Saturday, April 14, 2012

SV Returned–Two Weeks to Go!

SV Dropped Off

My anxiety level has been pretty high for the last few weeks. I dropped my SV650 off at a mechanic to get some work done: new rear shock, new stainless brake lines, new chain & sprockets, new wheel bearings, new fork seals, and a thorough check of the bike. I was told it would only be two or three weeks. How very wrong that was.

I dropped the bike off March 6, and picked it up last night, April 13. That’s 38 days! There was major delay waiting for Penske/Traxxion Dynamics. Taxxion said they were waiting to receive it from Penske. Penske drop shipped it right to the mechanic. I was patient in the beginning, but pretty cranky near the end. 38 days is a long, long time.

I had hoped to have the bike back much sooner, so I could get used to the changed gearing, different feel of the brakes, and most importantly the changed suspension. I guess I’ll have plenty of time for that on the trip.

I went back to stock gearing (45 vs 47), so I would get better fuel economy for this trip. I will put the old chain and sprocket back on after I get back. I also went back to a 525 chain instead of the 520 I had previously. A thousand less RPM at cruising speed should get me a few more MPG.

New chain and sprockets

I changed the brake lines out as they were still original from 2001 and starting to feel mushy. The new stainless lines were about the same cost as the OET parts, but with a lifetime warranty. I also took the opportunity to have speed bleeders installed. The same brand (Spiegler) I used on the GS. I like them.

new ss brake lines for sv650

Don’t the new lines look shiny?

SV Returned

Finally, I had the suspension refreshed. New fluid and seals in the front. The front seals were the originals from 40,000 miles and 11 years ago. They weren’t leaking yet, but I wouldn’t want them to start in the middle of the Yukon.

The rear shock was a big soft. With max preload the sag was just right for me. Put my wife and some bags on the back, and the front felt very light and squirmy. Not a fun time. I purchased a mid-range Penske because of the reasonable price and the positive reviews online. The price of making the old shock serviceable and getting a new spring was over 60% the cost of a brand new. Now I just need to get it adjusted.

New Shock and Chain 

It’s great to have the SV650 back. Not having my favorite bike for so long was painful. I missed it.

This morning I spent some time tightening up fasteners and reapplying thread locker. I only found two loose, and they were both on the luggage rack.

Next steps are to empty the under seat storage and double check everything. I’m also amassing a pile of “stuff” for the trip as well. Now with the bike back, I can start to see where it will all go.


  1. Dear Chris:

    You cannot believe how contagious the excitement for you trip has become. I am screaming out in jealousy. I am amazed at the complex steps you have taken to increase gas mileage. Then again, it cost $144 to fill the tank on my pick-up yesterday.

    I will be following your blog like it was a seial on television.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    1. Thanks for the support!

      Not complex steps at all. The chain and sprocket needed to be replaced, so I chose to go back to the more conservative stock settings.

  2. I'm glad you have the bike back. I'm sure, not as glad as you, but glad.

  3. Did all these mods add to more than $2000? Is it worth spending this much specially if you have to include someone else's labor?
    I'm happy to know all is progressing well.

    1. Nope, not even close to $2000. I could have done all the work myself. I am tied up with other things, so I chose to pay someone. I also wanted a more experience eye looking over the bike.

      Things are progressing :)

  4. Hooray you finally have the SV back. The waiting is always so hard.

    I have heard that the steel brake lines on an SV make a huge difference.

    How do you find the ergos on the SV? I put 200 miles on my Gladius yesterday and my shoulders are sore and I think the SV has a more forward lean to it.

    1. Hooray for sure. The SV is my favorite. I couldn't believe how much I missed riding it. I wanted to hug it.

      There was a large gap between pre and post steel lines. I'm not feeling like there is a huge difference. There is improvement though. Maybe if I was on a track more and worried about brake fade etc.

      The ergos of MY SV work great for me. I have the naked (not S), so I have regular bars. I rotated them slightly, and raised/pulled them 1 3/4". I have a very comfortable 10% lean and my arms are nicely bent in a comfy position. Sometimes I wish I had highway pegs like many of the Vstrom 650 people, but otherwise things are good.

      Sore shoulders makes me think you are leaning on your hands instead of using your core and/or your arms are stretched out too much.

  5. 38 days is a long time, luckily you have spare bikes to satisfy the riding "need".

    Looks like I'll be switching jobs soon but they want an immediate start so no ride to AK this June for me. Perhaps next year.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    1. it was long. there were other bikes that filled the need, but they don't satisfy like the SV does. They are all good, but it's not the same.

  6. Your SV looks new! When I had mine, the best thing I did was get stainless steel brake lines--instantly felt better, more solid.

    1. Just imagine how could it would look if i washed it before those photos. lol!