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2003 Suzuki Intruder 1400
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally have some access to some "extra" funds this year. Like the title says, I'm thinking about upgrading the 2-wheeler (or starting a stable? :devil: ).
Current ride is an '03 Suzuki Intruder 1400. It's pretty nice, it might just be the itch setting in waiting for the season to start in the midwest.

That said, I have spousal approval so hah!

The 'truder is my first Vtwin. First bike was a Honda single, then a Kanatuna/Katana, then a v4 Magna. I've been really digging the V-Twin world. I think I want some sort of "power cruiser" or "muscle cruiser". I've been eyeing a few models and hopefully start sitting on/test riding some soon. I have 0/zip/nada brand loyalty, as far as I can tell all the major brands are good quality outside of specific (usually well-known) issues. I'm 5'10" and find my current Intruder to be pretty comfy as a reference.

In order of none-particular (I've been able to find examples of these in the ~$6k range):
Suzuki M109R
Honda VTX1800
Harley Davidson V-Rod (specifically the "VRSCR/Street Rod" version, or VRSCDX/Night Rod Special for the mid controls)
Victory Vegas (and sub-models, Hammer, Jackpot, etc)
Yamaha Raider (BIG 1900 beastie there)

Styling-wise I favor the Vic, with the V-Rod and 109 tied for 2nd with the Raider then the Honda last. None of them are ugly. Notes: The Vic is just hawt (matter of taste and all), while the V-rod has that near "purposed build to go fast" look, and the big 'Zuk is big and interestingly freakish/brutish. The Raider is maybe a tad overdone, and the Honda looks like...a Honda.

I've actually ridden a V-Rod Muscle before. LOOOVED the engine. HAETED the ergos. I later got to sit on (but not operate) a Streed Rod variant and found its ergos to be MUCH better. I've also ridden a '15 Vegas at a demo day before Victory closed down and found it to be pretty dang nice. My price range is likely to be the Freedom 100" instead of the 106 but I expect it to be a similar experience.

I fully plan to get my keister in as many examples as possible before dropping the dough unless a screaming deal makes my mind up for me. I would appreciate any input/experiences people have had with these machines (bonus if it's been more than 1!).

I've been watching/listening to as many videos as I can find, and it seems (in vids anyway) the Honda sounds awful unless it's stock :(, the H-D and Vic both sound great pretty much no matter what, and the 109 and Raider are good w/ the right exhaust. I don't plan on modding to speak of, so whatever it comes with will likely be how it stays in terms of exhaust - unless it's some ridic straight pipe, then I might trade back to OEM.

The right Dyna is a possibility also, but unlikely to be in my budget (Fat Bob or bust!)
 

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I had a 2009 M90 and loved the bike. It was written off this past summer so its gone now. While looking around for a newer bike to replace the M90 my wife suggested that we look at a M109r since it was always a dream bike of mine. We were looking at a matte grey discounted new 2017 model when we came across a nice new discounted 2016 model. Its in our garage now waiting for spring once the roads get cleaned up around here. I follow a lot of the forums and am sure that I'll be happy with this bike. It feels more comfortable to sit on than our M90 was but time will tell.
 

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If your on a budget go for the Victory, there are some awesome deals out there right now, look around online to see what I mean. I basically got a brand new 6 year old bike bike ( less than 3k when I bought it) for 1/3 of the original MSRP. Sounds like your well aware of the company closing down and all that so i won't warn you about it.
I personally think the Kingpin is the best of the steel frame vics, with the inverted forks and better matched size wise set of tires it's probably the best handling of the bunch. I love mine.
 

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Visionary
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Someone at works rides a M109r. That thing looks like a beast and sounds great. Nice bike!

I had a 2009 M90 and loved the bike. It was written off this past summer so its gone now. While looking around for a newer bike to replace the M90 my wife suggested that we look at a M109r since it was always a dream bike of mine. We were looking at a matte grey discounted new 2017 model when we came across a nice new discounted 2016 model. Its in our garage now waiting for spring once the roads get cleaned up around here. I follow a lot of the forums and am sure that I'll be happy with this bike. It feels more comfortable to sit on than our M90 was but time will tell.
 

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American Legion Rider
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If your on a budget go for the Victory, there are some awesome deals out there right now, look around online to see what I mean. I basically got a brand new 6 year old bike bike ( less than 3k when I bought it) for 1/3 of the original MSRP. Sounds like your well aware of the company closing down and all that so i won't warn you about it.
I personally think the Kingpin is the best of the steel frame vics, with the inverted forks and better matched size wise set of tires it's probably the best handling of the bunch. I love mine.
Dang Mike, those two Visions look like aliens guarding the other Vic. Weird photo like that but rather cool too.
 
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Visionary
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I posted that picture once with the caption "My two Visions keeping close eye on their wild little sister" :)

Dang Mike, those two Visions look like aliens guarding the other Vic. Weird photo like that but rather cool too.
 

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I posted that picture once with the caption "My two Visions keeping close eye on their wild little sister" :)
Well, there was a time I didn't look at everything so it must have slipped by.:wink2:
 
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2003 Suzuki Intruder 1400
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Every model I listed, I've found an example of at a similar price point within my budget target. I'm seeing most of them to be in the 08 and earlier year range in any of the examples.

Comfort is at least somewhat important, as I plan to ride to work as much as possible; with the occasional group ride or excursion to Cincinnati or similar distances.

