Suzuki SV-1000S: Fast 'n Fun for Everyone
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 normally 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
2003 Suzuki SV 1000S Specifications
ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN
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