Originally Posted by lmychajluk
Opinons, please? I currently ride a SV650n. It was my first bike, and, being relatively small and nimble, it's is great for 'around town', which to me is N. NJ with the occasional jaunt into Queens to visit the folks. I'll also do the occasional weekend away, where I'll ride 100-150 miles, spend the night, and then back the next day. But, after seeing the 800 XC at the MC show, I'm seriously thinking about 'moving up', mostly for a bit more comfort on the longer rides, including some weather protection and having the ABS, as well as the ability to explore a bit more off the beaten path. I haven't test-rode the Tiger yet, and I'm not sure that a test ride would give me the full feel for dealing with the bike on a daily basis. I figured if I do buy the Tiger, I'd see how it did around town before making a decision to sell the SV650, but, money being what it is these days, knowing that I won't miss the SV650 and that I can put what I get for it towards the XC could make my decision a bit easier.
So, given the option of having these 2 bikes in the garage or just the Tiger, are they different enough that you'd keep both, or is the Tiger versatile enough to handle the narrow streets and parking between cars of city / suburb riding as well as the longer hauls?
I'm coming from an SV myself (S model though, 1st gen), so I can tell you my experience with the two. If you were to have only one bike, the Tiger is far and away the better choice. The SV is a bargain bike, especially when you compare it with the likes of the Tiger. I mainly got the Tiger because I wanted a better platform for doing long trips, and being able to do some off road work (let me tell you, the SV's low clearance and exhaust do NOT like to play well with bumpy terrain.) Sounds pretty similar to what your motivation is too, and it seems like the Tiger will be perfect for that.
Around town, though, and commuting, I think I still prefer the spunky little SV. Don't get me wrong, the T800's engine is fantastic, and the ride is nice and plush, but the SV's v-twin is still a thing of beauty. And being that much smaller and lower, it really does feel a lot more nimble and maneuverable. I know guys are talking about how they can keep up with the sportbikes on their Tigers, which may be true, but I can tell you I feel a lot more confident in the twisties on my SV. Even though the SV has skinny tires by sportbike standards, they feel like fatties compared to the Tiger's. Couple that with the Tiger's higher COG, and the SV feels a lot more planted in aggressive riding. I should state that I'm admittedly still getting a feel for the Tiger, and I've upgraded the SV's suspension a bit, but still, I've had the Tiger's back end step out on me in turns that I didn't feel like I was pushing it too hard, not compared to what I'd do with the SV at least.
So that's a slightly long winded version of me saying that at least in my case, I'm keeping the SV around for now. I like its flickability on the highway, and its lightweight maneuverability. And admit that I still love that v-twin growl. I'll use it mostly for commuting since it already has a bunch of miles on it and gets slightly better gas mileage. I may take it out for the occasional canyon carving day trip too, and maybe track days if I ever feel like I don't need to buy stuff for the Tiger (hah!). But for any longer excursions, or anything hinting of off road, I'll be taking the Tiger out for sure.