Suzuki’s SV650 debuted in 1999 and immediately conjured a spirited cult following that’s only grown since then.
The SV650 motor is a polished powerplant that provides top-tier performance, head-turning style and excellent fuel economy.
In this article, we’ll take a look at its average lifespan…
Here is the short answer to how long Suzuki SV650s last:
The SV650 can last over 85,000 miles before requiring an engine rebuild. Its class-leading, liquid-cooled 649cc V-twin engine is more than capable of moving its lightweight frame without incurring excessive wear and tear. Its longevity is dependant on the owner maintaining it and riding it responsibly.
How Many Miles Can a Suzuki SV650 Last?
The SV650 can last a really long time if its owner rides, maintains, and stores it per Suzuki’s spec instructions, such as running a clean air filter, valve inspections and adjustments, constant oil changes, and routine scheduled maintenance.
But don’t take our word for it; we crawled through the forums looking for a few real-life examples of SV650s with well over 100,000 miles on the clock:
- One long-time SV650 rider writes that if it’s been maintained decently, an SV650 is barely broken-in at 50,000 miles, bragging an odometer reading of 130,000 on their old faithful 2nd generation model.
- An owner of multiple SV650s agreed that a routinely maintained SV would get 85,000+ miles between rebuilds. If you have the time and resources to replace the rings and adjust or replace their valves, you can probably start over and slap another 85k on the same SV650’s clock.
- A third rider we encountered noted that they’ve ridden their SV650 as hard as they could for their first 60,000 miles without a single issue, saying as long as you check the valves and change the fluids, you can ride for as many miles as you want on an SV650.
That said, the most significant factor in how many miles an SV650 will last is you, the owner.
Routine service maintenance is a key variable in bike longevity.
Unfortunately, many street bike riders assume that a typical service consists of a quick oil and filter change, but service also means routine inspections.
You, your mechanic, or Suzuki’s service techs should go through your street bike with the same detailed checklist Suzuki provided in the specific owner’s manual of your year-model SV650.
- When your service manual says “inspect and adjust as needed,” they mean more than just assessing the bike’s appearance.
- Inspecting your clutch cable, for example, means inspecting, lubricating, and adjusting, and not just squeezing the lever a few times.
- Valve clearance needs to be maintained at a specific spec. Valves inevitably need adjustment and will likely need replacement at some point.
- This makes inspecting your SV650’s valves at the intervals outlined in your service manual imperative to your bike’s longevity.
In summary, a Suzuki SV650 can last for well over 85,000 miles before it needs any sort of rebuilding, providing its owner conducts routine inspections and service maintenance.
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How Reliable Are Suzuki SV650s?
The Suzuki SV650 is one of the most reliable mid-sized V twin street motorcycles on the market and has been since the first generation. If you maintain your SV650 correctly, it will remain a reliable, high-performing road-ripper for years.
Take a peek at the Suzuki forums, and you’ll note hundreds of SV650 owners are telling you that their SV650 is the best bike they ever owned.
I heard from one Suzuki enthusiast that he’s owned two 2nd generations and sold them both with over 70,000 miles on them to get a 3rd generation, noting he’s never had a problem with any of them.
It’s not uncommon to see SV650’s with over 100,000 miles worth of mileage that still perform reliably, and that’s considering that many mid-sized roadster rippers ride their transmissions hard and stunt their 650s all day long!
To be clear, in this article, we consider reliability to be how often the bike is in the shop due to repairs, whereas longevity is how long the cycle lasts.
A well-kept SV650 spends most of its time on the road, thanks to its class-dominating, 645cc, DOHC, V-twin engine and the robust and torque-rich horsepower it produces.
The engine’s 90-degree L-twin configuration has perfect primary balance.
Couterbalancers put stress on a bike’s power supply and minor wear and tear on its primary.
The SV650’s 90-degree L-twin configuration has a perfectly balanced primary – it doesn’t use a counterbalancer, making it objectively more reliable than bikes that do
Suzuki designed the SV650’s motor to be energy-efficient with unique pistons that were engineered using Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis to achieve optimal rigidity and weight.
What does this have to do with reliability?
Each piston skirt has a special resin coating, and the other sliding parts are treated in a way that reduces friction and increases durability – making the SV650 one of the most reliable mid-sized v-twin street bikes available on the market today.
Like longevity, SV650 reliability is heavily dependent on owner habits like storage, maintenance, and how often they ride their bike.
What is Considered High Mileage for a Suzuki SV650?
The used market considers a Suzuki SV650 high mileage after 30,000 miles based on the assumption that all street bikes are pushed hard past the redline and stomped on their transmissions. There are SV650s on the road with 140,000 miles; mileage has little bearing on its lifespan.
If the previous owner stored the bike properly, serviced it regularly, you might be able to get a good deal on a high-mile SV650 that still has plenty of life left.
