Top test Suzuki SV 650

Table of contents

Top test Suzuki SV 650


Naked bike

Top test Suzuki SV 650

Top test Suzuki SV 650
The recipe for success

It came, saw and won: Since the beginning of 1999, Suzuki’s SV series has been swirling across German streets, selling like sliced ​​bread? and teaches the competition to fear. How does the petite all-rounder fare in the MOTORRAD top test?

Matthias Schroter


Actually, the SV 650 and its half-disguised sister S should no longer hold any secrets. After all, the little twin has adequately proven its capabilities in various MOTORRAD tests since its market launch at the beginning of 1999. So far the crowning highlight for the Suzuki: the 50,000-kilometer long-distance test ?? including happy ending. On the other hand, you don’t get an extraordinary motorcycle for little money every day. Suzuki Germany brought 11150 twins to men and women. The SV series will soon enter its fourth model year ?? and the competition is still watching this success story without doing anything.
What is the SV’s recipe for success based on? The engine is certainly decisive. Usually, the traditional Japanese in the middle class likes to rely on tried-and-tested, but somewhat grayed-out 500 twin or 600 four-cylinder in-line engines. These engines are considered stable, but neither their sound nor their characteristics are particularly exciting. For the SV, however, Suzuki specially designed a water-cooled 90-degree V-engine with 645 cm³, in which, in contrast to the TL 1000, the crankshaft drives the two overhead camshafts per cylinder directly without intermediate gears via timing chains. That saves weight and width. No modern times in mixture preparation, the SV breathes through constant pressure carburetors. Also not exactly forward-looking: exhaust gas cleaning is still missing, so far this has not affected the success.
The best drive is of little use if it is not offered a suitable environment. In this point too, Suzuki was innovative and for the first time brought a slim and extremely attractive aluminum tubular space frame with a bolted rear frame made of steel, which helps save the wallet in the event of an accident. Speaking of money: the SV 650 costs 12,390 marks. Unrivaled little for a motorcycle with a modern engine and a high-quality aluminum frame that weighs only 189 kilograms when fully fueled.
And that doesn’t look like a simple motorcycle, but rather of high quality and mature in its dimensions. It’s really astonishing that drivers of all sizes and weight classes can make friends with their workplace straight away thanks to successful ergonomics. Take a seat and feel good, which the not too wide handlebars with good cranking and sufficient distance from the tightly padded bench down to the footrests contribute. Even with drivers over 1.85 meters, there is no pinching in the back of the knees.
The SV not only looks like an adult when trying to sit, but also when driving. Primarily because of the great, by no means weak-chested, V-engine. With 72 horsepower and a maximum torque of 61 Newton meters on the test bench roller, the SV stands well in the forage. Even at 2600 rpm there is over 46 Newton meters of torque. Not only in its displacement class does the twin shine with a wide usable speed range, it is wonderfully lazy to change gear. If, however, the oat stings, the engine turns spontaneously and without a noticeable break into higher regions, without annoying excessive vibrations. The specific peculiarities of the two-cylinder are therefore easy to get over: When the gas tears up hard above 6000 rpm, the power starts with a slight delay, while at lower speeds it reacts to spontaneous commands from the throttle hand with a robust load change. On the other hand, it is gratifying that the SV is satisfied with well below five liters of normal on normal country roads, which gives it a range of over 300 kilometers suitable for touring despite the dainty 16-liter tank.
