1800 VTX/1800 M 109 R

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1800 VTX/1800 M 109 R

Unread post by tick » Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:57 pm

I am considering VTX or M109 R in the spring 06 after I sell my 05 Kawasaki 800 but not sure which one to get? I once had a Honda 500 back in 82 and loved it. I know the M109 R is recently new and I have never owned a Suzuki before so I was wondering how some of you feel about each maker of these bikes? Most of my riding is 200 mile plus per-week and well take a few trips next summer down south. I don’t like full dress just throw a bag over the back and hit the road.


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Unread post by keysman » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:49 am

Sorry Tick, I don't know much about the VTX. I'm sure someone will be able to give you some feedback, stick around.
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Unread post by ZooTech » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:22 pm

The VTX1800, in every flavor, is a heavy bike and it wears its weight very high. It is very powerful, and its weight all but disappears once rolling, but then the inadequacies of its brakes become apparent. If you’re a big fella, the weight and top-heavy nature shouldn’t be an issue and the brakes can be addressed with one visit to the aftermarket for some better pads and some braided lines. But, for the asking price I’ve seen at the dealer lately ($12,500 - $15,000), you shouldn’t have to overcome engineering flaws.

The M109R, on the other hand, looks very promising – but the bike isn’t scheduled to hit dealers until spring and I’ve only seen one review so far. Until I get a chance to sit on one I’ll have to reserve final judgment on this one.

The last time I was at a dealership I found a brand-new ’04 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 marked down to $11,999.00 with a $700.00 sissy bar and some $500.00 passenger floorboards included. The 2000 is way better balanced than the VTX1800 and received MOTY in 2004, an impressive feat for such a new offering. If you’re looking at the big boys, I’d keep my eyes open for a deal like that one in your area.

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Unread post by grampi » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:53 pm

ZooTech wrote:The VTX1800, in every flavor, is a heavy bike and it wears its weight very high. It is very powerful, and its weight all but disappears once rolling, but then the inadequacies of its brakes become apparent. If youÂ’re a big fella, the weight and top-heavy nature shouldnÂ’t be an issue and the brakes can be addressed with one visit to the aftermarket for some better pads and some braided lines. But, for the asking price IÂ’ve seen at the dealer lately ($12,500 - $15,000), you shouldnÂ’t have to overcome engineering flaws.

The M109R, on the other hand, looks very promising – but the bike isn’t scheduled to hit dealers until spring and I’ve only seen one review so far. Until I get a chance to sit on one I’ll have to reserve final judgment on this one.

The last time I was at a dealership I found a brand-new Â’04 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 marked down to $11,999.00 with a $700.00 sissy bar and some $500.00 passenger floorboards included. The 2000 is way better balanced than the VTX1800 and received MOTY in 2004, an impressive feat for such a new offering. If youÂ’re looking at the big boys, IÂ’d keep my eyes open for a deal like that one in your area.
Not totally true. The VTX handles better than Vulcan and IMO, the Vulcan is just way too heavy. The VTX is also faster than the Vulcan. If the choice came down to these bikes, the VTX is the easy winner. However, I would definitely wait for the 109. I'm guessing it'll be a better ride than the VTX or the Vulcan.
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Unread post by ZooTech » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:05 pm

grampi wrote:The VTX handles better than Vulcan
Not according to Rider Magazine during the MOTY awards.
grampi wrote:and IMO, the Vulcan is just way too heavy.
According to Rider, the VTX1800 they tested before the Vulcan 2000 weighed 824lbs fully gassed. The Vulcan weighed 814.
grampi wrote:The VTX is also faster than the Vulcan.
Nope. Nor is it nearly as powerful.
grampi wrote:If the choice came down to these bikes, the VTX is the easy winner.
Subjectively, maybe. Objectively, not on your life.

