EICMA 2015: The Suzuki SV650 Returns In 2016

Ending the reign of the Gladius, once and for all!

Arguably the most successful sportbike that doesn't have "GSX-R" in the name, Suzuki's SV650, which ruled the class since 1999, has returned to form in 2016—as an early release 2017 model. Called, simply, the SV650. Enthusiasts were heard to cheer across the globe.

To get here, Suzuki has picked up the better elements of the SFV650 (née Gladius), including the updated 645cc, 90-degree V-twin engine and steel-trellis frame. Supposedly, the latest version has even more torque and horsepower than before, while retaining good fuel economy.

Suzuki says the SV has more than 70 new chassis parts compared to the SFV, which is not a huge surprise considering that the SFV had half that many in its styling elements alone. Regardless, the 2016 SV650 has dramatically simplified and cleaner styling, with a round headlight and relatively unadorned flanks. Though the simplification process, Suzuki's engineers were able to cut a claimed 15 pounds off the bike.

While the press materials are a little vague, it appears as though the SV retains the SFV’s basic-spec suspension, meaning a preload-adjustable shock and a damping-rod (not cartridge) fork that’s likely to have preload adjustment only. An A model (SV650A) has ABS by Nissin (we’re guessing the A will be standard for our market) using the old-style two-piston Tokico sliding-pin calipers. We liked the SFV’s chassis just fine so we’re not too disappointed that Suzuki didn’t take the SV upmarket.

We’ll have to wait for “late spring/early summer” before the SV is in showrooms—hence it wearing a 2017 model-year designation—but the final specs and pricing should be available soon. The small-V-twin enthusiasts around here can hardly wait.