Presented here at great expense is the low down on Chris's fabulous MV-SV now complete with its paint job. I'll let Chris tell the story in his own words. (click on images for full size photo)

I can’t leave anything alone. Never have been able to. I just like bikes that are unique. I’ve been riding a really trick Honda NSR 250 and RVF 400 for the past few years. But this is the story of how my “make it special’ approach has impacted a 2001 SV650S


The SV is great! Love the V-twin. Always have. In fact, I had recently sold an RC 51 and was wondering what I’d get next. The RC 51 is a nice bike but unnecessarily fast for the street, at least the way I like to ride. Imagine riding an RC 51 and then hopping on an NSR 250. I found myself riding the RC 51 less and less. But I loved the power delivery of the V-twin. A friend of mine was racing AFM 650 twins and I started to pay attention to his SV and thought, “This is a great bike…” Then one day I just went down to the dealer and bought a 2001 SVS. I really like the SVS bodywork: not a full sport bike look, but some nice lines. It was perfect…for about 600 miles.

As most of you know, the stock SV could use a little help in the suspension and brake department. And I happen to have a group of buddies who own a shop here in northern California called Motomorphic ( As the name implies, they can do just about anything to metal, preferably metal associated with motorcycles


So this project began, innocently enough, with a front-end swap. If you couldn't tell, I'm a sucker for a pretty face. I could have upgraded the stock front end but was seduced by the inverted look. Had to have one on my SV. Motomorphic helped me source a complete 2001 GSX-R 1000 front end. I like the look of the gold tubes and the TiN on the sliders. Those 6 piston calipers look great, too.

The conversion is very straightforward:

1. remove the SV front end

2. press the SV stem out of the lower triple

3. weld it up then machine it to the appropriate size and

4. press it to the GSX-R 1000 lower triple

5. modify the GSX-R 1000 fork stops and 6. bolt the whole thing back on


During the conversion, I thought I'd need to get a set of TL-S bars to get the same rise and clearance as the SVS bars. It turns out that the stock GSX-R 1000 bars work fine. They are about 1" lower but all the controls and cables clear everything just fine.

OK, that's the front. I then installed a Penske 3-way adjustable on the back. Done and done! And let me tell you what a difference it makes. The SV is transformed into the canyon carver it was always meant to be. Suzuki should have made it this way in the first place. Plus, visually, the whole front end looks more balanced. I always thought the SVS needed something 'meatier' than those skinny stock forks poking out from under that front fairing. And the gold TiNitride looks great against the blue of the bodywork. It stops a bit better than it used to, to say the least.


The image that inspired Chris, yes this is a fake.

So, with the suspension sorted, I started thinking about the next set of modifications. I was surfing the web one day and I saw what was clearly a Photoshop-modified picture of a red SVS with an Agusta MV F4s tail pasted onto it. To me, it looked great. I thought, "Now we're talking!" and my search was on

I have a buddy who calls me one day and says he found an Agusta F4 Strada tail, complete with seat, tail light, all the brackets, etc. I told him I'd take it. Next, I posted on an Agusta forum that I was looking for an F4 subframe. Turns out a number of F4 owners are being harassed by their girlfriends and are converting to the bi-posto set up. This requires different tail plastic, seat, etc. Anyway, I got a response from a guy in Florida who had done the conversion and ended up with a spare subframe. We agreed a price for the subframe (they retail for about $1000…) and during the conversation it came out the he also had the mono tail, seat, taillights, etc. Can you say SOLD!? I also posted for a set of stock MV mufflers. Well, this same guy contacts me and we agree a price for those. In the end, I found two complete tails (seat, tail light, etc) and two sets of stock mufflers. (Any ideas for what to do with the 'spare' MV tail section/seat and exhaust…?) For the record, the retail price for the MV parts alone is near $4,000. I was fortunate to have paid significantly less than that.


So, I had all the parts I needed for the tail and exhaust conversion but in order to fit the exhaust, I first needed a single sided swing arm. Motomorphic to the rescue!

You may have figured out that Motomorphic was the key to this project. I fancy myself the 'idea/design' guy but Motomorphic did all the machining and fabrication work and sourced a bunch of the interesting stuff. Like the complete Honda RC 30 swing arm/eccentric/rear brake set up, etc.
They had previously installed a VFR 750 swing arm on their shop SV (see their website for pics) but to my eye, the RC 30 arm, which is about 1" thicker in terms of it's visual height, looks more appropriate on the SV. Plus, I much prefer the way it carries the rear brake caliper underneath, rather than on top of the swingarm. I think it makes for a much cleaner look. But let me tell you, it was a big job to fit.
First, the RC 30 linkage is 'backwards' from the SV. That is, the swingarm itself lacked the boss that the SV dog bones fit up to. The whole underside of the arm had to be hogged out and then a block/plate was fabricated and fit to make it work. Then the hole that the shock fits through had to be moved over and back and then re-plated. It took better than 22 hours of machining and fabrication work just to get the swing arm on.


