My colleagues are quick to point out that the SFV650 is just the Gladius model from 2009 with a new name. Fine, but I never rode a Gladius, so I get to evaluate this naked Suzuki V-twin with a fresh perspective.
My take? Positive. This Suzuki is a fun everyday bike, a compact and upright ride powered by a rumbly 645cc 90-degree V-twin that gets smooth with revs while boasting a broad powerband and excellent fueling. Although it’s not a rocket by modern sportbike standards, the Suzuki is the quickest of our trio of 650s to 60 mph, and the bike upshifts with a satisfying precision.
The red trellis frame, which looks great contrasted against the SFV’s gray 3.8-gallon fuel tank, makes for a bike that feels agile and light, even though the suspension hardware is pretty basic. Upping the sporty quotient are a chassis with 25 degrees of rake and 4.1 inches of trail, plus sticky Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier tires and dual-piston Tokico front brakes with a pair of floating discs. There’s good feel at the lever and more than enough power to stop this Suzuki in a hurry whenever you’re riding at an aggressive pace.
So is the SFV650 just a Gladius? It is. But who cares? This Suzuki has character, and it’s not that much of a stretch to see it as an affordable alternative to Ducati’s 696 Monster.
|DRY WEIGHT||426 lb.|
|SEAT HEIGHT||31.3 in.|
|FUEL MILEAGE||48 mpg|
|0-60 MPH||3.4 sec.|
|1/4 MILE||12.21 sec. @ 105.65 mph|
|HORSEPOWER||68.9 hp @ 8600 rpm|
|TORQUE||44.0 lb.-ft. @ 7830 rpm|
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