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:42 pm

ZooTech wrote:
grampi wrote:The VTX handles better than Vulcan
Not according to Rider Magazine during the MOTY awards.
grampi wrote:and IMO, the Vulcan is just way too heavy.
According to Rider, the VTX1800 they tested before the Vulcan 2000 weighed 824lbs fully gassed. The Vulcan weighed 814.
grampi wrote:The VTX is also faster than the Vulcan.
Nope. Nor is it nearly as powerful.
grampi wrote:If the choice came down to these bikes, the VTX is the easy winner.
Subjectively, maybe. Objectively, not on your life.
VTX 1800C
Dry weight 705 lbs.
1/4 mile 12.21

Vulcan 2000
Dry weight 750 lbs.
1/4 mile 12.6

Handling and the way a bike feels is almost purely subjective. To me, the Vulcan "feels" much heavier than the VTX. It requires quite a grunt just to get it off the side stand whereas the VTX is much easier to bring up to center. Also, the VTX seems to shed more of its weight once under motion, where the Vulcan never seems to shed any of its weight.
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Unread post by ZooTech » Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:16 pm

grampi wrote: VTX 1800C
Dry weight 705 lbs.
1/4 mile 12.21

Vulcan 2000
Dry weight 750 lbs.
1/4 mile 12.6

Handling and the way a bike feels is almost purely subjective. To me, the Vulcan "feels" much heavier than the VTX. It requires quite a grunt just to get it off the side stand whereas the VTX is much easier to bring up to center. Also, the VTX seems to shed more of its weight once under motion, where the Vulcan never seems to shed any of its weight.
Rider Magazine wrote: Like any new bike the VN2K is not without glitches, of course, the biggest of all perhaps its shocking heft. At 814 pounds fully gassed, the Vulcan weighs 73 pounds more than a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic. Introducing the bike with a too-short sidestand didn’t help matters any, as many potential VN2000 riders attracted by its low seat height, classic lines and awesome power punch couldn’t even hoist the bike upright off the stand. We’re told a mid-year production change will correct the sidestand problem. If it’s any consolation, our 2002 Honda VTX1800R test bike with a factory windscreen and saddlebags weighed 824 pounds!
As far as 1/4 mile times, a quick search on Google reveals both bikes running in the 12.20's depending on who's doing the testing. You're also quoting specs for the 1800C, and most comparo's pit the Vulcan up against the 1800R which is heavier. The 1800C is Honda's entry in the power cruiser category.

I won't argue with you over subjective items. It's silly and pointless. But on paper the VTX is close enough in weight to the Vulcan that it should be embarrassed, especially considering the 200cc+ disadvantage. I had the chance to purchase a brand-new 2003 VTX1800 (any model) with a choice of five different colors for just $8000.00 back in the summer of 2004. After sitting on a few and feeling just how unreasonably heavy they were, I ended up paying $3,000 more for my Mean Streak. Since that time I have sat on a Vulcan 2000 and found it to be very well balanced and easy to hold up. The VTX isn't a bad bike by any stretch of the imagination, but with bikes like the 2000, the Stratoliner, and M109R running around Honda cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:04 pm

ZooTech wrote:
grampi wrote: VTX 1800C
Dry weight 705 lbs.
1/4 mile 12.21

Vulcan 2000
Dry weight 750 lbs.
1/4 mile 12.6

Handling and the way a bike feels is almost purely subjective. To me, the Vulcan "feels" much heavier than the VTX. It requires quite a grunt just to get it off the side stand whereas the VTX is much easier to bring up to center. Also, the VTX seems to shed more of its weight once under motion, where the Vulcan never seems to shed any of its weight.
Rider Magazine wrote: Like any new bike the VN2K is not without glitches, of course, the biggest of all perhaps its shocking heft. At 814 pounds fully gassed, the Vulcan weighs 73 pounds more than a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic. Introducing the bike with a too-short sidestand didnÂ’t help matters any, as many potential VN2000 riders attracted by its low seat height, classic lines and awesome power punch couldnÂ’t even hoist the bike upright off the stand. WeÂ’re told a mid-year production change will correct the sidestand problem. If itÂ’s any consolation, our 2002 Honda VTX1800R test bike with a factory windscreen and saddlebags weighed 824 pounds!
As far as 1/4 mile times, a quick search on Google reveals both bikes running in the 12.20's depending on who's doing the testing. You're also quoting specs for the 1800C, and most comparo's pit the Vulcan up against the 1800R which is heavier.

