Will the SV650 simply become the S650?
We recently named the Suzuki SV650 as the best all-around motorcycle currently on the market. That’s a bold statement, I agree, but think about it. The 645cc V-twin can be ridden as smoothly or as hard as the rider desires, power is generous and flexible, the bike is a perfect size for new and seasoned riders alike, it’s a little sporty but not aggressively so as to be uncomfortable after only 10 minutes in the saddle, and it’s affordable. In our opinion, it’s the bike that checks the most boxes on the market.
The model has been around for a little over 20 years and entered its third generation in 2017. Suzuki took the opportunity to seriously upgrade the bike and its V-Strom counterpart on several fronts and ultimately introduced a more performant mill mounted to a lighter, sportier motorcycle. It looks like the days of the SV are counted, however, and that there could be a plan to replace the V-twin by an inline block.
At the moment, all Suzuki mid-size models either use an inline-four or a V-twin (and even a single, in the case of the Boulevard S40.) Most of the SV’s direct competitors have their pots in a row—think Kawasaki Z650, Yamaha MT-07, or even KTM 790 Duke.
A recently published patent suggests this could be about to change. In the document, the maker describes the underpinnings of what looks like a new mid-size parallel-twin engine. This prompted several media outlets to suggest that the new engine would come as a replacement for the company’s 645cc V-twin currently used in the SV650 and the V-Strom 650.
The advantages of a parallel layout versus a V include cutting the number of cams in half, a smaller and lighter block, a simpler integration design, and a simplified exhaust system. This would also result in lower manufacturing costs, according to Cycle World.
Should the patented new engine be the future of Suzuki’s mid-size bikes, we can agree that the list of pros perfectly justifies the decision. The one downside is that the SV will potentially lose its quirk and become “just another Japanese naked sportbike”. What are your thoughts?