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Need help deciding on my first motorcycle!

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by TigerLionWolf, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. 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!
  2. I hear nothing but good things about them SV

  3. 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.
  4. RedKat600

    RedKat600 Vintage Screwball Staff Member

    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.
  5. 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. :nana
  6. 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.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  7. Thanks for the replies,

    Is 19k not too many miles for the SV?
  8. 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.

  9. 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.
  10. My buddy has an sv with 57k on it and has had minimal repairs but was anal about the maintnence...just an fyi
  11. Skip those pieces of crap and buy an R1.
    Jims08Z06 likes this.
  12. 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.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  13. james1300

    james1300 Track School Dazed

    Get a Red one! A Red bike is purdy! I don't care which none. Long as its Red!
    Jims08Z06 likes this.
  14. 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.
  15. The SV naked version with handlebars fits nicely.
    The faired version with clipons can be a little less ergonomic.
  16. Jims08Z06

    Jims08Z06 Bat Crazed


    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
  17. 6 years and only 12,000 miles?!? You need to ride more dude.
  18. OOk

    OOk beansbaxter is too lazy to come up with something

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  19. zx14? crackup: SV is a good choice:mfclap:
  20. You should buy one of these:

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