After a three-year hiatus, Suzuki’s mid-size SFV 650 returns to its U.S. street bike model line-up for ’13. This beginner-friendly motorcycle offers a lively V-Twin engine and easy handling for those looking to experience the thrill of motorcycling (find out more in the 2009 Suzuki Gladius Comparison).
This motorcycle is cued off the classic SV650—a motorcycle cult favorite regarded for its performance-to-price ratio. Suzuki’s middleweight pumps out a smooth spread of useable power that makes it perfect for jetting around town courtesy of its liquid-cooled 645cc V-Twin engine. For 2013 it gets even better with the fitment of a crankshaft with more rotating inertia (which increases acceleration), updated intake/exhaust tract lengths and a bump in the efficiency of the exhaust system. A manual-style six-speed transmission and clutch transfer power back to the rear wheel via a conventional chain final drive.
The engine is hung in a trellis-style steel frame in which the engine is partially exposed. A plush non-adjustable fork (4.9 in. travel) and spring preload-adjustable-only shock (5.1 in. travel) dampens bumps and the harsh effects of broken pavement. Triple disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power. However, no ABS is offered. The SFV offers an upright riding position and a friendly 30.9-inch tall seat. It tips the scales at 446 pounds with its 3.8-gallon fuel tank topped off, though due to its wheelbase (56.9 in.) and compact external dimensions it feels lighter than what the spec chart claims.
Although it hasn’t seen any huge technical changes the new bike carries a hefty price increase ($1100) compared to the ’09 model with its MSRP now at $7999. Bikes arrive at Suzuki dealerships this fall and carry a one-year, unlimited mileage warranty.