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2008 Suzuki B-King vs 2009 Star VMAX

Friday, March 27, 2009
Yamaha VMAX versus Suzuki B-King
Raw power butting heads... Which hyper street bike will come out on top when the Star VMAX and Suzuki B-King tussle.
The Road of Excess

Poet William Blake famously wrote “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” It’s exactly the type of esoteric phrase you’d expect a college English professor to pick as essay question for final exam. And the road of excess… It’s certainly an apt description, in a wholly vulgar way, of Motorcycle USA’s recent comparison test of the Suzuki B-King and Star VMAX.

As for the palace of wisdom? The quote only half applies, because the typical behavior aboard these two renegade street bikes is anything but wise. I know riding the freakishly powerful street bikes devolved my brain from human, way past monkey, to somewhere in the lizard realm where all I understood was base lust for throttle and blurred peripheral vision. I still fumble through my wallet on occasion to confirm a valid driver’s license indeed exists.

“They both force you to break the law,” agrees MCUSA Executive Editor and fellow test rider, Steve Atlas. “There’s no two ways around it.”
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2008 Suzuki B-King vs. 2009 Star VMAX
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Motorcycle USA sourced the B-King and VMAX for an unconventional comparison test and we all put our driving records on the line – in the name of objective journalism… and some fun. But first let’s get the PR dreck out of the way: Unmatched performance, near 200 horsepower, two of the fastest street bikes in production - in existence! These two machines were much-ballyhooed before their actual street debuts, with Yamaha and Suzuki both teasing the public with concept versions of the hulking motorcycles years before finally releasing the B-King as a 2008 model and the Star VMAX as a limited-production 2009 machine.

Bombarded by the media hype, some it our very own, it’s refreshing to discover the VMAX and B-King are real-life motorcycles… legal for the public road no less! And it doesn’t take long in the saddle to realize the VMAX and B-King are very different vessels reaching the same extreme end.

First is the B-King: a gigantic streetfighter harnessing the sportbike Hayabusa Inline-Four. Second the VMAX: Yamaha’s long-lost street king, the ultimate power cruiser reinvented and rebranded under the marque’s Star Motorcycles moniker. The differences are significant: V-Four versus Inline-Four, shaft drive versus chain drive...

But while different, both the VMAX and B-King are natural rivals as the most outrageous performance street bikes on the American roadways. So Motorcycle USA jumped into testing with all the bravado required to keep up with the hyper duo. Along with the requisite weight scales and dyno runs, we also took these bikes to Honda’s Mojave Desert proving grounds for quarter-mile performance testing.

And, of course, we pounded the Southern California pavement with some exhilarating street rides on that road of excess.

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K.Weithers -Flushed 20G  January 27, 2011 01:44 PM
This bike was a disappointment from day one when I bought it in '09. First, I like to say that all the reviews I read about this bike being "comfortable to ride" or "has great handling" were dead wrong. Ride this thing in the twisties at your own risk! Second, when I bought this bike the dealer ripped me off by lying about the VIP program (yes folks you are treated no different then any customer when you pay the extra $1000 for VIP treatment). Thirdly, It didn't hold its resale value like the V-Rod I sold to get this piece of sh**.

