04 July 2012

"All Twins Vibrate."

That's what the guy said... "All twins vibrate. Some vibrate worse than others."
And he should know. In his garage were four BMWs and two Moto Guzzis. He was rebuilding a vintage BMW... it was on a lift table in pieces. He knew a lot about BMWs and Moto Guzzis.

I've since purchased and ridden three twins that vibrate less than most...
Two BMWs and the "Pizza Bike", (my Moto Guzzi).
And yeah, they vibrate. But there are vibrations, and there are V I B R A T I O N S !
Vibration levels on Pizza Bike are noticeable at certain engine speeds, but they're not annoying.
The BMWs vibrate at low RPM but smooth out quickly above about 2000 revs and their vibrations are actually kinda soothing.
The "new" Suzuki has an engine configuration similar to the Guzzi, but...
More on that later.

So pictured above is my new-to-me Suzuki... a 2003 SV650.
And I finally figured out what happened that confused me-
I shoulda known more about what I was buying.

The BAD?
-I went to eBay and entered "Suzuki VStrom" in the search block. When this bike appeared I didn't know enough about Suzukis to know an "SV" from a "DL"...
(The "DL" model designates the VStrom, the SV is the Sportbike from which the DL was derived.)
So I bid on and won a bike that was somehow in the wrong eBay section, different from what I really wanted. As I've said before, it is VERY UNCOMFORTABLE to ride more than a half-hour or so.

-It was only a four-hour drive away. We jumped in the Dodge/Cummins and drove the four hours, met the seller and consumated the deal, loaded the bike, went to eat dinner, then drove four hours back home and arrived just after darkness fell... quite a pleasurable experience.
-When we loaded it in the truck it had only 3492 miles on it. The seller bought the bike for his wife thinking she could ride it alongside  him. She apparently came to a stop and the bike began to fall to the right and she couldn't stop it, resulting in three small cracks/scratches in the right fairing adjacent to the headlight. It scared her and she quit riding. He actually put most of the 3500 miles on it just keeping the battery charged and the engine exercised. Other than the minor scratches on the fairing, the bike is like NEW.
- Although the seating position is uncomfortable, there is a fix...
I've ordered a kit to raise the handlebars and move them slightly rearward. I'm hopeful this will solve my main complaint with the bike because...
-The engine is a GEM.
Red-lined at 11,000 rpm, it revs easily, sounds GREAT, and the bike goes like STINK. (They also make this bike in a 1,000cc version, and I cannot imagine anyone being comfortable using that kind of power!)
Vibration? Yeah, I guess there is some. But it is so minimal I hate to call it that. I'm not exaggerating when I say this SV650 comes very close to the smoothness of my six-cylinder opposed 1500cc GoldWing. For a twin, it is SMOOTH!
-I'm still trying to figure out how to reset the tripmeter/odometer/clock in the dash display. The owner had lost the owner's handbook and I've been unable to find one online so far. My (possibly erroneous) calculations on my initial fuel mileage put it at a little over 50 mpg. I DID finally figure out how to zero the tripmeter on my last fillup, so I'll have an exact figure for ya later.

So, am I happy with it?
Not yet. But the handlebar kit and Go Cruise throttle control I recently ordered will, I hope, make the bike more comfortable when installed.

I'll let ya know.


John said...

The service manual is available here:

John said...

User manual is available from Suzuki for $20.
Here's a scan:

Brady Steffl said...


I read this this morning, and forgot I didn't comment. I enjoyed it, particularly that you rolled with the punches when you didn't quite wind up with what you thought you were getting. I hope it treats you well, and I would really outfit the riding style of that thing as best you can. I love the long rides on my Connie, but I regret going the "easy" route and only installing 2" risers and NOT the 2" risers with pullback because I would have had to change the lines. The power is great, the back pain is not. Enjoy it, I hope to hear more stories.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Old NFO said...

Sounds like it's coming together for ya. Will be interested to see pics of the new bars and the comparison!

Greybeard said...

Thanks John for taking the time to share the links. I'll buy the owner's manual ASAP.
Brady, I miss the smaller bikes.
One of the guys that comes by here often, BZ, just bought a Yamaha 200cc dual-purpose bike. What fun!

I love the 'Wing for eating concrete, and the stereo is better than anything I own with four wheels, but it's almost NO fun at all.
Riding should put a smile on yer face, don't ya think? ;>)

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

As you already know, this isn't even close to a VStrom. There is the VStrom in 1000, and the "WeeStrom" in 650.

But trust me, there isn't ANYthing "wee" about a 650 VStrom. The 650 VStrom is THE biggest 650 I've ever seen. It's damned near as big as the 1000.

The VStrom has a more laid back ergonomic. Your SV, not so much.

But, yes, the engines on both are BULLETproof.

And my Yamaha-ha-ha, a TW200 with big ol' FAT tires, is still more fun than TWO barrels of monkeys!

I've had more fun on that thing than I've had on bikes six times its displacement.

The only thing I've gotta figure out is the proper back rack, and a good trunk that is sufficiently large to carry my photo and video equipment.


Ed Bonderenka said...

Any bike is better than no bike.