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Handling Characteristics of an M109R vs M50

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by S_Bartfast, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. I'm wanting to know how well the M109R handles.

    I've been lusting after an M109R for years but just haven't been able to get the money together to buy one. While most reports I've read in regard to handling have been remarkably positive I currently ride an M50 and I have to say I find this bike to handle exceptionally poorly. Prior to this M50 I rode a Hyosung GV650, and that my friends was a beautiful handling machine! I had a whole list of issues with that bike the handling was not one of them. It has to be said it handled superbly!

    Is anyone able to comment on the handling characteristics of the M109R compared to the M50 and would anyone know if it is in anyway comparable to the GV650? Yes, I know asking someone to compare the M109R to a GV650 is probably like asking someone to compare Grange Hermitage to a flagon of Goon, but what can I say, the GV650 handled exceptionally well whereas I find the M50's handling to be decisively poor.
  2. I had an M109R (LE) for two years and it was a beast to turn on the OEM tyres. Once they where changed to Metzlers the turn in improved markedly, it also tramlined a lot less.

    However, don't be under any illusions that the M109R is an easy bike to hustle around, it is long, it is heavy and it will take a fair amount of effort to get it to fall into the corners.

    A mate of mine had a play with mine and had shoulder ache for a couple of days as he was used to a Kawa Versys.

    It's nothing you can't get used to but outside of a full dresser HD there's not a lot heavier and slower to turn on the market. Still a great bike though.
  3. Thanks.

    I'll try to explain more about what I found to be the differences between these two bikes.

    The GV650 had a much deeper posture and I would really feel like I would sit 'in' the bike and be at one with the machine whereas on the M50 I feel much more 'on' the bike and separate from it. This may just be an effect of geometry and could possibly be corrected with forward controls, risers and swept handlebars but I really don't know.

    I don't quite know how to describe what it was that was so much better but everything just felt so much more nicely balanced. There are a lot of things but little things such as the handlebars were much lighter to the touch and I could freely swing them in a way I can't on the M50. This is surprising as the rake on a GV650 is significantly longer and the turning pivot is a lot further in front of the handle grips which you would think would make the steering stiffer but for some reason it was just the opposite. I can't explain why.

    Another thing is I could easily let go of the handle grips while traveling along and the bike would continue straight as smooth as smooth could be but I could turn a little my leaning like one does on a bicycle, though not nearly as effectively. On the M50, if I let go, after a couple of seconds the handlebars begin to tremor and this tremor builds to a full shake after a few more seconds and you have to grab hold again for fear of something disastrous happening, and there's no possibility of making gentle turns 'hands free'.

    Obviously you wouldn't choose a bike based on the ease with which it can be ridden hands free but it is indicative of how 'tight' the GV650 felt on the road as opposed to how 'sloppy' my M50 feels. Going around corners I would find I would set a lean angle and the GV650 would curve a single arc and if necisary I could tighten or lengthen the arc with the throttle but on the M50 it all feels kind of 'jagged' and I have to really adjust my lean angle with the handle bars to tighten or lengthen the turn in a manner that doesn't feel nearly as smooth. Accordingly I'm far less inclined to carry any significant speed while leaning on the M50 as I just have the sense that the tyres won't hold firm and I may well drift wide whereas the GV650 would just feel like it would 'stick' and give back more traction.

    I'm sure neither of these bikes are anything like a proper sports ride but comparatively speaking the GV650 felt like it would carve like a surgeon's scalpel whereas the M50 just plows on through like a blunt instrument. I don't necessarily need for a 109 to "carve like a scalpel", but you know, I do want it to stick in the corners and allow throttle steering when it's lent in.

    I know that the M50 isn't billed as a "Performance Cruiser" in the way the 109 is but I was expecting some of the "9"s DNA to make it's way in. Given the complete lack of 'sport' my M50 sports I'm kind of hoping the M109R has as little in common with it as possible. Can anyone comment on whether the M109R is basically a bigger beefier version of the M50 or whether they're worlds apart?
  4. The 109 is nothing like anything else in the M or C range. It's a beast unto itself.
    Once you've set its course in a corner it's quite hard to get it to change direction using the 'bars. It's a lot easier to use the immense torque to change the line.

    It is very, very stable too due to the long wheelbase and steering geometry

    Even though my current bike is lighter, more powerful and better handling - I do still miss my 109 there's something addictive about a big V-twin, ride one.
  5. Having owned a few gv650s which I thought handled great also, I brought a Harley night rod which I thought handled great as well and goes like hell. My mate who's a great rider could get his night rod down the old road at a ridiculous pace. Well worth a test ride mate.
  6. Yeah, I have thought about the V-rod but they are very expensive. Phenomenally powerful machines and from what I gather nice performing bikes but given I'm struggling to come up with the funds for a 109 I really can't seem myself stretching it to a Night Rod.

