It’s About Time: A Suzuki SV650 kit by C-Racer

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
While everyone’s clamoring for a slice of the heritage market, one manufacturer’s quietly been sitting on a sweet modern-day UJM, ripe for customization. We’re talking about Suzuki, and the SV650.

A modern day classic, the original Suzuki SV650 was launched in 1999. The ‘poor man’s Monster’ lasted ten years before being replaced by the (far less popular) SFV650 Gladius. And now, after an incredible 400,000 global sales, there’s a new SV650 for 2017. The $6,999 all-rounder is receiving praise for the qualities that made the original popular: good performance in a versatile package. It’s also affordable—playing in the same ballpark as the Yamaha FZ-07, but coming in cheaper than the XSR700 and Ducati’s Scrambler Icon.

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
Looks-wise, the SV650 a pretty vanilla motorcycle. But that makes it the perfect blank canvas for a modern custom. Suzuki’s Greek distributor shares that sentiment, so it handed a SV650 over to Athens-based parts manufacturer C-Racer, and asked them to make nice things for it.

“The whole idea of converting a modern street bike into a scrambler—by ways of offering a bolt on kit—was something that we had been mulling over for a year,” says C-Racer’s Antonis Kapetanios. “Soon enough, Suzuki Hellas threw a collaboration offer on the table—the making of a bolt-on kit for their new version of the SV650.”

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
“We rode the bike and we were pleasantly surprised with how well-balanced and easy to ride it was, both in and out of the city. Agile and predictable were the two words that first popped up in our minds.”

It’s worth remembering that the SV650 is a 21st century motorcycle—and that makes it a bit tougher to mod than older bikes. “It was one of the most difficult projects that we have undertaken,” says Antonis.

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
“What weighed on our decision to take this bet was the fact that the new Suzuki bikes in general haven’t really attracted the attention of the custom scene. We had to successfully convert a street bike into a scrambler. Our hands were full!”

C-Racer started by going over the entire motorcycle, measuring every inch so that they could work with it digitally. Each part was then designed using 3D software, before the guys moved onto the prototyping phase and, eventually, final production.

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
Aluminum parts such as the chain guard were laser cut, while plastic parts were vacuum formed using CNC-milled molds. The process involved a fair bit of back-and-forth—with multiple parts needing to be molded, test fitted, and tweaked digitally before the final production molds could be produced.

“The most difficult work was the new seat,” says Antonis. “We had to design a new base, then a special socket for luggage racks, and then raise the seat high enough to get the comfort and the aesthetic look we wanted—that of a scrambler bike, a marriage between the old and the new.”

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
The seat’s one of the more obvious add-ons, and it’s finished in a gorgeous two-tone synthetic leather, with contrasting diamond stitching. The bolt-on luggage rack is an aluminum part, with electrostatic plating on its mounting brackets.

Other aluminum bits include the radiator guard, engine guard, license plate bracket and chain guard. The headlight’s protected by a Plexiglas shield that’ll be available in clear, smoke and yellow, and there’s an electrostatic plated grill just in front of it.

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
A set of plastic dress-up parts completes the kit: a small headlight shroud, side number plates, a front fender and fork guards. For this version, C-Racer also installed a set of Renthal Fatbars on Rizoma risers, capping them off with Biltwell grips.

Intending to actually ride the bike on and off the road, they’ve rounded out the package with Pirelli MT60 RS Corsa rubber.

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
After two months of hard graft, C-Racer took the SV650 on its first dirt outing. “The result was impressive,” Antonis reports, “considering that the whole riding position had changed. It had the sensation of a real scrambler—our mission was accomplished.”

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.
C-Racer will be distributing the kit via Parts Europe and Suzuki Hellas, which is good news for anyone who wants to mod a new SV650. And who knows—maybe Suzuki will take notice. An official ‘SV650X’ retro cafe racer concept will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in a few weeks—but we reckon there’s an even bigger market for a lightly scrambled machine like C-Racer’s.

C-racer | Facebook | Instagram | Studio images by ‘a dead pixel,’ Action images by Thanasis Koutsogiannis, Moto Magazine Greece

Special thanks go to Suzuki Hellas for the collaboration, Parts Europe for the parts distribution, Moto Magazine Greece for the action images & Café Racer Cult for supporting our work and vision.

Finally: a custom kit for the Suzuki SV650, by C-racer.