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Thread: RSV as a commuter

  1. #1
    Baby Twin
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    RSV as a commuter

    Hi everyone. I am considering an RSV1000 for my next bike but have a few issues.

    Will an RSV be able to be used as a commuter bike and a reliable one at that?

    I ask because next year I am off to university and will be commuting 15 miles each way and cant be getting up to go all the time and ending up late because it's not working.

    I was considering a Suzuki SV1000 but have been advised against it due to them rusting like hell in the winter and having oil leaks.

    How expensive would the servicing be on it? I will be looking for one with a full service history just to boost the reliability.

    Are there any ways you can 'protect' things like the electrical system to stop it going wrong? etc

    Thanks all

    James

  2. #2
    Superbike Twin saint nick's Avatar
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    A lot of people are gonna say no worries, but I think the nature of the commute matters. I wouldn't use an RSV or even a Tuono if there was a fair percentage of urban involved. RSVs don't really like being in town, they'll do it but it can be very frustrating, to an extent that applies to all sportsbikes and big short stroke V2s in particular. Plus they drink and eat rubber, for a commute I'd buy a rock solid mile muncher at hack price, give it a good service and go from there. The old (mk1) Fazer 600 springs to mind plus you can still have fun, more so than on a Bandit..... You can pick up a CB500 for well under a grand and they are a piece of piss to maintain, so is the Divvy, bit less fun than the Fazer but a shaftie is useful commuting. Anything which has proved itself as a courier basically. Do you really want to subject a really nice bike to road salt etc?

    It isn't a reliability issue, its just practicalities.
    Last edited by saint nick; December 11th, 2009 at 05:02 PM.

  3. #3
    V_senna
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    Well they don't like the cold and they don't like the rain, a fair few suffer in the winter, starting problems aren't unheard of, dont get me wrong theres definately good ones out there, mines been good as gold, but a fair few have problems cold starting etc.

    Any Japanese bike will rust through winter, its up to you to look after it, spend a few hours a week giving it a once over and it'll be fine, if its a V-twin your after, the SV isn't bad for a road/commuter, the honda firestorm is another option, neither as pretty as the RSV though,

    something to consider I guess, don't want to put you off, but make sure you get a good one if you want to survive the chills.

  4. #4
    Baby Twin interex2050's Avatar
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    I have not had any real issues with the RSV as a commuter. Lots of traffic. Rain or shine, always eager to get going in the morning.

    I have a personal issue with the SV1000s, now with that said.
    It is a piss poor excuse of a vehicle, an oxcart is more satisfying.
    The body work destroys itself, seems to fracture just for the fun of it.
    The stator magnets are glued on with Elmer's Glue (a major pain to diagnose).
    Throttle response is pitiful, and the amount of fuel it consumes for the amount of fun you get out of it is inexcusable.
    Handles about as well as a pregnant donkey.
    Most of the hardware is made of cheese, they must have put much effort in alloying cheese with steel.
    Will most likely catch fire, they use nice but under-rated connectors for the ignition switch.
    Conclusion: Don't get one, as it will most likely dissuade you from riding.

  5. #5
    Superbike Twin chrisvosberg's Avatar
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    I use mine for commuting most every day. Yesterday, the temp was -11c and today it was -4c. No problems at all, I just have really good gear for an 18-mile trip, (FirstGear and Sidi). There are only four days this year I drove a 4-wheel vehicle to work.

    I know there are better bikes for commuting, but I wanted an Aprilia RSV-R. There are things you can do to enhance reliability as outlined in other threads here, but I've had no problems in 9400mi. I will say I think I would be more comfortable on a Tuono, but we should buy what we want.

    Remember that all bikes have issues.

  6. #6
    Evil Twin Alan Haskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interex2050 View Post
    I have a personal issue with the SV1000s, now with that said.
    It is a piss poor excuse of a vehicle, an oxcart is more satisfying.
    The body work destroys itself, seems to fracture just for the fun of it.
    The stator magnets are glued on with Elmer's Glue (a major pain to diagnose).
    Throttle response is pitiful, and the amount of fuel it consumes for the amount of fun you get out of it is inexcusable.
    Handles about as well as a pregnant donkey.
    Most of the hardware is made of cheese, they must have put much effort in alloying cheese with steel.
    Will most likely catch fire, they use nice but under-rated connectors for the ignition switch.
    Conclusion: Don't get one, as it will most likely dissuade you from riding.
    I take it you didn't like yours then...

    I had a TL1000 and it was spot bollock on, 100% reliable and totally spotless.

    But I don't think any big v-twin is the right vehicle for commuting, no matter what denomination. But I do like big twins, so for commuting I'd probably go for a BMW R1100S. They haven't got any top-end on them, but handle real well and will be reliable.

