SV650 > FZ6 –upgrade, lateral change, downgrade, or what?
July 16, 2009 at 7:26 pm #3157
Most of you by now know that my bike is a 2000 SV650 nekkid. In a few upcoming months, after I have paid off a loan I took out, I’ll be considering trading it in (possibly beginning of next riding season?) on a newer bike. The bike I’m most considering getting is the Yamaha FZ6. It’s not that big a step up from the SV650 power-wise, but it has even more comfortable ergonomics with some features I really want, such as a centerstand and a decently sized fairing.
My main concern lies in two particular areas:
1. The peakier nature of its 14k RPM redline R6-derived four cylinder engine is going to be a huge change from the power-anywhere-you-want-it character of the SV650. Considering all my riding is done on the street and I commute on my bike, would this be a killer? It’s got 20 more horsepower but less torque, and the SV650 makes more torque from 3k RPM all the way up to redline than the FZ6 does at its peak, 12k RPM.
2. While I cannot find any reviews on the web of the newer models (it went through a minor upgrade/redesign in 2008), reviews of older first-generation models complained of suspension that was even shoddier than the SV650’s stock suspension. The rear shock is an easy upgrade but the front fork is not, and considering I weigh as much as a normal man plus his highly attractive female pillion passenger, should this be a concern?
EDIT: For those of you who don’t know, the FZ6 is Yamaha’s middleweight naked standard, made to compete with the Kawasaki ER-6n and Suzuki SV650/Gladius. It is powered by a “retuned for more midrange (read: less horsepower, more torque throughout the powerband)” version of the previous generation R6’s engine. It has upright seating with a handlebar rather than clip-ons, a 5.1 gallon gas tank with sport touring in mind, an extremely comfortable seat on the level of many aftermarket seats, and a massive windscreen for the highway.July 16, 2009 at 8:05 pm #20691briderdtParticipant
Why not just go with a fork and shock upgrade on your SV? GSXR fork (so I hear) is a HUGE improvement, and a ZX-14 (?) rear shock improves the back end.
Also, you can stay with the SV naked bars/risers and still add the fairing.
Ask these kinds of questions on the SVRider.com board and see what they have to say about these upgrades.
I’ve read some reviews on the FZ6, and while the engine was derived from the R6, it’s been seriously retuned for more power down low. I’d say if you really want to consider that bike, take one for a test ride.July 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm #20689AParticipant
Do not confuse the FZ6 with newer FZ6R.. neither one should be categorized or compared with Kawasaki ER-6n and Suzuki SV650/Gladius, since both Yamaha bikes have 4 cylinder engine..
Switching from 2 cylinder engine to 4 cylinder engine bikes.. you’re likely to require more shifting, since the 4 cylinder engine tend to generate less torque throughout the engine rev range. If you’re not used to reving the engine at high rpm to get the torque/power that you’re used to get from your SV650, the FZ6 might seem a little anemic at lower rpm range and get a rude awakening once pass certain rpm range.
Really, how often do you see yourself reving the engine beyong 10,000 rpm (or 7000 rpm) in city traffic?
Added weight/width of the in-line 4 engine configuration is something that you might notice at slow speed maneuver, they are not as nimble as SV650…
More fuel capacity=more weight.
If you’re looking for budget, comfortable, in-line 4 middleweigh bike.. 01-05 Bandit 600 can be easily found under $3000 or even $2000; they have rock solid engine, more lowend torque than FZ6, less maintenance (no radiator).
Personally, I feel that liter class 4 cylinder engine bikes are better suited for street use, since they have enough lowend torque to avoid constant shifting, better power/weight ratio..July 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm #20692
my SV650 already has a GSX-R rear shock so rear suspension is not an issue. the front, however, is a concern. the GSXR fork is not a simple bolt-on modification and I’d really like to avoid doing any modifications to the bike that require fabrication.
the ergonomics on my SV are just fine but the fairing is an issue. The problem with naked bikes is that the only fairings big enough to actually FUNCTION make your bike look like it came out of the ’70s.
