test rode an m109 today, want opinions
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  1. #1
    Puddle Runner
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    test rode an m109 today, want opinions

    Holy shee-at. This thing is a biiiig step up from an m50. I've been trying to decide whether my next bike will be a vtx 1800 or this. The m109 was very easy to corner and do slow speed maneuvers with, but had a real twitchy first gear. I don't know if this was due to my own lack of skill but it seemed like the clutch had a real short friction zone and starting from a stop was, well, exciting to say the least.
    The vtx I tested was real smooth and seemed tame in comparison but top heavy for sure and that made me less confident at slow speeds.

    I'm still having a hard time making a decision, but for those who chose an m109 over other bikes (and esp if you have exp with a vtx) I'd like to hear your thoughts about what made you go with the m109.
    I need a daily driver and I only have funds for one form of transportation so I can't just buy both. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboyoshi View Post
    Holy shee-at. This thing is a biiiig step up from an m50. I've been trying to decide whether my next bike will be a vtx 1800 or this.
    Bigger is not always better......especially when you are on a budget.

    IF.....you won't be riding two-up much and not pulling a trailer......why are you looking at such BIG bikes ???
    (Other than an emotional reason, that is. I know about that; I lust after a Vmax but know it's not right for me.)

    IF you would be willing to consider something else, get a test ride on a Vulcan 900, which is very spirited for it's size or a Vstar 950 or even a VTX 1100 (do they still make them anymore ??).

    I'll be in Hotlanta next month but won't have the 900 with me......or I would offer you a test ride.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  4. #3
    Fourth gear and illegal
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    I have a friend who rides a 109, great bike but it seems that clutch chatter on take off is a problem with some of them. As usual Suzuki says there is no problem. He is a good bike mechanic and found that the problem was that the clutch was not getting enough oil on it, he solved the problem by drilling another oil feed hole to allow more oil to the clutch area. Other than that small problem it a great bike if you have enough experience to handle the power, it is probably the most powerful stock cruser around.
    Those who beat their swords in to plowshares will work for those who did not.

    COLOR ME GONE! Another victim or ER's BS.

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  6. #4
    Supporting Member
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    2013 M109R, 2016 C90T, 2007 M50
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    OK, here's my take. I went from the 50 to the 109. I have no regrets for one main reason. I researched the bike before I decided by reading every article I could find plus info from M109Riders.com. I knew everything there was to know about the bike. Of course I researched other bikes which became eliminated in time.
    The 1st 3 gears of the 9 (as we refer to them) are geared for taking off fast. Similar to the Hayabusa. There are upgrades to modify this. I didn't use the word "fix" because you can learn how to ride it this way by just riding more often. XTRE and ATRE can smooth out the shifting. The correct item to use depends on the year of the bike. I chose not to do this mod as many of us had decided that this was the intention of Suzuki to make this a fast cruiser. If you decide to smooth out the gears, you will lose that "instant punch" on take off. If you're not interested in that then this is the mod to do. I prefer not to mess with the factory settings and I can take off slow or if I need the extra boost, I still have it. I see nothing in my future that would part me from this bike. I'm planning on getting a touring bike and this one is staying in the fleet.
    Now this summer, I bought a new Honda Fury which is a 1300cc. I don't prefer that over the 9 and most likely will be traded off. It's a nice ride though and shifts smoothly. Honda doesn't produce VTX1800's anymore and I look at that as a reason to not look for one, but that's just me. If a model is a hot seller, you'll keep making it. The 9's have been around for 10 years. Their legacy stems from the Intruder line which didn't have an 1800cc model.
    You can learn this ride easily and you won't believe the after market parts that are available including hydraulic clutch mods and electronic cruise (although neither is in a kit form, the parts needed and install info is available in our forum).
    As long as it's not them that has to pay, no one really minds the debt.

  7. #5
    Puddle Runner
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    I've been researching the 9 and know the first couple (or so) year models had some issues. If it's stuff a non mechanic can fix (or prevent) then I'm ok with that but I'm not really sure if that's how it is. As for why I want a bike this big, I'm just tired of the m50's highway manners. I hate the noisy growliness of the engine and the lightness of the bike. It's all good around town but when I have to head downtown once a week or so, it just aggravates me. I test rode a vtx a month or so back and it was really really smooth , smooth sounding, smooth shifting, and very solid feeling on the highway. If I hadn't hated the paint job so much I would have snapped it up right then. The X is more affordable, I'm not having any trouble finding ones in decent shape in my budget and I thought I was sold on it until I rode a 9 yesterday. It was a bit scary but fun. I hate it when decision making gets hard and I'll probably have to save up a bit more to get a decent one.

  8. #6
    Supporting Member
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    The years from '11 on seem to be the most reliable. You'll read about the 2nd gear issue, but only a few people have had it happen as compared to the number of bikes sold. None of them from the recent years.
    As long as it's not them that has to pay, no one really minds the debt.

  9. #7
    Puddle Runner
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    Quote Originally Posted by QZephyr View Post
    The years from '11 on seem to be the most reliable. You'll read about the 2nd gear issue, but only a few people have had it happen as compared to the number of bikes sold. None of them from the recent years.
    There's also been reported of issues with the rear rotor coming loose on the 06/07 models. I'm just not sure if it's something I can deal with without having to pay a mechanic to be sure it's all safe.

  10. #8
    In Training
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboyoshi View Post
    I hate it when decision making gets hard and I'll probably have to save up a bit more to get a decent one.
    Ah, but it's a fun time, isn't it? Looking forward to hearing what you eventually go with! BTW - did you look at the M90's at all?

    QZephyr - thanks for the information. I'm not ready for a new bike yet, but maybe one day. Always good to have information to consider
    Last edited by UnMonkey; 11-17-2015 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Added question re: m90

  11. #9
    Puddle Runner
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnMonkey View Post
    Ah, but it's a fun time, isn't it? Looking forward to hearing what you eventually go with! BTW - did you look at the M90's at all?
    I did and after doing research I saw some conflicting specs on their hp/torq ratings. Then read a bunch of reviews where people say they aren't really much of an improvement over the m50 in terms of power. I don't want to pay more and not see some real improvement. The vtx is a fun ride and super smooth, the 9 is more fun but twitchy. In reliability and practical value, I think the vtx wins, but in looks, power, and handling, the 9 wins. I haven't gotten to test ride the m90 yet, never seen a used one at a fair price but after riding the others, I can't see myself being happy with an m90.

  12. #10
    Supporting Member
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    Just before I purchased my 9, I asked one of the salesmen why I would spend $3000 more for the 109 over the 90. His reply was that after a few weeks I would regret not buying up. The truth is for some reason the 1500's from Suzuki don't have the equal power to cc results. While the 50's come in around 51 hp, the 109's I've read from as little as 107 to 125 stock, depending on what year and who's writing the article. The 90's I've read in numerous articles come in at 67 hp. I've not found an article yet that puts them closer to 90 hp or at least 80. I've talked with a former C90T owner who traded up because the 90 didn't have the power to pull a trailer in the mountains. I've not ridden a 90, but the difference between the 50 and 109 is significant, so I would guess the 90's would fall in the middle but less than halfway due to the under power specs.
    As long as it's not them that has to pay, no one really minds the debt.


 

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