1800 VTX/1800 M 109 R

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:51 pm

Tonight I went to Barnes & Noble and I must have looked through 25 different MC mags and not a single one of them had a test of the 109. You'd think with this bike scheduled to hit the showrooms sometime this month, the mags would be chomping at the bit to test one. You'd also think Suzuki would want them to test one, you know for the free publicity and all. Why isn't anyone testing this bike?
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Unread post by ZooTech » Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:36 pm

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Unread post by grampi » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:02 pm

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Unread post by Venarius » Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:48 pm

Well, time to chime in. I actually own one of the bikes being compared.

I have a 2003 VTX1800S

Its the best bike I've owned so far.

Your comparing it to the m109...it will come down to what you really want, a more sporty looking cruiser, or a more comfortable cruiser. Their both 1800CC, and the performance, while I'm assuming the m109 will be a hair quicker, the VTX will be right on its "O Ring", able to contend for sure when you factor in the rather "average" racing abilities of most actual riders you will meet on the road.

However, When looking for my bike a year ago, I looked into a lot of the sexier looking cruisers, but none were as comfortable and stable for 2-up long distance riding than the VTX.

The VTX has a more retro look, the M109 does not.

Keep in mind that the VTX has been around already for 4 years and already has a very strong aftermarket going for it...while the Suzuki is just releasing their contender. The 240 tire on the Suzuki while looking cool does make the handling a little bit harder than the VTX, but when your talking about big cruisers, handling isn't a strongpoint for anyone.

All in all, if I had to go for one right now, I'd go for the M109 if I just wanted sporty looking, but I'd go with the VTX if I wanted comfort or custimizability. Also, the VTX has a shaft drive which is much less matainence to deal with when compared to the M109.

But, if I could, I would wait for another year or two and see Honda's new news. Think of it, Honda seems to always be the mark that the other metrics try to hit. Honda introduced the VTX in 2002, and then Kawi rushed and put out a lower quality but higher cc bike (that handles like a wheelbarrow and is slower from what I've read and seen on the road), and then finally 4 years later Suzuki and Yami come to the table with their 1800 counterparts.

Honda is 4 years ahead ladies and gents. News is that they are going to be releasing their next thoroughbread next year in 2007, and while the roadliner and m109 will be hard contenders for the VTX, and maybe even outshine them in one thing or another, they are all great bikes that I would consider in the same catagory. (I wouldn't even consider the vulcan if I were you...uggghh)

But, I'll bet you that Honda's new scheme will again put their metric competitors to shame.

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Unread post by grampi » Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:50 pm

Venarius

The 109 is also shaft drive. Also, just because the 109 has a 240 rear tire doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a poor handler. The bikes that handle poorly due to a having a 240 rear tire are those that were designed with narrower tires and were then fitted with aftermarket 240 kits. I'd be willing to bet that since the 109 was designed with the 240 , it will probably be a better handler than those bikes with the 240 kits installed.
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Unread post by High_Side » Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:46 pm

grampi wrote:Venarius

The 109 is also shaft drive. Also, just because the 109 has a 240 rear tire doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a poor handler. The bikes that handle poorly due to a having a 240 rear tire are those that were designed with narrower tires and were then fitted with aftermarket 240 kits. I'd be willing to bet that since the 109 was designed with the 240 , it will probably be a better handler than those bikes with the 240 kits installed.
I'd bet it still doesn't handle as nice as a bike with a "less fashionable" tire. There is a comparo in a mag I have (I'll have to dig it out) where they compare two similair factory Victories, one with the 240 and the other with a 190 (I believe). Not much good was said about the one with the 240 other than "looks cool"......

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Unread post by ZooTech » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:35 pm

High_Side wrote:
grampi wrote:Venarius

The 109 is also shaft drive. Also, just because the 109 has a 240 rear tire doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a poor handler. The bikes that handle poorly due to a having a 240 rear tire are those that were designed with narrower tires and were then fitted with aftermarket 240 kits. I'd be willing to bet that since the 109 was designed with the 240 , it will probably be a better handler than those bikes with the 240 kits installed.
I'd bet it still doesn't handle as nice as a bike with a "less fashionable" tire. There is a comparo in a mag I have (I'll have to dig it out) where they compare two similair factory Victories, one with the 240 and the other with a 190 (I believe). Not much good was said about the one with the 240 other than "looks cool"......
Same thing with that 2005 Power Cruiser shootout I linked to. They start off by picking on the Streak for having a "small" 170 series rear tire, then in a small appendix at the very end they praise the handling and say it's "thanks to the thinner rear rubber". There's no doubt fat rear tires look cool, but the cool factor ends once you reach the twisties.