Now, those of you who want a single sided swingarm on your SV, have no fear. The mid ‘90s VFR 750 arm comes with the boss set up essentially the way you need it. All that’s required is to widen the boss and fit the appropriate bearings. OK, it requires a bit more than that but it’s a great deal easier and faster to fit than the RC 30. The Motomorphic SV has the VFR arm on it and it was a far simpler mod. Ah, the joys of ‘going first’… Anyway, the RC 30 arm looks great, it fits great and it works great. It confuses people when they first see it. Most people ask if it’s a Ducati swing arm. I guess because they recognize the rear wheel as Ducati. Plus, based on my conversations with people, it appears that not many people know what an RC 30 is…can’t blame them, how many people have even ever seen one?

To finish off the swing arm, I had a custom, one-off carbon chain guard made by a local composite fabricator. Then it was time for the rear wheel. I wanted to keep the look consistent with the GSX-R 1000 3-spoke front wheel. Motomorphic sourced a Ducati 916 wheel, which interestingly, has the same 4-shear pin spacing, etc. as the RC 30. Go figure. Anyway, the chain line was figured as we fit the swing arm so all we had to do was to fabricate a spacer to get the rear wheel alignment right. That pushed the wheel to the right far enough that we had to machine the RC 30 wheel nut spacer to work with what was now a 'shorter' axle. We also machined the thrust side of the spacer to fit the Ducati wheel. The whole idea with all this is that I can now run a standard Ducati rear wheel. Can you say 5-spoke Dymag Carbon…? Soon, my friends, soon…


Next, we fit the tail section. I have to say, it's really interesting how well the tail fit up to the SV tank. A number of the style lines just plain 'work'. The seat height went up a bit but I like that. It puts me over the front wheel a bit more. A few folks who've sat on it say it feels a bit like a Ducati. In any case, the F4 subframe was cut to clear all the SV parts it had to clear. Once the tail was positioned, it was a matter of bending some aluminum tubing to fit and fabricating a set up that holds the tank hinge. As you can see from the pictures, the seat flips up, just like on the F4. It's all very tidy. All I had to do in terms of wiring was to slice the loom and pull out the tail light, turn signal and license plate light wiring as it needs to be able to hinge up with the tail section

Next Motomorphic fabricated and fit the exhaust. I ran the stock SV header but you can see all the work that went into this. The rear head pipe had to be re-routed to get around the swingarm and then it was a 'simple' matter of mating up the F4 mufflers to the rest of the header. It ended up being a 2-into-2 that uses the stock crossover. Well, OK, you could call it a 2-1-2-4 but that's really more of a visual description


EVERYONE who approaches the bike wants to hear it. It's a little bit of a disappointment as these are stock mufflers off a 750. They are a tick louder than stock but breath better. It really is nice that it's so quiet. I wanted a bike that wouldn't upset my neighbors as I left for my weekend early morning rides. Actually, it could be a bit louder and still be OK but it does have a nice rumble and it just plain looks so cool. I could not be happier.

A few things on the list of 'little things' are: · Fitting Race Tech Gold Valves and Race Tech springs and getting a softer rear spring to compensate for the fact that the RC 30 swing arm is a bit shorter than the SV. The recommended spring rate is now a bit harsh. · Molding the tank to exactly match the F4 tail section · Having a few decals made. Actually, this should be pretty cool. Let me explain: Agusta has six letters. So does Suzuki. My plan is to make a set of decals that look just like the Agusta MV decals but say "Suzuki SV". It should be subtle enough that you have to look twice to notice · Paint the front fender in the body color · Relocate the shock reservoir inside the tail 

So there you have it. One pretty unique SV that, to my eye, looks like it could have come from the factory. It attracts attention everywhere it goes. I’ve met a bunch of people because most people have a bunch of questions about the bike. It’s a great conversation starter.

I do have a bit more work to do and that’s most likely to be the case forever…But to me, that’s the point of a project bike, isn’t it?

In closing, Project SV/MV is turning out just as I’d hoped. And yes, it is available for purchase. Serious inquires only, please.

