SV650. Short, robust, direct, no frills acronym for a motorcycle that still today leaves the special effects to others and aim hard. Among its advantages are the practicality of use, the ease of approach, the sporty and moderately “old-style” aesthetics, the reasonable running costs and an engine that conveys good emotions and is also very reliable, an indispensable prerogative for those who make substance their workhorse. The SV650 has a 23-year history behind it, when back in 1999 Suzuki wanted to challenge the hegemony of the Ducati Monster (we’re referring to the M600 of the time) by putting on the plate a 90° V-twin engine cooled with peppery liquid, with a robust back and a reach that the Bolognese dreamed of. At the time, the V-twin represented nonconformism, the Don Quixote fighting to oust the indestructible sporting charm of the in-line four (the Ducati 996s, for example, were strong in SBK).
Today in the medium segment the “V-twin” is no longer in fashion (as is the 4-cylinder), supplanted by the more compact, simple and economical (and also anonymous, let’s add) two cylinders facing each other, an engine that in the 90s did not nobody wanted, relegated to first purchase motorcycles such as the various Honda CB500 or Kawasaki GPZ500. Role, that of the entrylevel, that the naked Suzuki today covers in an excellent wayfavored not only by the qualities mentioned above but also by an interesting selling price: 7,140 euros cim indicative for the new one.
Among other things, the SV650 is a bike that more than many others also pleases the gentleman, a quality inherited from the previous Gladius, despite the fact that it differs from it in a slightly more aggressive look. According to the experience of Cristian Mazzola of Moto Mazzola (from Bonate Sopra – BG) “about 30% of our buyers who approach the SV are women”. A great achievement if you think that the first version of the Hamamatsu twin-cylinder was quite a pepper, with an engine that “rumbled” strongly from low to high revs, with a prompt response to the gas and significant engine braking that often led to rear wheel lock for scenic cornering. Quality appreciated by boys and a little less by girls, who in the end opted for the sweeter Honda Hornet 600 (despite dreaming of Suzuki).
All this “arrogance” has been reduced over the years and then vanished with the Euro4, which came into force in 2016, exactly the same year of return of the SV650. The “heart” of the Hamamatsu naked is now a jewel of sweetness: the vehemence of the past has given way to a much smoother throttle response and the torque is delivered with such a fluidity that it appears “flat”, almost electric. At the same time, however, the Japanese V-twin has been enriched with some electronic “devices”, which have further increased its appreciation by a first-time public, namely the Low RPM Assist system (which increases the revs of the engine when starting or at very low speed to prevent sudden shutdowns) and the Suzuki Easy Start to start the bike with a single press. In short, just a little help but then a lot of mechanical and cycling goodness.
The fact that there is no Euro3 version and that from 2016 to today the bike hasn’t changed one iota (my 2021/2022 has Euro5 in addition) means that there is a certain stability in the quotes used, which in turn are also inflated from the difficulty in the last year and a half of the “new” to satisfy the demands of the market. It is not so difficult to understand why a 2016 SV650 – obviously kept in good condition – can be worth on average above 4,000 euros, to reach over 5,000 for a my 2020. To which one could add 300/400 euros for the cafe racer “X” produced from 2018 to 2021. If you then find a specimen with services regularly performed at authorized dealerships or workshops, these are a plus that is worth paying for. With the SV650, the constructive goodness that characterizes it does so much, confirmed by the many praises collected “on the net” and above all by an almost absence of official recalls, which saw only an electrical defect, nothing to do with the quality and reliability motorcycle mechanics and technology. Which, among other things, does not lend itself to possible style drops: the stickers are not under transparent, but the painting is of quality, the components are simple and robust, the metal does not oxidize.