The original Suzuki SV650, introduced for 1999, was an unexpected hit. It was an affordable, lightweight standard powered by a liquid-cooled, 645cc, 90-degree V-twin possessed of unique personality and character, an entry-level bike so fun to ride that experienced riders couldn’t get enough of it. After a successful 10-year run, including naked and half-faired versions, and launching countless club racing careers, the SV650 was replaced in 2009 by the SFV650 Gladius, which inspired much less excitement.
Recreating a hit from the past is never easy. Tastes change, time and technology move on, and what lit the spark back then may fizzle today. But affordable middleweight standards have made a comeback in recent years, so Suzuki is bringing the SV650 back as an early-release 2017 model.
The original engine has been updated with more than 60 new parts to create more horsepower (75, up from 71), stronger low-to-midrange torque, improved fuel economy and better emissions. It gets new pistons with low-friction skirts, two spark plugs per cylinder, the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve fuel-injection system and a lighter-weight exhaust system.
Also new is Suzuki’s one-push Easy Start system, which debuted on the 2016 GSX-S1000, and a low-rpm assist feature that complements the throttle-body integrated idle speed control for a more consistent and powerful launch from a stop.
The SV650’s chassis has been updated with more than 70 new parts and components, its bodywork is slimmer and it weighs 15 pounds less than the previous SFV650. A new lightweight steel truss frame showcases the V-twin and is said to provide a more responsive ride. Dual front caliper brakes squeeze 290mm discs, a single rear caliper squeezes a 240mm disc and an ABS model will be offered. A 41mm telescopic fork and link-type rear shock will handle suspension, with seven-level rear spring preload being the only adjustment. Radial tires run on lightweight 17-inch five-spoke cast aluminum wheels. A multifunction LCD instrument panel displays gear position, digital speedometer, tachometer, and includes odometer, tripmeter, average/instantaneous fuel consumption, range, clock, water temperature and fuel gauge functions.
Price, color and availability for the SV650/A are TBD, but Suzuki says the bike should be available in late spring/early summer 2016.