‘If they’re looked after cosmetically, they’re brilliant bikes’
“We used them here as loan bikes and they took quite a hammering but they just kept going and going and going. They’re very reliable. I think with that generation of SV the only negative point with them is that every so often with the throttle off when coming to a standstill they’d backfire a little bit and stall occasionally. It’s a characteristic of them all really. It’s the same with the bigger SV1000S, although they actually suffer from it an awful lot more. They’d actually blow the throttle bodies off sometimes. But with the new SV650 this year they’ve got a fast idle device that brings the revs up to get round it.
“Generally, though, it is a beautiful engine. As I say, we’ve used them as loan bikes and they take a lot of abuse with very little complaint.
“Although it is a budget bike it rides really well. It brakes OK. It’s no sportsbike, admittedly, but it does what it’s meant to do beautifully. It’s an easy bike to ride. That’s why you see them at quite a few training schools. They’re quite upright, they’re well-balanced, they’ve got quite a low centre of gravity and they’re just nice and easy to get on with. “They’ve no Achilles heel really. The 1000 is a different matter but the 650’s OK. The only thing is they tend to get abused – scraped and not cleaned, that sort of thing. But mechanically they’re fine. Cosmetically, though, especially when you get high mileage ones, they can be, for want of a better word, a bit ‘doggy’ because they’ve just been used and not particularly looked after. They are very vulnerable to stone chips. The front end is quite exposed, so the fork legs and stuff often get chips on the chrome and then the rust can get behind it. But that’s nothing to do with the bike itself, it’s the nature of the beast and how they’re looked after. “Overall, though, as long as they’re looked after cosmetically and not damaged they’re brilliant bikes. I highly recommend them.”
‘Exposed parts can pick up stone chips that the rust can get behind’
Exposed oil cooler is prone to rust, while headstock can get worn by keyrings
SHAUN LOCK Service Foreman at Bridge Motorcycles in Exeter