‘If you can get a kitted up one it’s a bonus’
‘People often don’t get them maintained properly’
‘It’s a brilliant bike – but they do seem to get used and abused. Maintenancewise, people only seem to bring them in when something’s gone wrong. Owners don’t tend to look after them as much as they should. But the bike itself doesn’t really go wrong, it’s the type of owners they attract who tend to just ride them, and ride them, and ride them.
‘Mechanically, it’s a good engine. With the bigger version, the DL1000, we do get a few problems but the 650 is very tough. But again, the type of people that buy them often don’t get them maintained properly so if you’re buying used try to find one with a service history.
‘High mileages are quite common. I think because they’ve got a bit of protection from the elements owners use them more on motorways than SV owners and as a result we see some really high mileage ones. But again, as long as it’s been looked after that’s nothing to worry about.
‘The only thing you might get a problem with is the exhaust. Again, the 650 doesn’t suffer as much as the 1000 but the check the header pipe that comes out of the rear cylinder. Because they’ve got a join in them to mount the engine in the frame, there’s a gasket there that can blow and because it’s never ever taken off unless there’s a problem the exhaust bolts can be rusted and seized. ‘Again, the 650 doesn’t suffer from it as much as the 1000, but the gasket can disintegrate and you get a really noisy, blowing exhaust.
‘Overall, though, they’re really good, solid bikes. As with any machine that people do high mileages on, they tend to have heated grips and panniers and Scottoilers and so on fitted. But as long as it’s good quality stuff and the work has been done correctly, it should be fine. Long gone are the days of Krauser panniers from the 1980s fastened on with a load of Meccano. Today, most panniers are good stuff and can be a real boost to practicality.
‘Suzuki supplied some kitted up versions with official luggage and centrestands and so on so if you can get one of those it’s a bonus – especially if it has that full service history as well!’
Header pipes are vulnerable and check for gaps in the service history
SHAUN LOCK Service Foreman at Bridge Motorcycles in Exeter