George McConnel's Motorcycle Racing Pages - My 2001 SV650 Race/Street Bike

I bought this 2001 SV650S from my good friend Jeevan. He had acquired the bike a few years before and had ridden it for awhile.

The SV650 I bought from Jeevan
Eventually he found other interests and the bike sat idle long enough to develop carburetor issues. I tried to help him get it running well again but for some reason I was unable to get the carbs working correctly even after several repeated cleanings. I have come to the conclusion that this was because of some dyno tuning, shimming and altered jetting that had been done by a series of different people. The carbs really just needed to be restored to stock condition to get back to something workable that one could once again tune.

During the course of all this the rear piston detonated. I believe this was because the rear carburetor had been tuned so lean that the fuel mixture wasn't sufficient to providen adequate cooling to the piston head during normal engine combustion. I ended up rebuilding the engine before it ever worked correctly again. But now it works just great. Somewhere in the process of all this Jeevan sold me the bike as he had little to no interest in it any more.

I rode the bike on the street for awhile but had from the beginning planned to take it to the track. My friend Dewayne had been

Fully race prepped and ready for action
riding an SV650 ever since I had been riding my RC51 on the track (actually a few months before that). I was looking forward to the opportunity to compete directly against him in Lightweight Twins classes.

Before I could realistically explore the limits of the SV650 on the track I had to race prep it. The definition of "race prepped" varies from one racer to the next, but at a minimum I had to put race plastic on it, remove passenger pegs, the sidestand and other "street" stuff that would get in the way (or be illegal) on the race track, safety wire everything according to the requirements of WERA, and do something about the suspension.

Putting race plastic on it was a story on its own, which can be read about here. AFter that part of the adventure was done I got Logan to paint my plastics after I had fabricated the means to mount them on the bike. While that was going on I took care of the drilling and safety wiring myself and Rob Turner took care of finding the necessary components to make my suspension work with me. He put heavier springs and 10 weight oil in the forks, and he put a much heavier spring on my rear shock, giving me a suspension that wouldn't bottom out when being pressed hard on the track. This worked out very well.

The 2001 SV650S is among the "1st generation" SV650 models where Suzuki used carbureted fuel systems on those bikes. In addition to changing to fuel injection there were a few other changes to the SV650 for the 2003 and later models. Unfortunately this means that several important parts are not interchangable among all the various model years.

The SV650's engine is a 90 degree liquid cooled V twin. It puts out roughly 70 horsepower maximum at 9000 RPM. Redline is at 10,500 RPM. They have 4 valves per cylinder and employ Suzuki's "Twin Swirl" technology, where the intake ports are designed to "swirl" the air/fuel mixture around as it enters the cylinder for better overall combustion. The frame is an aluminum truss. The stock configuration has a single exhaust pipe on the rider's right.

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