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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Theres a new 109 article in the October issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine worth reading. It's a comparison between the 4 biggest V-Twin cruisers: Honda VTX1800F, Kawasaki Vulcan 2000, Yamaha Star Roadliner, and our baby. It's got all 4 bikes on the cover, with our baby (black one, cause it's the fastest of course) front and center. I think the article overall is very well written, and fair. They accurately praised the 109 in areas that it excelled, and beat on it where it fell short compared to the other bikes.

We basically had the others beat hands down in power, braking, price, and looks. We suffered in drivetrain, throttle response (quick but not smooth), riding position, suspension, and cornering.

The VTX seemed favored overall. I'll post a bit of what each rider had to say about it...

Andy Cherney: It was hard for me to stifle big, fat guffaws when clinging to the oversized grips of Suzuki's M109R-the most unabashed power monger I've met since the Triumph Rocket III. But when it didn't buck me off the thin, dished saddle on sharper bumps, the M109R's jerky power delivery and meaty slab of rear rubber had me rocking like a deluded Elvis impersinator. Don't be cruiel indeed. But, man did it look cool, and it pulled big Gs off the line every time. This bike's meant for a very specific niche - the power cruiser savant.

Mark Zimmerman: It's not always about hardware, is it? Ironically, the most technically sophisticated bike of the bunch, the Suzuki M109R, finished dead last. In its own way, it's as narrowly focused as a hardcore sport bike, and as such I found it just too demanding to ride. In truth, it reminded me somewhat of a V-Max, without the Max's easygoing nature.

Jamie Elvidge: That's how the Suzuki ended up becoming my favorite. It was like a fish out of water in most of the environments we were blasting through, but man, that bike is super-cool. The best looking by far--truly in its own class aesthetically. And that look says what the bike's about: Power. The others look too classic, and that vintage look doesn't fit with huge horsepower, in my thinking. And, boy howdy, the Suzuki's engine sure does rock--my favorite powerplant to be sure. I personally think people are going to buy these super-big bikes for the prowess factor, and that the suzuki has from head to 18-inch toe.

Evans Brasfield: The Suzuki suffered from being designed for a different riding environment than the one we chose. Perfect for hooligan antics in the big city, the big, fat rear tire was out of its element in the wilds of Northern California. The M109R suffered from one unforgivable flaw(as did the VTX): The pillion's leading edge cut into my lower back in an extremely painful manner. The Suzuki's styling and attitude leaves the other bikes in the dust, and it has a tach you don't have to take your eyes off the road to consult.

The article totals 17 pages including pictures. The only guy i had a problem with was Mark Zimmerman. After reading this, and an article of his about loud pipes, i've concluded he's narrow-minded. I'd recommend checking it out.
 

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was an interesting article. i kinda found it pretty anti m109 in alot of regards, really ripping on the throttle jerkyness. And was also suprised at how close the Yamaha was to the m109 in 1/4 mile speed, only off by 4 hundredths. it also seamed that the yamaha took top honors in all but one catagory.

at any rate i was a bit dissapointed in the m109 reviews, isnt this the same magizne that picked the m109 as the best cruiser out a few months back? But the pics were cool, especially the one on the cover and the one on the road with the M109 about 3 bike lenghts ahead!!
 

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I also read the article and found some definite bias. 

There is one item that I agree with in the article and it is the suspension.  I have been practicing emergency stops from speeds of 40, 50, and 60 mph.  The front forks really dive when you reef on the front brake lever.  The diving is not progressive.  It's all at once.  When the fork tubes reach its almost max travel then its not unnerving and life returns to normal.  I never felt the forks bottom out.  The bike at no time ever exhibited any unstableness or felt squirrelly during the hard braking.  The braking ability of this bike is exquisite.
 

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I haven't read the article, but I can guess the Yamaha came in 1st place. I seldom see Suzuki getting the nod in anything but a sportsbike shoot out and Yamaha seems to hog all of the love. I guess if we road based on what journalist wrote this would be a BMW board. :D
 

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I must have gotten a special one because I dont have any of those issues. The throttle was a little touchy at first.
I am not sure what changed, it's response or my skill. It was probably the latter.

In the end the article is exactly what I expected.
1) See JR's post
2) They never really compare apples to apples. It makes the articel appeal to a smaller audience when they do.
3) The Yammis are doing very well, they spend WAY more on advertising. So it was natural that they tested this in that bikes best environment.
4) They are very smart and kind to make sure they dont make the 109 the best every time. Then everyone would have one and we would not be as happy.

Sledzep
 
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I posted this on another thread about this article, but fwiw. The same magazine back in early Spring did a very thorough report on the 109 and gave it rave reviews. The only negative they gave it was they said the clutch was a little tough and the lean angle was less than what they had hoped, but other than that they were praising it up and down. Then to see this article, you would have thought it was a totally differnt bike they were talking about.

Well, that is why there is vanilla and chocolate I always say. If everybody liked the same thing we would all be driving the same bikes. We got what we like and we don't care what anybody says. We know we have the fastest, meanest, coolest bike on the road, so there!
 

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" Perfect for hooligan antics in the big city"

Well that's me..... an aging hooligan....I knew there was a reason I couldn't resist it.
 

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Well, here's what i got out of the individual reviews...

IT'S A BAD ASS BIKE FOR BAD ASS RIDERS....


