Fast Bikes


Ever wanted a cheap track bike or fancied a go at racing on a serious budget? Well, the minitwin route has to be one of the best options, and as Clive shows us with his Suzuki SV650, you don’t have to skimp on the quality and finish…


e love a cheap, low powered trackhack. From your CB500s to your retro YZs, it’s a momentous feeling, chassis, getting the very most out of a motor and repair bills not having to worry about monstrous if you can should the worst happen – especially process, too. overtake the latest sports bikes in the

But they don’t always pack enough punch, without and if you want that little extra oomph go down splashing the cash, the best avenue to what has to be the minitwin one. That is exactly and he’s Clive has done with his beloved SV650, never looked back… of “I love minitwins, it’s a great class because 70 horses the cheapness, alongside only having rather

– it’s back to the old days of race craft lots of than relying on power! I actually had and ’10 at race wins and lap records back in ’09 love for Thunderspo­rt, and that really set up my

I love the class, and indeed for SVs. Nowadays,

It’s riding this thing everywhere and anywhere! backbreaki­ng, a pizza bike, don’t forget, so it’s not too it’s but when tweaked ever so slightly you could brilliant. In the Thunderspo­rt paddock, exhaust and only change the fork internals, shock, the wheels, bodywork, so it’s basically standard; it came – brakes, drivetrain etc. is all exactly as fuel and completely stock. All it takes is a bit of never an oil change at every meeting, and you’ll have an issue!”


Even so, this specific minitwin is much fancier than the spec sheet suggests. Clive has created his own subframe for the Fireblade seat unit, stuck on a Yamaha M1 GP-rep front fairing, given it a full exhaust system and Harris end can, a remap, and finished the job of with a set of Pirelli Supercorsa­s, front and rear. It’s one of the tidiest examples of an SV that we’ve ever seen, so just how did he end up with a minitwin that looks like such a peach? “Funnily enough, I sold the one I raced, but I missed it so bought an old ex-race bike not long after. I took it to Cadwell, and on the first outing I realised it had a dodgy gearbox! Because of the way the engines are built on these things, the whole thing has to be taken apart to get to the gears, which is a nightmare, so I picked up another engine with 5000 miles on the clock... it’s brilliant, you can pick one up for under £500. It was out of a road bike as well, so it was much stronger straight away, and since then I haven’t had a single problem. I’ve always looked after it though, and when I got the new engine, I stripped every nut and bolt back to the chassis, and made sure it was immaculate from the ground up – I’ve been over the lot”.

He wasn’t messing – he’s built it all back from scratch, not skimping on any details. He even went to the extreme by moving the battery from under the seat to the front of the bike, as it keeps the weight nice and low.

“A race bike has to be right to ride, but I like them done properly and looking nice as well – there’s no tie ropes and tape here, just proper brackets and bolts. Some people spend a lot of money and do a little bit of riding. I like spending a little bit of money, and doing lots of riding! That’s the best thing about this bike, and it’s perfect for Cadwell, my local track – especially with the Öhlins shock set up the way it is.”

The best part is, Clive reckons you can pick up a fairly decent example for about £1500, and it would cost about the same to get it ready to race. It’s not all about the Gucci parts; sure, he has Valta moto rearsets, GB Racing covers and adjustable levers but there is more standard than not – the handlebars are bog stock, as are even the discs and pads, which he assures works a treat and can last for a whole season of racing.

A whole year! Who are argue with that? we to

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