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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm currently shopping for what will be my next bike, and I keep coming back to the M109. A bit of history: I'm coming from a Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 1600, which is big, heavy, comfortable, but not particularly well balanced. I have 33 years of riding experience.

My questions to everyone: What are your likes and dislikes about the M109? How is the modding scene? How does the bike handle? I've never been much of a speeder on bikes, so top end speed isn't really a concern for me. I have no doubts that a 109 CI motor is going to be more than fast enough, though I do like strong acceleration just in case it's necessary (never know w/ some drivers...)

I sat on one for the first time Saturday. Unfortunately, the local shop doesn't fuel brand new bikes, so a test ride wasn't an option. It felt very balanced. I didn't look up the weight, but it didn't FEEL heavy, which is nice. I wasn't a fan of the seat, but seats are an easy mod. My previous bike had V&H longshots on it. I'm hoping for something of a similar aesthetic and sound, personally, though from my short time looking I haven't found anything.

Basically, I'm just looking for first hand accounts of the good and bad.


Safe, happy riding everyone!
 

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Some recent cruisers ive had were a '13 Honda Fury and most recently, in the Kawi world, an 03 Mean Streak 1500. Both of those were smoother in the shifting department and less vibrations down low... the M109 will shake like a blender if you get on it from 2k and it is a MUST to ensure that the clutch has some extra slack at the perch... learned that the hard way as i trusted the dealer with how they set it and it would bang into gears especially under spirited riding, adjusted and fixed that now.. In the handling department, despite being heavier, the 9 is the hands down winner here i think due to the weight being balanced lower than others. In the power category, there is no comparison, the 9 is so much more powerful. In fact, one of my main criteria were power when 2-up. With the Meanie, you would really notice when the passenger was on as the power was lacking down low but with the 9, it'll take that passenger and be ready to pass any sport cars on the road. It is also very comfortable, although, i recommend going with 2" risers for it to be even more comfortable. The wind protection is lacking but that can be remedied with a Vstream or similar.
Hope that helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's great info, thanks. The shaking you're talking about is engine shaking? I imagine like most bikes, it wants high octane, yeah?
 

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yes, engine/tank shake much more than any other bike i've owned but thats par for the course with the giant engine.. i once rode a VTX1800 and recall that same vibrations.. also the C90T vibrates down low as well... Yes 93 octance.
 

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It's a big bore/short stroke engine, so it doesn't like being lugged at all. You can run it around slow at 2000 rpm and it will do it, but it won't like accelerating very hard from there. It much prefers 2500 and up for smooth acceleration. And given that the rev limit is north of 7200 rpm, there's really no need to lug it. I've had lots of bikes but this was my first cruiser. After owning it for 15 years I still love it, and I can't say that about any other bike I've had. Powerful, comfortable, dependable, handles well, and eye catching.

And there's quite a few upgrades available for it. To get some ideas, look at Meancycles.com

Welcome to the forum too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those are very similar characteristics to my VN1600, so it should seem familiar to me, it appears. That's definitely a pro, as I loved my VN1600.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now if you want to hear about negatives, hit the web of the
Harley fans... But I am sure, it will not be very objective, LOL
Cheers!.. 🍻
I mean, I do want to hear negatives, but from people who actually ride the bike... All bikes have negatives... I want an objective account of them...

On the note of Harley's:. "My bike isn't leaving any oil underneath it overnight anymore" "That means there's no oil in the bike...". Real conversation -_-. New Harleys are nice, though. They finally started adopting what other makes have considered standard features for a longtime.... Things like more than 2.5 quarts of oil in an engine, liquid cooled engines, etc... Still not worth the overinflated price, IMO, but the bikes are certainly a lot higher quality than they used to be.
 

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I mean, I do want to hear negatives, but from people who actually ride the bike... All bikes have negatives... I want an objective account of them...

On the note of Harley's:. "My bike isn't leaving any oil underneath it overnight anymore" "That means there's no oil in the bike...". Real conversation -_-. New Harleys are nice, though. They finally started adopting what other makes have considered standard features for a longtime.... Things like more than 2.5 quarts of oil in an engine, liquid cooled engines, etc... Still not worth the overinflated price, IMO, but the bikes are certainly a lot higher quality than they used to be.
I mean, I do want to hear negatives,
I did get that part, I was just implying that most of the negatives
you would hear from the "other" bike owners who were beaten
by our Nines and couldnt believe their own eyes, and not from the
"NINE" lovers which we here all are .... Peace!.. 🍻
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What pipes are you guys running? So far, with the ones available I've seen, I like the looks of the cobra swept, but I like the sound of the freedom performance short swept. I suppose making a custom set is an option, but I don't have the facilities here in Texas to do that, personally.