I won't argue with you over subjective items. It's silly and pointless. But on paper the VTX is close enough in weight to the Vulcan that it should be embarrassed, especially considering the 200cc+ disadvantage. I had the chance to purchase a brand-new 2003 VTX1800 (any model) with a choice of five different colors for just $8000.00 back in the summer of 2004. After sitting on a few and feeling just how unreasonably heavy they were, I ended up paying $3,000 more for my Mean Streak. Since that time I have sat on a Vulcan 2000 and found it to be very well balanced and easy to hold up. The VTX isn't a bad bike by any stretch of the imagination, but with bikes like the 2000, the Stratoliner, and M109R running around Honda cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

"most comparo's pit the Vulcan up against the 1800R which is heavier."


Why do think that is? Why would any magazine want to test any company's new flagship model (a company that pays a lot of advertising dollars to that magazine btw) against a competitor's bike that would make it look bad, when they can simply test it against a different model they already know doesn't perform as well and will make the new bike look good? Choosing the 1800R to test against the Vulcan was a brilliant idea because they knew it was slower than the "C" model and it would give way to the Vulcan in acceleration times.

You need to ride both bikes. The Vulcan never loses that "earth mover" feel. Once moving, the VTX feels more like a 1200 or 1300 (weight wise, but definitely not power wise). The Vulcan always feels like it weighs about 1500 lbs. I don't think the VTX has anything to worry about when it comes to the Vulcan, but the 109 may be a different story. I haven't heard anything about the Stratoliner at all. Who makes it?
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Unread post by ZooTech » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:27 pm

grampi wrote:
"most comparo's pit the Vulcan up against the 1800R which is heavier."


Why do think that is? Why would any magazine want to test any company's new flagship model (a company that pays a lot of advertising dollars to that magazine btw) against a competitor's bike that would make it look bad, when they can simply test it against a different model they already know doesn't perform as well and will make the new bike look good? Choosing the 1800R to test against the Vulcan was a brilliant idea because they knew it was slower than the "C" model and it would give way to the Vulcan in acceleration times.
They do it because the 1800R is closer in style and purpose to the Vulcan than is the 1800C. Despite the fact that Kawasaki pushes the power numbers of the Vulcan, it's still closer to the cruiser genre than the power cruiser genre (they already have the Mean Streak for that, which is why the Meanie is pitted against the 1800C).
grampi wrote: I haven't heard anything about the Stratoliner at all. Who makes it?
Star (Yamaha) makes it along with the Roadliner.

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:42 pm

ZooTech wrote:
grampi wrote:
"most comparo's pit the Vulcan up against the 1800R which is heavier."


Why do think that is? Why would any magazine want to test any company's new flagship model (a company that pays a lot of advertising dollars to that magazine btw) against a competitor's bike that would make it look bad, when they can simply test it against a different model they already know doesn't perform as well and will make the new bike look good? Choosing the 1800R to test against the Vulcan was a brilliant idea because they knew it was slower than the "C" model and it would give way to the Vulcan in acceleration times.
They do it because the 1800R is closer in style and purpose to the Vulcan than is the 1800C. Despite the fact that Kawasaki pushes the power numbers of the Vulcan, it's still closer to the cruiser genre than the power cruiser genre (they already have the Mean Streak for that, which is why the Meanie is pitted against the 1800C).
grampi wrote: I haven't heard anything about the Stratoliner at all. Who makes it?
Star (Yamaha) makes it along with the Roadliner.

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I guess you'd have to be into that retro look to get into the new Yamahas? I prefer the sportier look as in the Mean Streak, VTX C, and the 109.
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Unread post by Sev » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:42 pm

I think it's incredibly stupid that you guys are argueing over two bikes you haven't ridden...
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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Unread post by ZooTech » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:55 pm

grampi wrote: I guess you'd have to be into that retro look to get into the new Yamahas? I prefer the sportier look as in the Mean Streak, VTX C, and the 109.
Yeah, I like it to some degree, but I'm not at that point in my life yet where I want a full-blown cruiser. Once I get there, I imagine myself on a Kawasaki 1600 Drifter. For now I have a good-handling bike that still fits in with the folks I ride with.
Sevulturus wrote:I think it's incredibly stupid that you guys are argueing over two bikes you haven't ridden...
I've sat on everything 'cept the M109R, and have read just about every review out there for the 2000, VTX, and Stars. Can Grampi and I enjoy an innocent and non-heated discussion or do we need to run it by you first?