The Harley wins the aftermarket support game as far as I can tell. It's not super important since I tend to not mod my bikes very much, but may be a deciding factor in a close comparison. I'll be "cruising" dealerships in the coming weeks to sit on/see/test ride as many different examples as I can get my mits on.

Mike: That's a gorgeous vic. Vic wins in styling I think, IMO. Locally I've found decent buys for an 05 Hammer or an 06 Jackpot. Kingpins are a little less common. Would the inverted forks swap over pretty reasonably? I'm assuming generally that the frame is common among the various Vegas submodels (for a given year anyway). ETA: Looks like the Hammer model comes with inverted forks also, but that PHAT rear tire might mess up handling a bit even if it looks good.
 

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Swamp Rat Rider
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Always thought the Kingpin was the Cream of the Crop in Looks for a Victory but the Vision and Cross Country both will surprise you at how well they handle for their size and weight ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I rode a Street Glide Special at a Harley Demo day a few years ago and also felt like it handled really well for a big bike. I just moved over the last couple days (and finishing this weekend) and hope to start hitting showrooms for some seat time in the next week or so.
 

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Always thought the Kingpin was the Cream of the Crop in Looks for a Victory but the Vision and Cross Country both will surprise you at how well they handle for their size and weight ..
I thought the Judge was the best looking Victory, but then my tastes run to something absolutely functional having no chrome.

in Australia I went to several HD display and ride days, the Road King was my favourite. I've said that my HD would be a Road King with aftermarket GIVI Trekker saddlebags and top box.
 

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Swamp Rat Rider
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I thought the Judge was the best looking Victory, but then my tastes run to something absolutely functional having no chrome.

in Australia I went to several HD display and ride days, the Road King was my favourite. I've said that my HD would be a Road King with aftermarket GIVI Trekker saddlebags and top box.

The Road King Classic Old School Looks is Hard to Beat, but check out the New Indian Springfield and will it's almost par with the RK in Design and Looks ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree the Springfield is nice looking, but I hit up the Indian demo truck last year and was not impressed with how it rode. Sure it was smooth, but it felt enormous, like I was 6 feet or more behind the front wheel. Ironically I did not have the same sensation on the Roadmaster.

Road Kings are surprisingly affordable for a HD around my area as long as I don't mind mid-early '00s. Chrome isn't important to me as much, but neither the RK or the Springfield fall under "muscle" or "power cruiser"

I should probably consider the V-Max as well, but I want a V-Twin :)
 

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The brand new V-max is a 1700cc v twin. Not cheap tho
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Vmax is a V4.
Even the older 1200-ish sized ones are very fast. I'm definitely not buying new though.
 

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The people at the bike show said that they stopped making the V4, and that it was running the same engine as the Eluder which is a vtwin. I took them at their word and guess I never took a close look at the left side. I have an RSTD which has the same 1300 cc v4, detuned to around 100 hp instead of the 130ish of the Max. The new one has a 1700 cc v4 with the forced induction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I checked Yamaha's website today and it showed the current 'max as a 1700cc v4. A third party review put it at like 170-ish hp? Beastie of a bike for sure.

Come on early spring! My current ride is hiding at my old neighbor's house until it's warm enough to ride to my new place (thankfully only like 10 miles apart). Then it'll be time to get to comparing IRL instead of just on paper.
 

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>Suzuki M109R

Rode it on a demo day...hated it!

The good:
+Tons of power

The bad:
-It's a straight line bike.
-Huge rear tire = poor cornering at low speeds.
--right out of the dealers lot, first hard right turn, felt like I was heading for the ditch at 10mph...had to fight the bike around that corner.
-Very uncomfortable on my back after ~15 minutes of riding.
-Bike fought me constantly, only in a straight line did I feel like a part of the machine.
-Not a small guy bike...you need size and muscle to move this thing around.

~~~~~~~~~

Boulevard C90

WOW! Rode it and almost bought in on the spot...wonderful machine!

~~~~~~~~

Street Rod
>Read up on it before you buy. Never ridden one, but the Harley folks I know would never own one. I've heard you have to pull the engine from the bike in order to change the spark plugs....NO THANKS!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've read up a bit on V-rods in general as I've admired them for a while. I think you have to lower the the engine an inch or so to check valve clearances. And even then I believe there is a workaround. Spark plugs looks like you only have to take the airbox, velocity stacks and battery off (found the factory HD video series on it). All on top. Neither are something you have to do terribly often, and surely no worse than the plugs in a Ford Expedition (there's 6 hours I'll never get back).

Most "Harley" folks don't like the V-Rod because it's different from what I've been able to tell. Of the 4 of H-D's I've ridden (Demo day in like 2015 and a buddy's Fat Bob), the VRSC line has my favorite engine. I haven't been on one of the new Milwaukee 8s yet but they're out of my price range anywho :p

I went to my local YamaHondaZuki dealer today because they had an M109 and Raider in the showroom to sit on. Right away, the 109 is WIDE. The Raider was almost natural feeling - feet just a little bit (3 inches or so?) forward compared to my Intruder, and the bar position had my back basically vertical, also like my Intruder (S83 Bouly equivalent). Granted this was just sitting still. Too cold to roll out yet, and snow coming this weekend. Between the Yamaha and the 'Zuk, the Yamaha gets the vote on the "static" comfort check. The Zuk didn't seem just awful, but it was just a minute or so.
 

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If you have not bought a bike yet do yourself a favor and ride a Triumph Rocket III. Torque, comfort, cornering, price, all exceptional. Talk to anyone who has owned one. The only way I get off of mine is to get a newer one.
 
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