What seats do you guys have? I can't stress how uncomfortable that stock seat felt to me, but my sensitive butt (joking) is used to a very nice mustang seat.
 

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I had the 1600 Nomad, not really comparable. Big, slow, and heavy. Very comfortable. I have also had a Yamaha Raider. Very similar. Long wheelbase. Really pulled through the gears, and shifted very smooth. I currently have a 2009 M109 that is modded with a Power Commander, and a Side Burner exhaust. The M109 is far more aggressive in torque, and the low deep rumble. Very comfortable to ride, and surprisingly nimble. The biggest downfall is that extremely long throw to get it into second gear. I have taught myself to push my boot forward on the peg so that the shifter is on my instep when I shift up into second. I wear size 12 wide, so my feet are not tiny. You have to shift forcefully, as many others say on the forum, "shift like you mean it." It does not like to lug, and 3.5 RPM and up my bike is much happier.

I hope this helps. I love picking up new bikes. I just picked up a 2009 BMW 1200RT for 2 UP riding. Talk about two different animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had the 1600 Nomad, not really comparable. Big, slow, and heavy. Very comfortable. I have also had a Yamaha Raider. Very similar. Long wheelbase. Really pulled through the gears, and shifted very smooth. I currently have a 2009 M109 that is modded with a Power Commander, and a Side Burner exhaust. The M109 is far more aggressive in torque, and the low deep rumble. Very comfortable to ride, and surprisingly nimble. The biggest downfall is that extremely long throw to get it into second gear. I have taught myself to push my boot forward on the peg so that the shifter is on my instep when I shift up into second. I wear size 12 wide, so my feet are not tiny. You have to shift forcefully, as many others say on the forum, "shift like you mean it." It does not like to lug, and 3.5 RPM and up my bike is much happier.

I hope this helps. I love picking up new bikes. I just picked up a 2009 BMW 1200RT for 2 UP riding. Talk about two different animals.
Honestly, the more you guys talk, the more I'm convinced. As far as the long throw on shifting goes, I'd probably put a set of boards and a heel toe on it regardless. (I got used to floorboards with my vulcan)
 

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Before I purchased a couple months back I was at a similar crossroads.. I wasn't quite ready for the bagger style bikes but wanted to do 2-up comfortable and have plenty of power on tap.. I also wasn't going the adventure bike route as I already have a dual sport (China bike 250cc) and am very partial to the cruiser seating position; its just the most comfortable for me.. oh and i wasnt going back to the sporty side; a couple bikes bike was a 14R and although it was silly silly fast i could never get comfortable with it; mind you im close to 50yo so that definitely plays a part.. The 9 is a great road bike that makes the equation fun with the power on tap; ability to 2-up comfortably; smooth on the highway and I with the 2-inch risers, aftermarket Grips, sissy bat with luggage rack, I have it damn near close to being complete.. just a couple power/ridability mods left, namely a PP Black, KN filters and reinstall of the A-TRE.. oh and maybe drill the stock pipes for a slightly louder tone when the time comes.. this forum is also a great resource for what can be done. To be honest, I was concerned in the past with clutch and 2nd gear issues I read about with the earlier Gen but some updates were made to address those by Suzuki and although the straight cut gears are still an outlier with potential for issues way down the line, realistically most people get bored after 5 or so years and move on to something else so the chance of transmission issues is probably very slim. I do suggest against preloading the gear shifter during the 1-2 shift and instead shift on the earlier side.. adjusting the clutch slack helps tremendously here as well. Good luck and keep us posted
 

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What pipes are you guys running? So far, with the ones available I've seen, I like the looks of the cobra swept, but I like the sound of the freedom performance short swept. I suppose making a custom set is an option, but I don't have the facilities here in Texas to do that, personally.

