– ’99 was the first year the “first generation” of SV650, w/ carburetor.
– ’03 was the first year of the “second generation” of SV650, with fuel injection, new body style, silver frame.
– Starting in ’04 the sub-frame was a little lower, so ’03 is the only second gen w/ a slightly different sub-frame
– starting in ’05 the frame went from silver to black.
– starting in ’07, ABS became available, I believe.
– I think in ’09 the SV got discontinued (or was that the last year?), replaced by Gladius.
The half-fairing model is the “S” model – SVS; comes w/ low clip-ons, more bend-over riding position, higher rear sets, and slightly higher gearing than the naked version. The naked model is often referred to as SV650″N”; comes w/ tubular handlebar, more upright riding position, lower rear sets, and slightly lower gearing.
The SV is very torquey and has very strong engine braking. If you open and abruptly close the throttle in first gear, the engine braking makes it feel like slamming on the brakes, but you get used to that after a few mess ups and learn to be smooth with the throttle. The stock suspension is crap. I just came back from a 5 hr, 180 mi ride w/ many very narrow, twisty, hilly roads. I was bouncing all over the place on rough roads, not good, but the SV is brilliant in carving turns in the hills (very flickable) and the engine is super sweet in the hills. I just purchased Ricor Intiminator front fork by-pass valves, and a fully adjustable rear shock from ’06-’07 ZX-10R – about $350 in parts. After I get these put in (about $250 labor) my SV’s suspension should be much better. If your weight is over 180 lb you may need to buy and put in stiffer front springs (about $90-$110, plus labor).
http://www.svrider.com is the home site of SV650 owners.