Comparison test Powercruiser Kawasaki VN 2000, Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R, Yamaha XV 1900 Midnight Star


Comparison test Powercruiser Kawasaki VN 2000, Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R, Yamaha XV 1900 Midnight Star

Comparison test Powercruiser Kawasaki VN 2000, Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R, Yamaha XV 1900 Midnight Star


Nobody distributes more displacement and more torque to two cylinders than these three cruisers. And nobody packs punch in a V2 anymore. That makes you calm. And sovereign. Even with the traffic light sprint. So take it easy.

Pressure. That’s what it’s all about. As much as possible, as bold as possible, from as much displacement as possible and preferably at every point in the speed range. A cruiser has to do that. And of course an outwardly so respectful appearance that the sight leaves no doubt about the power of this displacement.

This language already masters the "Smallest" together, the Suzuki M 1800 R, with its muscular outfit, is perfect. Among the Big Twins, it marks the lower end of the scale with a modest 1.8 liter displacement. But their engine is the high-tech spearhead among the V2 power cruisers. Two overhead camshafts, double throttle valves, water cooling. At 112 millimeters, the largest piston diameter in the current motorcycle world and, thanks to its short-stroke design, a speed range that only ends at 7500 rpm. She stands there with corresponding self-confidence. Massive lampshade, including the voluminous radiator grille. The wide, long tank flows smoothly into the seat bench and rear wheel cover, under which a mighty 240 mm roller peeps out. Power meets style.

Kawasaki and Yamaha like it more classic. And even more powerful. Especially the VN 2000 promises an intoxicating ride on the torque shaft with the largest series V2, which gives birth to almost violent, measured 166 Newton meters. Visually crowned by an expansive 21-liter tank and a chunk of headlights covered in chrome, which in this form could just as easily thunder on the foreheads of freight trains through America. Yamaha also sought inspiration in the United States for design. And found it in the 1950s. Streamlined is the keyword that shapes the tank, handlebar mounts, even turn signal glasses and the pointed ends of the swingarm.

The three of them agree on how to accommodate the driver: deep. And casual. Embedded in the broadest possible, trough-shaped, saddle-like seating furniture. On the Yamaha and Kawasaki, a good one and a half meters of artfully winding, chrome-plated handlebar tube meander so far towards the driver that the driver can lean back and relax. And at the same time, when reaching for the widely spaced ends of the handlebars, you have to spread your arms as if to hug the road.
The Intruder is going its own way. A handlebar like a horizontal bar. The driver has to orient himself a little more forward. That tastes a little like dragstrip, the neat sprint over the quarter mile. Fits quite well with the Suzuki. To their crouched form. Your sporty attitude with upside-down fork and radial brake calipers.

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Comparison test Powercruiser Kawasaki VN 2000, Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R, Yamaha XV 1900 Midnight Star

Comparison test Powercruiser Kawasaki VN 2000, Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R, Yamaha XV 1900 Midnight Star



Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R.

As does the engine. The starter only struggles briefly with the huge pistons. Then the V2 wakes up with a pumping, full beat and a resting heart rate of 800. But already the first throttle changes the picture. Just a gentle colossus, the Intruder snaps angrily from the tailpipes when plucking the throttle valves. No tranig, lazy rev up, rather lively, robust, greedy.

That’s how it’s going. Not less than 3000 rpm. The huge eruption does not occur. Of course, the water-cooled V2 pulls bravely, shaking itself, from 2000 rpm. But only when the LCD bar in the digital tachometer has the "3" has happened, the pounding turns into a roar, the house route into the drag strip. Add to that this sound, this raw gurgling and rumbling. Simply brilliant. If you push it to the limit, the M 1800 R will catapult on the autobahn to an electronically limited 203 km / h. Although it has little to do with cruising, it shows the potency of the 112 hp engine.

