There are some bikes that over time become the benchmark of their categories - think of bikes like Suzuki’s renowned RF900, or the GS1000 from the 1980’s for instance.
Another of these has to be Suzuki’s V-Twin SV650. First launched in 1999, it was much heralded by motoring journalists across the globe as an ideal all-round bike, with an excellent combination of power, handling and brakes.
What started in 1999 as a motorcycle built to deliver V-twin “fun” the Suzuki SV650 quickly became a riders’ phenomenon around the world. Not only was this universal motorcycle well suited for urban roads but it was right at home on the racetrack too.
Raising the performance even higher with the latest Suzuki innovations, the SV650’s newest version now sets an even higher standard. The new SV650 is a rider’s go-anywhere dream machine.
The “SV” designation stands for many things: Sporty V-Twin, Superior Value, Sporty and Versatile. Loaded with capabilities and exuding personality your daily commutes or weekend excursions on winding roads are a unforgettable experience.
With a dry weight of just 197kg the SV650 makes manoeuvring and handling a sheer joy. Low weight transmits to more responsive acceleration, nimble handling and greater confidence in manoeuvring.
The truss frame is constructed of lightweight steel material that allows an overall slimmed down appearance while emphasising the beauty of the robust V-twin engine.
That engine’s calibrated irregular firing intervals create a unique heartbeat-like sound and linear power delivery. Combine this power plant with the SV650’s slim design and lightweight body and you have a ride experience with seemingly endless potential.
While a V-twin configuration is more expensive to produce, Suzuki chose this design as it produces better torque, and a unique engine note that its competitors cannot achieve. At lower RPM it produces strong torque and robust sound, while at higher revs the V-twin cruises with performance ready to go, even in higher gears.
The SV650 is equipped with Suzuki’s Dual Spark technology using two spark plugs for each cylinder for precise ignition. The result is increased combustion efficiency, smoother power, lower fuel consumption and emissions, and it meets the latest Euro4 emissions regulations.
The SV650 is equipped with some trick new features, such as low RPM assist and one-touch starting. Low RPM assist works by slightly raising the engine speed as the clutch is released, making for smoother take-off, and less risk of engine stall. It is particularly useful when riding at low speed in stop/start traffic. The Suzuki Easy Start system is a one-touch button that engages the starter motor, then the ECM checks the engine status and disengages the starter motor immediately after start.
Equipped with a generous 13-litre fuel tank, the SV650 sports a comprehensive LCD instrument panel. This displays gear position, digital speedometer, tachometer, as well as indicators for odometer, trip meter, average / instant fuel consumption, driving range, clock, water temperature and fuel gauges, and the backlighting is fully adjustable in six increments.
Braking is taken care of by large 290mm dual front discs with standard ABS and a rear 240mm single disc.
In New Zealand the SV650 is available in two models, a full-power, and a LAMS-approved version making it an ideal step up for less experienced riders, or those still in the learner licence category.
The new SV650 is priced at a very competitive $10,995 plus on-road costs.