2008 Suzuki B-King vs 2009 Star VMAX Conclusion

Bart Madson | March 27, 2009

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… Forget objective stats and spec sheets. In this comparison we’ll stick with pure rider opinion.

A straight head-to-head comparison helps reveals the flaws and niggles that might otherwise be overlooked and this test of the VMAX and B-King was no different. Unlike other comparison tests, like the superbike or supersport classes for example, there is not enough across the board similarities to conclude a definitive best. The VMAX and B-King exhibit such different routes to motor hooliganism that we’ll leave the final verdict up to the simple tribunal opinion of our Motorcycle USA test riders.

Steve Atlas – Executive Editor: 

Both awesome motorcycles! For cruising around town and cracking the throttle open and spinnin’ the rear tire to put a smile on your face – it’s hard to argue with the VMAX. It’s definitely the fastest motorcycle on the street from 0-100mph.

The riding position of the VMAX has the rider squatting on his heels  which works great for stockier riders but might strain the knees of the long-legged.
It’s not a clean sweep for the B-King, as Adam couldn’t resist the VMAX acceleration. “It’s just so fast!” You’re right, Adam, you’re absolutely right – it is fast.

But if I had to pick one? I’d pick the BKing. Considering how big it is and how fast it is, it’s still very nimble. The wide bars make for good leverage. It handles well, good feedback from the tires… Overall as a package I just like the feel of the B-King.

Adam Waheed – Road Test Editor:

For me personally Id pick the VMAX. It’s kinda cruiserish but it goes so fast and still gets down in the corners. It’s got a really long wheelbase, so it’s not as nimble and not as agile as the B-King, but it’s got so much power and it’s so comfortable and there’s really no other bike like the VMAX. Where the B-King… it’s a niche motorcycle but there’s still other bikes that are kinda similar to it. The VMAX is an original – there’s no other motorcycle you can buy like it. So for me it’s without question: I’d pop the 18 grand for the VMAX. I love it.

Bart Madson – Managing Editor:

These two bikes are like the Yin and Yang of street bike overindulgence. Choosing a winner is akin to choosing your poison, as both bikes will put even the most docile rider in legal jeopardy. The drastic personality differences of each machine make the bike choose you on this one. Straight-line acceleration and rubber-laying burnouts your cup of tea? Then the sinful clutches of the VMAX won’t let you go.

Fast in a straight line or fast in the corners? The B-King may come out on top 2-1 with our three test riders, but we certainly don’t consider the VMAX a loser.

For my tastes, however, I liked the sporty handling of the B-King. The Suzuki mount delivers the ridiculous power of its Hayabusa cousin, but I much preferred the higher handlebar and more standard riding position. A wheelie monster in the hands of hooligans like Steve and Adam, even your mom, who hates that you ride motorcycles, would be inspired to thwack open the throttle. Solid brakes, compliant chassis, more practical power delivery, not to mention a near doubling of the VMAX’s sub-100-mile range! The VMAX may score an edge in my style book, but I tap out the B-King as my comparison winner without regret.

There you have it, a slight nod to the B-King due to our test rider’s partial tastes, but I can’t imagine anyone would feel like they’re riding a loser aboard the VMAX. In truth, both motorcycles are sure to rouse their riders to the road of excess.

Good luck with the palace of wisdom thing…


Bart Madson

MotoUSA Editor | Articles | Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for 10 years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to motorcycle racing reports and industry news features.

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