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24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

After almost 1 year from purchasing my SV1000S I can say its mostly "finished" and I wanted to share my experiences, lessons learned and cost of procuring and refreshing my particular SV.

Purchasing the bike
I purchased the SV from an acquaintance. At the time he lived at an apartment for the bike lived outside for a portion of its life. My wife (who owns a gen 1 SV650) test rode it first. We sat there for a while and she didn't return. Eventually I got a call from her. She apparently came to a stop on an off camber hill...lost her footing and laid it over (gently) on its side. She was trying to bump start it (dead battery) but couldn't. Needless to say we went to rescue her and I thought to myself "we might be buying this thing no matter what". In the end she liked the bike so I was able to purchase it for $2300 as it was rougher around the edges and needed some TLC.

How it started
The bike itself had some light mods (that were mostly removed) done to it but was mostly mechanically stock. Things of note:
Weathered black screen
Blue Chinese levers
Blue Frame Sliders
Under tail tray with front flush mount turn signals
Rear tire huger
Micron Slip ons
Passenger "tickler" embedded into the rear pillion seat. (you can see the slight bulge in the pictures below)




Due to it living outside for a portion of its life the finishes on multiple items were faded and needed to be restored (See Body Restoration). All three (brake fluid) reservoirs plus coolant tank were UV damaged.

A theme of this bike was "differed maintenance". Exhibit A is the chain below that was is such bad shape it had started throwing o-rings. In additional to the chain being jacked up the cush drive needed to be done as I could physically rock the rear sprocket in place.


Lessons learned #1 - Upon trying to remove the speed sensor I found the allen bolt was stripped out. I tried various methods to move that stupid bolt. I tried cutting off the ears of the assembly to try a set of vice grips...that failed. If anyone else has this issue I highly recommend the following type of extractor.

This was my golden ticket to remove this bolt. I've used this kit on other instances and it has worked like a charm.

After finding the condition of the cush drive I decided to fully tear down the rear & front wheels to replace all the bearings. This started me down the rabbit hole.

After reviewing the condition of the drive train. I decided if I'm going to do this I'm going to do it right. What followed is what would be considered "scope creep". I fully removed the rear swing arm for clean/inspect/lubricate.


The swing arm bearings were in good shape so I fully scrubbed the arm and re-greased the bearings. The linkage between the rear shock and the swing arm was not as clean. Some water had ingress'd into the main pivot and was starting to rust. I replaced all the bearings plus the washers.

From the wear and tear on this bike and reading opinions on this forum I decided to send the rear suspension out to Traxion to get re valved and rebuilt. I serviced the front forks myself and replaced all the bushings/seals with Maxim 7wt oil. Also rebuilt the steering damper with 7wt as well.


Build continued

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Given the state of everything else and lack of knowledge from my acquaintance I figured the valves were over do. Considering I know this bike probably had a harder life the valves were actually pretty decent. All the exhausts were ~.001 under spec and all the intakes were at min spec. I re-shimed them all to middle of the range. I did make the determination I had a tiny amount of chain stretch on the 2nd cylinder as I was a hair off on the timing marks for the intake side. After adjusting it fwd and reverse one tooth (which made it much worse) I decided to leave it as-is because it wasn't enough to adjust the timing gear.

While doing the valves I came to the realization the inspection plug on the side of the stator cover was seized on and the 8mm hex hole stripped out when I tried to apply some leverage. With the cover off I ended up drilling and try to extract it....over and over again until I got up to a 3/4" exactor. That coupled with heat and me dremiling the plug down to break the hoop stress around the threads it came out. Those extractors sure come in handy.

Since I had the stator cover off I pulled the flywheel and filled in the cavities with JB weld and did a static balance check of the rotor.


Lesson's learned #2 - The original finish on the stator cover looked terrible so I decided to try and repaint it. Based on the various threads on this site I bought 3 different types of paint and tried to repaint it. I dunno if the formula changed from when members on this site did it years ago or what but it wasn't even close to matching. After stripping and repainting the cover 2 times I said the heck with it and painted it black. If anyone else is trying to repaint portions of their engine I would recommend going with black unless you want to spend big $$ and have a company match it for you.

