Boulevard M109R | Price: $14,099
It's exactly what you expect from the people who brought us the GSX-R1000: two cams, two spark plugs and four valves atop markedly oversquare cylinders. Staggered crankpins provide perfect primary balance, while a contra-rotating balance shaft between the crank and countershaft cancels remaining vibration. Dual-stage cam drive keeps head dimensions and engine height manageable. The shallow, semi-dry-sump--a.k.a. Suzuki Advanced Sump System--design sequesters 5 quarts of engine oil in the gearbox area to create a more compact package. A pair of 56mm dual-butterfly throttle bodies feeds the fire via instructions from the 32-bit ECU.
Essentially hidden behind a phalanx of sculpted plastic modesty panels, the 109's 44-pound steel-tube chassis carries the all-conquering 108.8-cubic-inch lump in six rubber mounts to soak up second-order vibration. The cast-aluminum swingarm incorporates shaft final-drive on the left. Spiral-spoke cast-aluminum wheels lack Victory's X-Factor elegance. The 8.5 x 18-inch rear wears a purpose-built 240mm Dunlop D221 Sportmax radial.
It only looks simple. Underneath all that chrome and plastic, the M109R is at least as complex as the average GSX-R. To wit, each cylinder's pair of spark plugs is controlled by a separate pair of maps. Both fire at the same time when you're cruising, but they're staggered to minimize emissions when you're hard on the gas. The engine's 32-bit CPU has a 256KB read-only memory.
There's a horizontally mounted Kayaba shock below the swingarm pivot, adjustable for spring preload only. The process is relatively painless compared to the Victory's knuckle-busting arrangement, but bring your own spanner because the tool kit doesn't include one. The 46mm Kayaba fork isn't adjustable at all. Firm? Yes: It's undersprung and overdamped at both ends. Still, the net result is more humane than the Hammer.
|Engine type: l-c 54-deg. V-twin||Rear brake: Single two-piston caliper, 275mm disc||Corrected 1/4-mile: 11.91 sec. @ 112.9 mph|
|Valve train: DOHC, 4v||Front tire: 130/70-R18 Dunlop D221F Sportmax||Top-gear roll-on: 3.8 sec.|
|Displacement: 1783cc||Rear tire: 240/40-R18 Dunlop D221 Sportmax||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 41/33/37 mpg|
|Bore x stroke: 112.0 x 90.5mm||Rake/trail: 31.2 deg./4.9 in.||Colors: White/blue|
|Compression: 10.5:1||Seat height: 27.8 in.||Availability: Now|
|Fuel system: EFI||Wheelbase: 67.3 in.||Warranty: 12 mo./unlimited mi.|
|Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Fuel capacity: 5.2 gal.||Contact: |
American Suzuki Motor Corp.
P.O. Box 1100
Brea, CA 92822
|Transmission: 5-speed||Weight (tank full/empty): 778/747 lbs.|
|Frame: Tubular-steel double-cradle with aluminum swingarm||Measured horsepower:106.8 bhp @ 6500 rpm|
|Front suspension: 46mm Kayaba inverted cartridge fork||Measured torque: 97.1 lb.-ft. @ 3250 rpm|
|Rear suspension: Single Kayaba shock, adjustable for spring preload |
|Front brake: Dual four-piston Tokico calipers, 310mm discs|
Making marginally less torque than the Hammer across the board, the M109R hits noticeably harder above 4700 rpm, where the Victory is signing off.
The Boulevard presents roomier, better-balanced accommodations more suited to the L or XL set. A relatively flat bar lets you lean into the wind just enough to make freeway travel more tolerable as well.