What seats do you guys have? I can't stress how uncomfortable that stock seat felt to me, but my sensitive butt (joking) is used to a very nice mustang seat.
I have the Cobra Swepts on mine now. I've also had the Cobra Speedster Longs as well as a couple I made myself. I like the Swepts best as they fit the contours of the bike. And they sound great once you modify the baffle in them a little. Seats, I have the Suzuki full cut gel on it currently, and have also had the Suzuki standard cut gel. The standard cut sets you maybe an inch further forward,, the full cut sits you about an inch further back than stock. Even though I'm short the full cut fits me better as with the standard cut I felt like I was sitting on the tank. Ultimate makes a good seat as well as Corbin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I saw the ultimate seat you're talking about, it looks almost identical to the mustang I had on my vulcan, so that's probably the route I'll go. That mustang was wonderful.
 

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I had the 1600 Nomad, not really comparable. Big, slow, and heavy. Very comfortable. I have also had a Yamaha Raider. Very similar. Long wheelbase. Really pulled through the gears, and shifted very smooth. I currently have a 2009 M109 that is modded with a Power Commander, and a Side Burner exhaust. The M109 is far more aggressive in torque, and the low deep rumble. Very comfortable to ride, and surprisingly nimble. The biggest downfall is that extremely long throw to get it into second gear. I have taught myself to push my boot forward on the peg so that the shifter is on my instep when I shift up into second. I wear size 12 wide, so my feet are not tiny. You have to shift forcefully, as many others say on the forum, "shift like you mean it." It does not like to lug, and 3.5 RPM and up my bike is much happier.

I hope this helps. I love picking up new bikes. I just picked up a 2009 BMW 1200RT for 2 UP riding. Talk about two different animals.
 

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what do u most prefer the raider or m109 because i own an m109 and thinking to get a raider but i am not sure this is a right step or now so what do u think ?
 

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I have the Cobra Swepts on mine now. I've also had the Cobra Speedster Longs as well as a couple I made myself. I like the Swepts best as they fit the contours of the bike. And they sound great once you modify the baffle in them a little. Seats, I have the Suzuki full cut gel on it currently, and have also had the Suzuki standard cut gel. The standard cut sets you maybe an inch further forward,, the full cut sits you about an inch further back than stock. Even though I'm short the full cut fits me better as with the standard cut I felt like I was sitting on the tank. Ultimate makes a good seat as well as Corbin.
how did u modify ur exhaust?
 

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what do u most prefer the raider or m109 because i own an m109 and thinking to get a raider but i am not sure this is a right step or now so what do u think ?
Take my comments with a grain of salt; I'm currently battling an intermittent ignition issue on my 9, so I'm a bit soured. But...

I had a Raider for 3 years, which is a long time for me. If I were to compare the Raider to the M109R, my thoughts would be that; They handle about the same. The Raider feels stronger right off the line, but I'm sure the 9 would quickly chase her down as the Raider redlines around 5,700 RPMs while the 9 continues to build hp. Build quality goes to the Raider. The chrome is thick, the transmission is buttery smooth, the hydraulic clutch is nice, as are the self-canceling turn signals and other little things like that. And the belt drive of the Raider vs the shaft drive of the 9 further contributes to a 'smooth' vs 'jerky' ride on the 9. But even though I customized her and made her pretty sweet looking, I always longed for the lines of the 9. Everyone says of the 9's look, "Some people hate it, a few love it." Well, I love it. Hopefully in the next two weeks, as I go through the entire wiring harness, I can find my issue and renew my love affair.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Plant
 

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Take my comments with a grain of salt; I'm currently battling an intermittent ignition issue on my 9, so I'm a bit soured. But...

I had a Raider for 3 years, which is a long time for me. If I were to compare the Raider to the M109R, my thoughts would be that; They handle about the same. The Raider feels stronger right off the line, but I'm sure the 9 would quickly chase her down as the Raider redlines around 5,700 RPMs while the 9 continues to build hp. Build quality goes to the Raider. The chrome is thick, the transmission is buttery smooth, the hydraulic clutch is nice, as are the self-canceling turn signals and other little things like that. And the belt drive of the Raider vs the shaft drive of the 9 further contributes to a 'smooth' vs 'jerky' ride on the 9. But even though I customized her and made her pretty sweet looking, I always longed for the lines of the 9. Everyone says of the 9's look, "Some people hate it, a few love it." Well, I love it. Hopefully in the next two weeks, as I go through the entire wiring harness, I can find my issue and renew my love affair.

View attachment 420920
I sure wish they made that pipe for the 9. I asked the company about making one and they said there isnt enough interest to cover the setup costs.
 
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