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Unread post by grampi » Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:19 pm

ZooTech wrote:
High_Side wrote:
grampi wrote:Venarius

The 109 is also shaft drive. Also, just because the 109 has a 240 rear tire doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a poor handler. The bikes that handle poorly due to a having a 240 rear tire are those that were designed with narrower tires and were then fitted with aftermarket 240 kits. I'd be willing to bet that since the 109 was designed with the 240 , it will probably be a better handler than those bikes with the 240 kits installed.
I'd bet it still doesn't handle as nice as a bike with a "less fashionable" tire. There is a comparo in a mag I have (I'll have to dig it out) where they compare two similair factory Victories, one with the 240 and the other with a 190 (I believe). Not much good was said about the one with the 240 other than "looks cool"......
Same thing with that 2005 Power Cruiser shootout I linked to. They start off by picking on the Streak for having a "small" 170 series rear tire, then in a small appendix at the very end they praise the handling and say it's "thanks to the thinner rear rubber". There's no doubt fat rear tires look cool, but the cool factor ends once you reach the twisties.
Which if you think about it, it really doesn't make any sense. You'd think the bike with the widest tire would handle the best because it has a larger contact patch with the pavement.
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Unread post by High_Side » Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:37 pm

grampi wrote:Which if you think about it, it really doesn't make any sense. You'd think the bike with the widest tire would handle the best because it has a larger contact patch with the pavement.
Been there done that. As true radials came out around '90 everyone wanted the bigger-look on sport bikes. As rear tire sizes grew to 190s bikes started to get heavier steering even when they were designed for it. The hot set-up quickly changed to changing back to 180s and ditching the 190s as soon as you picked up the bike. Sport-bikes had become vicitims of fashion but they always evolve back to function over form. Cruisers tend to be more about the bling. It's about alot more than contact patch. Profile and the relation of rest of the chassis to the road are critical.

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Unread post by ZooTech » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:45 am

A wider rear tire has more shoulder real-estate than a skinnier model and, therefore, in order to get up on said shoulder (which is much further from the tire's centerline than on a skinny tire) a lot of the bike's weight must actually be picked up causing the "weeble wobble" effect. The bike's natural tendency at that point will be to get upright again, and that's a force you'll have to contend with throughout the entire turn.

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Unread post by Venarius » Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:40 pm

grampi wrote:Venarius

The 109 is also shaft drive. Also, just because the 109 has a 240 rear tire doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a poor handler. The bikes that handle poorly due to a having a 240 rear tire are those that were designed with narrower tires and were then fitted with aftermarket 240 kits. I'd be willing to bet that since the 109 was designed with the 240 , it will probably be a better handler than those bikes with the 240 kits installed.
Thanks, I didn't know that the 109 had a shaft drive, I thought they opted for a chain drive.

As to the tire size, your right, simply because the 109 has a 240 tire doesn't make it a bad handler. It's still well within most's ability to handle the bike. However, when compared to a bike with a 180 back tire (like the VTX), the 109 will not handle as well or easily as the VTX. I remember from at least 1 or 2 mag reviews of the 109 that the 240 tire didn't inhibit handling as much as they expected, but you still needed a bit of muscle to "hold her through the lines". Doesn't mean its incredibly hard to control, just means she doesn't handle with as much finess as the VTX due to tire size. Whether they were able to compensate for that with a shorter wheelbase or getting rid of exess poundage is yet to be seen.

as far as performance goes, given two equal riders the M109 should beat the VTX by a hair. But as I said before, given that people we ride against on the street have more or less "average" racing abilities, that hair extra performance in the 109 will probably not be visible in street terms. I would put both the VTX and the 109 in the same area for performance.
Comfort (especially passenger comfort) I'd give to the VTX

Something else to be considered, this is the first release of the 109. I would not buy the first year release of any model but rather wait at least a year for the first problems to crop up and be resolved. Someone who buys the 109 now will undoubtedly have to wait a year or more for aftermarket parts, mantainance manuals, reliability information, and will be in the forfront for possible bike problems (not that they will be large or expensive)... where as someone purchasing a recent VTX already has 4 or 5 years of product development and aftermarket parts. Not the only thing to consider, but still none the less worthy of said consideration.

