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Old 08-17-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
Newbie
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Joined: Aug 2012
From: Pullman, WA
Need help deciding on my first motorcycle!
Hello all!

I am looking into buying my first motorcycle and I think I have narrowed it down to two contenders. One is a 2003 Kawasaki ZR7S with around 8k miles on it and the other is a 2003 Suzuki SV650 N with around 19k miles on it. Both owners say that the bikes have been routinely maintenance and require little work to be done on them. Right now, for pricing reasons I am leaning towards the SV simply because it is cheaper (though I do realize it has significantly more miles on it).

Can anyone convince me either way? A little on why I want it - simple commuting and sometimes longer rides (touring and what have you).

Thanks for your time!

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Old 08-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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peddy's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
From: Sumner, WA

I Ride: V star 950
I hear nothing but good things about them SV

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Old 08-17-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2008
From: Where the snow falls
Blog Entries: 3

I Ride: one with two wheels
I love my SV. 6 years with her now.

I've said it before, and was challenged to try it.

I could replace the oil with water, remove the air filter, and pull a spark plug and she would run without missing a beat, they're so reliable.

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Old 08-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Joined: May 2011
From: LaCenter, WA

I Ride: 2003 Copper SV1K
SV650. Great bikes and plenty of them if you need parts. GET IT! Just be careful and don't do a lot of wheelies. That takes the oil away from the front cylinder and burns them up.

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Old 08-18-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2007
From: Portland, OR

I Ride: SV1000S in the faster copper color, and a hell of a lot slower than I used to.
The SV is a wonderful machine, there are many dgood things to say about them. Nearly bullet proof. Just a hoot to ride. Tons of aftermarket goodies. Cheap.

When I had my SV650 I used to enjoy riding the Spine with guys on CBRs and Rs and shit. The old man on the cheap bike was always among the first into Clatskanie.

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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Joined: Sep 2007
From: Oak Grove, Oregon

I Ride: Wheelies, but only on a closed course under adult supervision ;-)
Can't go wrong with either IMO. Both bikes are stone reliable if properly maintained. I've ridden a friends ZR7 and it's power delivery is newbie friendly. It's design is a bit dated, but the advantage of it being air cooled is you won't be replacing a radiator in the event of a crash/tip over. The SV is a newer design and can be modded to put out a decent amount of power once your riding skills improve, so you won't out grow as quickly if you find your riding style leans more toward "sport" than "cruising". I had alot of fun with my modded 99' sv before selling it and upgrading to my Street Triple R.

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Last edited by ZrexRich; 08-18-2012 at 12:27 PM..
 
Old 08-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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Joined: Aug 2012
From: Pullman, WA
Thanks for the replies,

Is 19k not too many miles for the SV?

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Joined: Aug 2008
From: Where the snow falls
Blog Entries: 3

I Ride: one with two wheels
Not even close to being too many miles IF it's been properly maintained. Mine has about 12,000 and runs like it's brand new still.

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:44 PM   #9
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Joined: Sep 2007
From: Oak Grove, Oregon

I Ride: Wheelies, but only on a closed course under adult supervision ;-)
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerLionWolf View Post

Is 19k not too many miles for the SV?

I don't think so. Ask when the valves were last checked. Look at the condition of the chain/sprockets(is the chain lubed and properly adjusted? Are the sprockets worn and in need of replacement?). Do the tires have life left in them, or are they into the wear bars.

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Old 08-18-2012, 01:24 PM   #10
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Joined: May 2011
From: Portland, OR

I Ride: zx-6rr
My buddy has an sv with 57k on it and has had minimal repairs but was anal about the maintnence...just an fyi

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Old 08-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #11
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Joined: Mar 2008
From: Everett, WA

I Ride: Motorcycle
Skip those pieces of crap and buy an R1.

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Old 08-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #12
bcj
Railer
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Joined: Jan 2008
From: teh rock
I bought my '03 naked SV with 11k on it at the end of '08. The previous owners didn't do the best maintenance.
The chain and sprockets were toasted. Changed those, new water, oil, filters and brake fluid.

The valve checks should be done at 15 thousand. I put mine off until 20.
Only 2 exhaust shims had tightened up by a couple of thou.
Had those changed. They were still well within spec though.
Ask about a valve check. If the info isn't available, schedule one and you should be fine.