For more on high-mile SC650s, let’s turn back to the forums for some real-life rider info:
“80,000 Hard miles (on an SV6500) here!! If you change the fluids periodically, check the valves, change your spark plugs, and treat it right, it will last around 100.000+ miles.”
They go on to note that the chances are that you won’t get to 100k miles before you decide to try something new, but that’d be the only reason this rider can think of why a responsible SV650 rider wouldn’t hit a hundred K.
“Mine will turn over 100,000 early this coming Spring. I had my first valve inspection at 72,000 miles, and they’re all in spec, believe it or not!”
This rider adds that they don’t “baby” their bike either; they push its rugged motor as hard as it will them.
“Bought my 07 new, now has 65,000 miles. I’ve burned through many tires, some brakes, and a couple of sets of spark plugs. it’s going strong, and just recently started burning 4 ounces of oil between changes, but only if I hammer on it.”
This road-ripper ranted that their new Corbin seat and Elka triple clicker made it feel like a new bike and said they couldn’t wait to join the vastly-growing online community of SV650 riders with over 100,000 miles on their clocks.
So in review, an SV650 is considered to be high-mileage after 30,000 miles, but that doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its life, it really depends on well the bike has looked after.
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What Are the Best Model Years to Buy and Avoid?
Best Years: 2022 and 2020
The best year Suzuki SV650 is the most recent 2022 model. The SV650 has a cult following behind it. Thus it’s one of Suzuki’s priorities for annual upgrades and improvements.
Here are a few features that make 2022 the best model so far:
- The 2022 SV650’s Glass Sparkle Black bodywork, metallic gold frame, and blacked-out wheels have a style that stuns.
- Its trellis-style frame is constructed of high-strength steel tubes, keeping the SV650’s weight low and chassis trim.
- The trim bodywork design looks good and adds new levels of comfort and maneuverability.
- Not only does the muffler come with a new, brushed stainless steel cover, but it’s also positioned to permit great lean angles when cornering.
- Dual four-piston Tokico brake calipers up front grasp a pair of 290mm fully floating stainless steel rotors for a stopping power that some say leads the 650 class.
- Its 645cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90-degree, L-twin engine has a primary balanced so good it rips up the range like a rocket, from idle to a 10k RPM redline.
- The Advanced EFI system includes Suzuki’s Low RPM Assist feature that adjusts your take-off speed like a ghost rider, and low-speed runs a smooth power delivery performance like before.
If we’re anything alike, those new-school specs have you drooling at the thought of a brand-new Suzuki SV650; and it’s not in the cards…
There’s always the golden-choice option of the used 2020 model for those like us.
- The 2020 year model SV650 looked fly with its SV650’s exposed frame, and Metallic Mystic Silver bodywork rolled hard on its cast-aluminum wheelset.
- The blue trellis-style frame was just as light and trim as the current model, fabbed from the same high-strength steel tubes.
- 2020 had the same perfect balance as its Liquid-cooled, 645cc motor with the same quick rip through the gears.
Worst Years: 2003
The worst year-model Suzuki SV650 to buy used was 2003. Parts can be complicated to find on the ‘03 model; while some components are universal from 2003 and up, Suzuki upgraded many of the ‘03 features the following year.
This isn’t necessarily a huge issue, but you need to make sure you know the parts you’re buying will fit, so if you’re the owner of an ‘03, no disrespect, but be vigilant.
A few of the non-interchangeable parts on the ‘03 SV650 are its:
- Tail fairings,
Also, although not hugely prevalent, a Suzuki enthusiast I encountered claimed they’ve seen more odd mechanical/electrical issues with 2003 models than any other year 2nd gen.
That said, the SV650 is known to be reliable. 2003 can still be a score—if the previous owner took care of the bike. 2003 SVs can go 100K miles without fail as quickly as any other year model.
But to adequately answer our reader’s questions, we had to choose the worst year model:
- There are always a few kinks to be worked out in the first year model, and 2003 marked the first year of the second generation SV650.
- Suzuki worked out a few kinks and replaced a few parts streamlining the later models a bit more than the ‘03.
What Usually Breaks First on a Suzuki SV650?
The first thing to break on a Suzuki is an SV650 is its valve seals, especially if the bike’s owner isn’t inspecting and adjusting its valves per the owner’s manual maintenance schedule.
Replacing the Valves seals on an SV650:
- Consult the Shop Manual
- Perform a compression test.
- If you’re a less experienced home mechanic, get a professional leak-down test done to isolate the problematic area, whether it’s the rings, seals, or the valves themselves that are acting up.
- Compression and leak-down tests will likely return typical results if the problem is just the valve seals.
- The easiest way to replace your valves is with the heads off, as trying to get the valve springs off to get to the seals is difficult.
