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Comparison test: Cruiser, Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle, Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R

Harley-Davidson V-Rod versus Suzuki Intruder

Power prestige: Suzuki’s successful 1800s Intruder meets the drag strip-inspired Harley V-Rod Muscle. Both serve a good 120 hp in a cruiser chassis. Is that more suitable for the show mile or the sprint over the quarter mile? Definitely for a special trip inside.

Can it be, is it real? Isn’t the asphalt making waves in the rearview mirror? Doesn’t the planet spin a tiny bit faster when the two power cruisers accelerate next to each other? Regardless of whether burger or sushi, what the two hot cookers Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle and Suzuki M 1800 R Intruder serve up here is simply gigantic. Water-cooled, short-stroke V2 engines with four overhead camshafts and full power meet ample weight. Fat 348 kilograms plus the promised 160 Newton meters for the sumo Suzi. More delicate 307 kilograms including 115 Newton meters on the US bike. Daring combinations.

Comparison test: cruiser

Harley-Davidson V-Rod versus Suzuki Intruder


The noble Harley is a real feast for the eyes and the power of the Harley forces you to hold on tightly.

The US twin is knitted differently, simply softer. Hangs more gently on the gas, runs with its Harley-typical toothed belt drive like it is suspended from a rubber band, but only gently whispers despite at least 105 piston. In addition to the booming Trude, you can hardly hear your own engine on board the V-Rod. Quiet is okay, but the Harley should stomp more dully. Every Deutz tractor sounds better. Nevertheless, the 1250 is a rolling cultural asset. This T-bone steak on two wheels makes you happy. You want to cry for joy, the Harley pushes so well, clicks powerfully from a standing position.

It lives up to its name, the V-Rod Muscle, flexes its muscles. Crazy, this pressure up out. Hold on tight! Wheelie danger? Zero on both bikes. When accelerating as well as when pulling through in the final fifth gear, the Harley keeps the fat Trude at a distance. Despite only two thirds of the displacement. Respect. The extra weight and longer gear ratio of the Intruder take a toll. But everything is more difficult on the Harley, gas, clutch, transmission. Okay, what the heck, the Harley is ahead on the quarter mile. That alone counts.

Finally sees the "VRSCF" as if it came straight from the drag strip. Long, narrow, flat. Matt black paint, hip and sensitive, contrasts with plenty of polished and brushed aluminum, for example on the swing arm. What the striking "Muscular" differs from the standard V-Rod? New hump seat and a flat handlebar with internal cable routing. Cool and clean. In addition, it carries elongated exhausts with a square cross-section on both sides "Satin chrome finish". Furthermore, five-spoke cast rims and fenders in drag style. Short at the front, massive at the back.

Also exclusive to the V-Rod Muscle are the deeply drawn air scoops on the airbox. In addition, the radiator cover, as big as a children’s bobsleigh, is more pleasing. The US lighting technology is noble: teardrop-shaped clear glass headlights, LED indicators in the mirror arms, narrow LED taillights with integrated indicators. The upper triple clamp is finely milled from solid.


The Suzuki has a little unadorned speedometer and a roughly displaying LCD tachometer, but the V2 fires properly.

There seems to be no shortage of metal in the land of opportunity. Everything looks incredibly massive. However, high-quality, exclusive details sometimes meet loveless little things, such as cheap passenger pegs as well as corrosion and rust in hidden places. The XXXL-Suzuki has been circling and cruising through orbit since 2006 in a more martial, powerful style. Power look to the point of embarrassment and fat curves in synthesis. This King Kong looks evil from a Nippon cruiser from the streamlined lamp mask. All plastic, not necessarily premium: Lots of lacquered and chrome-plated plastic shines here, right through to massive protection-"Sheet metal". But the 1800s don’t need a blender look. It is simply a first-class experience to grasp the handlebar, which is enthroned on high risers and bent downwards.

With a seat height of 70 centimeters, both low-wing aircraft are real low-entry models. It takes strength and determination to lift seven hundred pounds vertically after a stop. Paradox: The 41 kilogram lighter Harley is even more difficult to get up, push and maneuver. On the Suzuki, your bum lounges in a comfortably wide cowboy saddle. Your extra-wide 19.5-liter saddle tank looks as if it is holding a whole barrel of fuel and spreads its legs extremely. Far in front the feet rest on the rests. Really casual. The Harley pilot’s posture is less confident. Despite the narrow dummy tank, the fuel is stashed under the seat. You should be tall here. Because the more delicate V-Rod feels even longer. Your forged handlebar halves are far away, your arms are almost straight. When turning, your outer hand pulls you off the handlebars. At every stop, onlookers and admirers come. Irony of fate: Ironically, two machines with a high towing factor offer absolutely unworthy pillion seats.

Anyway, just cruise where no one is waiting for you. Length runs. The Harley is stable, almost stiff. Who is more inclined: your two spring struts or the ultra-flat upside-down fork with a record-breaking 56 degree steering head angle? The wheelbase is around 1.70 meters each! The front wheels are rotating somewhere on the horizon. "Drive around Dortmund with it, and your front wheel is already in Bochum", one would say in the Ruhr area. Krrkk, krrkk, krkk, early the Trude footpegs pull furrows into the asphalt, earlier than those of the US bike. But even then, the Suzuki remains neutral on course. It even feels like it is in tight bends "handier", better at.


