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jtullyny 04-17-2003 12:55 PM

Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?
Wow all these comments are very helpful. BTW I will be garaging the bike. I'm lucky enough to have a place in my building that dosent cost me my leg. I'm off tomorrow to check out all I can. Also checking out the Moto Guzzi Breva and Triumph's Bonneville's before I make the purchase. I have become obsessed I must admit. I spend all day at the office reading up on everything! I'll keep you posted...

TheBob 04-17-2003 03:13 PM

Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?
Buy a used SVs. You can have one for 4k, and it is a marvellous begginer bike. I started on one six months ago, and my only complaint is that it is a little small for someone 6'4" 200lbs.

That said, PLEASE watch out for yourself. Sometimes I feel that the bike doesn't have enought power for the freeways (a little sluggish on the acceleration over 80mph...) and then something happens like this morning, when I whacked open the throttle to pass a slow moving cage, only to have some dipstick blindly pull infront of me from another lane. You don't realize how fast you're going until you have to stop.

Also, as a new rider you will drop the bike. Drop a bike, even standing still, and it will cost you $$$. Get a good set of frame sliders (nylon, not metal--some chick on the site put metal ones on her bike and they dug into the pavement and cracked the engine block) and for the love of Pete--buy protective gear. Get it before you hurt yourself. I bought a Joe Rocket Reactor jacket, and was wearing it when I had my first and only spill. Saved my arms, but my left knee relived some childhood memories of road rash. Not fun. Now I have the pants to match the jacket.

That said, have fun. You're going to love it.

12er 04-17-2003 03:23 PM

Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?
3 weeks down and a lifetime to go, welcome to the club.

12er 04-17-2003 03:27 PM

Re: Shake, Rattle and Roll
I had some Milwaukee's best beer and it sucked... ;)

john 04-17-2003 04:59 PM

Re: Don't get either....
the diff is that you can pick up a NEW SV for that 5 grand.

and all of these bikes have that is not really a point in itself, except maybe that the Buell is the only one with a 5spd tranny, that is notchy as hell, btw, compared to the suzuki, anyways.

I would consider the Duc or SV more plainjane, get on and ride compared with the Buell, not that it is bad neccessarily, but newer riders might not be ready for character ;)

Ive ridden the Buell and the SV, the SV felt a lot less substantial, alot "easier" to ride. The fact that it can be made to like hell is a sidenote, IMO.

rsheidler 04-17-2003 05:57 PM

Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?
The suggestions about buying a used bike are good, but assuming that you feel you can afford the cost of a new one, any of these are not all that big a problem. The people who talk about the fact that you may (will?) drop it have a point, but as none of these have fairings, the cost of repairs is not too big a deal. In my 35+ years of very aggressive street bike riding, I have dropped a couple bikes on the street, with maybe $100 damage total (basically broken mirrors and a turn signal or two). Had a few more on the track, also with minimal damage (again with unfaired bikes) -- OK, I did once put a dent in my tank that a bit of body filler and a spray can fixed good enough for a race bike.

On the other hand, I dropped my Ducati when it fell off the sidestand in a gravel parking lot and did a few hundred bucks in damage.

Buy what rings your chimes and have fun!


jimf 04-18-2003 02:58 AM

Perhaps you don't want to be looking at the 620
Disclaimer: I own an SV650S. But my bias is actually against that bike, as I'll explain later.

The quick summary is that the 620 has better suspension but the SV's engine blows it away. No contest, it has something like a 20hp advantage. I wouldn't even consider the 620 if you're also looking at the SV.

The closest Duc to the SV is the 750SS. I rode that and found its engine more willing at low RPM but still very flat on top; if you like to ride the torque wave, the 750 is a terrific pick but in terms of overall liveliness it's the SV pretty easily. Above 6krpm the SV engine just explodes. It's really a two-mode engine; at low RPM it's extremely tractible around town, and rev it up and it is a kick in the twisties. Very very nice.

Really the big fault of the SV's is in their suspension. It's underdamped and the front end is very weak. The 750SS beats it silly in this department. Of course if you spent the price difference upgrading the SV's suspension it'd be more than a match. For that matter, you could fully accessorize the SV for less than the price of the 750SS. But you'll never get Italian fashion.