Jim -No wide wheel kits  October 19, 2010 01:35 PM
This Star Vmax is a joke. I can't even get half of the aftermarket parts I want here in the USA. The wide wheel kit nobody ever can get because the company that made this part went out of business. All the best accessories are only available if you live in Europe.
HDBreeze -Jesse  December 10, 2009 12:01 PM
Just to correct you on some of your statements...1st the VROD motor is made in the U.S. 2nd, Harley partnered with Porsche to build a streetable motor that was designed after the Harley VR1000 motor, which was designed in-house by Eric Buell and other Harley engineers. As far as the Buell 1125R, the motor is indeed outsourced from Rotax, but all the motorcycle manufacturers use outsourcing. I believe that BMW uses an outsourced motor for the 650cc line, some of the exotic Italian manufacturers use Yamaha powerplants, and the Polaris DVX400 quad is actually a Suzuki LT-Z400, which is also sold as a Kawasaki KFX400. The Volkswagon Routan minivan is actually a Dodge Carvan, made by Chrysler in Canada. Most of the computer chips in your Sony electronics are outsourced from the U.S. and China. Is there a good amount of outsourced parts in the "American Made" Harley, definitely YES! Who cares? It's done by most manufacturers. Ride what you like, I do. I have more than a few bikes of different types and made by American, Japanese and British manufacturers. It's all good. As far as the bikes being reviewed here, I would take the B-King over the VMAX, but I do think the styiling of the VMAX is more attractive. Hey, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
n atkinson -v-max b-king  October 23, 2009 12:07 PM
honda ho honda....remember the x11....0-60...2.64 seconds...10 years old and a beast ,still take either 0-60,a cult bike now ...hondas biggest mistake ,just because press didnt like ...trouble is public did.
Jack -B-King  August 16, 2009 06:56 PM
Prices have dropped to sub 8k. A rural dealer had two at this ridulously low price so my buddy and I each bought one and rode em off the lot for the price of a 650. The 500 mile ride home on a pair of new B Kings was a blast. Folks thought they were under Cyclon attack. This beast is every thing they say it is -- POWERFUL,FAST with good handling and brakes. It's also comfortable but needs a screen for 100+ cruise. Imagine, two Busa powered naked monsters for less than one VMAX. I saved enough to afford to trick mine out with Yoshi pipes, supersprox rear, ermax screen, fender eliminator, frame sliders, speedohealer, and Teka SFI2. The Batman look is gone. The B REX look is here.
Robbie O'Rourke -performance  June 23, 2009 01:47 AM
"...most outrageous performance street bikes..."? I don't know. Even if your definition of outrageous performance is limited to straight line acceleration, a 1997 CBR1100XX gets through the quarter quicker. So does a newer version of the little GSX-R750. Not to mention every Japanese sport literbike produced in the past decade.
milwaukee mike -You forgot to include the BMW K1300R to this comparo  May 20, 2009 03:42 PM
Then you could wax eloquently on the virtues of superior technology, modern engineering, speed, acceleration, and the most puke inducing looking motorcycles ever produced.
PWRMAD -B-King  April 16, 2009 03:09 PM
I sure hope the guys at SUZUKI know that the reason the B-King was a sales flop was because of 2 things, and only 2 things: 1) too heavy, and 2) lousy styling. The concept bike had a look that worked better - when 'altered' to production spec, it lost it's coolness and became a transformer-looking, bulbous, plastic heap. All the mags agree the bike works fantastically, but it's just too heavy and goofy looking. Instead of starting over, if they just stripped it of all it's crappy bodywork, kept it simple, and took 35 lbs off, the bike would sell (and would have sold) like hotcakes.
Jesse -B-King,V-Max  April 4, 2009 11:17 AM
Milwaukee mike, I dont think you understand what superior technology and performance has to offer. If the American motorcycle (HD) is so much better than the metric cruisers(regarding your comment on the B-2 OCC bike)then why does HD have to outsource their engines from Porsche and Rotax) Self esteem?? Thats a laughable statement..when everyone knows HD is the most image driven and overpriced bike on the market. These two bikes (B-King,V-Max) are great examples of moving foward in styling(tho subjective)technology,performance and getting your $ worth. The value of HD is the one dropping like a rock, the market is flooded with them. We all benefit from technology,dont hate appreciate.
Daniel. -Mx.  April 2, 2009 03:48 PM
Thanks busco zx 14 r K 2.009 too Vans o mini canjo * Can Am 2.008 roadtest spyder + quiero albergue * - of u$s 15 the day too in carpa in MB Fl USA pronto viajo para always envién the passport and pasaje.
milwaukee mike -battle of the uglies  April 1, 2009 06:42 PM
Fast? Mabee. Something worth buying? Depends on your self esteem and amount of disposable income. I'd wait untill the end of the summer if you really wanted one. The price of these is going to drop like rock and then you wouldn't feel quite as stupid instead of paying top dollar now.