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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I think as a newbie you're bound to get bored with the SV at some point (probably within a year) and wonder what else is out there. Also, you'll likely drop the bike while learning. For these reasons, I would recommend that you get a used bike. You'll likely be able to sell it for about what you paid for it when you're ready to upgrade.



Having said that, we bought a new SV for my wife after she passed her MSF course. She did drop it, but fortunately I had installed frame sliders, and the only damage was a bent lever and scratched bar end. She ended up not sticking with it, so now I'm riding the bike. I must say that it's a real hoot, even for someone with 30+ years of riding experience on a lot of different machines. YMMV
 

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Always buy used if at all possible. Considering the vehicle depreciation and the fact that many new riders drop their bikes (I wonder how many experienced riders drop their bikes), I would recommend used. If you decide that bike is not right for you, you won't have too much invested.
 

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I've got a 2002 SV650S, bought used. As it was quite beat up on top of the previous owner moving I basically named my price. It left me with a good enough deal that all the broken crap can and is being fixed, cleaned up, or replaced, and it will still be cheaper than a new 650S from a dealer.



You did mention insurance, but one thing to keep in mind is if you can actually get comp coverage against theft. I live in West Hollywood, and neither Geico or Progressive would provide it. A bike really needs to be in a severe accident to be junked, so odds are that if you ever found yourself without it theft is a pretty likely cause, rather than you having taken some spill which completely destroyed the machine. Thieves would probably be more interested in lifting that shiny new R6 or GSXR than your second or third-hand SV.



As for performance, if you're already getting freaked out and have yet to even buy a motorcycle, the SV should serve you well for quite some time. Fear of riding and 600 or 1000cc land rockets really don't mix well. I love my SV and it's plenty quick for runs through the hills and into the desert. Really the only thing I would consider something different for is long distance touring. I find it comfortable enough to ride for several hours but the range is lacking.
 

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An SV650 is a great starter bike for sure but once you have ridden the bike for a year and or 8000 miles you can personalize it just like the Harley's. A stock bike can get boring after time so you spend a little money and buy a an exhaust system like a slip on canister. Upgrade the original tires, add some chrome to to the hand and foot contols and really look at what you really want from your bike. Once you achieve these changes the bike's character, appearance and power delivery is so much better than stock. If your not into upgrading and personalizing than just leave it stock and trade up. I would increase the engine performace overall. Tune the bike to produce at least 15% more than stock. Measure the power at your local dyno and compare the before and after reading. Just think, the bike has 70 HP stock at the crank and you loose 10% from driveline losses. That means you should have 63hp at the rear wheels. Do the math, add 15% and you should shoot for more than 72hp at the rear wheel to really feel the upgrade. OK so much for that, lets talk about the real benifit. Take your bike for a ride and see how it behaves around town and on the road. Ride with your buddies and enjoy the the little bike that could.
 

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If you get "Bored" with the SV...

If you get bored with the SV, get a GSX-R front end installed, an aftermarked bling shock installed, take it to the track, and shread the pavement.

At Sears, AFMers in 650 twins (basically SVs set up as above with some minor engine tweaking) are pulling 1:44.5 lap times.

Thats ~6 seconds a lap worse than the best in Formula Pacific (anything goes and the best riders).

The SV is FAST FAST FAST if you ride it well.

I WISH to gosh I started with an SV as my first bike, I'd still have it. INstead, I'm really thinking strongly of getting an 07 ABS'ed SV next year.
 

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Great choice- yes there are parts to make the bike better and you won't spend a fortune. 1- racetec gold valves- ask a dealer. Best thing you can do for the front suspension. If you're willing, penske shock or works probably make one, too. 2- aftermarket slip on exhaust- full systems cost too much for that bike and a can will do fine in this case. 3- Injected bikes need to be re-mapped for the can or carb needs a jet kit if you buy an older model. 4- Better tires- grip means fun. 5- take a good riding school- Kevin Schawntz School, Primore's Star school, Keith Code's Superbike school- anythng is good- it will make you a better rider and you'll thank me for the idea: I know, I did the Schwantz school at Road Atlanta.

Remember, there is an entire races class based on these bikes. They are pretty fun in the right hands and will hang with any bike until it becomes a top speed contest and you're a fool if you only care about top speed.
 

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"I also outgrew thinking Harley's were the only bike for me."

Good for you.

The SV650 is a wonderful choice. Make note of anyone who tells you "you'll outgrow it" - that person is an a$$hat whose advice about anything should be ignored because of his empirical a$$hattery.
 