Take off: The 100 hp, two-seater ultralight aircraft Flight Design CTSW is 320 kilograms heavier than the Harley, but lighter than the Suzuki.

The Harley continues to tip over in turns. And when moving off it feels like there is too little air or a defective steering head bearing. The driver has to take corrective action. What throws the fat-tyred Suzuki on the other hand, are ruts and grooves of all kinds. She runs after them like a stalker of his beloved. Could be the thick 130 front tire. At the back, the Dunlop D 221 spans quite flat over the immense 8.5-inch rim.

The Harley also has a 240/40 tailgate, but the Elite III from Dunlop. Flat and wide like a sports car. A 120 / 70-19-inch model, a sporty Dunlop D 208 FA rotates at the front. The steel double loop frame has extreme bends without welding points. The mother of all motorcycle brands produces it under high water pressure (hydroforming). Despite the tight spring travel, 74 millimeters at the front and 102 millimeters at the back, the end of these is not just below the cerebral cortex. Successful vote.

Aunt Trude seems a bit more comfortable on the first ride. But her Achilles heel is the hidden suspension strut, insensitive, trampling and appealing. Once compressed, it quickly pops up again because it is underdamped. The four-piston stoppers of the 1800s bite hard. But not quite as angry as in the first series. The latent risk of overbraking seems to have been reduced a little. Trude has recently started wearing different brake pads?

The clearly better solution is the standard ABS on the Harley’s Brembos. This puts the juicy price difference into perspective – around 19,000 instead of a good 14,000 euros. In addition, there is a better image and greater value retention at Harley. The mind is free. Let’s go after him.

Technical data Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R


The Suzuki Intruder M 1800 R

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 54-degree V-engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts each, four valves, injection, Ø 56 mm, regulated catalytic converter, five-speed gearbox, cardan.
Bore x stroke 112.0 x 90.5 mm
Displacement 1783 cc
rated capacity 92.0 kW (125 PS) at 6200 rpm
Max. Torque 160 Nm at 3200 rpm

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
130/70 R 18 tires; 240/40 R 18
Tires in the test Dunlop D 221, front "FA"

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.
guarantee two years
Service intervals 6000 km
Colors Blue, black
Price 13990 Euro
Additional costs around 230 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurements

Technical data Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle


The Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 60-degree V-engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, injection, Ø 53 mm, regulated catalytic converter, five-speed gearbox, toothed belt.
Bore x stroke 105.0 x 72.0 mm
Displacement 1247 cc
rated capacity 89.0 kW (121 hp) at 8250 rpm
Max. Torque 115 Nm at 6500 rpm

Landing gear:
Double loop frame made of steel, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 19; 8.00 x 18
Tires 120/70 ZR 19; 240/40 VR 18
Dunlop D 208 / Elite III tires tested

Mass and weight:
Wheelbase 1700 mm, steering head angle 56.0 degrees, caster 141 mm, spring travel f / r 102/74 mm, seat height * 700 mm, weight with a full tank * 307 kg, load * 181 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18.9 / 1.9 liters.
guarantee two years
Service intervals 8000 km
Colors Blue, silver, red, black
price 18,685 euros
Additional costs around 350 euros

* MOTORCYCLE measurements

MOTORCYCLE measurements

Drawing: archive

Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation 5%

Crazy: The thirstier Harley leather the Suzuki. How can that be? Well, with 41 kilograms less, more revving and more power at the top. 124 US Mustangs are three more than promised. In addition, the performance curve is exemplary linear. The Intruder gets in much fuller down below. However, despite its buffalo-back torque curve, it remains far behind the factory specification. Instead of 160 Newton meters, it pushes "just" its 141, it also does not quite achieve the promised 125 hp.

Top speed (manufacturer information)

 Manufacturer  Km / h
 Harley-davidson  230
 Suzuki  215


 Manufacturer  0-100 km / h
 0-140 km / h
 0-200 km / h
 Harley-davidson  3.6 sec  6.1 sec  15.3 sec
 Suzuki  4.0 sec  7.0 sec  17.6 sec


 Manufacturer  60-100 km / h
 100-140 km / h
 140-180 km / h
 Harley-davidson  4.1 sec  4.8 sec  6.4 sec
 Suzuki  4.7 sec  5.0 sec  7.4 sec

Fuel consumption (country road)

 Manufacturer  Liters / 100 km
 Harley-davidson  Super 5.9
 Suzuki  Super 5.1



In the tug-of-war for victory, both powerhouses really work hard.

Who is pulling whom from the plate here? Both bikes offer plenty of power prestige and lots of goodness. But the much lighter Harley triumphs in terms of performance. The Intruder clearly wins the rating for sound and feeling. Here as there, the driver should definitely have a certain tendency towards self-presentation.

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