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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new here. I currently have an 07 Sportster 1200 Custom. I'm 20 years old. I'm looking for something that will be faster in a straight line and handle as good, if not better than the Sportster. The other guy I ride with is toying with the idea of getting off of his GSXR1000 and getting an M109R. The Suzuki looks like a husky bike, but I have read it doesn't like to lean too far. I really like the look of the Raider, and the quarter mile specs show that it is about a second faster in a straight line. I haven't been able to find anything on the handling though. I like to ride like I have a crotch rocket sometimes, but I can't afford the $5,000/year for insurance on a 600 series sportbike. I see probably 50/50 highway/city driving, and use the Sportster as a commuter. Is the Raider the bike for me or is there something else I should look in to?
 

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There are plenty of other posts about this so you may want to read a little bit and get some feedback from the people who have come b4 you with this question. As far as handling goes the Raider is the bike for you if you want straight line power and the ability to lean your bike. The bikes with the larger rear tires are in my opinion a lot harder to get to lean. The Raiders 210 is perfectly balanced and I am still amazed at how it handles for such a large bike. The M109 is a bit faster than the Raider but I do not care for the plastic look it has. I think you would be more than happy with the Raider and my suggestion is that you try to find a dealer that has one you can ride and then you will know for sure.

Welcome to the board there is a plethera of information here so take your time and look around.
Later
Eian
 

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Jeff, welcome to our family. Dude, you have no idea how perfect of a bike the Rider is... Get one, and you will be thankful you did.

VB
 

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Jeff, welcome.

I'll just say that while the Raider CAN go fast and lean like crazy - if you're into that kind of driving - then you'd be better off with a sport-bike.

The Raider is a lot of fun - but it's also a cruiser.

Believe me I like to get on her... well... quite a bit - but only when it is appropriate and not dangerous to do so.

From the sounds of it - it seems like you like to ride aggressively - fast and scraping the pegs.

If this is the case - buy a sport bike - wear a helmet, as much protective gear as you can and may God be with you.

- Ninja
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
eian31 said:
I think you would be more than happy with the Raider and my suggestion is that you try to find a dealer that has one you can ride and then you will know for sure.
I went down to the dealer yesturday and the salesman said every time they get one it leaves within a day or two of it being there. :(


Ninja-Matic said:
I'll just say that while the Raider CAN go fast and lean like crazy - if you're into that kind of driving - then you'd be better off with a sport-bike.
I want a bike that has the ability to do it. I've never been on something that weights 700lbs dry. And I always wear a full helmet.
 

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I own a Raider. My son owns an M109R.

I've driven my sons bike on a number of occasions.

The best way for me to describe the difference is that although his 109 is slightly faster... the Raider "wants" to corner.. the 109 doesn't, you must force it to. IMHO.
 

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Jeff

Some thoughts.

First ... you want straight line speed? Just sheer speed???
See the most recent edition of motorcycle. com at the following link:
http://www.motorcycle.com/
What you see there is the new 2009 V-max. If straight out speed is all you want, it will be hard to beat this bike. I love my Raider, but I can be honest about other bikes. The V-max family has its own mystique. For sheer kamikaze speed, that run second to none.

I looked at the Suzuki 109R also. The Suzuki salesman got it right about that bike. If you want raw power in a straight line direction, that bike is also pretty d*** good. I didn't get it because the controls didn't quite fit my body ... the foot brake wasn't a natural feel. I do suggest you think about that. Try the controls, and "work them" in the showroom. See if they all feel natural.

Some other bikes to consider:
Star Warrior: Great bike!!! I thought about it very seriously vs. the Raider. The Warrior has a lot of power and corners pretty well.
Big Kawasaki's: I looked at the Mean Streak and also the biggest Vulcan (a power monster). The Mean Streak is a good looking bike, but I was a bit concerned about the poor cornering clearance. The big Vulcan (Vulcan 2000) is kinda' like the Incredible Hulk of motorcycles. Somehow I felt like I was sitting on an ocean liner! Besides, if you're serious about monstrous power - you should probably look at the Triumph Rocket III.

I'm very happy with the Raider. It handles well, power is smooth, and the bike is well balanced. These things aren't an accident. Yamaha put a lot of time into designing this bike.

That's my take.
Everyone's different.

distantThunder
 

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Yeah, 18K will eat a large hole in the wallet. :eek: This is honestly...well....my first bike. So the only serious ride time I've logged is on this. I've considered everything before jumping on this, literally jumping on it( I had to call four different dealers to locate my Red S). I was torn between this and the 109. I'm not a huge Harley fan because if you've seen one you've seen them all. Don't get me wrong, I understand what Harley is selling and respect that. But by the time I could've gotten one the way I wanted, I'm looking at 25-30K. The 240 rear tire on the 109 has a tendancy to want to stand up in the corners, I did test drive a friends. A little harder to get it to roll over also. But that's one hell of a bike and watch that 2nd gear if you do get one, silly strong. Guess what I'm taking too long to say is you can't really go wrong with either. If you want some biased opinions from good people check out http://www.m109riders.com . They've done every possible mod to that bike coming up with some impressive numbers. Remember also, if you're a "modder" and like to customize your bikes, which it sounds like you do from your sportster. This is the Raiders first year of production (2008 Model) and there are more and more parts coming out for it. Just take a look at the other Star bikes and it's well known that Yamaha has one of the largest aftermarket parts selection around. You can dump alot of money into these also. In summary I wouldn't change my choice if I could. 100% Happy. Well, except for my V&H pipes, WHICH CURRENTLY AREN'T IN PRODUCTION!!!!!!LOL...Take care and let us know where you end up. Either way you'll be laughing at you Fat Boy riding buddies!
 

