Suzuki SV-1000S: Fast 'n Fun for Everyone

After thawing out over lunch, we continue on to a photo-op with the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains for a backdrop. The 1000 is a comfortable bike in general, but as we traipse through the straighter sections of the countryside, I notice that I'm developing a case of monkey butt. Photos taken, we hit the Autopista for the commute back to Malaga at speeds ranging from a low of 170 kph to a high of 250 kph (105-155 mph) this is nuts, sustained nuts for over an hour. As we blast en masse through the scattered cars, I continue to marvel at the fanatical lane discipline of the Spanish drivers. It is seldom necessary to roll-out of the throttle for cars that get caught out by our rapid closing rate and I feel like the left lane has been reserved solely for us. Half way home, I crest a rise at about a The beautiful Sierra Nevada rangebuck thirty and get nailed dead center in my face shield by a piece of gravel, kicked up by the bike in front. It sounds like a gunshot inside my helmet, but miraculously, the shield is only lightly scratched. Thank you Shoei, for making the GX-1 shield so nice and thick. It's a good thing I forgot to pack my beanie skidlid. I'm starting to wish Id packed my padded cycling shorts though, because my ass is starting to feel like I'm riding a saw horse. The new SV remains perfectly comfortable for most trips, but after 100 miles in a semi-straight line, the soft seat padding on our pre-production bikes gets compressed to a sliver and your ass quickly begs for mercy. I'm guessing that Corbin will be doing a brisk business in SV saddles, if this isn't fixed on the production version.

Exiting the final toll booth, one of our guides, Kenny Noyes (son of Dennis) does the most beautiful stand-up wheelie, near vertical for a 1/2 mile, on his V-Strom. This inspires many imitations, but all pale in comparison. That isn't to say that the new SV isn't good at wheelies, au contraire, it's great at wheelies, we're just not Kenny Noyes. I find that I'm glad to be back at the hotel, with its warm and comfortable beds, but I'm also a little sad to say goodbye to the big SV. The bike has given me the distinct impression of competence, in the same way VFR 800s and a few other bikes do.

In summary, I know this sounds more like a travel story than a bike review, but when it comes right down to it, the SV is the kind of willing partner that hums along beneath you, as wild or tame as you want it to be and lets you explore the rewards of a trip like this one. Suzuki calls it a "V-Twin Fun Machine" and indeed it IS fun. It is also friendly around town and un-threatening to ride, without being boring or dim-witted.

For those of you that must read specs and must know how the new SV 1000S stacks-up as a Supersport I'll take a shot: The SV is moderately sprung, without being sloppy. It tracks straight, but suffers from a slight rider induced wobble at speeds above 90 mph. This isn't a chassis or suspension problem, but instead seems to be caused by aerodynamic buffeting of the rider's shoulders. A tight tuck behind the bubble will nNote the intricate casting allowed by Suzuki's new high-vacuume die-casting process ormally stop the wobble. The engine is a cross between the TL 1000S and the DL 1000 V-Strom. Think TL-S with smaller intake valves, updated injection, ignition and ECU. It's strong and flexible, with an 11,000 rpm redline. Even though the torque curve is broader and flatter than the old TL 1000S, peak power feels quite similar. Power is sweetest between 6,500 rpm - 10,500 rpm. From long fast sweepers to tight mountain switchbacks, the SV 1000 is happy to rail or point and shoot at your command, it does however, have a slight tendency to understeer when hard on the power out of medium speed corners. It handles mid-corner line changes and slippery surfaces, with a minimum of drama. The brakes are very strong and linear with good feedback and didn't fade or otherwise display weakness, even with my aggressive and heavy self riding it. Top speed is probably in the neighborhood of 155-160 mph and the bike seems to be more than happy to loiter in that range, all day long. Though not intended as a race bike, this SV is plenty capable of holding its own with the other bikes in its class. (Honda VTR-1000F, Aprilia Falco, Ducati Monster S4, etc.) If you're looking for an all-around capable, affordable, good looking sporty bike, that isn't a torture rack, I think you'll like Suzuki's new SV 1000s.