The Suzuki technicians did a good job on the transmission. It can be shifted easily, precisely and quietly, and the overall ratio is crisp and short. In connection with its relatively low weight for this class, the SV translates this into impressive pulling power. For comparison: in the range from 60 to 140 km / h, it is only just behind the significantly more expensive and more powerful 600 series Supersport four-cylinder, such as a Yamaha YZF-R6, and even buys the cutting edge of the long-geared Ducati 748.
So the SV 650 has amazing potential? and she can also implement it. This can be seen, among other things, in the Suzuki SV Cup on the racetrack. What she shows in the MOTORRAD top test for sporty talents demands the utmost respect. In the fast slalom she shines with lap times on the level of an R6. The Suzuki even leaves other significantly more powerful motorcycles behind in an imaginary exchange of blows. Playfully light, safe and accurate, she wags on a very narrow line through the pylons, swiftly circling the two turning points.
Even faster times would have been possible if Suzuki had had a little more financial leeway in the selection of the suspension elements. Because the fork has to do without any adjustment options, on the rear shock absorber, only the spring base can be adjusted. The SV driver has to come to terms with the weak rebound damping of the shock absorber and the overall slack tuning of the fork. The rear springs out too quickly under extreme loads and the front deflects too much, which causes a slight unrest in the chassis.
In the slow slalom with large radii, the little Suzuki shows no nakedness and reveals an above-average lean angle. The brake test left a similarly positive picture. The double-piston system decelerates with moderate manual force, fading-free, easy to dose and not too sharp, with a nicely linearly increasing deceleration power. The fork is immersed relatively far, but without going into a metallic block and thus completely losing the feeling for the blocking limit.
In the country road test drive, the little Suzuki can play its trump cards to the full. As luck would have it, the Kawasaki ZX-12R (Top-Test issue 15/2001) and a Suzuki GSX-R 1000 as a reference vehicle for the mighty Kawasaki are also part of the party. Hand on heart, before the test drive, each of the test drivers had their concerns as to whether they would be involuntarily spoiled by the seemingly overpowering four-cylinder with the SV 650, which was hopelessly inferior in terms of performance. This assumption is completely unfounded. Because the Suzuki more than makes up for its supposed performance disadvantage with its superb handling. With 27 out of 30 possible points, it can even be considered the reference in the top test in this discipline.
In narrow, angled passages, the relaxed SV driver cannot help but smile again and again when he observes the wide curves of his stressed colleagues on the potent four-cylinder engines. What the two Kraftmeier make up for on the short straights of the ground, the Funbike SV easily catches up in the corners. Whereby the Suzuki with its Metzeler ME Z4 initial tires behaves very neutrally, an upright moment is hardly noticeable. So far, there has always been one point of criticism of the original tires: lack of accuracy. But this did not occur with this ME Z4, production date early 2001. On wonderfully tight and precise lines, the SV throws the Bavarian touring sports tires through the bend, thanks to the predictable power input and sufficient grip on the rear wheel, you can already think about heavy acceleration at the apex. Motorcycling can be so easy, so playful. It really doesn’t take any more horsepower to experience a lot of driving pleasure. Because even in faster sections of the route, the SV with its lively twin cannot be shaken off so quickly due to its sufficiently stable chassis. Even with a 160 hp bike, it takes a courageous turn of the throttle? with which the driver is already moving beyond legality on public roads. On the country road, the Suzuki really doesn’t have to hide from any other two-wheeler in the world – and that is perhaps the real key to the success of the SV 650.

