Starting my mornings out on the busy 405 freeway in Los Angeles always proves difficult for me when navigating through heavy traffic. Although I’m fairly new to commuting by motorcycle, I have been riding for a little over a year and consider myself a beginner/intermediate rider, especially on the street—I also do track days and schools. At my experience level, I can say the 2022 Suzuki SV650 ABS makes completing the heavily trafficked route easy.Beginning with the hand controls, my hands never felt stressed or tight while easily maneuvering through heavy traffic, on and off the freeway. The placement of my feet on the pegs allows easy access to the shifter and rear brake pedal.Thanks to the Suzuki SV650’s lightweight suspension and easy maneuverability, getting through traffic is much easier and less tiring for me. The V-twin produces effortless acceleration was needed—throttle response is good, and the powerband is smoother. This makes the SV650 easy to ride in tight traffic or quick runs through the canyons.
During my night commutes home from work, the large halogen headlight lights up the road and is a great design touch. Still, it’s time for Suzuki to upgrade the headlight to LED to match the taillight. As far as drawing wanted attention to myself and the SV650, I would like a muffler with a bit more sound output and a bit racier look. Speaking of appearance, the dark blue trellis frame and rims bring out the sleek design on the naked style bike.For commuting, my main complaint is the lack of wind protection. As much as I like the unfaired look, commuting on the freeways at high speeds becomes uncomfortable after a while with the upright seating position. Although Suzuki doesn’t offer accessory wind protection (other than a “meter visor”), Spain’s Puig offers a bikini fairing designed specifically for the SV650.Being 5-foot-3, I always have difficulty maneuvering larger motorcycles—especially at slow speeds at my destination. The SV650’s sub-31-inch seat height eliminates that concern. The extra security of the ABS system is mentally beneficial for me and worth the $450 premium over the ABS-free standard SV650. A few times, I have felt the ABS activate in a few tight spots I found myself in during my ride. Longer rides are quite easy, thanks to its large, padded seat.The 2022 Suzuki SV650 ABS is a confidence booster, as its upright ergonomics and light weight keep me feeling in control throughout my daily driving and heavy traffic conditions.Photography by Don WilliamsRIDING STYLE
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!