Suzuki SV1000

Suzuki SV1000

Often categorised as a sports-tourer class motorcycle, Suzuki’s SV1000 and half fairing-equipped brother the SV1000S, were first launched by Suzuki in 2003. The 996 cc 90-degree Suzuki V-twin motorcycles were aimed to compete directly with the Honda SuperHawk (also known as the Honda FireStorm in some markets), which was released prior to the Suzuki, and the low end Ducati 1 liter V-twin sport bikes. The SV1000 is the big brother to the popular 650 cc engined Suzuki SV650 motorcycle. The SV1000 shares many common parts with the SV650, including all bodywork (front fairing, fuel tank and rear plastics/subframe), but the main frame, handlebars, swingarm and forks are different. The front forks and brakes are sourced from the earlier GSXR600. The SV1000 owes some of its heritage to the Suzuki TL1000S (affectionately known as the “widow-maker”) from which it inherited its engine which was tuned for more mid-range and a little less top-end power.

Unlike the SuperHawk and its two huge 48 mm carburettors, the 2003 and up SV1000 is fuel injected and sports the Suzuki Dual-Throttle Valve technology. In 2004, the bike received revised ergonomics in the form of lower pegs and a slightly lower seat height, which are the same as the 2003 N model (unfaired). The 2005 and 2006 models got a slight bump in compression and a few other internal items, but mostly remains the same bike from 2003. The SV1000 and SV1000S are quality bikes for the money, and perform well for the majority of users – including some racers who compete in the US on both the SV650 and SV1000 models. Because of speed limits, many motorcyclists believe riders will likely never need more than the 105–115 hp that the SV1000 puts to the ground.

The relaxed manner in which the V-twin engine produces linear power allows a well-ridden SV650 or SV1000 to pass a faster bike on the track as notable victories in several endurance races can attest to.

The original SV1000 design (K3) has gone through two updates since its original release:

The K4 model – Includes a lowering of the rear-end (as per the 2003 unfaired version), and a new selection of colors.

The K5 model – Black frame, black wheels, shorter airbox trumpet, larger throttle bodies, and a higher compression ratio. In some markets, Suzuki carries the SZ version with full fairing and GSX-R colour scheme.

The K6 model – New selection of colours.

[Added June 2008] Neither 1000-engined bike sold well, even though the similar 650-engined bikes are award winners and very popular. Suzuki US stopped selling the SV1000 naked version in 2006, and by 2008 neither model was listed on the company’s global web site, although one or the other model is still listed on the US and UK sites.

When the SV1000s were first introduced, some of the engines developed a loud knocking whose precise cause was never announced by Suzuki. It was attributed sometimes to the engine firing on every other revolution instead of every revolution. However, in the UK, owners found that the crankshaft of knocking engines showed signs of excessive movement. Dealers there remedied the problem under warranty by replacing the crankcase bearing inserts with thicker ones, but dealers in the US did not.

Later engines had significant modifications and the knocking problem did not appear in them. The VStroms, which use the same engine, are still being sold. No failures of knocking engines have been reported on the major SV1000 web forums to date.

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