An encounter with the Yamaha V2 is also extremely exciting. It starts at startup. The starter laboriously pulls the pistons through the cylinders, heaving the heavy crankshaft around. Time and time again. Until finally the first detonation sends the pistons on their 118 millimeter long way down into the crankcase and the air-cooled 1.9-liter drum starts working with a calming bubbling. Even when rolling, the XV 1900 easily shakes a lot of torque out of its sleeve and throaty, muffled bass out of the muffler. The Yamaha glides away effortlessly with a pleasantly pulsating beat. And accelerates inexorably with every revolution of the crankshaft. No matter which gear. Here it is, the print. From idle. And as with the Suzuki, two balance shafts swallow almost all disturbing vibrations, leaving only a pleasant drumming and pounding.

Serenity spreads. Everything is easy. In doing so, the Yamaha can also point out that the timing belt to the rear wheel causes fear and anxiety. And the black lines she paints are not inferior to those of the Suzuki.

And the Kawasaki? She is the mightiest of the trio, that’s for sure. Shows off with opulent body. Its cylinders protrude from the crankcase as high as a tower and pistons the size of a beer mug stamp 123 millimeters up and down. 166 Newton meters from a displacement of two liters. That doesn’t mean anything good for rear tires and asphalt when they break free from the engine. Nevertheless, the really big pressure wave does not occur. No dislocated shoulders. And no bloodcurdling pounding either. Just thrust. Not as full and irresistible in the speed division as with the Yamaha. But enough at any time to, vrropp, zoom past any obstacle with a slight twist of the right hand. At least in the lower four gears. Because the fifth was a bit long and acts more as an overdrive. What the draft experience suffers from. Especially since the Kawa does not save pounds like Suzuki and Yamaha with plastic panels or aluminum frames, but relies on sheet metal and steel. All in all, this adds up to around 30 kilograms. This does not detract from the sovereignty when gliding over country roads. Only for overtaking maneuvers is it necessary to step on the rocker switch a little more often. Speaking of shifting: In order not to crumble under the onslaught of torques when changing gear for the first time, you need a gearbox with slave qualities.

With every shift maneuver, the drivers are impressively informed that the three robust, large gears are sorted. Especially on the Suzuki, where every new gear is greeted with a hearty crash. The whole thing is most subtle on the Yamaha.

landing gear


Kawasaki VN 2000

The tricky task of comfortably springing over 400 kilograms of man and machine despite the short rear suspension travel and still keeping them under control is tackled by the three with similar chassis settings. Namely comfortable forks and taut spring struts. The Yamaha manages this balancing act best. Not wooden, not numb and spongy, but precise and safe. A good compromise. The presentation of the Suzuki fork is also neat, although it dips down to the limit under the force of its 348 kilograms when the brakes are fully applied, but otherwise offers sufficient damping. Your suspension strut rules with iron hardness. Manhole covers, edges, short bumps are passed rock-hard to the driver. The hindquarters of the Kawasaki are clearly more flexible despite the rigid frame look. Only their overly soft fork hardly manages to keep the enormous unsprung mass of the front wheel in check on the transverse joints that follow one another in quick succession. But that doesn’t spoil the fun of swinging corners. Just as little as the impression of being emotionally pushing the front wheel somewhere two meters in front of you through the long handlebars. Because the Kawa, despite its baroque corpulence, flows through alternating curves surprisingly quickly and with pleasant neutrality. The wide handlebars and the lack of overly lush soles are helpful. The XV 1900 is even easier to navigate over winding streets. And because it is equipped with very moderate tire widths, it is even a tad more neutral than the Kawasaki, which folds inwards with the handlebars from a certain angle.

And the Suzuki? At first, it is easiest to give in. But the visually impressive 240 mm rear tire steadfastly counteracts any further striving for more lean angle. The only thing that helps is: Grab the Intruder by the horns and show her where to go. In long turns? and on bumps anyway. Whereby curves with the three should be approached with caution anyway. Not because they lack efficient braking systems. Even more than the Kawasaki, the Yamaha has first-class adjustable and magnificently gripping stoppers at the front and back. And the Suzuki brakes also bite quite a bit, initially on the temperature. Only the high weight, the front tires and the soft front sections set the maximum deceleration rather early limits.

