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2009 Suzuki M90 Review - First Ride

The M90: A Japanese-American

By Pete Brissette, Nov. 07, 2008, Photography by Pete Brissette, Brian J. Nelson

Regardless of a softening cruiser market, the OEMs keep us in healthy supply of cruisers. Editor Duke recently brought us a report on the latest model from Star, the V-Star 950. It’s a whole lot of cruiser for less than eight grand. Suzuki is next up, with a similar eye toward value in its all-new M90.

Straight from the U.S. launch in beautiful Monterey, CA, is where I send news of an excellent cruiser in the vein of Suzuki’s power cruiser M line. The new M90 falls right in between the more novice-oriented M50 and the power-hungry bruiser, the M109R.

This cruiser was almost exclusively designed for the American market, says Suzuki. Starting with the basic feel and design of the M109R, Team S passed three design concepts in front of customers, letting customers influence design direction with final refinements finished off by Suzuki. “This is very much a motorcycle for the American market,” explained Mel Harris, Vice President of American Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Heavy cornering and peg-dragging antics are common fare on the new M90, courtesy of its sharp handling and well-balanced nature.This new 1,462cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 54-degree V-Twin offers ample power, but not so much as to scare away possible newbies. The M90 (roughly 89ci, hence the name), has ergos moderately tighter than the 109R for a better fit for folks in the market for a bike that looks and sounds like the bigger cruiser, but who may not want the extra heft, or necessarily more power.

Thundering along Hwy 1 in Big Sur aboard the M90, I couldn’t help but be impressed with a bike that provides very nimble handling while wearing a 200mm rear tire. As a matter of fact, it rivals the more powerful and more expensive Victory Hammer S that I like so much. This new mid-range sport-cruiser (a new term that seems to popping up) has torque on-tap at any point. There’s plenty o’ power to pull all the way through the smartly-geared 5-speed box.

So what’s this newest cruiser going to cost you? You’ll be hard-pressed to find another cruiser that handles as well, has as much seamless and ample power, provides classically-smooth Japanese shifting, offers all-day comfort, and has the tough-guy looks that the new M90 does, all for $9,999.

The 2009 Suzuki M90: Lots of cool cruiser for less than 10 large.

That’s all for now from the home of Laguna Seca Raceway. Look for more on the 2009 Suzuki M90 in the coming days.

Related Reading:
2009 Suzuki Dealer Show

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09 Suzuki M90 2
09 Suzuki M90 2
09 Suzuki M90 1
09 Suzuki M90 1
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