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Hey guys and gals, I bought a silver one. You can ask me any questions you want and I'll give you the low-down. Hey MO, I'll do the guest editor thing if you want. I can have an article to you in a couple days and it won't be ad copy. I knew something smelled funny when I read yours. Sorry to hear Suzuki snubbed you. I strongly rely on you guys and I've been waiting for your impressions. Couldn't wait any longer though as the bikes are in pretty limited distribution. I sold my ZX-10R and old Honda Magna to buy it. One glaring correction I'll make for now is that ground clearance IS an issue. Granted, I've only dragged the peg feelers, but that can still be disconcerting to some. It was fun doing though.
 

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Also, in response to Tigercub and the M109R riding position - the riding position is surprisingly standard, even with the pegs forward. It has everything to do with the seat/bar relationship. I'm 6'1", so I have some options when sitting on it. I can slouch and lean against the back of the seat putting pressure on my tailbone, or I can rotate forward and do a Ben Spies imitation going through the twisties and distribute my weight evenly across my buns and thighs. Overall, it's quite neutral and pleasant.
 

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Actually, now that the big four are figuring out that it's not in their best interest to continue to unsuccessfully clone Harleys, and start leveraging their considerable technology and experience to build unique, powerful bikes that actually work, I think that Harley is going to be surprised at the coming surge in Jap cruiser marketshare. I bought the 109, as it was the straw that broke the camel's back for me to convert from my sportbike. The VTX1800 caught my attention, as did the Warrior (let's not forget the VMAX), but it was the M109R that did it. Why? Because Suzuki knows what we want and need and they're not too chicken to do it any longer. Maybe it's because the big four are using their North American product teams?? Trust me, even the Harley guys are looking at the M109R with their peripheral vision. Last weekend at the local biker hangout my 109 drew a crowd. Those were the folks that weren't the psuedo stuck-up HD guys, and the ladies were loving it too ("Honey, look at THIS one") but like I said even the guys who didn't walk up to it were hiding behind their sunglasses admiring it. Let's not forget that there are so many new riders out there, professional guys and gals who can afford harleys, so they buy them thinking it's the top of the cruiser food chain. They don't have anything more than a superficial loyalty to HD, simply because they paid so much for it. It won't take long to figure out that they could be riding a more capable/reliable bike for a hell of a lot less money and looking sexy while doing it. Hats off to HD and the Customs builders for the inspiration, and kudos to the big four for taking cruisers to the next level. At 41, I was ready.
 

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The use of the word "poor" has me baffled. The hard-working common man built the Harley brand into what it is today. A free-spirited, go by my own rules attitude used to be synonomous with a biker, and a biker rode a Harley out of pride for his country and the work of his hard-working brothers. Now what I'm hearing is that HD is synonomous with success and positive cash-flow. Well, congratulations on your success and corresponding snobbish egotistical attitude. Obviously the wind-in-your-face camraderie is not what you are in this for, you want status. I bet you drive your BMW when there is a strong chance of rain, huh? I've taught MSF for over 7 years and gave private lessons past that, and I can tell you there is no more gratifying feeling than to welcome a new rider into the fold, but I suppose I should mock them if they aren't ready to go out and buy a Harley as their first bike. MSF courses are predominently taught to new riders with little or no ego, just a desire to ride. Private lessons were more well off folks who bought a Harley without even knowing how to ride, and didn't want anyone to know. While I applaud them for getting training, these folks are hardly in a position to go around professing to be the king of the two-wheeled hill because they ride a Harley. Does anyone notice all the customs out there? Why so many? Perhaps HD has been neutered and they have become invisible in a crowd now, so the large cash-flow contingent, in an effort to make an impression at the biker hangout pays 35 large for a phat tired custom. Meanwhile my little old Suzuki that "only" cost $12,400 is still turning a bunch of heads. Oh and BTW, you can bet that if a Jap bike costs that much, it's already got so much technology and high-performance built in that it doesn't require an additional 6K in accessories tacked onto your HD finance contract. Chasing your tail I'd say. Find a bike that strikes you and does what you want it to do and ride the damn thing. And wave back for cryin out loud.
 

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And by the way, this argument is almost completely out of date anyway. There are only a few remaining snobs out there, and they aren't even real bikers, they are the status riders. The REAL bikers are accepting rice rockets more now because there are so many new riders out there and they are sharing the same great riding roads, hangouts, etc. They are meeting the people and finding out just what the gentleman above said, the guy under the riding gear is a person like the rest, and if he/she is cool, then high five - pop a cold one. Hey, would you mind if I take that thing for a spin? I'm afraid it'll wheelie over though, or I'll flip over the handlebars". Don't worry man, if the throttle hand is connected to a functional brain, you'll be fine. Be careful.
 
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