Buy complete article

Top test Suzuki SV 650

Top test Suzuki SV 650
The recipe for success

7 pages) as PDF

€ 2.00

Buy now


The Suzuki SV 650 is a motorcycle with a unique price-performance ratio. Good driving performance, good-natured driving behavior, playful handling and low consumption are their strengths, slight weaknesses in the suspension elements are hardly significant. With 664 points in the top test, it trumps many big bikes.


MOTORCYCLE measured valuesBraking and driving dynamicsBraking distance from 100 km / h 37.2 m Average braking deceleration 10.4 m / s² Comments: Very good deceleration values ​​with medium manual force and good controllability, tires transmit braking force very well and transparently, but fork goes on BlockHandling-Parcours I (narrow Arcs) Best lap time 20.7 sekvmax at the measuring point 102.6 km / h Comments: Very fast time, the SV can be turned around quickly due to the low hand strength and drives on tight lines around the pylons. When folded, the shock absorber springs completely to the stop due to insufficient rebound damping Handling-Parcours II (wide arcs) Best lap time 27.8 secvmax at the measuring point 55.4 km / h Comments: Can be folded very easily, underdamped spring elements do not have a negative effect due to the low speed off, quick turning possible at the turning point Circular path (46 meters lap time 11.2 secvmax at the measuring point 49.4 km / h Comments: freedom from leaning more than sufficient, the limits are set by the front wheel, which tends to buckle on waves

What else caught my eye

Plus mirror with a good field of vision Easily accessible battery Screwdriver-friendly attached tank and add-on partsEasy maneuveringEnjoyable for beginners, since also available as a well-coordinated 34 HP variantOver-average workmanshipCheap to maintain, thanks to relatively low inspection costs and low consumption Main stand Load change reactions when changing from pull to push No exhaust gas cleaning Tires: Metzeler ME Z4

Technical data – Suzuki SV 650

SUZUKI SV 650DataMotor: water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, transverse crankshaft, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, Mikuni constant pressure carburetor, Ø 39 mm, digital ignition, no exhaust gas cleaning, E. -Starter, three-phase alternator 300 W, battery 12 V / 10 Ah. Bore x stroke 81 x 62.6 mm, displacement 645 cm³, compression ratio 11.5: 1, nominal output 52 kW (71 PS) at 9000 rpm, max. Torque 62 Nm (6.3 kpm) at 7500 rpm Power transmission: primary drive via gear wheels, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 45:15 , Stanchion diameter 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of cast aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, double-piston calipers, floating brake discs, Ø 290 mm, rear disc brake, two-piston caliper, Ø 240 mm. Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 4.50 x 17 tires 120/60 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17 Chassis data: wheelbase 1430 mm, steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 100 mm, spring travel f / h 120/125 mm. Service data Service intervals every 6000 km, oil change every 6000 km / 2.3 l with filter every 18 000 km / 2 , 4 l engine oil SAE 10 W40 fork oil SAE 5 W 20 spark plugs NGK CR 8 E, ND U 24 ESR_N chain 5/8 x 5/16, 110 rollers idle speed 1300 ± 100 / min valve clearance inlet / outlet 0.10-0.20 / 0.20- 0.30 mm Tire pressure Solo (with pillion passenger) front / rear 2.3 / 2.5 (2.3 / 2.5) barWarranty two years with unlimited mileageColors black, red, yellow, bluePerformance variants 25 kW (34 PS) Price including VAT . 12 140 Mark additional costs 250 MarkMOTORCYCLE measurements Driving performance1 Top speed Solo (with pillion passenger) 204 (185) ** km / h Acceleration solo (with pillion passenger) 0-100 km / h 3.6 (5.0) sec0-140 km / h 6.9 ( 9.6) sec 0-160 km / h 9.4 (13.4) sec Pull-through solo (with pillion passenger) 60-100 km / h 4.8 (6.9) sec 100-140 km / h 5.9 (9, 8) sec 140-160 km / h 3.4 (6.1) sec tachometer deviation display / effective 50/49, 100/98, 210/204 km / h fuel type normal V. Consumption in the test at 100 km / h 4.3 l / 100 km at 130 km / h 4.8 l / 100 km Country road 4.7 l / 100 km Theoretical range 340 km Dimensions and weights L / W / H 2060/800/1220 mmSeat height 800 mmTurning circle 6240 mmWeight with a full tank 189 kg Permissible total weight * 400 kg Payload 211 kg Wheel load distribution v / h 48/52% tank capacity / reserve * 16 liters1 Measurement conditions: temperature 18 degrees, weak cross wind; Jagsttal measurement site; 2 performance on the coupling. ECE measurement: Dynojet roller dynamometer 150. Maximum possible deviation ± 5%. * Manufacturer information * Manufacturer information ** 5th gear

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.