SV-1000S Technical Highlights

Engine Features:

  1. Liquid-cooled, 996cc 90 degree V-twin, DOHC 4-valves per cylinder.
  2. 300 individual changes made since the TL 1000S motor. Overall peak power is similiar, but torque curve is broader and flatter.
  3. Electronic fuel injection system features the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve System (SDTV)- to maintain optimum air velocity in the intake tract for smooth low-to-mid rpm throttle response and high torque output. Includes Auto Fast Idle System (AFIS).
  4. New high speed 32-bit ECM with 22-trigger pole rpm sensor, provides more precise control of ignition timing and injector operation for each cylinder. (The TL-S used a 16-bit ECM and 4-trigger sensor)
  5. Large, 52mm throttle bodies are fed by a 9.0 liter airbox with a flat-panel air filter.
  6. Semi-gear driven valve system simplifies maintenance and minimizes cam sprocket size and engine height for optimum engine placement.
  7. Shim-under-bucket valve system operates 36 mm intake and 40mm (TL-S was 40mm and 40mm) exhaust valves set at a narrow 29 degree included valve angle - produces a compact combustion chamber and 11.3:1 compression ratio.
  8. SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material) plated cylinders.
  9. Six-speed transmission features a wide diameter, hydraulically-operated clutch with back-torque limiter system.
  10. Clutch cover includes a new large-volume crankcase breather system which eliminates external crankcase breather hoses.
  11. A compact oil cooler is included, in addition to the standard liquid cooling.
  12. Lightweight magnesium valve covers, ignition cover, and sound deadening plastic outer clutch cover.
  13. Stainless steel exhaust system with aluminum mufflers.

Chassis Features:

  1. Half fairing features dual 60/55W headlights with running lights and folding mirrors.
  2. Both headlights remain lit on low beam and on high beam.
  3. Instrument cluster includes analog tach, LCD speedometer, odometer, 2 tripmeters, temperature gauge, LCD clock and low fuel warning light.
  4. Steeply-angled tail section houses new 14 LED taillight.
  5. Narrow, lightweight aluminum truss-style frame is constructed using high-vacuum die-cast process for more consistent strength and fewer individual welded sections.
  6. Fully adjustable 46 mm, cartridge-style front fork with 4.72 inches of travel.
  7. Aluminum swingarm and link-type rear suspension features a fully adjustable piggyback style shock absorber with 5.12 inches of wheel travel.
  8. Under-seat storage area.
  9. Tie-down hooks on bottoms of passenger pegs and under passenger grab-bar.

2003 Suzuki SV 1000S Specifications


Type: 996cc water-cooled 90 degree V-Twin
Bore x stroke: 98mm x 66mm
Valvetrain: DOHC 4v/cyl 36mm intake, 33mm exhaust
Valve adjustment interval: 15,000mi. (24,000km)
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Fuel delivery: closed loop fuel injection with dual-butterfly 52mm throttle bodies
Engine management: High Speed 32 Bit
Ignition: electronic, digital
Transmission: 6-speed, wet multi-plate clutch
Final drive: 530 O-ring chain


Frame: High-vacuum die-cast aluminum alloy semi-trellis with solid engine mounting
Subframe: Rectangular steel


Front: 46mm cartridge type; 4.72-in. travel with adjustable spring preload, compression & rebound dampening.

Rear: Link-type single shock; 5.12-in. travel with adjustable spring preload, compression & rebound dampening.


Front: dual 310mm discs, dual 4-piston calipers
Rear: single 220mm disc, 2-piston caliper


Front: 3.50 x 17 cast aluminum / 120/70ZR-17
Rear: 5.50 x 17 cast aluminum / 180/55ZR-17


Claimed Dry Weight: 417 lb. (189kg)
Overall Length: 83.9 in. (2130mm)
Overall Width: 28.7 in. (730mm)
Wheelbase: 56.5 in. (1435mm)
Seat height: 31.9 in. (810mm)
Fuel capacity: 4.7 gal. (17 liters)
Colors: Metallic Silver, Metallic Orange, Metallic Blue
MSRP: SV 1000 $7,999
MSRP: SV 1000S $8,599


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