8 Common Suzuki SV650 Problems (Solved & Explained)

The Suzuki SV650 is a versatile midrange motorcycle known as a reliable bike for multiple riding styles.

That said, like any other machine, the Suzuki SV650 has some quirks owners and moto-shoppers should be aware of.

This article explores the eight most common problems with the Suzuki SV650. We’ll help you isolate the symptoms, share reports from real-life riders, and provide tips on preventing these common issues from surfacing.

1. Strange Engine Sounds

One of the most reported issues with the Suzuki SV650 is the strange ticking, clicking, or whistling sounds from the engine. There are several theories on the origin of these sounds, but none suggest a mechanical failure. If the noises increase or change, run diagnostics to be sure.

SV650 owners had this to say on SVrider.com:

“Ticking, clicking, etc. is common in SVs and originates from the cam chains, perfectly normal, so long as it is not extraordinarily loud

“I just bought a 05 650s about a week and a half ago, and it is my first bike… I just started noticing a ticking noise when I accelerated and wanted to know if that was normal or if I should get it checked out.”

“Heat rising from the engine causes fuel vapor to form in the tank. The vapor gets vented through the fuel filler cap, creating a high-pitched whistling sound.”

“My standard SV emits a high pitch noise after I turn the motor off when the motor is hot. I do not know what it is, but it does not seem to affect the bike at all.”

How to Solve:

  • Change your SV650 oil regularly, using high-quality motor oil, to reduce engine noise and keep the bike running smoothly.
  • Ensure valve clearances are checked and adjusted per your owner’s manual recommendations.
  • If the noise persists, changes, or worsens, have a Suzuki-literate mechanic inspect the engine.

How to Prevent:

Preventing engine noise in the SV650 primarily comes down to regular maintenance. Keeping up with services, using the correct type of oil, and ensuring that the bike is tuned correctly can all help keep your SV650 running smoothly and quietly.

2. Hard Starting in Cold Weather

Another problem commonly reported by Suzuki SV650 riders is that the bike is hard to start without stalling out in the cold, especially on older, carbureted models. In other cases, cold weather kills the battery or wears the spark plugs, causing the bike to take its time firing up.

Owners on SVrider.com had this to say:

“I bought a 2002 SV650 with 41K miles when I bought it, and around 46k miles now in May or June this year. I ride pretty much every day, either to school or to work. I have changed the oil twice, had the chain and sprockets replaced, and replaced the clutch cable.

“Now that it is getting colder, the coldest it has been 37f, up to about 50f, it seems to have trouble starting. It will start, but it takes a few tries. I cannot start it with the choke on; it just won’t, so I have been starting it with it off and revving it up. Once warmed up, she runs perfectly, as far as I can tell. Once warm, she idles at around 1.3k and can sit all day and won’t stall out.”

“I if there is something wrong with my stator or starter or what. My bike kills batteries in a year, and it REALLY hates the cold. It’s only in the 60s, and it’s already having trouble starting, and as soon as it gets really cold (probably 40s is the coldest it gets here), it just won’t start.”

“Always have difficulty with cold starts. The colder it is, the harder it is to start… then the battery would discharge from cranking, you get the picture.”

How to Solve:

  • Cold weather can significantly impact a battery’s performance, making it harder for your SV650 to start. If you’re experiencing cold start issues, check your battery’s health and replace it if necessary.
  • Worn or dirty spark plugs struggle to ignite your SV650’s fuel-air mixture in your engine, especially in colder temperatures. Regularly checking and replacing your spark plugs can help alleviate this issue.

How to Prevent:

To prevent cold weather from starting difficulties on your Suzuki SV650, consider investing in a motorcycle battery tender. This device maintains your battery’s charge during periods of inactivity, ensuring it has enough power to start your bike even on the coldest days.

Regular maintenance checks and proper winterization can also go a long way in preventing this issue.

3. Exhaust System Run Hot

Although it is not the most prevalent complaint with the Suzuki SV650, a few riders have complained about their exhaust systems getting too hot. The heat generated by the SV650 is typically the result of the high-performance nature of the engine’s tuning.

