Years sold: 1999-2009
MSRP new: $5699 (1999 SV650) to $7499 (2009 SV650S w/ABS)
Blue Book retail value: $1700 (1999 SV650)to $5545 (2009 SV650S w/ABS)
Basic specs: A 645cc, dohc, 90-degree V-Twin that made 71.7 hp at 9250 rpm and 46.2 ft.-lb. of torque at 7250, good enough to propel this 426-lb. (with its 4.4-gal. tank filled to the brim) roadster to an 11.93-sec., 111-mph quarter-mile and a top speed of 129 mph.
Why it won: In one of the several road tests Cycle World conducted of this popular Suzuki over the years, we suggested that maybe the “SV” in the bike’s model designation stood for “surprisingly versatile.” That’s because if you left off-road riding and around-the-world two-up touring off the list, there was very little the SV650 couldn’t do—and do well. Beginners loved it for its user friendliness and complete ease of operation, and experts found it a fun, rewarding tool for everything from daily commuting to weekend moseying to backroad scratching and even club roadracing.
In 2001, Suzuki introduced the SV650S, the same motorcycle but with a nice half-fairing and clip-on handlebars, giving the serious knee-draggers a little more ammo. ABS models were added in 2007, and both bikes remained in the lineup until 2009, when only the S was offered.
From the 2003 Ten Best story: “On a twisty backroad, the unfaired, tubular-handlebar-equipped SV will make short work of all but the best riders on the finest sport-oriented hardware.”
Useful resources: Two of the more-active Internet forums for this Suzuki are www.svrider.com and forums.sv650.org. And, given the considerable number of these bikes that Suzuki sold over an 11-season span, you’ll find all kinds of information on the Web about the middleweight SV, including parts, accessories and entire motorcycles for sale, along with past-year reviews, tech advice and lots of interesting videos.