Ride Safely.

Chris Baker

cell: 916-799-3934

Some more recent developments


Nov 19th 2002 'SV/MV updates' from Chris Baker 


John, Thought I'd send you a few pics of the "latest phase" updates I've made to my SV.

It's now yellow (I noticed ;-\) and the tank has been molded to match the MV tail. I did the work in Bondo then made a mold from the tank and made a carbon fiber part that was bonded onto the tank (after removing all the Bondo), smoothed in and, ta-da!, it looks pretty good. (I agree, the transition from tank to rear bodywork looks very impressive) The front end  has Race Tech springs and Gold Valves. Tires are Dunlop D208. The shock reservoir is now mounted under the seat. (looks very neat)


Next phase is: Full carbon fiber MV replica gas tank and 1/2 fairing with MV mirrors, totally revised exhaust system, wheel updates, Wave rotors, steel front lines, a custom carbon chain guard/hugger and those custom decals.

My riding buddies are all encouraging me to just buy an MV but, hey, anyone with money can have one of those...! Ride safely, Chris Baker


This is a very impressive conversion, the attention to detail is superb. As Chris says, anyone can have an MV, there's only one of these. Just not sure about that colour. See also the original article in the articles section. 

Jan 14th 2003 'More on the MV-SV' from Chris Baker

John, I hope this finds you well. Attached are some pics of early "Version II" work on my SV. I mentioned in my last message that I was going to be making an MV replica tank. Well, here's the beginning of it. Take one MV tank and airbox (now where'd that come from...?) and take a fiberglass mold of them. Use the mold to make a prototype fiberglass tank, make it fit (yikes...!) then make a mold of that. What you see in the pictures is the prototype. I'm a the "make it fit" stage. The finished product will be a carbon/kevlar tank. It's looking pretty good so far. I'll keep you updated as things progress. Ride safely, Chris Baker

I love this project, where will it end?

Feb 10th 2003 'SV/MV update' from Chris Baker

Hi John, Kudos for all your continued hard work on the site. We really appreciate it. Here are the latest updates on my custom gas tank project: I've finalized the shape and roughed in filler on the fiberglass. I really like the way it allows the rear cylinder to peek through. Sorta Ducati 999, maybe? (yep I thought so too) I've modified the underside to provide more space for airflow, too. The plan is to make a set of panels that fit between the frame and tank that are simply thin borders with a mesh inlay to preserve the 'see through' look while hiding some of the now-visible wiring, etc. Still working on a front fairing design but I'm also liking the naked look (SV/MV Brutale?). We'll see. More to come as it continues to evolve. Ride safely. Chris Baker

Mar 4th 2003 'Ready to make the mold! from Chris Baker 

John, Regarding your SV: Well, you beat me to the gold mesh. That's just what I have planned for my SV, too. I'll be adding the mesh to the fairing, the MV tail vents and the panels under the new tank. Your SV really looks the dog's. Have I got that right? ;-) (yep) Nice job. So, here is latest on my new tank. This is the final buck ready to be used to make the production mold. Being that I'm new to all this I've got maybe 40 hours in this part. I think I'll be keeping my day job... My goal is to pull the mold for the underside this weekend and get the carbon/kevlar underside part made. If all goes well I may get the splitter plate and half the upper mold made as well. I'll try and remember to take some pics of the process. It's pretty interesting and much easier than people think. More updates as things progress. Ride safely. Chris Baker

Chris, you're having a laugh. How can you compare my pathetic attempts to customise my SV against wonderful machine. Here are the latest photo's of Chris's MV-SV.


Jun 1 2003  'The Carbon Tank lives...almost'

Hi John, Well, I finally got around to laying up my carbon/Kevlar tank. It's 2 layers of carbon, a layer of Kevlar, then a layer of fiberglass and a final layer of carbon. The Kevlar is only running along the sides as that's the area most likely to take a hit in the case of an accident. Carbon is light, but drag it along the road and it grinds right away. Not the hot set up when there's fuel on the other side. A layer of Kevlar provides a nice safety net. Overall, it turned out pretty well for a first effort. Not perfect but it's getting mostly painted. And let me tell you, it was a royal pain to make. LOTS of complex shapes to cover. Still need to do final trimming then fit the gas cap and fuel outlets. Then the bottom gets bonded on and I'm away! I think I'll sacrifice an SV tank, cut the whole gas cap mounting area out and bond that in from the underside. Then I can run the standard locking cap. Not the lightest approach but very sano, matching key and keeping with the 'from the factory' look I'm hoping for. With a bit of luck, I'll have it done this coming weekend, assuming I can find a donor tank. Then it's off to the painter again. You'll be happy to learn it's going back to blue. I'm thinking about the blue on the Subaru WRX.. We'll see. Thanks as always for the great work on the site. Ride safely, Chris Baker

