Everyone knows I’m a gearhead, and by now knows everything that comes with that. I simply can not leave motor vehicles stock, it just isn’t possible. Naturally, I’ve begun plotting ways to make the SV more mine. If you take a look at my wishlist, you’ll see what I mean. I’m not out to turn the SV into a peg scraping race machine – far from it, but we all know I have the go-fast bug.
The mission is simple – track-day capable, sport-touring ready, reliable motorcycle. I’ll be completely honest, add some tape, safety wire, and a cooling system full of whatever the track requires (commonly distilled water), and the stock SV could be plenty fun on a track. On the sport-touring note, it’s pretty much there. The luggage I’ve got on the bike holds more than enough stuff for a weekend trip. Realistically I’m leaned heavily towards the sport side of the equation here, but I intend to get a bit more effective windscreen to get a bit more comfort out of an upright riding position.
Engines are just big fancy air pumps, increase it’s ability to breath, and typically you get two gains – economy and power. Those two things don’t tend to work hand in hand though. Increased power causes lead foot in cars, and lead wrist on bikes. At least the potential is there. In comes the exhaust, increased flow, and some weight savings to boot. It also just plain looks better. What good is getting more gases out, if you can’t get enough in? High flow filter, and a raised unrestricted airbox for increased flow on the intake side. EFI is great, but stock fuel maps aren’t typically the most well suited to handle increased flow. Enter the Power Commander III – allowing the tweaking of the fuel map, so I don’t go lean and melt my pistons. That would suck. None of this should be bad for reliability, and stand to improve the already stellar fuel economy, provided I don’t lose my mind and decide to test the rev limiter on a regular basis.
As important as going is, stopping is right up there with it. You can go fast all day, but if you can’t stop – you’re not going to be having much fun for long. I don’t believe the stock brakes themselves are too small, or underpowered, but the brakes aren’t the only factor in controlled rapid reduction of speed. The suspension gets involved with the weight transfer – if my forks dive like a Japanese Kamakazie pilot, I won’t be controlling the stop very well. Luckily there are a few things I can do – increased weight fork oil, and cartridge emulators, maybe progressive springs too. While I’m at it, why not change out the brake lines for less flex prone and higher pressure kevlar or braided stainless steel lines.
So, about $1300 later, I should be (more) content with the bike. Like I said, I’m ill – can’t leave things stock. Must turn wrenches. Vrrooom vrooom.