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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off...I just signed up on this forum today...and let me say this is a great looking, functional forum you have here...and I've been on a lot of forums. :bigthumbsup: Any way down to business...I come from a sport touring background as of late...so I have a few questions about the 109 before I plunk my money down on one. First how does the 109 handle in the twisties compared to say a sport tourer like an ST1300 or a BMWK1200RS? I currently ride a 2002 BMW K1200RS and also have a Kawasaki Concours. I plan on getting rid of the BMW for the 109 and keeping the Concours for longer rides. I know a cruiser bike will not handle like a sport tourer for the most part but I'd still like to know if its tends to stand up in corners due to the large rear tire or does it ride like it's on rails till you touch down a peg? Next what kind of maintenance does the 109 require...my BMW requires valve adjustment about every 12,000 miles and lots of other BMW specific high dollar maintenance (the main reason I'm ditching the Big Money Wasted bike). Next what kind of mileage are you guys getting out of rear tires (minus the burnout crew)...I currently get about 7,000 to 8,000 miles on a rear for my BMW so anything in that range is acceptable to me. Next are there any hidden gotchas on this bike I need to know about? I know the answers to a lot of these questions are probably already hidden somewhere in this forum but I need some quick answers as I'm think of doing a trade this weekend for the 109. So any help from you guys regarding these question will help me greatly in my decision. :D

Thanks,

Walter
 

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Ok Walter here goes.
First of all Wlecome
The 109 handles very very well with that big back tire. It does scrape the pegs easily though, and compared to your beamer, you will have to slow down in the corners a bit because I am sure the 109 has less clearance.
Maintenance is a breakin at 600 miles, and then change the oil every 4000 miles....noy adjusting of valves that I am aware of. I don't have my maintenance manual because I am 800 miles from home right now. Maybe someone else can answer that one correctly. Not sure about the rear tire miles. I only have 1300 miles on mine and it still has a lot of meat on it.
No hidden glithces except the possibility of your dealer (stealer) screwing it up by possibly putting the front wheel on backward or overfilling the oil which has happened to quite a few of us. Other than that nothing out of the ordinary.
If you can test ride one, I would suggest doing that. Try to scrape the pegs to get a feel what your up against. More than likely the test drive will convince you though. There are a lot of happy owners on here and I can say that I am definitely one of them. Best bike I have EVER owned!
 

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My man, I still have a 99' ZRX 1100 Kaw and so it handles like a sport (more sport) tourer and I can tell you first hand the M109R takes a little inititive (input) to get it rolled over in a turn to start but once in the turn it is on rails until you run out of ground clearance which I have just scraping the peg feelers. It will not dice as good as the ZRX but will hold a line as good. Much better than my 03' Honda Sabre 1100 which was way lighter and turned in initially better but felt loosey goosey in the turn. My ZRX specifies valve clearance inspection every 6k and it is shim style adjusters but the are under rockers that are spring loaded from the side to be on top of the shim so all you have to do is move them out of the way to pull the shim. I have found after about 20k miles there is only a need to check them about every 10k and them very few if any need adjustment. The M109R has shim under bucket adjustment and the service manual states clearance checks every 14,500 miles. Of course if they need adjustment the cams must come out as on your BMW but there are only 8 valves so either you can do it yourself which I will do since I already have the same shims from my ZRX kit or check with the dealer to see how much they charge. the dealer I bought from did not even know what type system it had swearing it was hydraulic lifters so needless to say it does not go there for service. Good luck and decision making. I have had zero trouble with mine and have had it almost 2 months and just over 1,200 miles.
 

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Ditto on the handling, it tracks great around a corner. pegs tend to scrap because of the lower ground clearance, but nothing you can't adapt to. Plenty of power for what ever you want to do with it. I don't have enough miles on mine yet to comment on the tire wear, but I'm sure it'll be similar to what you're getting now 7-8k. I've been very happy with mine. Like speed28 said, go test drive one if the dealer will let you. You'll not regret buying this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the quick reply Speed. I plan to test ride the 109...that's a major point with me...I've never bought a bike I didn't test ride first...and if the dealer won't let me test ride it then I move on to another dealer. :mad: I kind of figured it didn't need the valves adjusted (most cruisers are self adjusting now days) but I could not find a definite answer on the Suzuki website nor in the articles I've read about the 109. And I kind of knew that the 109 will touch down way before my Beemer will but like I said I will still have the Concours for major twisties and really long hauls on the slab but was looking for a sport type cruiser for fun around town and the back roads...and with the 109's GSXR heritage suspension and brakes I figure it's as close to a sport cruiser as I'm gonna get. :bigthumbsup: I read in a few articles that the fat back tire wants to make the 109 kind of stand up in tight corners even before you touch a peg down....so I figured I'd poll you guys who have ridden the 109 for more than an article test ride. :D Your gas mileage sounds about even with my Beemer as it gets around 40 if I stay out of the go stick but drops down in the low 30's if I whack on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Steve, now that is interesting about the valves on the 109...of course valve adjustments are par for the course on sport type engines and since the 109 gets some of it's heritage from the GSXR then I can see valve adjustments on this sport cruiser. I'm glad you let me know that as that will be one of my questions to the service guy at the dealer I'm thinking of buying the 109 from...and if he says no valve adjustment is needed on the 109 then I'll look for a better service guy...or like you said do it myself. :D P.S. Gotta love the ZRX...one of my riding buddies has the same bike...love the old school green racing colors on it...he regularly pulls away from me on my Beemer coming out of the corners on a twisty road...yeah it burns my a$$ too when he does that. :D
 

