Suzuki M109R Boulevard Ride Review
We take a ride on the Suzuki M109R Boulevard muscle cruiser.
Suzuki M109R Boulevard Test Ride Review
The Suzuki M109R Boulevard is an interesting machine on paper.
It has a four valve fuel injected engine making 127 horsepower, and it features upside-down forks with radial calipers on 310mm discs. The spec sheet may well be describing a sportsbike. In reality the big Boulevard is a successful blend of a cruiser and musclebike.
The sportsbike DNA it has inherited certainly appeals to potential buyers and the big twin has gobs of power and torque. But like all long wheebase forward control cruisers you may discover you are not GSX-R mounted in the tight corners, depending on how hard you like to push along. In a straight line however, few cruisers will out run it.
Click here to see a gallery of larger images of the M109R
Suzuki hit a home run when it launched the M109R back in 2006, it’s combination of old school cruiser and new age technology, combined a traditional feet forward boulevard bruiser with some modern updates on the styling, including a headlight surround which almost passes as a mini fairing. While looks are a subjective thing, we were surprised just how much attention and reaction the bike got in our time with it.
Thumbs up from car drivers on the freeway and plenty of questions in the servo was the norm with the 109. Whilst we are normally not fans of white paint schemes, the M109’s white paint was nicely set off with the blue stripes, this being the Limited Edition model. Parked in the sun the combination of pearl white and chrome made it hard to look at without sunglasses. Very eye-catching compared to the usual black cruiser.
The Boulevard has a lot of form to admire, plenty of chrome, a massive 240 series rear tyre mounted on a huge 8.5” wide rim and the big double barrel chrome mufflers. Suzuki have done a nice job blending in the radiator, the styling of the bodywork disguises it well. The tank is a reasonable 19.5 litre size, which managed to last nearly 200 kilometres of heavy throttle riding. 250 kms is might be do-able with a light throttle hand, although that big twin power is addictive.
Sitting on the 109, the fat chrome drag style bars which are held in a huge set of pullbacks are topped with a neat low profile tacho housing, with the speedo being down on the top of the tank. With an open face helmet it’s no big deal, but wear a full face and you will have to tilt your head down to see how fast you are – or aren’t – going. The instruments feature the usual LCD niceties, with odometer, dual tripmeters, fuel gauge and a clock.
The seat is a wide and scalloped affair that you sit in rather than on, and was comfortable enough apart from those times when you hit a pothole. With feet forward, you don’t usually have time to take the weight off the seat, resulting in a jarring shock up the spine. This is not unique to the M109R, most feet forward style bikes are like this, and we have ridden much more uncomfortable variants.
The 109 in the model name represents cubic inches, 109 of them which is nearly 1800cc. With four valve heads and fuel injection, the liquid cooled twin features a pair of massive forged pistons, the 112mm bore size bigger than those found in an LS1 Chevrolet V8. Like most big twins it is quite grunty down low, but this one just keeps winding up, as the stylised low profile tacho sweeps left to right, the big Boulevard really gets going.
At 127 horsepower this is a similar figure as Suzuki’s first GSX-R1100 claimed. Obviously the Boulevard weighs a lot more, over 300 kilograms dry. It is well balanced and must have a low centre of gravity, as it doesn’t feel that heavy at low speeds. One issue we did note, the snappy torque down low made the application of throttle when leaned over in the lower gears upset the general flow of things, but it is something you get used to fairly quickly. This also applied when going to off throttle, there is no computer controlled slipper clutch here to help you out, those great big pistons and compression can make a noticeable effect on the rear tyre if you shut the throttle mid turn.
Handling wise the 109 is typical cruiser. It’s long wheelbase, and generous rake and trail figures mean it prefers to travel down the boulevard than swerve off it. It turns of course, but needs a little more effort than your GSX-R600.
You also must live with the reduced clearance from the forward controls. Your heels if you have big feet, and certainly the footpeg knobs will soon advise you when they wish you to stop leaning.
Chasing someone on a bumpy winding road at a good clip does require some forward corner planning and a bit of effort. But let’s be honest, no one is buying this bike to scratch the canyons on the weekend. It is in it’s element on the wide open road, or rumbling along the freeway.
It is also a traffic light demon, the big tyre and long wheelbase mean it will launch away from the lights like a rocket if you desire, and the free revving twin will push the big beast to low 11 second quarter mile times with the right rider.
We have seen and heard of 109s set up for touring, used for commuting or smoking 4 cylinder opponents at the dragstrip. Overall the M109R offers a heap of grunty power, combined with a great build quality, plenty of up to date technology in the motor department, and a decent chassis for the style of bike. It is not a sportsbike with a v twin.
What it does offer is a comfortable, upright, feet forward ride, more than enough power output, combined with traffic stopping looks.
Suzuki M109R Specifications
Engine: 2 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, DOHC, 54-degree, V-twin
Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear Suspension: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Front Brakes: Disc brake, twin
Rear Brakes: Disc brake
Seat Height: 705mm
Curb Weight: 347kg
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 litres