The SV's four-piston calipers...
The SV's four-piston calipers and 310mm discs appear to be the same units on the '03 GSX-R600, and work fantastically, even with the SV's additional weight.
Perhaps the most common ailment of the SV1000 is the notorious "green connector" issue that seemed to plague more '03s than other years, but we have heard of it on other models too. It is a simple multi-wire plug-in connector that completely shorts out and causes a dead bike. Most owners simply replace it with a new factory unit, while others take a different approach such as an upgraded plug or even making their own connector. Suzuki did little to fix or even acknowledge the problem, causing a lot of grief for SV owners. If yours has not failed yet, a good cleaning and application of dielectric grease can help extend the life of the connector.
There is also a nagging issue with loud/rattling clutch baskets. Many owners find that raising the idle to 1400 rpm and adjusting the TPS (throttle position sensor) to compensate while adding a TRE (Timing Retard Eliminator, a device that tricks the ECU into thinking the bike is in a higher gear), the problem seems to get less noticeable. Others opted for new clutch baskets and primary drive gears to quiet the rattle.
Ohio's Mark Cobb owns this...
Ohio's Mark Cobb owns this '05 SV1000S that he converted to a naked model, with carbon flyscreen and Aztec8 dual headlights, '08 GSX-R750 front end, Vortex top triple clamp, Tommaselli two-way adjustable clip-ons, and Holeshot Performance exhaust just part of the extensive mods.
Another common ailment is a failed regulator/rectifier. Resourceful riders find that the '07-to-present Yamaha R1 unit (among others) is a better replacement. Some wiring mods have to be done to make the swap but it's pretty simple and details can be found on a number of websites.
Topping the long list of upgrades is an aftermarket exhaust and a PowerCommander. In combination with a free flowing air filter, most owners are seeing about 112-115 horsepower which makes for a lot of fun on a bike like this. The next most common mod is to upgrade the fork; some simply added springs and new oil, while others resorted to new fork internals or even swapping the whole front end to GSX-R750 parts.
Jon James from the UK owns...
Jon James from the UK owns this turbocharged SV running eight pounds of boost from a custom turbo kit using Subaru Impreza injectors. Other obvious trick bits include a modified frame, GSX-R750 front end, a Kawasaki ZX-10R rear, Galfer Wave rotors, etc.
The rear suspension is another common area targeted for upgrades. Many SV fans find that certain models of the SV can benefit from a GSX-R shock swap. Details can be found on each of these suspension upgrades on the various SV owners' forums such as www.Suzukisv1000.com
If you are interested in buying a used SV, they are sometimes available and are a great buy due to the general public not knowing a lot about the bike. Used 2003s range from $3995 to $4250 depending on the model. A 2004 used S model is worth $4540 today while the newer 2005 is currently fetching $5375; add another $300 for a 2006 model. The 2007 currently lists for $6100 according to NADA.com. It is a great bike and can deliver a lot of fun for a low priced bike. It's reliable, fairly fast and much easier to ride fast than the average one-liter four-cylinder sportbike.