In such an important market segment, Honda simply made sure that it would be in for leadership as Star motorcycles may not have a custom model to offer, but do successfully sell the V Star 1300 and V Star 1300 Tourer models as alternatives to the R and T Hondas. They go for modern, classic styling, but the heart of both these models is a 1304cc, liquid-cooled, V-Twin; SOHC, four-valves per cylinder engine fed through a fuel-injection system which makes it stronger pulling
than the carbureted Honda V-Twin. They also use belt final drive instead of shaft as quiet operating and easy replacing is considered simpler that oil changes and longer life. The Tourer adds an adjustable windshield, leather-covered hard saddlebags and passenger backrest.
2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90
Suzuki’s Boulevard lineup is quite offering and, from it, we can distinguish the 2009 Boulevard C90, C90T and M90. This last is a custom with style and performance to back it up. With a 1462cc, liquid-cooled, OHC, V-Twin engine that is also fuel-injected all three models are equally capable of powering their masses, but the new Boulevard M90 is definitely the most outrageous looking of them all and fits the performance cruiser characteristics perfectly. The Boulevard C90 is as classy as you get from Suzuki and the C90T is simply an extension of the simple model as it adds the well known extras.
2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic
Kawasaki starts and ends with the Vulcan 1500 Classic which is not even new for 2009. Still, it competes with the VTX1300R and actually proves more capable than the Honda as it is powered up by a 1470cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valves per cylinder engine.
Honda won’t go for fuel injection as no retro bike ever had that and they plan on being as original as possible which in our opinion makes them unique, not left behind.
But no matter how powerful, competitive or innovative a bike would be, its style is what sets it apart and in this case, we’re working with three different ones. For starters, there’s the Honda VTX1300R, a machine that properly blends the old with the new as it features smooth flowing lines over a modern piece of V-Twin engineering. Best characterized by the deeply valanced front and rear fenders, retro-style cast wheels and pullback handlebars the R stands for comfort and bling bling. The colors available on the 2009 Honda VTX1300R are Metallic Silver, Metallic Black and Bright Blue Metallic.
2009 Honda VTX1300T
And so does the Honda VTX1300T which looks like a fully accessorized “R” model. The extra parts are the windshield, leather saddlebags and passenger backrest. Available in Dark Red, Titanium and Black, the “T” is more of a serious piece of machinery.
The headlight, signal lights and instruments housings to cylinder-head cover, air-cleaner cover, left and right engine sidecovers as well as the rear shock covers are chromed on the “R” & “T” models, and that’s just to give you a short brief.
2009 Honda VTX1300R
But if custom is your style, Honda offers probably the best looking custom bike of the category. The Honda VTX1300C is definitely a motorcycle for those who want to stand out as the custom cast wheels covered in stripped-down fenders, the one-piece seat and the unique 2009 colors (Titanium, Dark Blue Metallic, Metallic Red and Black) contribute at creating that original look.
The chromed elements are exactly the same as in the case of the first two models except the fact that the sidecovers are painted on the models that aren’t Black painted.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices vary pretty much from model to model. And so we have the cheapest one (and the best looking, in my opinion), the VTX1300C coming with a $9,899 base price. Advertised with an MSRP of $9,999 is the 2009 VTX1300R model while the Touring marks $11,299, being the most expensive on in the VTX1300 lineup.
With the 2009 VTX1300, Honda shows once again knowing to sell virtually the same product in different shapes and styles even though technically, as we saw, it isn’t superior at all, but per contra, it doesn’t fall in the fykes of fuel injection.
Have it Custom, Retro or Touring and it will stand either for modernity or for a reinvention of the past.