the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window…


Harley-Davidson…I became intrigued with a bike I would never have considered previously, in fact took the piss out of those who did have them. But then Rob bought one, and I read the book I previously critiqued, and suddenly my desire to own one (well before I could afford one!) came bubbling to the surface. I was always going to get one, that was a given, but now the determination to get back in the saddle sooner than later. Rob, new owner of a 1450 even tried to talk me off the Harley but it was never far from my mind.
So there I was, a couple of weeks ago with time to spare between meetings, and happened to be close by a bike dealer, a Suzuki dealer no less. My last four bikes have been ‘Zukis, and the one I wanted to own more than any other was the M109T (or M109R with more funds). And possibly the only bike to kill my want for a Hog. A demo model (R) was in the shop so I left details to call me on the price, but by the time the call came through, it was sold, but the salesman said he would keep me abreast of others, as well of second-hand SV1000Ss which cannot be bought new anymore due to Californian emission laws. Then he convinced me to pop in to consider a couple of others… C series or M90.
After looking at the two, no contest. The M90 is the one…but I didn’t commit to a ride straight away, I am methodical (despite my impulse tendencies) in my approach so will work through a series of bikes, hence this post, the first of a few as I narrow them down.

Suzuki Boulevard M109T/R

mmmmm…nice arse!
This dream machine has received rave reviews around the world, and somewhat surprisingly most have come from Harley owners themselves who wanted a) more power and b) better engineering and handling. The first time I saw this in Coleman’s Suzuki when looking for an insurance replacement, I was hooked. From the sheer size, to the styling, to the awesomeness of it all, I couldn’t stop but picture myself on it. And then I rode one…now this goes by memory. The first thing you notice, in fact fear, is the size of this beast. A bike with an 1800 V-Twin, at two and a half metres long, 350kg kerb weight, and shod with a 240/40/18 rear tyre is nothing to be taken lightly.But to ride it is as simple as they come…with a couple of gripes;

     

    …shame about the face!

     

    •  I found the riding position difficult. I’m hardly tall, so reaching (read stretching) forward to hold the bars got a bit much, but custom bars ($$$) could be added
    • The dash layout is a bit, well, crap really. And with the silver/chrome plate on the headlight, just not right…
    • The gear change – I found changing through the gears, especially up, to be lumpy and required effort. However, in saying that, this was a demo barely run in (1000kms), so it could well be that. Besides, that much torque coming from the 55 degree twin could be partly to blame…small price to pay for a bike that had people turning heads everywhere I went

     

    The ride itself was barely half an hour, and it took in most of the regular sites on Auckland’s Nor’Western Motorway (NZ’s largest carpark!) so I didn’t get to give any beans, throw it through corners or in general, have any fun. Lane splitting is a test, but something that gets my adrenaline going, so I took the opps to do so as I rode up the motorway and through the suburbs back. Easy enough, provided you are well aware of your width!

     

    Special Edition, but black is so much cooler.

     

    All in all, nothing that would not stop me from owning one…except the price, which is why I didn’t buy it first time round. At about $22K for a new one, and in the region (at print) of $18K for an 07/08, you really want to be certain this is how you wanna ride. Not recommended down The Devil’s Staircase into Queenstown, that’s for sure!

    I will look to test ride this bike again this time round…

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