In my attempt to "do it right" I also replaced the clutch basket with a werks mod'd one via their exchange program. Would recommend the exchange as you don't have the time to forget how it goes together. It took me longer to scrape the previous gasket off than it did to complete the swap.


To round out the engine section I also sync'd the throttle bodies and secondary valves (when it was together).


The Microns that came with the bike while looking and sounding awesome would of started to bother me after 30+ mins of riding. After a lot of internal back and forth I decided to swap out the cans for a pair of 2004s I found on fleabay. Due to the unique 2003 swing arm I had to make small brackets due to the hole position change. In addition to the can swap I noticed the bolt and bracket that attach the xpipe to the front header was basically rusted through. I ground off the old bracket and used a leftover exhast clamp from my CB build.

Microns Sold


The radiator and oil cooler were in decent shape and did not have any bent fins so I replaced the major hoses and reservoir tank as well as flushed the coolant a few times when the bike was put back together.


I was never a fan of clipons for street riding. When I bought the bike I had the plan to change out to superbike bars. I was originally looking at a modified top yoke from the UK but stumbled upon a full N tree from Mad8v. Needless to say I couldn't order that fast enough since I've been looking at the fleabay options & prices. In addition to the superbike bars I bought of set of offset risers to complete the dad mode of the bar mod.

From reading various threads on this site I decided to mod the footpegs to the N version as it gave a little more leg room. During the time I was shopping the only fair priced used set was from a parts place in Australia. Due to the peg modification I also had to source a new shift lever (because used apparently isn't a thing) and a threaded rod from a N.

Since I had mod'd the bars I needed to acquire new throttle cables and bar ends. I was originally going to go the motion pro +4 inches S version but instead found a complete N throttle assembly with long switch wires & cables on fleabay for a decent price. I rerouted the cable for the clutch switch.

Since I was installing a N tree I changed out the original roller steering head bearings for taper. I had to cut the lower race off by cutting an "X" into the race and then using a chisel to split it for removal. Rather than making or buying the special tool for the steering head bearing I used a spanner wrench shown below.


Lesson learned #3 - The wrench I used is from bike master and has a square slot that hooks up to a 3/8 drive. Due to the offset you do have to do some math for torque but Tekton has a fancy calculator here : How to Accurately Use a Torque Wrench with a Crowfoot Wrench | TEKTON®

build continued on next post.

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Body restoration
As I mentioned above, some of the finishes were faded/chipping for various parts of the bike. The tank did have a bit of surface rust under the front attachment (See below). I didn't want to strip the whole tank and respray it so i got plastic basin and put the tank nose down in it and filled the basin with Evapo-Rust. I normally would use vinegar (cheaper) to clean rusty parts but in order to protect the paint I went with the former. It took a few days for the cavity to be completely clean of rust. After rinsing with water and then denatured alcohol I resprayed the tank with color matched paint from color-rite.


In addition to the tank I had to respray the following pieces.
Rear huger - re-plasti dipped (stripping the old plasti dip off was a chore)
Engine cowl
gas cap
top center fairing (tail section)
Foot pegs - black
N Triple Tree

In addition to paint I had several plastics that needed some TLC. For the clutch and front brake fluid reservoirs I replaced with new. I looked into various ways such as using heat, peanut butter, paint to restore the color. However, the car detailing world has another solution.

Lessons learned #4 For the control switches, side panels, and front cowling cover I used a plastic restorer by Solution finish Solution Finish - Trim Restorer. Its a little pricier compared to alternative products but it was recommended by a coworker that uses it on his bikes and truck. As its more of a dye it will fade over time and require reapplication. In my coworkers case, he has to do his truck yearly since it lives outside. Application for bikes should last longer as they are usually kept indoors.

Rounding out the body section I replaced the weathered black screen with a zero gravity touring screen and replaced the stock mirrors with a set from a 650F.

Due to the recommendation on this site did my green connector mod (which was surprisingly easy considering the other issues I had).

As we live in New England I wanted to put heated hand grips on. I bought an set from bike master as it seemed like it had decent reviews/price vs the we'll see how well they go. To mitigate draining the battery if we inadvertently leave them on I tied them into the ignition wire at the fuse box.

When I bought the bike it did have 1 electrical issue. The front turn signals and high beam didn't work as they should. So in perpetration of chasing the problem I removed the tail section to get access to the harness (and to clean/touch up any missing paint on the sub frame).


