Garage How ac­cu­rate is the SV650?

Truth or lies? Time to put the V-twin Suzuki’s clocks to the test

Motorcycle News (UK) - - MCN Garage - tony.hoare@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

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