No, the VN 2000 and XV 1900 scratch the asphalt unexpectedly early and relentlessly with their running boards. The pegs of the Suzuki hardly leave more freedom in the choice of lean angle. They fold up further than the running boards. But it is easy for the heel to get stuck on the road, while the free riders’ feet are at least protected.

So it’s best to look at curves as short breaks between two straight lines. On which you let yourself be washed away almost weightlessly by this torrent of torque every time. Because there is pressure. Always, anytime.



Who makes the race?


With the Suzuki, the pull-through test clearly wins the smallest, highest-revving engine, while the heavy Kawasaki is the slowest to get out of the starting blocks due to the long gear ratio. Despite the double throttle, the Suzuki engine does not accelerate as gently as the other two. And the gear changes, in general not for sensitive natures in this trio, are handled by the Suzuki very sleekly. The first gear is not too long, the upper gears are graduated in a practical manner with a perfectly matched secondary ratio, that’s how the Yamaha gets maximum points with the ratio.

landing gear

Who wants to be beautiful must suffer. The Suzuki accepts compromises in cornering stability and steering precision for the wide rear tire. The three giants soar to impressive top speed values ​​on the autobahn. And master this unsuitable chase with impressive stability. Length runs. The suspension strut of the Suzuki, which is equipped with a very hard spring, allows little comfort on its own.


Enormous mass, generously dimensioned front tires and soft fork settings ?? that prevents handlebar slap even in the beginning. The brakes of the Yamaha, whose rear brake discs, like the Kawasaki, have a larger diameter than the front ones, are classy. The Suzuki brake requires the most manual force, which makes dosing difficult. The pressure point also yields a little under heavy load. The lean angle is extremely low for all three. It can happen that when you turn in the city you scare unsuspecting passers-by with ugly scratching noises.

everyday life

It’s no fun shunting 350 kilos or more on a long handlebar antler. And if something like this falls over, only a crane can help. Moving around is easiest with the Suzuki thanks to the low center of gravity and the straight handlebars. Cruising till the sun goes down ?? the Kawasaki with its huge range makes it possible.


Even if it doesn’t look like it: But the leaning back posture on the Yamaha and a little more on the Kawasaki is not particularly relaxed in the long run. Especially since the paddles leave little space for the left foot on the running boards. It is a little more comfortable on the Suzuki, whose detent position fits average tall stature well.

Costs / environment

In terms of warranty and consumption, the three don’t give each other anything. In view of the large cubic capacity and the enormous weight, around five liters of fuel consumption on the country road are quite okay. The Kawasaki is the only one that only complies with Euro 2 and thus loses further points, as well as with the by far highest price. When it comes to maintenance, the Yamaha is the least burdensome for its owner thanks to its favorable insurance rating and moderate tire costs. On the Suzuki, the 240 rear tire is a great eye-catcher, but when a new one is required, it is also a considerable cost factor.



And the winner is: Yamaha XV 1900.

It’s impressive how straight the performance curves of the Big Twins are.
The Suzuki only really gets going when the Yamaha and Kawasaki limiters turn off the tap. The torque mountains are also impressive. From 3300 rpm to 5500 rpm, the curve of the Suzuki remains at 140 Nm. The Yamaha are enough for this value already 2000 / min. The dip at 3500 rpm is in the
Practice not felt. The torque surge of the VN 2000 hovers above all the treetops. However, it only reaches its maximum at 3500.

1st place
Yamaha XV 1900

It has plenty of everything: punch, sound, chrome. Handiness and chassis set-up are absolutely fine for cruiser conditions. Just like the others, it just has no lean angle.

