Garage How accurate is the SV650?
Truth or lies? Time to put the V-twin Suzuki’s clocks to the test
Ihated maths at school, but seem to have developed a strange liking for figures when it’s associated to bikes. The dash on the SV650 is among the best on any bike I’ve tested, with plenty of information all laid out so it’s easy to read on the move. The LCD display is also perfectly easy to read in either bright sunshine or pitch darkness without needing to alter the brightness.
Considering the budget tag the SV’S clocks are superb, but my obsession with numbers stretches to how accurate its figures are. Armed with a sat-nav and a fuel can I set out to give the V-twin an accuracy test. How fast? First on my list was the speedo. All bikes over-estimate road speed, as it’s illegal to under-estimate it. But some machines over-read by more than others, and I wanted to see how the SV fares. My Tomtom Rider sat-nav shows genuine road speed on the move, so I could compare it with the reading on the clocks. With 30mph, 40mph and 50mph displayed on the speedo, actual road speed was only 3mph lower. With 60mph on the speedo, the SV was actually doing 4mph less at 56mph, and the gap increased to 5mph with the speedo showing 70mph or 80mph. That’s 10% or less in all cases, which is impressive enough. It’s handy to have the over-read, keeping me safer if I creep a little over posted limits. Too much is annoying, not least because bikes will arrive at service intervals sooner and depreciate more quickly, as overall mileage increases at the same accelerated rate. But the SV’S speed estimates are accurate enough for me.
How much fuel left?
Whenever I refuel, the SV’S handy fuel range countdown tells me I have 138 miles left before I’ll be back on the forecourt. I’ve frequently gone considerably beyond that mileage, but I wanted to see what was actually possible from a tankful.
Pushing the SV further than ever before, with the safety blanket of four litres of unleaded strapped to the back, I managed 171.1 miles before the fuel range countdown dropped to zero.
Bikes I’ve tested in a similar way in the past have gone anywhere from 10 to 30 miles from this point before running out. The SV sits slap-bang in the middle, covering another 20 miles before stuttering to a halt.
The prospect of imminent cutting out means those last miles are ridden in a more conservative (and economical) manner, so I’d estimate there’s only a litre and a half of fuel sloshing around the tank when the SV says it’s empty.
As for the overall range, that ride stretched my best out to 191.1 miles. The SV’S manual points out that the onboard computer doesn’t calculate range by multiplying remaining fuel by current consumption rates (though that would seem to be the cleverest way). It’s very pessimistic at first, but gets better as the fuel load reduces. When it reaches zero it still has some in reserve in case of emergency, which is a common-sense approach.
The SV also gives a read-out of claimed fuel economy, both in live time and as an average. The dash claims the average economy is 60.7mpg, when the figures I’ve kept since taking delivery of the bike (I know, I’m a saddo) show the overall economy to be 55.4mpg. Again it’s about 10% out, so the answer to my question of how accurate is the SV650 is simple – it’s about 90% accurate. That’s not too shabby.
Tomtom Rider puts the speedo to the test