It all comes down to preferance. But I will give the M109 this, when compared to the performance VTX's (the C or F models), I think that the M109 is a bit sexier. But when it comes time to take the woman home, I'd take the classier broad over the sexy stripper...

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Unread post by teknoman » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:33 pm

I think ,the 109 is sexy too.I,m probably too little to ride one, 5ft/5.5inches.but I betcha wind will be an issue.If you don,t mind wind ,weather, etc,fine but think hard.
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Unread post by grampi » Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:14 pm

Venarius wrote:
grampi wrote:Venarius

The 109 is also shaft drive. Also, just because the 109 has a 240 rear tire doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a poor handler. The bikes that handle poorly due to a having a 240 rear tire are those that were designed with narrower tires and were then fitted with aftermarket 240 kits. I'd be willing to bet that since the 109 was designed with the 240 , it will probably be a better handler than those bikes with the 240 kits installed.
Thanks, I didn't know that the 109 had a shaft drive, I thought they opted for a chain drive.

As to the tire size, your right, simply because the 109 has a 240 tire doesn't make it a bad handler. It's still well within most's ability to handle the bike. However, when compared to a bike with a 180 back tire (like the VTX), the 109 will not handle as well or easily as the VTX. I remember from at least 1 or 2 mag reviews of the 109 that the 240 tire didn't inhibit handling as much as they expected, but you still needed a bit of muscle to "hold her through the lines". Doesn't mean its incredibly hard to control, just means she doesn't handle with as much finess as the VTX due to tire size. Whether they were able to compensate for that with a shorter wheelbase or getting rid of exess poundage is yet to be seen.

as far as performance goes, given two equal riders the M109 should beat the VTX by a hair. But as I said before, given that people we ride against on the street have more or less "average" racing abilities, that hair extra performance in the 109 will probably not be visible in street terms. I would put both the VTX and the 109 in the same area for performance.
Comfort (especially passenger comfort) I'd give to the VTX

Something else to be considered, this is the first release of the 109. I would not buy the first year release of any model but rather wait at least a year for the first problems to crop up and be resolved. Someone who buys the 109 now will undoubtedly have to wait a year or more for aftermarket parts, mantainance manuals, reliability information, and will be in the forfront for possible bike problems (not that they will be large or expensive)... where as someone purchasing a recent VTX already has 4 or 5 years of product development and aftermarket parts. Not the only thing to consider, but still none the less worthy of said consideration.

It all comes down to preferance. But I will give the M109 this, when compared to the performance VTX's (the C or F models), I think that the M109 is a bit sexier. But when it comes time to take the woman home, I'd take the classier broad over the sexy stripper...
I'd expect the 109 to be a bit more than just a smidge quicker than the VTX if the HP numbers I've seen for the 109 are correct. The VTX makes 106 HP at the crank while the 109 is said to make 123. Also, the 109's engine has a shorter stroke which means it will rev higher and produce its peak torque at a higher RPM than the VTX. Given that both bikes weigh roughly the same, that should translate into a 1/4 mile time of .3 to .4 of a second quicker than the X. Only a full-fledged road test will tell and so far, no one's done one on the 109 yet (at least not that I'm aware of anyway).
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Unread post by ZooTech » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:00 pm


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Unread post by ab5gu » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:33 pm

I bought a new 2009 kawasaki Vulcan 2000 with 1300 miles that is now 5 months old. The chroming on the stamped pieces sucks. The mirrors, brake fluid cover, fork covers are all popping rust through the chrome. I took it to the dealer and he agreed that it is a warranty issue. Kawasaki America shot it down. They claim it is from environmental causes, but will not define ” environmental causes” ( the planet you live on has oxygen in the atmosphere?). I was on the customer service line for an hour and explained how chrome is applied, and that on a 5 month old bike this is outrageous. They claim it is an environmental cause, even though the bike is garaged. The bad pieces are the Thailand mfg’d pieces, as all the other chrome is fine. All customer support will answer ” I don’t know, but it is environmental causes”. Crappy way to treat a customer.

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