I've been asked several times over the years: if I had to pare down to just one motorcycle, what would it be? Despite my long-time love for my nearly 20-year-old BMW R 1100 S, having piled more than 40,000 miles on a Yamaha Super Ténéré, and absolutely loving the Kawasaki KLR650 for being a way better bike than it has any right to be, the one bike I sold, deeply regretted and then replaced was the Suzuki SV650.

I've ridden a lot of motorcycles, but the only bike I've found that can do absolutely everything with extreme competence is that Suzuki SV650. I can pop a bunch of Givi luggage on it and take it on a multi-day tour into Canada. I can strip it down and it is a magnificent track bike. It's more competent on dirt than it has any right to be. It's a perfect commuter and handles both highways and back roads with aplomb. It’s lightweight and easy to handle in parking lots. It's inexpensive to purchase, simple to repair and straightforward to maintain.

It has a time-tested engine and fantastic parts support, won't bite you with a huge insurance bill, and isn't a highly stolen bike. It has plenty of power but still gets great gas mileage, and doesn't need hi-test gas or synthetic oil. The engine is tractable and easy to control; it's great for the beginner and the seasoned rider alike. It's a great looking bike without being an expensive, picky Italian. It even takes very common tire sizes.

You can slap a better front end, upgrade the rear shock, and your SV is now magically transformed into a great-handling road weapon. And yeah, if I somehow lost my SV to a wreck or a thief, I would absolutely go get another one.