Looks absolutely delicious to me, it's a pity to paint it

Aug 16 2003 - Chris Baker update

The carbon tank LIVES! I fitted it this morning and took it for its maiden voyage. I swear I can feel the difference in weight...maybe that's just me wanting to believe all the effort was worth something. For sure, it looks very cool. Initial reaction from the other riders I ran into at the coffee shop was positive. Everyone agrees the front fairing needs replacing. Too roundy and smooth. So it I'll do the front and then it's TOTALLY apart, powder coat the frame, swinger, misc little stuff. New paint, wheels, (I also got the Wave rotors). Then I'll be back to you with another write up and hopefully a 'front page' feature on your site.
(sounds good to me ;-D)

've attached a couple pics of the fitted tank. (Note the factory locking gas cap.) Also threw in a pic of the rear Dymag. Ohhhh, it's so pretty...front should be in this week. I'll send pics as it comes together. Post these if you'd like or wait until it's all done. (Like that will ever happen...) (some of us can't wait, so I'll post them pronto for us to slobber over)

Cheers and Ride Safely.


Sep 1 2003 - A small update from Chris Baker on the MV-SV

So, check it out: Dymag Sport 5 magnesium wheels, Galfer Wave rotors, Harris Carbon front fender (I'm just not ready to make more carbon right now...Plus you gotta love them Brits!) and new Dunlop 208 tires. All set for the 9/2 track day.
The wheels make a REALLY BIG difference. Turns quicker/easier and feels more planted. I'm a very happy guy and I can highly recommend the investment to anyone considering in a wheel update.

Looks a bit wonky with the gold/yellow, if you ask me, so I'm really motivated to get it painted. I need to figure out that front fairing and nothing yet has me salivating. Oh well, no real hurry, I s'pose. I'm also looking at after market dash set ups or adapting on something more modern.
RC 51, R6, something like that. (Oh no, mods to the electrical system. That can't be a good idea...)

The next time you see it, I should have the fairing/dash and paint done and frame/swinger powder coated. And what then? I have some ideas for a re-do of the exhaust and an update to the rear brake master cyl location. Couple of other little things, too. Someone, stop me please, before I do this again...

Until then and as always, Ride Safely.

Chris Baker


November 2005 - what happened to 2004?

New bodywork for the SV project is almost ready for paint...I'll let the pics do the talking. Let me know what you think.

Hope all's well with you and yours.

Chris Baker

January 2012 - Long time no speak.

Its not unusual for people to loose touch over the years as life moves on. Just before Christmas 2011 the MVSV popped into my mind and I decided to do some Googling to see if I could spot any new information. I came across some photos of the finished bike on the Tyco website. There were not contact details for Chris, so I had a dig through the archives to see if I could find Chris's original email address. I did and dropped him a line. His reply below.

Hi John,
Good to hear from you. Sure, update away. I'll send you some additional pics using my home e-mail. I sold the bike back in 2008 - swapped it for cash plus an NSR 250. Sold that, too and have been completely out of motorcycling since. Imagine that. Anyway, hope all's well and let me know when you post the update as I'd love to reminisce and see the MV/SV talked about once again. Thanks and look for my e-mail here is just a bit.

This really must be the most beautiful SV in existence. I'm not sure how Chris could bear to part with it when you consider who much time and effort went into this project. I hope the new owner appreciates what a special bike he has.


This was the first email Chris sent me back in April 2002


April 19th 2002 Chris Baker sent me these photos a month ago and asked me not to publish until the paint work had been completed. The bike had been spotted on the road and Soren Ragsdale sent me this email.

I thought you'd dig this: today, I saw someone riding a truly beautiful SV/F4/GSXR/Ducati combination. ps; more photos at

I contacted Chris again and asked for permission to publish as his secret was out. Here's his reply

John, It is so funny to see pics of my bike start showing up on the web... Why don't you go ahead and post some of the pics and let everyone know that a 'full feature' is coming once I get it finished. Feel free to publish my name, e-mail and cell phone and invite people to contact me with any questions. Thanks, Chris Baker Mobile: 916-799-3934

As Chris mentions, we discussed doing a full feature write up on this site once the bike is complete. Enjoy these for now.