Yikes. Been lurking at this site for years now, and this is the first time I have been compelled to post. Are we purposely looking for discussions to get people all riled up about the sv650 now? Doent it happen enough on its own?
I have an SV650 ('99 the only good year for blue) and it is not good for light touring. Of course, it matters what you mean by light.
In my world, a light touring bike should be capable of taking the wife, a weekend's worth of clothes, a compliment of female beauty products, and a bottle of wine down to visit the in-laws. The SV just doesn't do this well. The problem is that luggage options are limited and the extra weight is very noticable.
I think something that integrates hard saddle bags and a tail bag well would do the job much better. I've tried soft saddle bags, but they tend to interfere with the passenger.
Better weather protection would be nice, but that doesn't seem to come into its own until you get to those long distance tourers like the BMW RT, ST100, FJR, and the ilk.
Is this really a good tourer? It looks sweet and apparently has the goods to make it go, but does it hold up well against heavy usage? If you put 10-15K on it per year, how much time will it spend in the shop? Inquiring minds want to know!
Not sure what you are looking for for power, but the Ninja 500 was comfy enough for me to do an 1100 mile weekend on one, has decent power and handles great. They are easily had for cheap too. The problem down on power though if you are a bigger person, or just plain power hungry.
Brand-spankin'-new for $6999.00 (maybe less... they probably don't fly off the dealers' floors) or get a used deal somewhere. Add a different windscreen for more protection and soft luggage and you're set!
Someone else mentioned a VFR... also a good choice for what you seem to want... according to this website
Thanks. Thats the real world info I'm looking for. They all look good on paper, don't they? BTW, I'm doing a mild street motard (oxymoron?) on my DR 650. It goes down the road nice, but catches whatever wind is out there.
Ditto that. These can be had for $6000-$6500 depending on left over '02 or '03 models. I own one. Definitely more emphasis on SPORT-tourer. Think of it as a middle-weight VFR800 without all of the technical mumbo-jumbo that you probably don't need and don't want to pay for anyway. Especially given the nature of your question...
-V Strom: Figure out a way to get along with the windshield buffeting and for anyone who's not too short of inseam this one's the best all arounder on the market right now, especially when you factor in the Fun Factor and the DL's small (yet still there) offroad ability. It's an amazing amount of Bike Competency, for the money.
-Naked SV (not the new S model), either 650 or 1000: There's nothing (onroad) one can't do on these bikes, once a simple $50 windshield is installed. It isn't quite as versatile as the V-Strom due to less wind protection, a less comfortable seating position (for most people) and far less passenger accomodations.
Plus, there's the hard bag issue, for those who care.
Regardless, it's right there, even moreso for those who wish to emphasize Sport over Tour. The overlooked key to either SV's (or the DL's) effectiveness as an all arounder is one common trait they all share: Eerily smooth motors at freeway cruising speeds.
-VFR: Obviously. Quite a bit more expensive and not quite as comfortable as the V-Strom for either the rider or passenger, and definitely lacking any off road ability whatsoever. Also, its relative lack of grunt loses points to the DL, but for many it more than makes up for these things with its superior sporting prowess, superior build quality and basic all around excellence.
The owner of a VFR can pretty much expect a couple hundred thousand trouble free miles out of his bike. Not so, with the DL or either SV, all of which employ v twin motors of comparitively shaky longevity.
How much does that aspect matter to you?
Too bad though about the addition of that accursed V-TEC, in lieu of the old gear driven cams. Sure wish they'd put it back to where it was, and punch it out to a proper Sport Touring 1000 ccs, while dropping maybe 30-50 lbs.
At that point there'd be little reason to buy anything else.
-FZ1: Pretty good all arounder, though better as a sport bike than as a tourer due to its relative lack of wind protection and buzzy as ***** motor. Other than on a dyno and on a spec sheet it really offers no true advantage over the V-Strom in real world sport riding, where the DL feels punchier and handles every bit as well, if not even better, most of the time.
However, if you spend great amounts of time at well over 120 mph than there's your relevant advantage of the FZ1 over the DL.
-Aprilia Tuono and Futura: Assuming, of course, you can get past the cost, Italian Bike/Small Dealer Network Ownership Hassles, poor resale value (especially the Futura), horrific drive lash, motor heat which bakes the rider on warm days (Futura), floppy mirrors, etc, ad nauseum....
Other than those issues, and considering the really good points of both bikes, well, sure, why not?
First, keep in mind that I ride Harley-Davidsons and BMWs. Also, my idea of touring is hop on that pig and ride 8 to 12 hours a day to get from point A to point B, enjoy what is in between and repeat...over and over again.....and yes, I ride to work daily, grocery shop and just about everything else on them. Oh yeah, I am also not from California, so I do not have the West Coast Sport Bike affliction....
Sport Touring - Kawasaki Concours. That is a whole lot of buzzy motorcycle for the money! But honestly not all that much worse than any other older design inline 4 or BMW Oil Head (and certainly no worse than a K1100). Nothing a set of those cushy grips and a nice set of touring gloves can't fix. $8,199, can probably be had cheaper.
Sporty "Cruiser" Tourer - Any Moto Guzzi with a set of bags and a windsheild. Resonably priced, bullet proof and now comes in 1000cc and 750cc flavors. Always been a lot of bike for the money.
Full Blown Tourer - Kawasaki Voyager, that appears not to be a current model any longer. But for under $13K no one could even get close to it for value-comfort. Butt ugly comfort, but you did say 'for the money'. Almost bought one in a fit of anger at BMW and Harley, over pricing...then I remembered what that damn mini-van cost....but that was still cheaper than having an older Benz and working in it myself...
Say what you want, a small bike makes a lousy long distance mount for even an average sized rider. SV650 is a fine bike, but a tourer it ain't. A CBR/GSX/KZ anything as a tourer? Ok, if touring means out and back in a day, where are you going to put your stuff for a week (or so) on the road?
I agree the Connie is the lowest cost touring bike. I got over 50K on a 2001 and haven't had any problems to talk about. You can pick up a used one for under $5K, with low mileage, they haven't changed the model since 1994, so any year greater then 94 will be the same.
For the record, the simple addition of a $50 windshield and a set of hard mounted Ventura Luggage allowed me to take my wife on a 4000+ mile sport touring trip through the western states and British Columbia.
That being the case, and as a former owner of, lessee here, an ST1100, ST1300ABS (yep!), VFR, V-Strom, Bandit 1200S and a BMW R1100R, just to name a few, I feel somewhat qualified to beg to differ with anyone who says the little naked SV can't do perfectly fine as a light tourer.