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"Well I think as a newbie you're bound to get bored with the SV at some point (probably within a year)"



Yeah. The SV650 is boring. Check out the road tests and the user reviews and the SV650 websites - that's the consensus. Boring. Check out the guys racing SV650s at club races - they're barely able to stifle their yawns while they're riding. Check out the review in the MO archive - it just says "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz".



Yep. Boring. That's the SV650.
 

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I've always felt the best way to pick your path, is to figure out what you want out of it, and what type of person you are.



Are you wanting to be a track guy - ninja 250 or 500 used, sv650, used supersport 600, new 1000. You can really learn to push the lower class bikes, and then be better to move up, than jumping onto a 1000 and crashing it a couple times a session. That get old.



If you're wanting to be a track guy, but feel that's too tedious, and you want to buy one bike and that's it, then maybe a several year old 1000, with more comfortable ergos, streetable power delivery, and price. Something like that.



If all of your friends are harley guys, well nothing is going to quite do it besides a cruiser, or a hardley.



If your like me, a SV650 (or and fz6, 599, 919, ninja 650,etc) is just totally fun and you'll never get bored with it, unless you are an adrelin junkie, or woried about what your friends think. then get a hayabusa.



Besides, if you decide you want more, you can always move to another bike without much worry. And the seond one will be the right one, if the first one wasn't exactly what you wanted.



Where and how you ride also make a difference. Are you a drag racer? Do you commute? Long commute? 100 mile tours? Back road bomber?



It's hard to go wrong with an SV650, considering the after market. If your more sport touring oriented, but on a budget a nice FZ6 may be right for you as well.
 

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no matter what bike you buy, in the first year you will find things you don't like about it and second guess youself. You will read about a new bike within a month after buying whatever bike you choose, and you will think you should have waited. But you never think about that stuff while you are actually riding a bike. Just buy one and enjoy it for what it is for a couple of years. Then sell it/trade it if you want something else.



I would suggest buying a used bike though because if you don't like it you won't lose as much money.



I would also go with the sv over the harley. As your skills improve that is a bike that you will not get bored with.
 

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Forget about accessories, upgrades, outgrowing and on and on, ie., quit worrying about all the wrong stuff. A mistake noobies and vets alike make over and over.



Do the following:

1. Go ride a LOT and have fun. Never ride over your head.

2. Spend the money you would have spent on accessories and upgrades on good riding gear and a riding school or two.



Then once you have some time & training under your belt and you start thinking and obsessing about that next bike - then is the time to upgrade the SV and hit the track!!



Have fun, ride well and quit worrying!!!
 

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Re: Also, BUY NEW.

Now figure in the additional tax, title, licensing, and insurance on the new bike versus used, and the fact you *can* find 1999-2002 first gen SV's for $3k or below as in my case.

Still think a new bike costs roughly the same?
 

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I too originally thought I had to have an HD. Then asked my self why do I want a motorcycle? Basically my motorcycle is my "poor man's" corvette or sportscar. However, after having a motorcycle for 5 years now vs the 2 sport cars I had for a total of 7 years. I would be bored with a sports car. Once you ride a motorcycle every car is boring.



Keep in mind, according to the experts interviewed in the movie Faster. Motroccycle racing is 80% rider 20% bike and car racing is 20% driver and 80% car. So if you get beat by someone on the motorcycle track he probably is the rider's skill not the bike. I think your choice of the SV650 is a great one. You have newbie friendly twin engine torque and a nice size. It can also be upgraded with a ton of after market gear. I started with a new supersport but I think you are doing the right thing.





Good luck have fun.. Take a MSF class
 

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Re: If you get

"I WISH to gosh I started with an SV as my first bike, I'd still have it. INstead, I'm really thinking strongly of getting an 07 ABS'ed SV next year."

Ditto for me. Having ABS in rainy Seattle would be a great safety feature
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didn't say the SV650 was boring, just commenting on the fact that it's human nature to get bored with things. I got bored with my ZX-10R earlier this year and sold it.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback! I love this site. Worth every penny and more. Just wished it looked better. And that maybe the category Icons matched the categories. =-)



I am still sold on the SV650, I will look for used first, it makes sense. Now the problem is that I do not know bikes too well. If this were a car, I would be set. I know cars very well, but bikes, well I hope they do not "see me coming". Other than spotting cosmetic flaws, I am at a loss. All I have is the MSF course and a passed DMV test. =-(

 
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