Civilized and easy to drive

The Sv-1000 from Suzuki has one of the most civilized v-twin engines, but makes up for it by being very easy to drive and fond of twisty roads.

Text: Frode Johansen

Photo: Ruth Helen Kjærran/

The predecessor named TL-1000 was a lot wilder, and at times hard to control. The Sv-1000 is almost the opposite.



    I have always liked the naked N model better than the sporty S model, with lower clip on handlebars and more plastic. I think the silver paint job is the best looking one with the models that has a silver frame. Originally the back light is two vertical red glass stripes. I have put in one with clear glass, and red and orange lights. So that when I switch on the turn signal, the red goes dark and the orange lights blink.


Engine, gear box, sprockets and chain

    The heart of the bike is the 60 cubic inches 90 degree v-twin, according to Suzuki it pumps out 106 v-twin horses. But the truth about that will be revealed this spring when I will have it tested and adjusted in a bench. That will tell me how much horsepower the engine really is putting out. There have been fitted slip-on mufflers from Yoshimura and a high flow K/N air filter. And the low effect wire from the computer box has been cut.

    In the gear box we find the usual six gears, it works very well with the clutch. And fast double shifting is no problem. The sprockets are standard right now, but before the spring I will go down from a 17 tooth front sprocket to a 16 tooth.


On the road or track

    The driving position is very good, an upright position with a slightly forward angel of the upper body to reach the handlebars. But the knee angel can get a little tight for some, but the high mounted foot pegs makes it possible to keep a high speed on twisty roads. The seat is sitting low on the bike, and the feeling of sitting inside the bike helps thru the corners and under heavy breaking.

    From 3.500 rpm the engine pulls hard, but it also pulls very evenly thru the range up to the red mark at 11.000. At normal highway speeds there are no problems overtaking cars in sixth gear. Even when running flat out I never experienced the front lifting, and for me with two years of driving experience I think that is a good thing. When driving it flat out on track day I feel that the engine has a small weak spot around 5.500 rpm, before it again goes full ahead toward the 11.000 red mark.

    Both on the road and on the track the bike feels stabile thru corners and at high speeds. But doing high speed runs the lack of a wind screen is really felt on the upper body. But up to around 60 mph the wind is no problem. Double that speed, and then some, the wind is a major problem. So running thru Germany on the free speed Autoban is not very tempting. Doing normal highway speeds and a little riding in the city the fuel consumption is between 43 and 52 miles pr gallon. So with the 4.5 gallon fuel tank, you should be able to go at least 175 miles before filling it up again.

    At the track day I felt the need for a slipper clutch. Several times I felt the back of the bike slipping and sliding, as I was breaking hard and downshifting. But it never felt out of control so I did it a couple of times more, just for the hell of it. On a wet track this might have been a whole other issue, that could have sent me into the gravel, ass first.

    The breaks are from the last generation GSX-R, and they do a pretty good job stopping the bike. And at the same time they have enough feel for me to stay in control.


Summed up

    This isn’t a wild ride that turns on all the power at 7.000 rpm sending the front wheel into the air. But on the other hand it pulls strong and even thru the range from 3.500 to 10.000 rpm. The frame is stiff and the bike feels stable thru corners and at high speeds. But if you plan on doing some serious touring on it, I strongly recommend you to get a wind screen. If you ask me, taking the price into consideration, this is a lot of bike for your money. It could work just as well for an experienced rider, as for a rider that is new to the world of motorcycles.



The Facts:

Engine: 60 cubic inches / 996 ccm

Engine type: Watercooled v-twin with fuel injection

Brake horsepower: 106 bhp at 8.800 rpm (approx. 120 bhp in this one)

Torque: 70,7 Ib-ft at 7.200 rpm

Front tyre: 120/70/ZR17

Rear tyre: 180/55-ZR17

Fuel tank: 4,5 gallons / 17 liters

Dry weight: 410 Ibs

MSRP: $8.700 (new 2007)




Me and my baby at the dealer just minutes after the paperwork was signed, it's mine, all mine...




The three track photo's done by DesmoEspen - Thank you :-)