I trawled the net before picking up the SV. The volume of favourable reports sold me on it.
They were right. (insert veracity of internet meme somewhere)

The k3 SV is the first year that fuel injection was available. That was another of the points in its favour.
The k3 seat, underseat plastic trim bits and the subframe (bolt on part that holds the seat and tail parts) are unique and parts from later years might not fit right.
The footpegs, shift lever and brake lever differ from later years as well. Be sure they are not biffed up too much. They are a bit harder to source.

Been completely happy and plan to hold on to it for quite a while yet.

I've got a bigger bike for longer tours, but the SV can go anywhere most other bikes can. I got the naked for light weight and simplicity.
I've had it out to Neah Bay, Windy Ridge and Long Beach Wa. So it gets around adequately.

Got a custom seat built up. Not so much that it was awful, but more because I could.
Fox 2 way adjustable rear shock that was a group buy discount. Intiminator fork valves on a discount.
You can pick up these sort of things if you take your time and keep an account ready for upgrades.
Still haven't got the front springs done for my weight. That's on the list.

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Last edited by bcj; 08-18-2012 at 03:27 PM.. Reason: ride experience
 
Old 08-18-2012, 03:19 PM   #13
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Joined: Oct 2005
From: CENTRAL

I Ride: When I can
Get a Red one! A Red bike is purdy! I don't care which none. Long as its Red!

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Old 08-18-2012, 08:11 PM   #14
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Joined: Feb 2012
From: Lacey, WA

I Ride: 1989 CBR 600, 1982 GPz 550
19K miles is beans for the SV. Oil cooling on the Kawi will save you having to maintain a cooling system. I ride on oil cooled bike and have never had an issue, even in the hottest weather. Have you sat on 'em both? The SV is not necessarily kind if you have shorter arms.

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Old 08-19-2012, 06:18 AM   #15
bcj
Railer
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Joined: Jan 2008
From: teh rock
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex View Post
The SV is not necessarily kind if you have shorter arms.
The SV naked version with handlebars fits nicely.
The faired version with clipons can be a little less ergonomic.

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:32 AM   #16
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Joined: May 2009
From: WA
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by RC51 View Post
Skip those pieces of crap and buy an R1.
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
Get a Red one! A Red bike is purdy! I don't care which none. Long as its Red!
^^^

Just a thought, since your new at this with limited skills/mechanical experience or tools. How about doing yourself a favor: Purchase a New/couple year old Ninja 250/CBR 250. Why, "That's Easy" you won't be so likely to get your self in over your head till you gain experience. You will be able to afford FULL coverage insurance, including medical. (Which I hope you won't need) You won't be purchasing someones problems, tires, battery, engine work, chain, sprockets, rust and just plain wear and tear. (if it's so good why are they selling it?) Some day you may be able to fix/deal with those issues, but as you stated your new. When you gain experience you will be able to sell the Ninja/Honda and move up. Your experience tools finances will hopefully have progressed along with your time aboard a most fun less stressful machine. PS started many many many years ago on a tote goat, sometimes think I had more fun on that "Dinker" than the R1...AJ

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:04 AM   #17
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Joined: Feb 2010
From: Seattle, Wa

I Ride: An 06 R6 with OPRT
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by blueline15 View Post
Not even close to being too many miles IF it's been properly maintained. Mine has about 12,000 and runs like it's brand new still.
6 years and only 12,000 miles?!? You need to ride more dude.

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:11 PM   #18
OOk
beansbaxter is too lazy to come up with something but he will get to it, eventually...
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Joined: Sep 2005
From: kerklund
Blog Entries: 22
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerLionWolf View Post
Thanks for the replies,

Is 19k not too many miles for the SV?
Mine was an '02 with 30k and ran like a top before it got hit (and probably totaled) by a red light runner. Actually, when I went to pick it up it started on the first try and ran great (the entire right side is bent and rashed). So I will probably buy it back if it is indeed totaled and rebuild it. Thing is tough as nails.
That being said, the thing to avoid is heavily modified bikes, especially with anything internal. You just don't know the quality of the work done and parts used. Best thing is to get the most bare bones stock bike and build it how you want from there or just leave it stock.

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Last edited by OOk; 08-19-2012 at 09:13 PM..
 
Old 08-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #19
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Joined: Jun 2009
From: Beaverton, OR

I Ride: 09' Zx-10
zx14? SV is a good choice

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:47 PM   #20
Peg Dragger
 
Joined: Jul 2006
From: Seattle, WA
You should buy one of these:

Motorcycle Talk

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