Regarding which SV to buy, I have to recommend the SV rather than the SVS. I bought the SVS sight-unseen after sitting on the SV (they hadn't started importing the SVS yet, I pre-ordered) ... but didn't realize it has much more aggressive ergonomics. I wanted the fairing for wind protection. In retrospect it would have been better to get the SV plus an aftermarket fairing for the kind of riding I do.

The SV's ergos are just so much more comfortable; lots less weight on the wrists, a lot more leg room. But if you're into corner blasting the SVS has somewhat better feel and is more able to put the power down rather than wheelie (which might be a minus to some people :-). In really twisty stuff the longer bars of the SV are going to be an advantage.

Another difference between the SV and SVS are their headlights, which are noticably superior on the SVS. It's funny, but I found that dual headlights has really reduced the number of people that cut me off. That is a huge bonus.

Somebody asked about the preload tuning now available on the SV. I installed Madsen Engineering aftermarket preload adjusters to get this feature. Do they help? Sure, quite a bit. But preload isn't the only thing you need to fix. You want to really increase the oil weight in the fork to keep down brake dive (stock is 5W, I'm running 15W) and even that isn't enough. To really fix the SV's suspension you need Race Tech cartridge emulators plus a whole new rear shock -- $600-1000 worth of parts depending on how much rear shock you want.

But most of the limitations of the SV are things that will take a beginner awhile to really notice. I know, because I was one :-). The front end issues were obvious even to a rank beginner but the rear end took awhile to start to bug me.

Someone else suggested that for a first bike you'd probably be better off getting something else. I tend to agree. Get a GS500E to beat on for a year and then sell it and get an SV to grow into. But, if you don't want to do that, the SV isn't a bad beginner's bike. It definitely beats a Duc 620 as a grow-into-it bike.


evan_wise 04-18-2003 09:27 PM

Don't buy new...
I bought myself a 91 Kawasaki ZR 550 with about 27K KM on it this time last year. Its *only* a 550 but there is plenty of power in there to have fun with.

Since I bought the bike I have put about 13K KM on it and even though I got the full MSC course (which actually made me a bit over confident) under my belt I am only now starting to feel like I am exploring the bike's true performance envelope.

During this time I have also learned how to : tighten the chain, change the oil/oil filter, so some minor electrical servicing (loose wires in turn signals), etc, etc, etc. These are all valuable skills to have so that when you get your new bike you can enjoy the fact that pieces are less likely to break.

I have had one "drop" although it was more of a slow motion "put down" caused by turning the handles at the end of an aggresive breaking test on an abandoned road. I was trying to learn how my bike responded, I found out but not in a bad way. I also found out that my bike is rather heavy when not sitting upright.

Don't buy more bike than you can handle and don't buy a bike that you will "grow into" in a few years. You want to be paying more attention to your immediate environment; like watching out for the guy that tries to "merge" into you (happened just tonight).

Buy a mechanically sound "beater" that you can enjoy riding/fixing without worrying about being overpowered and *then* move up to your dream bike du jour. That is what I am going to do... next year.


ps. I *highly* recommend the ZR 550. It has nice lines and mine has run smoothly from the first (with the usual garage time). A very good first bike.

jtullyny 04-19-2003 05:25 AM

Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?
Thanks again for all the helpful comments. After sitting on and looking at several different bikes yesterday I purchased a new sv650s.

Think I got a decent deal (300 off the MSRP or 6K). Although they added on a "freight in" charge of 298 and waived the assembly/prep fee. Did I get taken there?

It wont be delivered to my local dealership for a week or so so now I'm gearing up. Fortunately I have a friend who works at a cycle shop and can get me decent prices. Got my hands on a good helmet and gloves and now I'm looking for clothing.

I'm gonna post a new question for you all regarding protective clothing so look for it. Hopefully MO will put it through since this has been a great resource of information for me so far. See you on the road!

gooseman_1 04-19-2003 05:45 AM

Re: Ducati Monster 620 or Suzuki SV 650 S?
I was quoted $5,500 for an '03 SV650S out-the-door. 6K wouldn't have been bad if they didn't charge you 300 bucks for shipping! Then again, it is a new version of a popular bike, and as always local economics are key.

This bike has only been available for a couple weeks now and you'll pay a premium to be one of the first to get it. Since you got such a great bike, don't sweat it! Let us know how you like it! (I'm buying one too, just waiting for the $)

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