2007 Suzuki SV650S Road Test
|A versatile jewel
Usually, sports bike enthusiasts are more excited about larger displacement or inline four-cylinder engines. However, Suzuki managed to refine a sporty-looking machine that offers the features and functionality of a touring motorcycle. Skeptics will be speechless as this gutsy little bike delivers the kind of performance that makes bigger ones catch their breath -- all this at a ridiculously low price.
|The SV650S offers an attractive performance-to-price ratio.|
The SV650S uses a lightweight 650-cc V-twin engine that sends 70 horsepower to the rear wheel. Its manufacturing technology is roughly the same as that of other Suzuki models: electronic fuel injection (for easier, quicker cold starts), four overhead camshafts and a shim-under-bucket valve system. The factory exhaust system is a very quiet 2-in-1 unit, although the sound is muted and reminiscent of an airplane thanks to the big cylinders and high torque.
The 41-mm front fork is a bit archaic. Featuring only preload adjustments and combined with rather soft springs, it gives the unpleasant feeling of bottoming out (despite the 130-mm travel) too often to my liking -- whether I was braking or hitting a pothole. Moreover, since there are no damping and rebound adjustments, the reactions of the suspension to road anomalies make this bike unpredictable, even dangerous I might say. The rear shock is slightly better. The 7-way adjustable preload forces experienced riders to choose the most appropriate setting when carrying another passenger or small luggage. On the flip side, the damper is well positioned; it only takes a few seconds to adjust the setting.
As for the brakes, all three callipers use two independent pistons and are located on the same side. It's okay for the rear brakes, but the front ones easily reach their maximum capacity, especially when two people sit on the bike. With a 15-mm master cylinder (which is a bit small), a soft suspension and two thin suspension tables, you'll always enjoy hesitant yet decent braking performances.
|The front brakes should be made stronger.||