I don’t ask for much… but
Fun, warmth, practicality... Andy’s making big demands of his SV650
I’m going to need to ask quite a lot of Suzuki’s mid-capacity SV650 this year. As well as being an easygoing and fun middleweight, I also need it to double up as a proper touring bike. I’ll be covering 400 miles a week minimum, in 100-mile, non-stop stints. So, it’s going to need to be comfortable, protect me from the elements, carry luggage, juice up all my heated gear and look good while doing it, too.
Its previous owner had already taken steps to ensure its styling was up to scratch, with a retro Suzuki seat (£149) and a Yoshimura Alpha end can (£499). The sculpted seat is slightly raised at the back, offering the perfect, cupped riding position. So far so good. However, the windblast from the naked bike is tolerable but not ideal when it’s single digits outside.
I’m fitting an aftermarket screen.
Last year I used the capable V-strom 650 XT as a long-term test bike and opted for Suzuki’s official heated grips. They were lukewarm at best, so I’ve attached my Gerbing heated jacket and gloves to the battery. The wires neatly tuck under the seat with the connector poking out of the side.
Luggage is also a big deal for me, and with Suzuki offering no official soft luggage options for the SV, I’ve opted for a pair of Givi soft panniers. There’s not much room under the seat, but the straps just about fit. It secures onto the pillion peg hangers and sits high enough so that it doesn’t rest on the exhaust. Unfortunately, there aren’t any bungee hooks under the pillion seat so I’ve been tying Rok Straps around the rear mudguard.
The SV is well on its way to becoming a retro-styled, do-it-all, commuter, tourer and back-road scratcher. Bring on the winter!
Gerbing heated kit is plumbed straight into the battery
Givi’s soft luggage needs to handle touring and commuting through winter