And, for the record, there's not a dealership in Ohio that'll let you test ride a motorcycle. They didn't even install the battery and oil in my bike until they had the cashier's check in hand. Honda offers test rides during Honda Homecoming, but last year they had about a dozen scooters out and maybe four real bikes. I have to rely very heavily on magazine reviews, owner impressions, and word of mouth to know what I'm getting into. Everything I've heard and read about the VTX1800 says it's unnecessarily overweight, especially in light of the competition. I sat on a 2000 and VTX1800 in the same showroom and found the 2000 better balanced.

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Unread post by Sev » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:18 pm

Magazines like newspapers are horribly biased when it comes to reviews. So going by them alone isn't reason enough to recomend one of the other, but you knew that.
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:22 pm

Sevulturus wrote:I think it's incredibly stupid that you guys are argueing over two bikes you haven't ridden...


Apparently you don't read very well. If you had you'd notice I've ridden both the VTX and the Vulcan.
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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:25 pm

Sevulturus wrote:Magazines like newspapers are horribly biased when it comes to reviews. So going by them alone isn't reason enough to recomend one of the other, but you knew that.
Exactly, which is why I said you need to ride both bikes before making a judgment. My opinion of how these two bikes handle is the complete opposite of what some of the magazines have claimed.
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Unread post by ZooTech » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:30 pm

Usually Honda has magazine reviewers in their back pocket, so I take criticisms about their bikes very seriously. After reading THIS REVIEW I verified the weight criticism myself with a trip to the dealer. Since then, my bro-in-law managed to get a ride on an 1800C and he also verified the weight issue (said it felt heavier than his Harley full dresser) and also verified the criticism of the brakes which turned him off from the bike all together. He is now considering the Vulcan 2000 and the M109R.

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:57 pm

ZooTech wrote:Usually Honda has magazine reviewers in their back pocket, so I take criticisms about their bikes very seriously. After reading THIS REVIEW I verified the weight criticism myself with a trip to the dealer. Since then, my bro-in-law managed to get a ride on an 1800C and he also verified the weight issue (said it felt heavier than his Harley full dresser) and also verified the criticism of the brakes which turned him off from the bike all together. He is now considering the Vulcan 2000 and the M109R.
I can't speak for the 1800R as I haven't ridden that particular model. It may be that the R feels heavier and doesn't handle as well as the Vulcan. I have ridden the C model and to me it felt lighter and handled better than the Vulcan. But like I said, I'm not interested in the retro sytled bikes, so I didn't bother riding the R.

I am curious as to why I can't find a single magazine with a test of the 109. I must have thumbed through 15 different MC mags today and other than brief mentions of the bike, nothing. You'd think the mags would be dying to get their hands on one and Suzuki should more than glad to give them one to test!
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Unread post by ZooTech » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:12 pm

grampi wrote:I am curious as to why I can't find a single magazine with a test of the 109. I must have thumbed through 15 different MC mags today and other than brief mentions of the bike, nothing. You'd think the mags would be dying to get their hands on one and Suzuki should more than glad to give them one to test!
I have a mag around here somewhere with a review, but it was a prototype. I'll try to find it later (leaving for the movies soon). They gave it a glowing review.

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Unread post by grampi » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:19 pm

ZooTech wrote:
grampi wrote:I am curious as to why I can't find a single magazine with a test of the 109. I must have thumbed through 15 different MC mags today and other than brief mentions of the bike, nothing. You'd think the mags would be dying to get their hands on one and Suzuki should more than glad to give them one to test!
I have a mag around here somewhere with a review, but it was a prototype. I'll try to find it later (leaving for the movies soon). They gave it a glowing review.
Cool! I'm curious to see the performance figures for the 109.
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Unread post by grampi » Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:29 am

You would think one of the mags would have tested a production model by now. They're due to start hitting the showrooms in early Feb. The mags are usually given one to test before they're available to the public as this usually serves as an initial sales booster.
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