Suzuki helped define the power cruiser niche in 2006 with the release of its M109R and Star followed suit in 2008 with a bit of muscle of its own in the form of the Star Raider.
beasts beneath them spools up, spinning the big rear tires as the bike catapults forward, filling them with the unmistakable adrenaline rush that makes one feel so alive and in the moment. But they are still fond of classic motorcycle styling and don’t necessarily need the breakneck acceleration and mind-numbing speed of a hell-bent liter-bike. Fortunately, there’s a breed of motorcycle out there that can still get the heart pumping with its arm-wrenching power and instantaneous blast of torque without hunching riders over a sportbike tank – we affectionately call them power cruisers, big bikes capable of smoking the rear tires with the best of them.
Power cruisers are slung long and low, with powerful V-Twins providing the pulse. We recently pitted the bike that helped define the class, the Suzuki M109R, versus Star Motorcycles contestant in the power cruiser domain, the Raider S, to find out which bike is the total package. Both are big-bored, fuel-injected metric V-Twins mated to 5-speed gearboxes all mounted in double cradle steel and aluminum frames. The duo both feature burly 2-1-2 pipes streaking down their right sides and share the same rear suspension set-ups with aluminum swingarms and single shocks
soaking up the bumps on the backside. Big dual discs serve up the stopping power on the M109R and Raider S up front while single discs dutifully bring the action to a stop on the rear. And even though the pair share plenty of similarities, the motorcycles definitely have their own character and temperament.
The M109R made its debut in 2006 and helped redefine the cruiser niche with its influx of GSX-R sportbike technology. All it takes is one hard twist of the throttle to let you know the Suzuki M109R is still a formidable competitor in the power cruiser niche despite being a 2009 model. Its 1783cc engine is geared for a strong initial burst right off idle and has the wider powerband of the two that peaked at a chart-topping 104.29 hp on the dyno, with much of that coming on between 6000-7000 rpm. Its drag-style handlebars and forward-leaning ergonomics encourage you to tap into the prodigious amounts of readily available torque it has down-low that crested at 92.93 lb-ft. The impressive power of the M109R doesn’t come without a price as it musters only 32.46 mpg on average. Luckily, it has a healthy 5.2-gallon tank to quench its thirst.