- Once you get the heads off and the valve springs, pull the old seals off with a pick and slide the new seals on and seat them to the guide using a deep socket that fits the top of the seal.
Note: There are tools out there that’ll let you remove and reinstall valve springs and retainers without removing the head. This makes the job easier, faster, and cheaper.
The summarize, the valve seals are the first thing to wear out on an SV650, but that’s not a huge deal. It can also be prevented by routine maintenance.
Here’s what one SV650 owner said about keeping up with their valve seals:
“I changed my seals last winter when I had the heads off and apart already even though they only had 13k on them, as there is no better time than the present. Easy work when the head is on the bench but not so easy when left on the motor. I know some tools allow us to do it quickly….motorcycle insurance cost.”
If you inspect and adjust your seals regularly, you can hope to avoid this issue.
Suzuki SV650 Maintenance Costs
The Maintenance costs of a Suzuki SV650 are average considering it’s a state-of-the-art street bike. The more you keep up with the maintenance, the cheaper the ownership costs are long-term.
Here are a few examples of SV650 maintenance prices:
- $350 for a set of tires
- $150 for a stator replacement
- $80 for a new battery
- $150 for fork seals, bushings, snap rings, washers, seals, and fluid
- $100 for the wheel bearings front and rear
- $60 an oil change
- $200-$500 for a full-service inspection(recommended)
There are other ownership costs to factor in, such as:
- Jacket = $200
- Gloves = $100
- Winter riding gear = $200-$500
- Rain gear = $75-$300
- Helmets = $100-$500
- Fuel = $15 a tank
- Storage =$?
- Insurance =average cost of motorcycle insurance for a mid-sized v-twin street bike like the SV650 is $721 a year.
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How Long Do SV650 Brakes Last?
SV650 brake pads can be expected to last for 10,000 miles on average if using it as a commuter. The number of miles your Suzuki’s breaks will stay decreases quickly if your SV650 is a stunt bike, if you brake rough, or if you ride the brakes in curves at high speeds.
The SV650 is a high-performance mid-sized street bike meant for standard road ripping. Aggressive riding habits and poor road conditions can cut down your brake pads reduce mileage, reliability, and longevity.
Examine your Suzuki brake pads every 2,500 miles to ensure they’re still safe and in good working order.
How Long Do SV650 Tires Last?
A rear Suzuki SV650 tire is expected to last around 5,000- 10,000 miles if ridden responsibly. A front tire is expected to last between 10,000 and 15,000 miles. However, no SV650 tire is safe to ride on after five years, regardless of bike mileage.
The lifespan of a tire varies significantly depending on whether you are commuting per the bike’s intended function, stunt riding, or ripping up roads in extreme weather climates.
To extend the life of your tires, check your tire pressure after riding in harsh conditions, inflating as needed.
Improper tire pressure on a Suzuki SV650 can cause:
- Poor braking performance
- Decreased handling and riding precision
- Poor fuel economy
4 Tips to Make Sure Your Suzuki SV650 Lasts Long
Regular and proper cleaning, storage, and maintenance are critical to keeping your SV650 on the road and performing reliably for 80,000+ miles.
It’s also the key to having an exhilarating but smooth, fun, and safe ride zipping through town on one of the premier street bikes on the market.
1) Clean your SV650 with Suzuki-Approved Cleaning Products
Keeping your SV650 free of dirt and grime is a great way to extend its life span.
That said, the wrong cleaning chemicals will corrode some components. Be sure to use products designed to be used not just on any street motorcycle, even this well-made jewel of a Suzuki.
2) Ride your SV650 Properly—Ride Often
An SV650 that’s been sitting unused for an extended period is often full of old fluids. Expired bike fluids can cause corrosion to your street bike’s lines.
To ride responsibly:
- Avoid starting your SV650 in the below-freezing temperatures.
- Avoid idling your SV650 for long periods in sweltering weather.
- Avoid redlining your SV650.
- Don’t stunt-ride your SV650.
3) Follow Suzuki’s Suggested Schedule For Regular Service Maintenance
Your SV650 should be serviced according to its owner’s manual schedule. You also want to service your Suzuki street bike before storing it for long periods.
A healthy service includes:
- Oil and filter change
- Replace or clean air filter
- Refill fluids
- Inspect tire pressure and tread, replace when worn
- Check brake pads and lines
- Inspect and replace old batteries
- Grease chains
As we mentioned earlier, legitimate service entails more than just an oil change, but a close examination of fluid levels and condition and every component on the bike.
4) Store Your Bike Properly
Store your Suzuki SV650 away from dirt, rain, UV rays, and moisture when not in use.
It doesn’t have to be stored indoors; with a high-quality tarp, holding it outside might work, but keeping your street bike indoors is the general suggestion.
That said, take care not to store your SV650 in the proximity of corrosive chemicals, as airborne chemicals can cause corrosion as well.