If you don't like it buy something else. :D
 

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rasputin said:
" Perfect for hooligan antics in the big city"

Well that's me..... an aging hooligan....I knew there was a reason I couldn't resist it.
Hey Sled. We certainly weren't in the city on Sunday and I'd say our 109's held their own on those N GA mountain curves just fine. I'll bet we'd have been miles ahead of all three of those pretender bikes. As far as tricky throttle response, the trick is, you twist it, and it GOOOEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!
 

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jazzman said:
Hey Sled. We certainly weren't in the city on Sunday and I'd say our 109's held their own on those N GA mountain curves just fine. I'll bet we'd have been miles ahead of all three of those pretender bikes. As far as tricky throttle response, the trick is, you twist it, and it GOOOEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!
Exactly.
The throttle is only tricky if you are trying not to run into the poser in front of you.
Just point it up the mountain and....
Twist, shift, twist, shift, twist, shift, brakeshiftbrakeshiftbrakeshift, Tuurnn, twist, shift, twist, shift, twist, shift.
Repeat as necessary, stop for lunch then repeat :D

Sledzep
 

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I agree, I must have "hooligan" in me somewhere too! I won't pay too much attention to journalists at this point. Ill do my own. Liked it, bought it, ride it, love it!
 

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Just got the mag and read the article. Actually thought it was probably pretty accurate given what I have read and seen out of most of the posts and riders I have spoken with that have 109's and the others.

Remember , everything is relative......they tested these in a touring environment running up and down some nice roads in norther Cali. Our 109 basically barely edged out the big Kawi for third outa four . Given their criteria , that is about right . I am pretty sure the Yammi is more comfy and has better throttle response than our bikes , having ridden them both, its suspension is pretty good as well not wanting to toss you off the saddle over sharp bumps like my 109.

All the bikes weigh nearly the same which is kind of amazing really (with the Kawi being the heaviest). I was VERY suprised to see the got essentially the same ET's from the Yammi and 109 though the niner had a much higher trap speed. They did say that hands down the niner would walk away from all the others .

I think the handling is pretty good on our bikes but have not taken the others through my favorite twisties so I dont know how good they are. It all depends on what you like want and use the most. To me the awesome style, superb acceleration and braking and good ride, handling, price make it the best but I looked hard at the VTX , VRod , Rocket III, and Roadliner when trying to make up my mind.

Funny I think you can very easily remedy the sore spots they complained about :

Abrupt throttle response in lower gears ...............................JSD mod , easy install and under $50

Knotchy transmission shifting especially lower gears.............Amsoil after breakin essentially free

**those two mods also would essentially yeild a few tenths/mph quicker acceleration times as well****

New Ohlins shock....................................................................relatively easy install ~$500

These mods alone only add about $550 still keeping you about $500 under the Yammi entry price and you have "fixed" the negatives they had issues with. With the extra bucks a gel seat $220 and Scorpion or HJC full face lid ~$150 would be perfect to get anyone started down the road to muscle cruiser extacy on board a new 109 for the same price or less than an entry level Roadliner.
 

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Read the article.  I wrote Jamie Elvidge an e-mail, since she's the editor and did the lightest touch on the 109.  Bottom line:  If the Roadliner/Stratoliner is so good, why can't I find one M109R in stock anywhere in Northern Virginia but when I go to my local shop, there are the same 2 Roadliners and 1 Stratoliner that have been on the showroom floor since late May 06.

Mostly I think the M109R is unique looking and I like the fact that Suzuki has really put some tought and work into the plant.
 

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are you sure they are the same bikes? i know the dealers here in texas cant keep the yamahas in stock, and some locations there is a back order.

and i totally agree about suzuki putting alot of thought into the m109, and did a damn good job in my opinion....

workinonit said:
Read the article. I wrote Jamie Elvidge an e-mail, since she's the editor and did the lightest touch on the 109. Bottom line: If the Roadliner/Stratoliner is so good, why can't I find one M109R in stock anywhere in Northern Virginia but when I go to my local shop, there are the same 2 Roadliners and 1 Stratoliner that have been on the showroom floor since late May 06.

Mostly I think the M109R is unique looking and I like the fact that Suzuki has really put some tought and work into the plant.
 

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I also read that mag and found it to be simular to how they talk about amost all new Suzuki modles,GS1000, 1100, 1100 Katana,even the Busa. But I am a Suzuki rider and always have been(My first bike GT750 Water Buffalo) so when the 109 came along I knew I wanted one regardless of any bad hype.I bought a 02 vtx 1800c in april of 01 serial #0000014 and was happy with my choice untill now thus the 109. I did as most do $2500 in bling bling including progressive suspension to keep the pegs off the ground (I'm on my 4th set of pegs in 24k miles) sence I also came off sport bikes and still like riding with my friends on their Busases. I could proubly run the twisties faster on the VTX than the 109 but I only have 3k on the109 and 4mo in the saddle. So now I need to sell the VTX $8k any takers? Gregg
 

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I don't put much in magizines,most of them are Harley at sole.I had cycle world for 20 years and they gave a frekin harley top bike when the Valkyrie came out.It took them 10 years to give the bike top honers and,I drope it. I got this one and they said this bike wont turn,obvious they can't ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i think the jerkiness in throttle response and transmission they referred to had to do with them not being familiar with the bike. our bike, being a higher-rev'er, doesn't like to be played with in the corners below 3k rpm. i keep it rev'd above 3k all the time....the throttle is so responsive (good thing) you can do everything you need (lean/turn/accel/decel/adjust line, etc) during turning just by slightly adjusting the throttle. this is a performance bike, and is meant to be ridden as such.

i think they were trying to ride this thing like it was a bagger built for comfort...it's not.
 
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