The Suzuki SV650/A has been the standard against which the majority of modern members of the 600 to 650cc segment can be measured, and in support of that theory, I’d like to take you back to 1999 for the introduction of the first Suzuki SV650. This trip down memory lane reveals a motorcycle with a 6545cc, liquid-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC, 90-degree V-twin in a narrow chassis that rode on a 41mm traditional Kayaba preload adjustable front fork and a non-adjustable Kayaba rear shock. It had two-piston Tokico calipers and 290mm floating rotors at the front, and a single-piston caliper squeezing a 240mm rotor at the rear.
This is all going to sound very familiar when you reference the included specifications for the 2017 Suzuki SV650/A, because those are the same specifications as the current model, with exception that the Kayaba suspension company is now called KYB and the rear suspension now being adjustable for preload, while the front forks is no longer. The 2017 Suzuki SV650/A does produce a few more horsepower, what with its dual-spark engine, revised internals, freer-flowing exhaust and electronic fuel injection.
To be fair, though, most of those changes were made to the platform over the intervening 17 model years, not exclusively for this 2017 iteration. In actuality, the outgoing Gladius is the predecessor to this new motorcycle, as it’s the one that got the majority of upgrades when it split off from the SV-DL family tree – upgrades that Suzuki SV fans had long been hoping for, but which instead went to the Gladius line.