Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giving the SV650 Some Love… and a DR370

On my walk at lunch today, I had to stop and admire this cool looking old Suzuki. The badge reads DR370. I love the old scrambler styling. It looks like a fun bike, and I bet it sounds neat too. The owner was no where to be found. When I returned from lunch, it was gone.

Suzuki DR370 parked on the street. Looks fun.

The SV650 stepped in and did a great job (as usual) when the GS let me down before the trip. It continues to remind me why it’s my favorite bike in the garage – it’s reliable and a ton of fun.

The poor SV was in desperate need of maintenance, so I gave it some much needed attention.  I also hate having more than one bike broken at a time (silly GS!) The speedometer quit working on the way back from Chicago, the spark plugs, air filter, oil filter, and oil were all past due on being changed as well. I don’t really care about the speedo, as I can pretty accurately judge the speed from the tach, but not having the odometer is a pain.

The speedo had acted weird a couple times before the trip, so I ordered the part that most commonly causes the problem. It turned out to be a wise purchase. I’m tempted to order another one at $15 since they seem to randomly fail. The original one made it 35,000 miles, so I might just wait.

The new part on the left and the failed part in the sensor housing on the right.

speedometer sensor on SV650

The tabs have been chewed off, and you can see the black, dusty remains of the broken part here along the wheel bearings.

speedometer sensor on SV650

It was an easy repair. I didn’t even have to take the wheel all the way off. I’ll detail it in a future post.

The SV650 Oil Change was easy. A new crush washer was indeed needed!

New on the left, old on the right.

sv650 crush washer

Next, I replaced the air filter with a K&N I got for less than the stock filter. The K&N can be cleaned and re-used forever. Nice! My 1150GS and my wife’s GS500 both have a K&N as well.

K&N on left, stock on right

K&N air filter

Spark plugs were next:

new vs old. they needed to be changed! They had over 21,000 miles on them. The bike starts much nicer now.

changing spark plug on SV650

The plug locations on the SV650 are under the gastank and behind the radiator. Kind of a pain to do the one behind the radiator.

I used a socket on the stock tool to tighten the one under the seat/gas tank.

changing spark plug on SV650

then I used the stock tool with a ratcheting wrench, so I didn’t have to remove the radiator. I had about 1/4” of clearance to work. A very tight fit.

changing spark plug on SV650

I’ll write up a more detailed post on the plugs later.

Last was to clean and lube the chain up properly. It developed a nice black patina from the road trip. Some chain cleaner and now it is back to a nice shiny gold color.

Of course, I had to take the bike for a short test ride after all the maintenance! In my mind, it seems to run a bit smoother.


PS:  More trip posts coming soon.

PPS: Insurance check came for the house, so now we can finally start repairs!

PPPS: Parts for the R1150GS should arrive early next week.


  1. That is a cute old Suzuki, for sure! I love its minimalist look. Glad you're getting the work done on the SV650.

  2. Chris,

    It looks like you need a bit of grease in that wheel assembly, I'm guessing that tachometer gear melted apart. I figured out you need to oil tachometer/speedometer cables the hard way, when my speedo failed on my '78 cb550, there was nothing inside but a ball of rust.

    Also, I love latex gloves for bike work. I feel like an idiot when I put them on, kind of like a poser, but when I take them off I feel like an absolute genius.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  3. Sharon: It was a neat looking bike. I'm also glad to get the SV back in business. No ODO was a huge pain.

    Brady: I had greased it before. According to the forums, it gets pinched and then shredded. My Ural has taught me the value of oiling the speedo cables ;)

    LOVE nitril/latex/gloves for bike work. Makes cleanup MUCH quicker.