SV650, getting her to stop is the hardest part

I really like my SV650, but the thing that’s holding me back from loving her are the brakes and the suspension.  Comparing the SV to my old GSXR is like night and day.  Kind of like comparing a Honda Civic to a Honda NSX, they’re just at two different ends of the spectrum.

Well I decided that I needed something slower and cheaper, so here we are, back were I started with the SV.  To put it bluntly, the SV650 brakes are unsafe. They are wooden and don’t inspire a lot of confidence in the rider.  After some research I’ve decided on Vesrah for the front pads and Galfer for the rears.  If you want Vesrah pads, you should really go to Kurveygirl to get them.  Fast shipping, cheap prices, and they sent me a sanding block!

The Rears


  • 12 mm Wrench
  • 5 mm Alan Wrench
  • Flat head screw driver

First, remove the flat head stud at the top of the rear brake.

Next, loosen the 5 mm alan bolt that holds the pads in place.

Now, remove the 12 mm bolt that holds the rear brake caliper in place and swing the caliper up.

You should now be able to pull the rear pin out and take the pads off the calipers.

Remember to sand both the inside and the outside of the brake disc to remove any old brake material.

Now transfer the brake hardware over from the old pads to the new pads.  At this time, you should also grease up the contact patches for the pads as well as the pin (I may have gone a little overboard with this step).

Now reassemble the rear caliper the way you took it off.



The Fronts



  • 14 mm wrench (I would suggest a 1/2 inch wrench as the bolts are pretty tight)

First, remove the two bolts holding the caliper in place.

Now take the calipier out and flip it upside down.  You can see on the bottom of the caliper there is a clip holding the pin in place that holds the pads in the caliper.  Remove that.

Now swing the pads up so you can slide them off the caliper.  Don’t forget to sand the front discs!

Again, remove the hardware from the old pads and put them on the new pads.  Then put grease on all the parts that make contact.

Now, just put the caliper back on and tighten the two bolts that hold the caliper in place.  Rinse and repeat for the other side.

Now that you’re done, don’t forget that you may have to pump the brakes a few times before they make contact with the disc.  From here you’ll have to bed in your brakes.  There are a few opinions on how to do this:

  1. Find a safe place to do some “emergency stops”.  Ride your bike up to about 50 mph and hit your brakes (almost locking them up but not) until you get down to about 10 mph.  Do not come to a complete stop.  Repeat this about eight times, you should feel that your brakes are biting more and more each time.  After this, let your brakes cool down completely and enjoy.
  2. Find a safe place that will allow you to ride at the same speed for about half a mile.  While going about 35 mph, start to hold down your brakes.  Use the accelerator to keep your speed up while holding your brakes down.  You should feel your brakes bite more and you may need to use more throttle.  Let the brakes cool completely, and repeat again.

I have always used the first method, so I find that effective.  After about four stops I feel that my brakes are biting very well.  I am very impressed by the Vesrah brakes, they feel almost as good as stock GSXR brakes.  They have a very progressive feel and do very well to stop the bike.

Next up, the suspension!

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