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19 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

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (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.

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (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.
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