For the headlight, the low beam didn't work but when you flipped to high the low would come on and illuminate (high)on the dash. When I cleaned up the clutch side switch gear I double checked all the pins vs the wiring diagram and found those were correct. When I checked the fuse box the high beam 15amp fuse was toast so I had a short somewhere.

At some point the the turn signals were also tied into the parking lights.....poorly. So I pulled the sub harness. Vs going through the sub to find the issue I ordered a used one from Mad8v. Upon comparing the original harness to the procured one I noticed two of the pins in the connector were buggered up and were grounding each other out. So the high beam circuit was tripped and something was back feeding into the low and also messing up the signals. With the sub harness switched out everything was as it should.

When we bought the bike I knew something was up with the rear brake as it low on fluid and didn't really work. So I had planned to rebuild them. The calipers were in decent shape but sludge was abound in both the front and back.


I rebuilt all three calipers with new seals/pistons/pads. I also rebuild all three master cylinders. To connect them to my changed bars I decided to go stainless steel from CoreMoto. When it came to bleeding the brakes the rear wasn't bad. The fronts on the other hand....I have never in my life had such an issue with getting all the air out. I was able to pump 3 reservoirs worth of fluid with zero bubbles coming out of the calipers but the lever still didn't have the power it should of. I tried tieing the front brake close overnight, pushing the pistons back in (caused a good amount of air to purge) but nothing seemed to get it all the way.

Lessons learned #5 - From a recommendation on reddit I ordered a banjo bolt from SV-Racing that had a bleeder on it. After installing that (to the master) with new washers + re-pushing the pistons back in again + holding the front brake overnight I was able to bleed a tiny amount of air at the connection of the master cylinder. After all that, I now have a front brake again.:censored:

Continued on next post.

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The Final Product

After 6 and a bit months of work in my freezing garage huddled next to a jet heater I present a refreshed 2003 SV1000S.






Cost Breakdown

In order to keep my sanity I'm grouping things into Vendors. Will breakout for larger items.

Partzilla - $1266, Ebay $433, Traxion $325

  • Engine $700 (Gaskets, werks clutch, valve shims, coolant holes/tank.....ect)
  • Suspension $676 (Traxion rear rebuild, Linkage bearings, wheel bearings, front fork bushings, fork oil, brake pads)
  • Controls $826 (N triple tree, stainless lines, master cylinder rebuilds, steering head bearings, caliper rebuild kits)
  • Body $89 (Touring Windscreen)
And a bunch of odds and ends for a parts total of ~ $2291. I'm sure there are items I'm missing. (I did not include the new rear tire)

All in with the purchase price I currently have an 18 yr old $4,591 SV1000S not including any labor. Good thing I enjoy this as a hobby and not a living.

Future Plans
I will probably want to upgrade to a sargent seat at some point as the stock S seat isn't the best.

I also want to do something different with the front turn signals as I don't trust other people to see them.

Otherwise I'm feeling pretty good about the bike and plan to keep this long term as my wife and I love the SV platform.

Disturbed, very...
2003 SV1000S
1,321 Posts
Excellent result and good write up...

The stock cans are off a later model i am assuming, hence the swap left-right-left and the hanger brackets.... I understand that the welded bracket would have fouled with the peg bracket, but, do you know anyone who is a good welder ? As the can bracket could be added to, and the excess removed and made to look pretty original......that would allow the cans to be mounted behind the footpeg bracket again... The reason i say this is that the vibes and shocks from the road will take their toll on the current mounting......

I like the effort you have put into bringing the beastie back to her best.....congrats...

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They came off an 2004. I looked for 03 stocks but there were slim choices and in rough shape.

Making a more permanent connection is something I've thought about. My cousin has helped me with welding projects on my CB but I'm not sure about his experience with Aluminum. Doesnt hurt to ask.

In the meantime the brackets have rubber washers on the axial connection faces and I have some washer tubing I cut and wrapped between the spacer and bolt to damper some of the radial load. I also marked the brackets to see if the geometry changes and puts more load on the x pipe.

Disturbed, very...
2003 SV1000S
1,321 Posts
Cool.....if your cuz doesnt know, he may know someone who does.... good job all round on the bike....
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