One SV650 owner had this to say on SVrider.com:

“After a few seconds of revving, the exhaust will get red hot right where it comes off the engine head (front and back)… The cooling system works fine. I also noticed, after shutting off the engine, that the oil in the window looked aerated. Also, the sparkplugs look dark with some moistness. The bike did run smoothly as butter, but now it’s rough with more noise.”

On a thread about exhaust upgrades for the SV650, two owners preferred their aftermarket exhaust systems specifically because they don’t get as hot as the stock:

“Black parts of the canister do not get hot regardless of how long you ride. I can ride for 2 hours and grab it instantly.”

“Doesn’t get anywhere near as hot as stock can.”

How to Solve:

  • Invest in quality heat shields or exhaust wraps designed to fit your year-model SV650. These products are designed to reduce the amount of heat that radiates from the exhaust pipes, making your SV650 ride more comfortable.
  • While a hot exhaust can be uncomfortable, it’s also a sign that your SV650 is working hard.
  • Always wear appropriate gear to protect yourself from the heat and ride safely.

How to Prevent:

Ensuring that your Suzuki SV650’s cooling system is functioning correctly can help manage the heat generated by the engine and exhaust.

Related: How Long Do Suzuki SV650 Last? (9 Important Facts)

4. Clogged Fuel Injectors

Clogged fuel injectors are another issue that can plague the Suzuki SV650, especially after poor maintenance. This problem can cause the engine to run lean, which means there’s too much air and not enough fuel in the engine’s combustion mix. This can lead to poor performance and potential damage to the cylinder head.

“Got the throttle body off and access to injectors. The pressure-fed solvent, while hitting the 12-v connection on the injector terminals, does not produce a clicking relay sound (if, in fact, an SV injector is supposed to make a sound), and no spray is pushed out the injector holes. Gonna try soaking in injector cleaner…”

How to Solve:

  • Use a fuel injector cleaner, which is added to the fuel tank and works to dissolve deposits and contaminants within the fuel system.
  • If the problem persists, have the injectors professionally cleaned or replaced.

How to Prevent:

Using high-quality fuel, changing your fuel filter at the recommended intervals, and using a fuel system cleaner periodically can all help keep your SV650’s fuel injectors in good working order.

5. Engine Overheating

Owners of first-generation Suzuki SV650s complained about their engines running so hot that the bike’s performance would dip and the throttle would lag.

“I’ve recently purchased a 03 sv650s from a private seller. The bike has 14k miles, and I thought it was in pretty good condition, but I’m having issues with the throttle getting really weak and the engine choking up whenever it gets hot. It seems to run perfectly fine as soon as I start it up, but then the hotter it gets, the worse it performs. If I start giving it too much throttle, then it seems like the engine isn’t getting any fuel, then the bike starts jerking around due to engine braking, and it’s just a rough ride. The throttle is also really weak when this starts happening.” -SVrider.com

How to Solve:

  • Ensure that the cooling system is functioning properly.
  • Check the coolant level and quality, ensuring the radiator is clean and not blocked with debris and verifying that the thermostat and water pump are working correctly.
  • If overheating persists despite these checks, it may be necessary to have a professional mechanic inspect the bike.

How to Prevent:

Regularly changing the coolant and keeping the radiator clean can help prevent overheating. Additionally, avoid idling in extremely hot weather or heavy traffic, where the bike can’t get enough airflow.

6. Charging System Failures

Charging system failures are another common issue with older Suzuki SV650s. The charging system includes the Stator and Regulator/Rectifier and is responsible for keeping the battery charged and supplying power to the electrical components of the bike.

This issue may be related to the hot engine issue discussed above, as radiant engine heat can burn out charging system components early. Faulty R/R and Stators can lead to total battery failure.

“In both my current and previous SVs, I’ve had to replace the battery in each one. Needed to charge the batteries quite often, relatively on both SVs. Replaced one rectifier. Had to jump-start numerous times.”

“I’ve had to replace my RR twice, once at 50,000 and again at 120,000, but it never kept my SV from starting & running; sure, I had to put it on a battery charger, but I had no problem starting it, and riding it to the dealer for repair.”

How to Solve:

  • Perform routine battery, stator, and Regulator/Rectifier checks with a multimeter.
  • If the charging system is not producing enough power, it may be necessary to replace components such as the stator or regulator/rectifier.