  7. #7
    One Liter Duc Eater sergi75's Avatar
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    I had the mille for 2 years. Commute every weekday and two trips. One to the alps and another to Barcelona without any problems. It takes a bit of homework though. Read all the common problems/solutions on this very forum and you should be fine.
    Correct starting precedure (if it's an older model with manual start lever)
    larger battery
    yamaha solenoid
    Plug battery to optimate. (using the bike everyday, 1 night every other week is enough for my bike)
    Lub chain regularly
    Get your CO and TB sync
    Change the gearing if it is still original
    Wash the bike regularly specially in winter. (I use wd-40 to finish and seems to be doing a good job)
    and errrrrrrrrrrr that's it.

  8. #8
    mark58
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    If I was commuting to college (again) I found a Jap traily did the job and good fun too..Most bikes corrode in winter, endemic..Used to just slap loads of gunge (wd40) over all the exposed bits..RSV's definately not commuter friendly especially in towns.

  9. #9
    Evil Twin superyellow's Avatar
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    2000 Mille
    get a new battery I have a 16AH battery stary with no problem around 20 fahrenheit.
    Solenoid is poorly made(no brand), you can still start it with a metal object. RSV-Twins gave me his old Hitachi solenoid. Do not over rev the motor!!! I commute on it with 4-5K RPMS. Keep ur RPMS low. My old motor dropped valves on it due to over revving/negligence. Torque the bolts right when you maintain your bike. the rear brake is pain the butt to bleed and maintain use EBC 266HH rated pads. they are worth it if you are gonna drive in the rain. I removed mine and ooops the bike goes down. feck. don't get water in the starter switch. I had no starting problems after i changed the starter. Don't let the bike sit in damp areas like garage. i get 30MPH , I don't want to disclose how fast i go however that is great milage for average. make sure you have a clean filter the filter gets filty fast due to the ram air intakes!!! I was luck enough to get a brand new one for 5 dollars. RSV is great it is a track bike! if you commute on straight roads like me your tires will be square because the bike is heavy 320 lbs.. so lean that beast to the pegs. ride it like super moto to work ride it like man lol once more again most of these italian bikes fail to start due to negligence or flat battery unless there is something very wrong with the motor or you have very thick oil in it.. my 2 cents

  10. #10
    Evil Twin superyellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark58 View Post
    If I was commuting to college (again) I found a Jap traily did the job and good fun too..Most bikes corrode in winter, endemic..Used to just slap loads of gunge (wd40) over all the exposed bits..RSV's definately not commuter friendly especially in towns.
    unless you enter the turns with a foot down and wheelie the turn out with one leg sticking out on the APEX like me!

  11. #11
    GP Champ caterpillar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superyellow View Post
    unless you enter the turns with a foot down and wheelie the turn out with one leg sticking out on the APEX like me!
    Now this I have to see! Come on superyellow sir, lets see the action in action

  12. #12
    Evil Twin superyellow's Avatar
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    Subpeana the tapes from the cameras on Van Buren and Wood in Riverside California. lol and see how awkward i look while doing that on a yellow bike. if you under steer gents gun it suddenly and wheelie it out gents, just don't touch that front brake in rain. lol

  13. #13
    Baby Twin Kevin's Avatar
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    If you want to buy a Aprilia no one can tell you not to. I drive mine 80% of the time to work and back unless it is pouring with rain-I am not a good weather biker but arriving at work dripping wet is not my way to start a shift-Maintance is expensive with regards to fuel and tyres. If you are not a DIY guy with sufficient knowledge to repair the small things and do services yourself excluded vavle timing the bike can become the biggest section of your budget and rob you of spending money and more importantly you will have to dig into your beer savings.

    Another alternative is the Suzuki GSR 600, naked, low fuel consumption, for all rider levels approved, Dealerships are every where so you will not be left with out transport for more than a day, services are cheap.

    I had a Honda VFR 400 while I spend my time in college and it is nothing to be shy of, that littel bugger gave me 60 000 KM till trade in with out any problems.

    Good luck with your choice and studies.

  14. #14
    IanG
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    Quote Originally Posted by interex2050 View Post
    I have not had any real issues with the RSV as a commuter. Lots of traffic. Rain or shine, always eager to get going in the morning.

    I have a personal issue with the SV1000s, now with that said.
    It is a piss poor excuse of a vehicle, an oxcart is more satisfying.
    The body work destroys itself, seems to fracture just for the fun of it.
    The stator magnets are glued on with Elmer's Glue (a major pain to diagnose).
    Throttle response is pitiful, and the amount of fuel it consumes for the amount of fun you get out of it is inexcusable.
    Handles about as well as a pregnant donkey.
    Most of the hardware is made of cheese, they must have put much effort in alloying cheese with steel.
    Will most likely catch fire, they use nice but under-rated connectors for the ignition switch.
    Conclusion: Don't get one, as it will most likely dissuade you from riding.
    Sorry old chap,but I really must question that, I think you must have got a really bad one as I've got a 2003 Sv1000s that I bought the second week they became available and as I've ridden it for 6 years years + continously I feel qualified to tell you you're talking through your arse

    For the price you won't find a better bike, not when you take into account relative prices when new, in this country 6500 for the Suz against 9000 + for the Mille.
    Firstly I've never come across bodywork destroying it self ( unless thrown down the road first).

