When the engineers at Suzuki think about driving, they actively create ideas about style, engine and power. For over a decade, these engineers built two very similar motorcycles, the SV650 and SV1000. Whether you enjoy carving up mountain twisties or commuting to work in the city, these two siblings are willing and able to impress both the inexperienced rider and the seasoned.
The strength of every motorcycle is the frame. The dimensions of both bikes are extremely similar, but the SV650 uses a pressure-cast aluminium alloy truss frame, while the larger SV1000 is built on a high-vacuum die-casting technology frame.
At the heart of each bike is a version of Suzuki's V-twin engine. The SV650 has a liquid-cooled 645-cubic-centimetre (cc) 90-degree V-twin engine with 8 valves. The SV1000 has a big-bore short stroke 996cc 90-degree V-twin engine with dual-throttle valve technology.
The SV1000's firm suspension is sourced directly from the GSXR600 sport bike. The fully adjustable stout front forks have 4.7 inches of travel, compared to the nimble 5.1 inches of travel from the SV650's 41mm damping rod front fork system. Both bikes use a fully adjustable rear shock, but the SV1000 uses a piggyback-reservoir shock while the SV650 has a link-type single shock.
Stopping the SV650 are dual 290mm floating front disc brakes and a single 240mm rear disc brake. The SV1000 brakes are larger both in the front and back, with twin 310mm disc brakes.
Drawing fuel out of its 4.7-gallon gas tank, the 996cc V-twin averages 41-city/54-highway miles per gallon. The total fuel consumption range is 193-city/253-highway miles per tank. The smaller 645cc V-twin's 4.5-gallon gas tank averages 45-city/59-highway miles per gallon. Its total fuel consumption is 203-city/266-highway miles per tank.
Being a slightly larger bike overall, the SV1000 has a 120/70-ZR17 front tire and a 180/55-ZR17 rear tire. Going tubeless, the SV650 has a 120/60-ZR17 MC front tire and a 160/60-ZR17 MC rear tire.
Weighing in, the 2003 SV650 and SV650S bikes had a dry weight of 165 Kilogram. But in 2009, when the SV650 model was dropped by Suzuki for the SFV650 Gladius, its dry weight had increased from 37.2 Kilogram to 202 Kilogram. At 185 Kilogram, the 2003 SV1000's dry weight was merely 20 Kilogram heavier than the smaller SV650. However, by 2006, the SV1000SZ European model had a dry weight of 187 Kilogram, decreasing the overall curb weight.
Turning the throttle and comparing the SV650 stats to the SV1000, the smaller bike loses in every category except 0-to-60 mph. Contributing to the dominance is the SV1000's top speed of 160mph. On a quarter-mile track, it clocks 10.95 seconds at 125.8mph. Going 0-to 60mph, the SV1000 clocks 3.53 seconds. But increase the distance to 0-to-100 mph and the bigger bike turns in a time of 5.63 seconds.
On the flip side, the SV650 has an overall top speed of 135mph. On a quarter-mile track, it travels the distance in 11.82 seconds at 106.02mph. When measured going 0-to-60 mph, it registers a time of 3.65 seconds. Increasing the distance does not help the SV650's time. Travelling from 0-to-100 mph, the smaller bike registers 9.94 seconds.
One major difference in favour of the SV650 is the hundreds of aftermarket parts available to change its appearance and boost its performance. Plus, after 2007, all SV650 bikes had the option to receive an anti-lock braking system (ABS), which the SV1000 never offered.