There’s Now a Café Variant of the Suzuki SV650 Because Why Not?

Does the café racer treatment on this modern naked bike work, or does it just look awkward?

byEric Brandt| PUBLISHED Nov 8, 2017 9:32 AM
There’s Now a Café Variant of the Suzuki SV650 Because Why Not?

Suzuki is getting in on the retro motorcycle craze in a way that’s, dare we say, lazy? Suzuki has added a café racer variant to the wildly-popular and recently-resurrected SV650 naked bike and the result is...a little confusing. The frame, suspension, brakes, and engine of the new SV650X are all the same as the existing SV650 which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Normally when we see retro/modern motorcycle, the whole bike is made to look old, but with modern flair. A great example is the recently-unveiled Kawasaki Z900RS which is a new model that’s based on the Z900 naked bike. It has a completely new look that beautifully blends old-school styling with modern technology and engineering. To the untrained eye, this brand new Kawasaki looks like it could be from the 1970s.

Suzuki SV650X, Suzuki

This new Suzuki SV650X, however, is a decidedly modern bike that has some retro bits tacked onto it. If it’s trying to look retro, it’s missing the mark. It has a small painted front cowl that just looks out of place along with a ribbed seat, clip-on handlebars, and a retro paint job.

I actually dig the new paint and I think Suzuki would have been better off leaving it at that making this a more mild appearance package. Instead of looking like the competition, it looks like a new bike cosplaying as an old bike.

Suzuki should take a page out of Kawasaki’s book and create a new model that’s more thoroughly redesigned based on the SV650. A proper retro/modern bike that looks like an old Suzuki GS with a version of the tremendous V-twin found in the SV650 would be a fantastic competitor in the growing retro segment. Having owned both a 2007 SV650 and a 1982 GS650 myself, that would be something I could get behind.