    Stator magnets are no more likely to detach than Aprilias, see AF1 and Sv forums for proof. Actually I think they are all made by Denso.

    Throttle response when properly adjusted is very linear and capable of lofting the front wheel. Please bear in mind it is a heavier SPORT TOURER and to compare it with the Mille is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.

    Handling as standard is not as good as the Aprilia agreed, (see above) however with a judicious bit of carefully applied adjustment and substitution there is not a great deal of difference between the two. The Aprilia will always be slightly better due to it's being designed as a SPORTS bike.

    Screws being made of cheese is a valid comment however is it not beyond your capability to replace with stainless SH caps when needed ? Personally I've never had any problem with any of mine,but then I'm a precision engineer and use the correct tools and a torque wrench on the odd occasion I find I have to work on it.

    And as far as catching fire goes,you are having a laugh no ??

    There is one suspect connector on the bike ( the well known GREEN one) usually this just overheats and cuts all power to the system. Never in being on the SV portal for 6 years have I heard of anyone actually setting their bike on fire,just a few charred wire ends,and no,mine is still as good as new after 6.1/2 years

    Now if you want to talk potential fires may I draw your attention to the Apes much more imfamous BROWN connectors,as when these burn out (and there are two of them) they can take out most of the electrical system including the alternator stator. Please see any amount of posts both on here and over on AF1 on the subject.

    Plus also over on AF1 read up on the posts to do with trying to rewind Aprilia stators with thicker guage wire to try and get some semblance of reliability. ''Noel the knurls'' posts would be a good starting point for your reading.

    Remember........... ''people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones''

    For nice summers afternoon hoons I'll use my Mille, for longer distance, more touring type,adverse weather riding I'll use my Sv as it is turn the key and go reliable,never has a battery optimiser connected ,is much more suited to carrying luggage, and is pretty much guaranteed to get me to where I want to go with no drama and without worrying about calling recovery.

    Have a nice day, as you people say

  15. #15
    Evil Twin Alan Haskins's Avatar
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    That pretty much matches my experience of the TL1000 versus the Aprilia (Which refused to start today).

  16. #16
    Baby Twin Phill's Avatar
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    What bike?????

    RSVR - for when you have the time and inclination to focus and enjoy the ride/holiday etc - one of the best bikes around.

    For commuting - get a Blade - brilliant value, ultra reliable, handles well, effortless. Why get a 600 or something quirky when a Blade will do everything - BUT IT HAS NO SOUL! and that is the price you pay

  17. #17
    IanG
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    That sums it all up

    Aprilia = quirky,tempremental but with SOUL

    Any jap bike = Reliable,efficient,but lacking in the SOUL department and found in any car park in their cloned hundreds.

    One of each is the best bet, I think I have the best of both worlds as I seem to have fallen for V twins in a big way.

  18. #18
    Evil Twin Alan Haskins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    That sums it all up

    Aprilia = quirky,tempremental but with SOUL

    Any jap bike = Reliable,efficient,but lacking in the SOUL department... I seem to have fallen for V twins in a big way.
    Get a TL1000S or R, mate. They've got all the power and soul you need, and are ultra-reliable. Fantastic engine. The only downside is that they don't handle as well as an Aprilia (they do handle ok though, just not as well as the RSV).

  19. #19
    Baby Twin Phill's Avatar
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    Soul or no soul?

    You got me thinking - yea the Ape is quirky, but it's one of those things that gets under your skin - I can't see me selling mine at any time. BUT I don't want to ride it to get from A to B - for that give me a Blade [or even my 1977 CB750!] I want to ride the Ape because I WANT TO RIDE, it has to be an occasion, an event, something memorable.

    A Blade however demands little attention, yet will still give cracking service, go like stink and will commute with ease.

    I will tinker with the Ape - again - BECAUSE I WANT TO - but a Jap bike I will service because IT NEEDS IT.

    I think an Ape, Duke, KTM and such like are similar, they draw you in, give a lot and expect a lot. But I feel Jap bikes are genuinely fantastic, but bland. They are a victim of their engineering excellence.

    Think I'll go and watch BLADE RUNNER [no pun intended - manufactured perfect people? ]

  20. #20
    Baby Twin interex2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    you're talking through your arse
    That would be a fairly accurate statement

    All the issues are magnified due to expectations that were far from met.
    In terms of reliability, etc...
    But in reality it is not all that bad, just more than I was willing to deal with.

    Its hard to believe that I sold the 916 to get the SV...

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