Republished: SV650-S Final Repair and Safety Modification

This was originally posted on in 2009

I wrote recently about issues with the SV650-S misfiring and not charging the batterySV650-S, Birdshit Photoshopped OutSV650-S Bird shit shopped out . Well this is yet another update on the subject. In my post yesterday I mentioned that when I washed the bike the misfire came back (and the battery stopped charging).

So today I took a drive down to the bike shop, there was quite a lot of condensation on the bike, and it wouldn't run on both cylinders without a spray of WD-40 (incidentally, never spray it on whilst the engine is running, take it from someone who has set his radiator alight!), once I got there I put in an order for a Fenda Extender, and picked up a few other odds and ends. Unfortunately they didn't have a Suzuki Spark Plug Cap in stock (the things are like £20 Each!) So I figured I'd give the NGK version a try.

NGX Spark Plug CapBad Idea!! With the rubber boot on the end the cap will not even fit into the spark plug well, and if you try to risk using it without the boot you will find that it's not actually long enough to actually connect with the spark plug. It's my own fault, no-one told me it would fit, I simply figured I'd try it!
So instead I decided to nick the good cap from the rear cylinder and put the old one onto the back. At least if it plays up, I can access it far more easily. I hadn't noticed until I sat the two caps next to each other, just how badly mis-shapen the rubber seal on the front cap was.

There is a seal about halfway up the cap to help keep water and crap out of the spark plug well. The seal on the rear cap was O shaped whilst the seal from the front was more of an 0.  Given that the wells on both cylinders are the same, I'm guessing that a mixture of heat, road crap and salt had probably led to the seal distorting. It had a really poor seal around the cap itself, let alone the spark plug well. So I  swapped the entire caps.

The rear cylinder gets far less water/crap thrown at it, so it seemed likely that the dodgy seal would have less of an impact.

I also trimmed the HT leads back a bit, the front had some serious signs of corrosion at the end, not exactly condusive to a healthy spark!

Unfortunately replacing the HT leads on the SV involves swapping out the coils, you could trim the lead right back and use an inline coupler, but I've actually been experiencing problems finding anyone who sells HT lead cabling with the same diameter as the stuff already in there.

So having re-connected everything, I hit the starter.

She ran well, so everything was connected properly, or at least seems to be. But then, she ran fine last time until I washed her.

So I dug out the plant sprayer that I use as a poor mans jet wash, adjusted the nozzle to give a fine spray and aimed it at the front cyclinder. Once I'd chucked a Gallon of water at the front cylinder I hit the starter again.......

SHE RIDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The work actually took less time that I thought, and I only cut my hands once on the Radiator (I must be learning!) so normally I'd have gone out for a spin. But it was rush hour, so I figured Coffee, Fag then more work.

On the old bike, I found that no-one ever pulled out on me. I always figured it was because the exhaust was really loud, unfortunately I don't have the money for a new exhaust system, and I don't think the neighbours would thank me. So the next best thing is probably a really loud horn.

Horn 1 I got rid of the OEM horn quite a while ago, frankly it was crap and had a horrible tone to it. I initially replaced it with one of a pair of Motrax Hootaz. I'd have liked to connect both, but space really is a bit of an issue. I could have squeezed them in under the seat, but that means a lot of new cable and a muffled sounding horn so it would have been very little benefit.

The horns are rated at 60db each, so it was still louder than the little fuzzbucket that Suzuki supply. Not as loud as I would like, if I hit the horn, I want the other driver to think 'What the F!?k was that???'

If I had the space, I'd like to put in an air horn, if you pull out on me I'll make you think it's a lorry behind you, but it just won't fit!

Horn 2 So I applied a bit of logic, and worked out that I could fit the second Hoota down the side of the engine. Even on the unfaired version, there is a bolt (Allen Key on this one, but I'm sure the old bike had a 10mm bolt) holding the base of the radiator to the edge of the front cylinder.

On the faired version there seems to be plenty of space with, the bolt is a good 7mm longer than is actually needed, the mounting plate for the horn is about 2mm thick, so that still leaves 5mm sticking out of the lock nut. Perfect!

Except that the lead connecting to the horn doesn't reach, and you can only fit one horn into the gap. So I decided it would be best to keep one horn where I had originally placed it (in between the fork legs) and to put the other on the side of the radiator. If only the Radiator had a mounting bolt on both sides, this would have been far easier. Still, it's better than nothing.

You need to create a cable to power the second horn, simply solder it onto the contacts of the first horn (one lead for each contact) and then route the cable down to Horn 2.

My cabling goes down the side of the radiator, and then back through to Horn 2.

NOTE: If horn one is mounted between the fork legs, it will move when you turn the handlebars, make sure you have enough slack in your cable to reach full lock in both directions.

The slack can take a little while to get right, you don't want so little that you can't turn, but you don't want so much that it can foul things like brakes. Once the cable is routed, and the slack is right connect it to Horn 2

As long as you have done your connections properly (don't forget you need to connect the bikes Horn Cable to Horn 1 as well as your cable) when you hit the horn button you should have a very loud horn.

One major issue with the location of both these horns is that they will pick up an immense amount of road crap, they are fairly resilient, but you may have to remove them and take the tops off them to clear some of the rubbish out.

You could mount them so that they are facing backwards, but you will inevitably loose some of the effective volume. You'll also be aiming a set of very loud set of horns in your direction. Not such an issue if you wear earplugs, but do give it some consideration.

Whether this will have any benefit or not I'm not sure, but I applied some vaseline to the exposed section of the contacts on both horns (where the contacts actually go into the horn) I've seen these corrode away to nothing before so figured it should at least help prevent water from doing it again.

SV650-S. Getting rid of this is one of my lifes biggest regrets Obviously, a loud horn will do nothing to protect you if you don't get chance to use it. Allow yourself time when approaching junctions, especially if there is a lot of traffic about. It's better to hit the brakes than the horn, but if you can hit both at once it can be doubly effective. If not then so long as you have avoided the accident, a loud horn is a good way of saying 'F!?k You!!!'

They also seem to be reasonably good at making car drivers jump, they see a bike and equate it to some slow moving vehicle that has has a high pitched 'Meh Meh' horn. When you hit them with 120db of noise, they tend to wake up out of the daze that they all seem to be in. Probably not a good idea to honk at old people walking down the street. A) They might get the wrong idea and B) you could give them a heart attack.

Traffic Wardens are fair game though! Although I'm sure you would live to regret it, they seem to have long memories for things like that.

Ride Safe, or just don't ride.