Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Suzuki SV650

Mon, June 21st, 2010

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Featuring a different Suzuki street bike each day.

1999-2008 Suzuki SV650 Standard
The revvy V-twin in the SV650 is one of the best mid-sized motors currently in production, even more at home in the SV than in its sister, the V-Strom 650 adventure bike.
With a stiff chassis and excellent dimensions, the only thing standing between the SV650 and stunning competency is a better rear shock and better brakes (they're comparatively good for OEM brakes, but the rest of the bike is so good it can outperform its ability to stop without steel-braided lines and better brake pads.)
It can't compare with the beauty and grace of many classic and vintage machines, but as modern bikes go, its pretty darn clean. I do like the earlier tubular frame a bit more.
These bikes have been trashed on the track and they have demonstrated very few weak spots.
As long as you don't go with the SV650S's lower bars, you've got a smooth, maneuverable, reliable bike with very nice, sporty ergonomics. It just needs an accessory windshield and soft luggage for touring.
The SV is easy to ignore, unless you've put some miles on one, doing all sorts of different riding.
Most standards are retro-bikes. Frankly, that's sad. This is what a modern naked standard can be, and its great.