The ever-popular Suzuki SV650 V-twin will be available at Suzuki dealers in June as an early-release 2017 model, Suzuki has announced.
The MSRP will be $6,999 for the SV650 and $7,499 for the SV650 ABS. It's probably not coincidence that the non-ABS version is just $9 more than the MSRP of the newest, most interesting competition in the class, the Yamaha FZ-07. At that price point, I expect the SV650 will resume its former role of providing a great value proposition in the mid-size category, but we'll know more after Spurgeon gets a first ride on this new version of an old favorite.
A little testing time is definitely called for, because Suzuki says the new SV650 features plenty of changes over its predecessor: 60 new parts in the engine and 80 new parts in the chassis. You still get the same basic engine design, however, with an 645 cc 90-degree V-twin that always was an overachiever. That engine is one of the main reasons the SV650 was so popular. People rode them for everything from commuting to work to weekend amateur racing, where the SV often kept up with bikes that should have been faster.
The original SV650 eventually morphed into the Gladius and the SFV650, but the new bike appears to return the model back to its roots, which should be a good thing. The base SV650 will be available in "pearl mira red" or "pearl glacier white," while the ABS version will come in the red only.
The appeal of the 650 always was its versatility. You could leave it stock and have an affordable but competent motorcycle with agile handling and a torquey engine. Or you could upgrade the suspension and modify it into a fun track-day or race bike. The reborn SV650 sticks to that script with its four-valve, liquid-cooled V-twin, triple disc brakes and 17-inch wheels that let you choose long-lived sport-touring tires or sticky sport rubber, depending on the mission.
Watch for Spurgeon's first ride impressions later this month.