How to Customize a Suzuki M109rby Chris Gilliland
Suzuki's flagship muscle bike, the M109, is an attitude-soaked machine that begs to be customized to fit its rider's personality. Nearly every component of the motorcycle can be changed, altered or modified from a range of accessories available from Suzuki and other aftermarket parts providers. While choosing parts for a custom M109 is as simple as finding a look that matches your individual style, installing these components may require some technical skill or specialized equipment. Be sure to set realistic expectations for the amount of work, cost and time required to complete your customization project.
Install an aftermarket performance air intake system. A performance intake will allow a greater amount of air into the motor over the restrictive stock air filter. The extra air will help the motor generate more power when the fuel level is increased as well. In addition, most performance intake systems also create a louder "roar" as air is pulled into the free-flowing filter.
Install an Electronic Fuel Injection control module, which will allow you to fine-tune the amount of fuel that is metered to the motor, providing the maximum amount of performance at any given time. This is an absolutely critical part of modifying the exhaust and intake systems of your M109 as the fuel level must be altered to compensate for the increase in air flow.
Replace the stock muffler with an aftermarket exhaust system. The M109 has many options to choose from in this department, ranging from dual pipes to high-performance, two-into-one race pipes. These systems will allow spent exhaust gases to exit quicker, increasing power and imparting a deep rumble to the exhaust note.
Comfort, Controls and Chassis
Replace the firm stock saddle with an aftermarket saddle to increase your comfort levels over extended rides. Aftermarket seats are made to better conform to the rider's body, cradling areas that need more support and removing pressure points that cause discomfort. In most cases, these seats are made from foam but may also include a gel insert for increased comfort.
Install a pair of extended risers. Handlebar risers are the tower-like supports that secure the handlebars to the front forks. While most riders may be comfortable with the stock handlebar positions, taller riders may become uncomfortable with the longer reach to the handlebars. A set of extended risers can bring the handlebars closer to the rider, alleviating any discomfort.
Replace the stock body components with chrome dress-up parts. Many of the M109's various body components can be removed and replaced with shiny chrome, such as the brake master cylinder reservoir cover, shaft drive cover and clutch inspection cover.
Relocate the license plate mount onto the rear axle. There are many styles of axle-mounted plate brackets available, positioning the license plate either horizontally or vertically. Be sure to select a license plate bracket that orients the license plate in a manner that does not violate local traffic laws.
Brakes and Wheels
Replace the stock brake lines with stainless steel brake lines. Stainless steel lines produce less flex as the brakes are operated, transmitting greater hydraulic pressure to the brake calipers. This will increase the efficiency of your brakes as well as provide a cleaner look and better brake "feel" at the brake lever.
Replace the brake rotors with custom wave-style rotors. Typically found on sport bikes, wave-style rotors offer reduced weight and better performance in an aggressively-shaped package. Be sure to replace your brake pads at the same time for optimum results.
Install a set of forged aluminum wheels to replace your M109's stock wheel set. Forged aluminum wheels are lighter than stock wheels, improving your M109's handling at speed. As an added bonus, these wheels are available in many different styles to suit your individual taste.