Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SV650 Service at Lloyd’s Motorcycle Performance Center

Since I’ve owned my SV650, I’ve been pretty good keeping up with the regular required maintenance. There is one area I have been slacking though – adjusting the valves and synchronizing the carburetors. Both of them were supposed to be done at 15,000 miles and I’m getting quite close to 19,000.

I bought a twinmax to sync the carbs on the Ural. It’s pretty easy since both of the jugs are sticking out and easy to get at without taking anything apart. I intended to use the Twinmax on the SV until I read the procedure in the SV650 service manual. Then I looked at the valve adjustment procedure and wimped out. I dreaded taking the entire bike apart, and I didn’t really trust any of the service departments I’d been to so far.

I checked around and came up with Lloyd Rivers of Lloyd’s Motorcycle Performance Center. He’s been running his own business working on motorcycles since 1982, and he primarily works on the big four Japanese bikes. I asked him to adjust the valves, sync the carbs, change the fork oil, repack the steering head bearings, and check over the bike.

Here is my SV all torn apart. Gas tank and front forks removed:
The steering head bearings are very dry with almost no grease anywhere. Not good. The lower steering head bearing was completely dry and even the race had no grease!
Bearings properly lubed up and repacked:
Draining out the old fork oil:
The front suspension oil was replaced with 15w which is a bit heavier than stock. I attended a suspension seminar prior to dropping off the bike on Saturday which helped to make the decision on which oil to go with and what to adjust. Lloyd used 16.9 oz of oil per leg 3 46/64” from the top making it 9/32 higher than stock.

The change is very noticeable. The front of the bike no longer drops dramatically under breaking. I also haven’t felt it bounce like it used to either. The bike feels more planted and connected to the road. I’m liking it.

The valve covers pulled off:
Three of the eight valves were on spec, the others were adjusted. Four of the five that were adjusted were too tight.
When he pulled the radiator, he found some paint chunks and yuk in the bottom! This is slightly worrisome since I just flushed the system. Granted, I didn’t take off the radiator and hoses like he did.
Syncing the carbs:
I’ve been looking for a while for a mechanic like Lloyd. I like that I can talk directly to him and not a service assistant who’s never even seen my bike. I like that he takes the time to take photos and notes during the process. I also like that he took the time to answer all my questions and explain everything he did.

I’m very happy with the work he did. My bike is running smoother and it feels like new. The price was very fair at $300. I dropped my bike off on Saturday and I was very lucky to get it back early on Sunday evening. Fantastic!

I paid for this service myself and I was not compensated in any way for this post. Lloyd is a good guy. If you need service and are in the area, look him up. I’ve already ordered a set of new tires from him and will have them installed at the end of the month.

UPDATE: 2011 Visit


  1. There is nothing like having/finding someone you trust to handle your bike, someone who treats your bike with the care and attention you would if you could do all your own work. Congrats!

    I remember finding the guys who worked on my SV--I still go to them. They are huge BMW guys but the owner owns two SV650 that he races. He knows that bike inside out. I'm blessed that they are also BMW restorers, riders and dealers. I take my bike to them for everything. The BMW shop where I bought the bike, I will never take there! Awful service and disrespectful.

  2. Chris:

    You've found a Gem. I have had good luck with a private mechanic who has his own shop and my dealer is not so bad either. I was considering a BMW but both local dealers have spotty service as evidenced by the chatter on local bike forums.

    It's always nice to know that your bike is in good hands

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  3. Sojourner: Thanks. I'm glad to have found him too. You're also lucky to have a good mechanic. The local BMW guys I know take their bikes two hours away rather than use the two local dealers.

    Bob: Yes, I think so too. It's nice having someone who will take care of the bike. The last two times I went to the dealer (Yamaha & Ural) they broke something on the bike and didn't tell me about it. Annoying to say the least.

  4. I have a mechanic like that. Unfortunately, the way he does business means he's booked solid all the time.

    Isn't it amazing what you find when you start tearing things down?

  5. Lloyd is also a pretty busy guy. I was really lucky. It was that appointment or a week or so out.

    Yea.. I guess riding in the rain and the cheap bearings on the SV means I get to lube more often :)

  6. Dear Chris:

    Interesting pictures of maintainence in progress. I always get a little nevous when my bike or computer gets torn down to the essential parts. I hve a certified BMW wrench that I like and trust -- the legendary Tom Cutter -- a dealer that I like (Hermy's BMW), and a friend who's a BMW K75 Guru.

    I do okay between the three.

    Next year, I am going to have stiffer springs installed during a front fort rebuild. My ride is very comfortable, but my huge weight causes the machine t dive in a hard stop.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • Reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  7. Dear Jack: You're lucky to have found a mechanic and a dealer you trust. The front fork rebuild will be nice. I'm not huge, but my forks used to dive a lot. It feels like a different machine now. Much more composed and steady all the time. I really like it.