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2007 Suzuki SV650S Road Test


by Martin Grandé ,

The cladding
In terms of design, the various components are easy to access given the lack of an aero kit on the SV650S. To take the cladding off and reveal the main screws, you have to undo a number of strategically-mounted bits and pieces. These parts have usually been fit under pressure in a rubber washer. The first time, you might encounter some difficulties, but as far as the overall look of the bike is concerned, they are well worth it. Very few screws are visible; everything seems to be moulded in a single structure. At highway speeds, there are no noises and no vibrations coming from the large digital instruments, which are well positioned and easy to read. Meanwhile, the headlights are powerful, but the taillights are dubious for heavy truck drivers, who sit significantly higher than car drivers.

On the track
Did you know that there is an SV-exclusive superbike racing series? It's called the SV650 Cup and all participants must ride a factory SV. In this type of series, money is not the top priority for success. Every bike is identical (tires included) and it's the driving skills that determine the outcome. At first, I found the idea interesting; then, I was disappointed because I had to ride a "little" bike.

The instrument panel is clear and easy to read.

Target customers

Who was this motorcycle designed for? Well, pretty much for every beginner and woman. Since the SV650S is low and lightweight, it proves to be ideally suited to all those who wish to acquire experience (if the bike falls on its side, they don't have to worry about wrecking the minimal aero kit). In addition, considering that the engine delivers plenty of low-end torque, you don't have to keep pushing this bike up to higher revs -- as is the case with inline fours, which require considerably more skills and finesse with the clutch.

Proud of its handling, attractive like a princess and capable of reaching a top speed of 225 km/h, the Suzuki SV650 has one clear purpose: to ride and ride... and race! Believe me, with a few changes to the suspension, a little tweaking here and there (particularly to the injection system) and the addition of more responsive brakes, this bike would be faster than many 1000-cc racers on a lot of Quebec's speedtracks. I invite all the skeptics to start their clock! Soon enough, your road-going SV will morph into a track-ready SV.

What turns me on:
  • Affordable price
  • Handling in the city 
  • Low cost (fuel, insurance premium, maintenance)
What turns me off:
  • Soft front suspension
  • A bit frail for two
  • There's a reason why the price is so affordable

Photo Credit : Martin Grandé
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