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When I get home tomorrow night I will be able to look up the maintenance schedule to see if the valves get any adjustments. I don't know where the "stand up" comments are coming from but this bike handles quite well in the corners and pretty much is "on rails". Do the test ride.....then let us know when your picking one up. WARNING: This bike may change your life!
 

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About 5,500 miles on my bike. +1 on the takes a little initiative to get it into a corner. This takes a little bit of getting used to to hit your lines. Once the back tire is in transition it becomes a lot more progressive and predictable. Just takes a concious effort to get it started. You sound like an experienced rider so I'm sure it will  be old hat after just a few rides. 42mpg very consistent. When I'm pushing it hard, maybe 38 or 39mpg. Pegs drag fairly quickly, but the bike will really hang in there. It's cornering ability is much better than it's ground clearance.

This bike puts a big grin on my face every time I ride it.
 

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I went from a V Star 1100 Custom to this and I can say that the Yamaha was easier to initiate into a slow turn. I can describe it as leaning into and almost leading the bike through the turn. With a 170 that is to be expected. This bike has a 240 and is a little different in that you sort of have to throw it into the turn first and let it settle into the turn. Then it is extremely stable through the turn. You just have to adjust like with any other bike. After a few rides you will trust it more and more though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jazzman, Thanks for the info on how the 109 runs into a corner...my wife has a Kaw Mean Streak and I've ridden it in the twisties a few times and it too needs a little coaxing to get it rolled over in a corner so I figure the 109 has to be as good or better than the Streak in the corners so it won't be too much of a learning curve for me...hopefully. :eek: As for me being an experienced sport bike rider...well I am 44 years old so I guess you could say I am an old sport rider :p but my wife says I act like I'm 17 most of the time. Started out on dirt bikes when I was 14..did a little MX till I got 20 years old then moved to street bikes. Have had several sport bikes and sport tourers and since I'm getting a little over the hill..and my legs won't quite bend like they use too (have any of you guys tried to disfigure yourselves by trying to ride one of these new 1000 rice rockets or even some of the sport tourers...(I need to see my chiropractor after just 30 minutes on the things)...I figure I'll move into the sport cruiser bike ring and still have th HP I crave yet won't be tied up like a pretzel. :bigthumbsup:
 

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Waltert said:
Jazzman, Thanks for the info on how the 109 runs into a corner...my wife has a Kaw Mean Streak and I've ridden it in the twisties a few times and it too needs a little coaxing to get it rolled over in a corner so I figure the 109 has to be as good or better than the Streak in the corners so it won't be too much of a learning curve for me...hopefully. :eek: As for me being an experienced sport bike rider...well I am 44 years old so I guess you could say I am an old sport rider :p but my wife says I act like I'm 17 most of the time. Started out on dirt bikes when I was 14..did a little MX till I got 20 years old then moved to street bikes. Have had several sport bikes and sport tourers and since I'm getting a little over the hill..and my legs won't quite bend like they use too (have any of you guys tried to disfigure yourselves by trying to ride one of these new 1000 rice rockets or even some of the sport tourers...(I need to see my chiropractor after just 30 minutes on the things)...I figure I'll move into the sport cruiser bike ring and still have th HP I crave yet won't be tied up like a pretzel. :bigthumbsup:
Glad to have you on the board. I went back and took out the sport bike comment after rereading cause you really hadn't indicated that. What I was really meaning is you sound pretty experienced, probably more so than me. I've got you beat in age and probably aches and pains as well. I'm 54 and other than general wear and tear have had a hip replacement. I think I'm a bit of an odd duck rider though cause I'm only 5' 6 1/2" and unlike most comments of wanting to move or replace the bars, I love the stock bar position. I also ride a lot and do frequent 8 hour rides or sometime even a bit more. On rides this long my arse does start to get numb a bit (after about 6 hours) but my back and arms don't bother me at all. Strange since I'm so short.

In short, get a 109 if it's to your liking cause I promise you'll love riding it. But get ready for people parading around the bike every time you stop somewhere. They also hang out of windows at stop lights and yell "what's that?"
 

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Yup, that's true. Went to a pretty big weekly bike night last week and parked next to what had to be a $40,000 bright green custom chopper and before I shut the 109 off, I was surrounded and blasted with questions. The chopper just sat there almost unoticed. If you buy this bike be ready at the helm with some answers to questions like, "who makes that?" or "how big is that tire?" or "who makes that" or "how fast does it go?" or "who makes that?" or "how much does something like that go for?" or "who makes that?". People love this thing and they all seem to want to know who makes it. I get a kick out of not saying it's a HD. You might too.
 
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