Loyal Motorcycle.com readers will know I have a soft spot for the Suzuki SV650 – as many people do. A lot's been said about what a great bike it is and how it can please riders of all ages and skill levels. Many of us are also of the mindset that the earlier, pre-Gladius and pre-SFV650, versions are more desirable. The problem is that, as time goes on, earlier models are getting harder to find – at least in good condition.
I credit my early foundations in motorcycling to my beloved Suzuki SV650. Like with any sport, you need to learn the basics before you can progress to the more advanced stuff, and while my motorcycling career progressed on a number of different motorcycles over the years, my foundation was solidly built on my humble little SV.
Alright folks, let’s do some math! If we take the sum of S+V multiplied by 650 we find the factor is equal to or greater than a standard or naked bike. If we then take SV(650X) we see the coefficient of X, 650 in this example, being equal to… Who am I kidding? I was always terrible at math/algebra/statistics, all of it. But what Suzuki’s telling us is that X equals cafe. Simple as that. Don’t question your teachers kids; just put your head down and conform.
Motorcycles are more than the sum of their parts, but some parts are more important than others. Wheels are an essential part of the identity of many motorcycles. So, to test your moto-mettle, we’ve gathered a dozen different models for you to match with their wheels.
In case you haven’t read my First Ride Review of the 2017 Suzuki SV650, let me sum it up for you: It’s an awesome motorcycle. Of course, if you’ve been reading MO for any length of time you’ll likely know I’m a big fan of the SV, having previously owned and raced one myself. With that, you can likely conclude that I’ve thrown journalistic objectivity out the window when it comes to the new SV. However, if Suzuki had missed the mark, I’d be sure to criticize instead of praise.
My dad is what you would call, very “old school.” Mention carburetors, throttle cables, and distributor caps, and you have his full attention. Though he was more a car guy than a bike guy, talk about the “good ol’ days,” and he’ll regale you with tales of his youth — when roadside repairs consisted of bubble gum and a screwdriver, or when “garage mechanic” had a more literal meaning. As soon as the conversation drifts to such 21st-century items as ride-by-wire, traction control, and electronic fuel injection, a look of disdain fills his face, followed by a scoff at such newfangled, “complicated technology.” It’s a minor miracle I even had a digital calculator when I was in school.
Okay, I admit it. I’m a wheelie-holic. I’d practice wheelies on my bicycle, but I’ve been absolutely addicted to them since discovering an engine’s anti-gravity effects on a dirt bike’s front tire when I was 12 and abusing my amazingly durable Suzuki DS80 on the Canadian prairie.