One of the guys I ride with here bought a wrecked SV650 early this season to rebuild as a track/beater bike. He finally got it together, went for the salvage inspection and all the fun stuff, and he got it out for the group ride last Sunday. This guy is arguably the best rider on the street in this area, and he can easily disappear from most people on the group ride if he really wants to though he normally doesn't. Most of the time he shows up on his GSXR-1000, and he would only go fast around corners to have his fun, then keep a quite relaxed pace on the straight for the group to catch up. I normally don't have to work too hard to keep up with him anywhere he goes (mind you I'm not a slow rider either) because he doesn't accelerate full bore out of corner or on the straight. But when he was on the SV650 last Sunday, I had to work my balls off just to keep up with him because he was going quite a lot faster than his normal pace in a group ride. Apparently, he thought that since he went out on the SV650, he might be going too slow for the others and better speed up a little so not to hold up others. But damn! He was absolutely flying on that thing.
Later on after lunch stop, I swapped bike with him for about 30 miles of twist and turn roads. It was then I realize why he thought he was going slow and felt the need to go hell bent earlier as not to hold others up. Here is what I think:
The bike was so smooth with its power you don't feel a kick of increased power like an inline 600cc supersport. The bike's suspension was also stock set up for some 140lbs which made the road seems smoother all around, though I couldn't really feel the road at all when riding. Those things probably attribute to the feeling of the bike isn't moving as fast as it really is. I was surprised to see that I was going 90+ when I thought I was only going 60. I also found that it was really easy to go around corners at some serious speed. At the same speed I take a corner on my R6, it felt like I was just slowly cruising through on the SV650. It wasn't like I could have gone around the corner faster becasue I was already dragging the footpeg as a result of the low ground clearance, but it sure felt like I was going a lot slower than I really was. After riding the SV, I finally realize why my friend was going so much faster than he normally would - because the bike gives him a wrong impression on his speed. The SV is a really fun bike to ride on, and can definitely be a really fast bike with a good rider. Only thing I didn't like about it was the low redline, but I guess that's what you could expect from a guy who's used to 15.5k redline.