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I grew up in the 70's when Harley's leaked all kinds of oil and you had to tighten about every bolt after a long trip. A few buddies of mine "chopped" their Harley's and for my era it was the look you wanted. I owned different bikes off and on for years, most metric. But when I first looked at the Raider S in the showroom.....that was it.....had to have one....the handling and power was just the bonus as far as I was concerned. Didn't even test drive one or look up the specs before my purchase. In my humble opinion....the Raider is probably the best cruiser ever produced! I would not trade it for any Harley in production or any metric bike. When I retire and feel like I need a bagger for longer trips, I will keep the Raider and end up with two bikes! Just my thoughts.............can't go wrong with one of these bikes if you are 20 or 50.
 

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"The VMax would be great if it wasn't $18,000."

Yeah, but you could sure outrun the debt collectors :)

It all boils down to exactly what kind of riding you want to do, doesn't it? There are so many different types of bikes on the market today - you can generally find several good machines for every category of riding. It might help to make a list of the features that you really want the most on your bike, and then rate them according to priority. For example, it was important to me to get a bike with dual front disk brakes, reasonable cornering clearance, good handling, very good power levels, and hopefully a wide rear tire. That cut the number of choices down dramatically, and eventually led me to the Raider.

distantThunder
 

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Ninja-Matic said:
Jeff, welcome.

I'll just say that while the Raider CAN go fast and lean like crazy - if you're into that kind of driving - then you'd be better off with a sport-bike.

The Raider is a lot of fun - but it's also a cruiser.

Believe me I like to get on her... well... quite a bit - but only when it is appropriate and not dangerous to do so.

From the sounds of it - it seems like you like to ride aggressively - fast and scraping the pegs.

If this is the case - buy a sport bike - wear a helmet, as much protective gear as you can and may God be with you.

- Ninja
+1

You'll have to ride the different machines to see which suits you best. All things considered - and listening to what you've said, the Sportster isn't a bad choice. Do you really want more speed or acceleration or leaning? I rode a HD Lowrider for 3 years and it was always a pleasure to sit on it and start it up. Yeah I even had a kick starter and almost always used it. I swapped with a friend of mine who had a 1200 Sportster and really liked it, but preferred the Lowrider. He also preferred his own bike. If I put myself in your shoes, I'd have to ask myself why I'm considering such a change. There isn't a single bike that does it all. Some people ride Indians, some ride sportbikes and ride 100 MPH wheelies down the interstate. Some ride 750 Shadows or 1800 VTXs. I rode a friend's 650 Ninja a couple of weeks ago and it was wayyyy cool - for 5 minutes.

Don't downplay the Sportster. It's a good bike.

When I'm not riding the Raider, I'm on a Shadow Spirit 1100. 18K miles in 6 months should be a clue. I like riding and it's almost time to replace the rear tire. I have no doubt that the Raider, the Sportster, or any decent sized sportsbike could be just as much fun. The fact is that you're out there - on two wheels - with the wind in your face.

Have fun, ride safe and live to ride another day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just picked up the Sportster from a 5k service. It took me an hour to get the bike and go home because the service department is so slow. The bike was ready, there were 2 service writers, and 1 person in front of me when I got there. Turns out I blew the intake gaskets. I don't know if the bolts just shook themselves loose or it's because I ride the piss out of it, but it is very disappointing at 5,000 miles. It was covered under warranty.

What I'd like is something that I can at least lean like the Sportster when I want to. It would be a much better bike if it was a little less rough, and had a little more kick. My gsxr buddy is seriously thinking about an M109R, but it doesn't look like it will handle curves very well. I wish the local dealer had either of the bikes. :-\

I also looked at the Rocket III, but I keep seeing mixed reviews on the reliability of Triumph. I sat on one and it seemed pretty comfortable. The closest dealer is also 2 hours away.
 

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"but it doesn't look like it will handle curves very well. "

Are you sure that you don't want a Star Warrior? The guy who did my paperwork at the Yamaha dealer rides a Warrior and he loves that bike. He regularly takes it up to the curves in the local mountains and blows away a lot of other bikes (or so he says). Check it out!

distantThunder
 

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Jeff................I agree you should seriously consider the Warrior.

It is an awesome bike for curves with great power, responsive throttle, and a close ratio gearbox

Sit on it though (or better yet, test ride one) becuase it isn't the most comfortable bike if you are going to ride for extended periods.

I absolutely loved mine but I wanted to start going on overnight trips with my buddies and it wasn't comfortable for me and my wife didn't feel safe on it.

One thing for sure, it is a racy bike...............mine had drag bar and pipes and was always enticing me to twist the throttle open............lots of fun.

Another benefit is that are still new 07 models available at great prices...........................or get an even better deal on a used one. I think some Warrior buyers / owners are now getting Raiders like I did.

At any rate, take your time and get the right bike for you

Ride Safe
 

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Jeff
I went from 03 XL883C I enjoy the Raider I can lean you can see on the sidewall how far I do lean it
I was riding with some friends the were amazed how far over I was leaning and that was two-up.
I rode the XL the other day and wow after 1,000 miles on the Raider the Xl ( I have 24,600 miles on the XL)
felt like I was on a old bike.
The difference in the braking and overall layout and handeling.
Yea I have a Harley but I rather ride my Raider.
 

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Jeff, Are there any bike weeks or demo's in the area. I live in NH and every year during bike week I test ride every bike they have, although I never test rode the Raider before buying it? LOL Anyway it sounds like the Warrior is the bike your looking for. Price, Cornering and straightline I don't think there is another bike that can beat it. I would look online and get a used one that already has the stage 1 mods.

Although I bet there are people with an M109 that can handle her just as well as someone on a raider. So if you feel like you could grow with the bike than this may be something to consider.

Good luck and let us know whatever you get, because it's all good.
 
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