I’ve already covered the 2017 Suzuki SV650 quite a bit since I rode the new bike in mid May. Of course there was my First Ride Review, where I basically confessed my love for the bike, and in my Top 10 Features of the 2017 Suzuki SV650 I explained specifically which aspects of the bike I like the most.

That’s all well and good, but watching a new motorcycle in motion can be far better than reading some words written about it. Suzuki were kind enough to have a video crew at the launch of the SV, and thanks to the editing skills of our friend Sean Matic, we present to you this short and sweet SV650 video review.

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What do you need to know? Three things: Suzuki’s aim was to make the bike slimmer, more efficient, and most of all, affordable. I’m glad to say Suzuki achieved all its goals. The new SV’s fuel tank is 65mm narrower than the SFV650’s, while the seat/tank junction is 30mm narrower. Apart from making it easy to touch the ground, the new bike is visually slimmer than its predecessor, too.

Suzuki only credits the new SV650 engine with four more horses than the SFV650. In reality, however, it’s more like five.

Suzuki only credits the new SV650 engine with four more horses than the SFV650. In reality, however, it’s more like five.

On the efficiency front, Suzuki employed FEM analysis in the design of the pistons and resin coated each piston skirt for reduced friction. Cylinders, too, are SCEM-plated to keep things as slick as possible. A host of other minor tweaks and bobs, including a redesigned airbox, results in a 645cc 90-degree V-Twin Suzuki says makes four horses more than the SFV.

In reality, Suzuki is selling itself short. Since this video was shot we had the chance to take the new SV650 to the MotoGP Werks dyno, where it put down 72.8 hp and 46.0 lb-ft. For comparison, the SFV650 we had during our 2014 Middleweight Mashup only put down 67.5 hp and 44.2 lb-ft. Also interesting is, in that same test, the Suzuki’s nearest rival, Yamaha’s FZ-07, only managed 67.1 hp and 46.7 lb-ft.

This makes the third point all the more relevant. At $6,999, the SV650 is only $9 more expensive than the Yamaha. Both boast entertaining engines wrapped in sporty chassis with mediocre brakes and suspension. The dyno chart would indicate the Suzuki has the advantage, but we won’t know until we get them side by side. Rest assured we’re working on it, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on my quick impressions of the 2017 SV650.

  • Kenneth

    Referring to the better-than-expected dyno readings, I’d really, really like to know MO’s opinion(s) about the new-engine break-in procedure they would use to attain maximum power AND longevity. There are opinions all over the internet (“just ride it like you stole it,” “just follow the manual,” et al), but I’d appreciate knowing how these respected guys approach it.

    • I cannot speak to a break-in purely from a long-term reliability standpoint, but I have TONS on anecdotal evidence that performance engine builders, racers, and even Porsche as an OEM all follow pretty close to the following for best power (and don’t report any negative effects to reliability, etc.).

      * Three full heat cycles (from fully cold, to fully hot) riding as normal during this period is fine, but be relatively gentle.

      * After three full heat cycles ride/drive it like you stole, but only when it is up to full operating temps.

      * Change the original oil and filter at X miles (600 for most sportbikes, 1,200 for most cars)

      * Continue to operate it as desired forever, as long you always let it warm up completely before each flogging.

      * Follow the recommended fluid replacement and maintenance intervals, including special/more strict requirements for heavy duty or race applications where applicable.

      * Never rev a cold engine, but driving/riding gently in the lower rpms is ok while it is warming up.

      * Avoid revving an engine excessively in neutral or when the clutch is disengaged.

      * Neglect is a killer.

      • Kenneth

        Thanks, Sean!
        I’ve carefully broken-in many new engines over their first 1,000 miles (and am religiously careful about gently bringing operating temps up before stressing an engine), and have always performed the first oil change at anywhere from 200 to 600 miles. This has always resulted in low oil consumption, even at high mileage, and great reliability (they’ve all been Japanese products), but I’ve always had a nagging feeling that each vehicle was underperforming, power-wise, others of the same model.
        So, no specific 500- or 1,000-mile break-in period, just 3 full heat cycles, then ride the way I will be normally riding it. I like that.

      • Lee Taplinger

        From an engineering standpoint that first oil and filter change at 600 miles seems like an archaic and obsolete tradition left over from the days of pre-computerized engine production and mediocre oils and filters. Modern engines don’t throw off a half teaspoon of metal flakes anymore and break-in oil is long a thing of the past. Synthetics are becoming the norm and they’re no more worn out at 3K than they are at 600 miles.

  • schizuki

    “S” version next year?

  • Old MOron

    Good video, MOrons. Trizzle delivers info with a nice patter. The drone angles are really nice, and you let us listen to the engine.

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  • Ric Hill

    Finally, Suzuki might be getting serious about selling vehicles. They had to retreat from the automobile market in the U.S.