and ride for a while... say 15 miutes at least and try and get inot some twisty roads... dont push yourself too hard as the bike will feel different and you dotn want to hurt yoruself of course.

im sure some others on this site will have soem more good advice on adjustign the rear. anyways good luck. hope this helped and sorry if its difficult to understand... im new at sharing such info.
 

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dampenening im sure, is what you want to add to a shock when you have the right sprign rate.... or even with the wrgon sprign rate it can help.

dampening slows the speed or rate at which the forks or shocks move. ni the forks, a heavyer oil will give you the dampenign you want. (its a shame thate the stock forks dotn have an adjustemnt.) The gsxr shock is desirable because it has a slightly heavier spring and has some, (but limited) dampening adjustment...

rebound and compression dampening is what stops the pogolike action of a spring. the stock rear shock doesnt have enough rebound dampening so it compresses then bounces back faster.

anyways..enough words from me....
 

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Just bear in mind that you can't make an SV into a supersport, at least not without spending enough to buy a supersport. Decide before you start what your limit is, because if you get into serious expenditure it'd probably be better to trade up.

Not to say there's not a lot of benefit in lower cost options- springs and oil is a superb mod for anyone over about 10 stone IMO. And the GSXR or 636 swaps are good, but you have to be realistic about the gain you'll get- it's a good upgrade for a small expenditure but it won't solve all your problems with the rear. Raising the rear and dropping the front is cheap and will speed your turn-in.

If your stock parts are in good condition, and you're prepared to spend just a little more, and you plan to keep the SV, look at a GSXR front end swap. You should be able to offset the cost by selling the stock parts, and when compared with the price of a properly sorted front end- springs, emulators, brake pads, and braided lines- it begins to make more sense IMO.
 

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sgf323 said:
The main things I noticed was that it turned easier and tighter and that when quickly shifting left to right it seemed to flow smoother where my SV seems a bit sluggish moving quickly like that.

What would you recommend to tighten the turns and the dipping?
Okay here's what I would do. Get fork springs of the appropriate rate for your weight (they will be stiffer, even stiffer than the ones in your buddy's bike), and thicker fork oil. That will take care of the brake dive. Raise the forks 10mm through the triples when you put them back on. Crank up the preload on the rear shock. Those two things will help the bike steer quicker. Should be ~$100 total (for springs/oil).

Then, ride some, and when you find another problem, try to remedy it. Don't mod for the sake of modding (a plague on this board). I think you'll be pleased with this setup for the time being.
 

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My advise is if it's financially feasible and doesn't involve a huge loss of money....trade up. I think for several hundred dollars you will make an SV handle much better...but you won't make a SS. It's your choice depending on style and your riding wants/needs.

However, if it's your first bike...my advise is to keep what you have.
 

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Sorry, but uppinghte preload's pretty crappy advice... It'll give you a little ride height but at the cost of making the bike handle like shit over bumps. Get the sag set right at both ends, far more important.
 

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He's at 200lbs how do you expect him to get the proper sag without upping the preload from the factory setting?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I increased the preload on the front to close to 0 (almost even with the bolt) from a recommendation from a mechanic here based on my size. I moved the rear from 4 to 5. The bike feels like it handles better at least so I'm a step forward.

I plan on doing some mods to the SV later this month. I'm headed to Texas for vacation on Saturday so may order some parts so they are here when I get back.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions... I'm sure I'll be back here in a few weeks when I get my parts in :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update in first post.

I've since set the preload correctly by measuring instead of just taking recommendations and going on a whim. It seems to ride much better now although I haven't yet put many miles on it with the current settings but I expect them to be great.
 

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sgf323 said:
Today my brother got a Ninja ZX-6R and I rode it.  Wow!  I really liked it.  It had great control and was very very easy to maneuver.  It has a lot more power than my SV but that isn't my concern really, I just like the way it handled.

Is there anything I can do to my '05 SV650S to make it handle similar to a bike such as the Ninja or am I just better off planning on trading in for a Ninja or similar next year?  The SV is bone-stock in concerns to suspension and performance.

I'd hate to get rid of the SV so quick but I really really liked the way the Ninja rode.  The best way I could describe it was that I felt like I *was* the bike :)

Thanks for any suggestions for mods to the SV!do the snorkl.e. fairly cheap, sounds great.

*****UPDATE*****
It's been several months and 5000 miles since I posted this.  I still have the SV and am glad I do.  Yesterday I rode my brother's Ninja again and have to say that now I completely understand why people say the SV's are more fun.  Because of the I4 in the Ninja you have to really get on it to have fun.  With the SV you've got torque and acceleration all the way through.  The Ninja has more acceleration and speed when you're getting on it but the SV gets up to 100mph just fine enough for me.  I also like not having to worry about the RPM's and what gear I'm in so much.

I also have the SV stock suspension to my liking now and have done some mods (TRE/TPS/Exhaust Restrictor) which has made it more enjoyable.    I love my SV :)
Gotta do the sv1000 snorkle, wonderful sounds ;D
 
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