I’ve been very very happy with my bike but lately I’ve been running into a lot of problems that only affect ’99-’01 SV650s that were worked out by the time ’02 came out. These problems are design flaws, mainly with the electrical system, that make me think owning the bike is going to be one headache after another. If it weren’t for the electrical system woes that have been getting to me lately I wouldn’t even consider getting rid of it, but the truth is I don’t want a bike that needs to have fabrications done just to run properly and ride well. And things such as having to use the CBR1000RR regulator rectifier as a replacement recently because the OEM ones don’t hold up (my bike has gone thru 2 already) and requires soldering and splicing, they don’t make me feel butterflies about owning the bike for years to come.
EDIT: also, the FZ6 has way more comfortable pillion accomodations which, for what I have in mind, is a plus.July 17, 2009 at 6:47 am #20703Gary856Participant
I’ve been looking for a clean first-gen SV650 for a long time. Already got a GS500 and a YZF600R so don’t NEED another bike, but everybody’s been talking how great a SV is so I’d like to own one just to see. What are the design flaws/electrical problems you mentioned, other than the burned rectifier issue you wrote about?
Have you considered getting a low mileage, first-gen FZ1 as a replacement for your SV?July 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm #20707briderdtParticipant
The GSXR front end IS pretty much a bolt-on, but it includes the WHOLE front end, with calipers, brake lines, top and bottom triples, front wheel… Might set you back $400 or so if you keep the front end you have (could sell to recupe some of the cost). I could be wrong though — this is all theoretical knowledge, I haven’t actually DONE the swap.
And as fas as I know, you can add the SV front fairing, stays, and gage supports to the naked, keeping your ergo’s intact. At least I know it can (and has been fairly often) on the 2nd gens. I thought 1st gens had the same capability.July 18, 2009 at 9:41 pm #20734RabParticipant
I went from a 790 c.c. Triumph Bonneville twin to an I-4 Suzuki GSX650F and I ride the latter just like I did the twin i.e. I don’t often take it much above 7000 RPM. The way it’s tuned, it has plenty of power in the lower rev range and can be thrashed up to its 12,500 RPM red line if that’s your thing. The beauty of this bike however is that there is no desperate arm-pulling surge anywhere in the entire power band. It’s completely linear.
Very sure footed and comfortable motorcycle with a near upright riding position. You’ll also very much appreciate the fairing and windshield on the freeway; I know I did (coming from naked bikes).
130+ mph capability, 0-60 in 3.8 seconds (a touch slower than your SV650), 48-50 mpg on regular gas, smooth, comfortable, full featured. If it’s transport, with some limited sporting and touring ability you’re after, you couldn’t do much better than the GSX650F IMO. Check out the reviews, there aren’t any bad ones that I’ve found.July 19, 2009 at 3:37 am #20742motokidParticipant
. Asking because I just got one for myself, and had developed a stange medical problem – can’t pry off that big grin of my face.
Newer years (from 2008 in Canada) come with ABS if that’s your thing. I got a naked version, and was thinking for a moment to look for soem kind of windshield, but have given up for now – this is just the way how good bike is meant to feel.
I’m coming from a big single cylinder, and it was strange feeling to get used to the city riding, slow and stop and go. I can’t imagine that inline four would be better (do you commute on your bike).
This bike is just amazing, I don’t see myself getting back to cruiser style, raiding position and maneuverability ever again.July 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm #20864
Sorry for the late reply. the first generation SV650 charging systems are plagued with two problems: 1. Faulty regulator/rectifiers and insufficient wiring. The entire charging system was wired with 16ga wire when they should have used 12ga. These two problems together create a problem that causes you to have to replace batteries more often than you should, among other things. Only way to truly “fix” it is to use the FH008EB R/R unit from a Honda CBR600RR or CBR1000RR and completely redo all the wiring with the proper gauge of wire.
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