    I have also considered Victory's Hammer but I also have a probably unfair bias toward metric cruisers. If I were to be wooed to the "Land of the free and Home of the brave", the V-rod would be the beast to do it, and that's probably because it's the most "metric" of the Harley models but I dare say I would need to do something about that "clam shell" posture.
  7. FWIW I rode a couple of V-Rods before buying the 109, there's very little difference in it apart from image.
    The 109 is faster but the V-Rod has a nicer engine (the 109 relies on sheer size to generate its grunt whereas the V-Rod produces more KW per CC and was less lumpy) The V-Rod handled better but not $15k better.
  8. Yeah, that is the impression I kind of got.

    I actually have taken a NIght Rod for a short spin along an espernard. I was able to give it a couple of brief spurts but wasn't really able to asses it's cornering performance as such. I have to say I was impressed and if the pricing was similar I'd be very tempted but something would have to be done about that clam shell.

    I even find the "poll up the axx" ergonomics of the M50 a little hard to take and just yearn for the heels out/chest wide stance of the GV650. Can't imagine how I'd go bend double like the Rod. Admittedly the GV650 posture is a bit extreme and the M50 is probably the most comfortable but I just love the "balls hanging" sensation of the GV650 even though it does get tired sooner.

    BTW, I played around with ergo rider and to get the exact same posture on an M109R as the GV650 I would need to move the pegs forward 3" and up 0.75". Her handle bars would need to be raised by 2.5" and pulled back 4.5. Amazingly the pegs on the V-rod are in almost exactly the same position as they are on the GV but the handle bars would require 3.75" of lift and a pull back of a staggering 7.25" to achieve the same posture :wacky:
  9. Have a look at the m109riders dot com forum, there's a wealth of knowledge there on all sorts of questions/answers. The V-Rod Vs 109 threads are amusing too. Basically the exact same thing that the V-Rod forums say in reverse.
  10. I had a m109 for three years and sixty thousand kilometres, and found it to be a great commuter, fantastically comfortable long distance tourer, but hard to manhandle unless you like to wrestle the bike in slower stuff. My everyday bike for that time, and also my touring weapon of choice. Just eats up the miles, and you feel fine after twenty hour days in the saddle.
    I just lived the grunt.

    Fwiw the next bike after the 109 was a ducati monster. Lesson in contrasts. Monster is a riders bike. 109 is a beast to be tamed.
  11. Explain to me how the 109 is faster than a v rod when it has 2hp less and weighs 45kg more pls?
  12. I'm going to guess that it's in the gearing (as stated earlier the V-rod definitely has the superior engine). My 109 was not a good example as it was tuned to give 150BHP (up from the std 120ish(?) with a 'busa chip and a bit of help with the breathing).

    From what I can see online there is bugger all difference in the std specs.

    Without getting into a fanboi argument (because I do actually prefer the V-rod), I've had plenty run ins with V-rods and was never beaten off the line, even when it was very, very obvious that the HD rider was up for it.

    Have a look at the 109 fora and they will state the same - 109 out accelerates the V-Rod in Std spec.

    Either way the 109 is way better value for money bang for buck.
  13. Hi Guys I have been absent from the forum for a while but had a look today and just had to chime in with my view of the nine. The only thing the M50 and M90 have in common with the M109 is the M, the 109 was a ground up design from the guys that developed the GSXR. I have not had a 50 but did have a 90 and they are completely different bikes to ride the 90 you sat up on where’s the 9 you sit in it.

    I commute 45ks each way on mine every day and love it, it chews up the hi way miles with ease and is nimble enough to duck through the traffic. I have on more than once had guys pull up beside me at the lights and say “man you slide that beast through the traffic easy.” She is a hand full in the tight twisty roads but has brilliant brakes so you just go hard brake late turn then roll open the throttle and it leaps forward, I can easily stay with or in front sports bikes in the twisties. . I put a wider tyre on and have ground down the peg feelers so it is getting better.

    As for being quicker than a Vrod the answer is yes so far quicker than any HD that has had a go, although the rod was close. The only thing I would like is a bit more lean angle but a small issue as the bulk of my riding is not in the twisties. At slow speeds it is easy to throw around but the wide tyres and massive Vtwin mean at speed you have to put the effort in to get it to lean
    Best thing you can do is go test ride some.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Thanks Azza.

    That's really good information, exactly what I was after :)