2nd place
Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R

The V2, which is as easy to turn as it is powerful, is the icing on the cake of the Suzuki. Outwardly, it is also convincing. Unfortunately, the handling quality fell victim to the extra wide rear tire.

3rd place
Kawasaki VN 2000

None of them stages their appearance in a more impressive way. It is also very close to the Yamaha in terms of brakes and chassis. From the lowest locations, however, the two-liter V2 should get down to business more forcefully.

Technical data Kawasaki – VN 2000

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 50-degree V-engine, two balance shafts, two camshafts below, four valves
per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, alternator 532 W, battery 12 V / 18 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, toothed belt.

Bore x stroke 103.0 x 123.2 mm

Displacement 2053 cm3

Compression ratio 9.5: 1

Rated output 76.0 kW (103 hp) at 4800 rpm
Max. Torque 177 Nm at 3200 rpm

Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
Euro 2 CO 0.961 / HC 0.271 / NOx 0.053

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, ø 49 mm, triangular swing arm made of steel, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double-
Front disc brake, ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, ø 320 mm, double-piston floating caliper

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 16; 6.00 x 16

Tires 150/80 R 16; 200/60 R 16

Bridgestone BT 020 tires tested
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1735 mm, steering head angle 58.0 degrees, caster 182 mm, suspension travel f / r 150/100 mm, seat height * 700 mm, weight with a full tank * 375 kg, load * 181 kg, tank capacity 21.0 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors black / silver
Price 17,195 euros
Additional costs 170 euros

Technical data Suzuki – Intruder M 1800 R

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 54-degree V-engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per
Cylinder, bucket tappet, semi-dry sump lubrication, injection, ø 56 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, 400 W alternator, 12 V / 18 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, cardan.

Bore x stroke 112.0 x 90.5 mm

Cubic capacity 1783 cm3

Compression ratio 10.5: 1

Rated output 92.0 kW (125 hp) at 6200 rpm
Max. Torque 160 Nm at 3200 rpm

Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
Euro 3 CO 0.633 / HC 0.120 / NOx 0.074

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, upside-down fork, ø 46 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, ø 310 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, ø 275 mm, double-piston floating caliper
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 18; 8.50 x 18
Tire 130 / 70R 18; 240 / 40R 18
Tires in the test
Dunlop Sportmax D 221 FA “B”
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1710 mm, steering head angle 58.8 degrees, caster 124 mm, spring travel f / r 130/118 mm, seat height * 700 mm, weight with a full tank * 348 kg, payload * 217 kg, tank capacity / reserve 19.5 / 4.0 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 6000 km
Colors black, silver
Price 12990 euros
Additional costs 130 euros

Technical data Yamaha – XV 1900 Midnight Star

Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 48-degree V-engine, two balancer shafts, two camshafts below, four valves per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, injection, ø 43 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 450 W alternator, 12V / 12 Ah, hydraulic
actuated multi-disc oil bath clutch, five-speed gearbox, toothed belt.

Bore x stroke 100.0 x 118.0 mm

Cubic capacity 1854 cm3

Compression ratio 9.5: 1

Rated output 66.4 kW (90 PS) at 4750 rpm
Max. Torque 155 Nm at 2500 rpm

Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
Euro 3 CO 0.670 / HC 0.143 / NOx 0.055

landing gear
Double loop frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, ø 46 mm, two-arm swing arm made of
Aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, double disc brake at the front, ø 298 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, ø 320 mm, double-piston floating caliper

Cast aluminum wheels 4.00 x 18; 5.50 x 17

Tire 130 / 70R 18; 190 / 60R 17

Tires in the test Dunlop D 251, front “L”
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1715 mm, steering head angle 58.8 degrees, caster 152 mm, spring travel f / r 130/110 mm, seat height * 725 mm, weight with a full tank * 346 kg, payload * 204 kg, tank capacity / reserve 16.0 / 3.0 liters.

Two year guarantee
Service intervals every 10000 km
Colors dark red, black
Price 14,495 euros
Additional costs 190 euros

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