How to Prevent:

To prevent charging system issues, keep your SV650’s battery in good condition, ensuring all connections are clean and secure. Use a battery tender when the bike isn’t in use to keep your battery charged and lasting long.

Related: Is a Suzuki SV650 a Good Beginner Bike? (11 Important Facts)

7. Bike Stalls While Riding/At Start-Up

Owners of SV650 models sometimes report stalling problems, either while riding or at start-up. On older year models, the primary culprit is a clogged or dirty carburetor.

The cause of a newer SV650’s stalling can be related to some of the other issues in this article. It could be related to the fuel system, such as clogged fuel injectors or a faulty fuel pump. It could also be due to electrical issues, such as a weak battery or problems with the ignition system.

The starter is fine quick but just won’t fire up… it happens on my sv650. I have to crank it for a minute or so, and it finally fires up.

[My Suzuki SV650] started right up the first time I hit the button, but it stalled after 2 seconds…”

How to Solve:

  • Inspect your fuel system—injectors and pump—for any clogs.
  • Rebuild your SV 650’s carburetor.
  • have a Suzuki-literate mechanic inspect the bike.

How to Prevent:

Keeping your battery in good condition, ensuring your fuel system is clean and functioning correctly, and regularly checking your ignition system can all help prevent stalling.

8. Faulty Rear Suspension

Riders often complain about the suspensions on the SV650 falling out of adjustment or feeling rougher as the clock moves more miles.

The rear suspension on the SV650 consists of a single shock absorber. If you’re experiencing issues, it could be due to worn-out components, incorrect preload settings, or a lack of suspension maintenance.

How to Solve:

  • Regularly inspect the rear suspension for any signs of wear or damage. If you’re experiencing a rough ride.
  • Adjust the preload settings or replace worn-out components.

How to Prevent:

Keeping your SV650’s suspension components in good condition and ensuring they are correctly adjusted for your weight and riding style can help prevent issues. Get your SV650’s suspension professionally serviced at the recommended intervals to ensure it remains in good working order.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the Suzuki SV650?


  • Versatility.
  • Powerhouse of a V-Twin Engine
  • Affordability
  • Low Seat Height
  • Stylish bike with character
  • Efficient mid-range torque
  • Easy handling
  • Reliable
  • Comfortable riding position
  • Fun to Ride
  • Fast


  • Strange Engine noises
  • Had starting in cold
  • Hot Exhaust
  • Clogged Fuel Injectors
  • Overheating
  • Charging System Failures
  • Stalls while riding/at startup (if the fuel system isn’t maintained)
  • Rear suspension goes out of adjustment

What Do the Reviews Say?

“Overall, the SV is a fantastic real-world, mid-size V-twin naked bike. Owners universally praise it for its ease of riding, handling, and superb engine, and its manageability and affordability are worth highlighting, too. It’s even brilliant on a track day!”

What Are Some Alternative Models to the Suzuki SV650?

Make/Model MSRP MPG
Suzuki SV650 $7,299 51
Yamaha MT-07 $8,199 47
Kawasaki Z650 $7,749 48
Honda CB650R $9,399 47
Triumph Trident 660 $8,095 49
Triumph Street Twin 900 $10,74758.9 mpg

What’s the Resale Value?

Year Mileage Used Listing Price
2020 4,554 $6,695
2019 3,900 $6,195
2017 5,970 $7,900
2022 – $5,310 – $6,985
2018 9,804 $6,460


Suzuki SV650 (2016-on) Review | Speed, Specs & Prices | MCN (motorcyclenews.com)

2023 Yamaha MT-07 Buyer’s Guide: Specs, Photos, Price | Cycle World

Suzuki SV650 MPG – Actual MPG from 333 Suzuki SV650 owners (fuelly.com)

Used SV650 For Sale – Suzuki Motorcycles – Cycle Trader

Used Suzuki SV650 ABS motorcycles for sale – MotoHunt


  • Michael Ta Nous

    I've been weaving words into stories since my early scribbling days, and my journey in the world of motorcycles and their communities spans almost two decades. Living with a talented motorcycle mechanic as a roommate, our garage transformed into a vibrant workshop where I absorbed the intricacies of...