The Roamer isn’t like traditional cruisers - low-slung, forward-set pegs and pointlessly heavy. This cruiser is rather practical for daily urban operation. The ergonomics of the Roamer are good for an average rider – an upright relaxed riding position, slightly forward-set footpegs and comfortable seat. For a tall rider like me, though, these ergonomics don’t work. If I rest the arch of my foot on the pegs, my shins touch the engine heat shield and that is distracting. The shin tends to touch the shield under braking, whether you’re short or tall. Those slightly-forward footpegs also get in the way of your feet when you put them down, so paddling along at walking speeds between stopped cars is quite difficult. The slim fuel tank is artistic but doesn’t offer any purchase for your knees at all. The V9 Roamer is a perfect example of Italian quirkiness.
Good ground clearance means there’s no ‘Oh-shucks’ moment each time the bike goes over a disproportionate and badly executed speed-breaker. The bike weighs 199kg and that is a good figure for a cruiser. The weight distribution too, is well balanced and not for a single moment the bike feels heavy, either at idle or in motion.
The V9 Roamer gets its power from the company’s new 850cc V-twin air-cooled engine which is transversely mounted. This motor eschews outright power for usable torque. That’s why the power output of 55bhp doesn’t look impressive. The maximum torque of 62Nm is generated at 3000rpm but the interesting bit is more than 50Nm is produced right from idle, thanks to the flat torque curve. This makes the Roamer a breeze in traffic and also enjoy open roads. The engine is a 90-degree V-Twin, so there are vibrations at idle but it is nothing you can’t live with. In motion, the vibrations kick in at 80kmph and stay all the way to the limiter. But the level of refinement this engine offers at low revs is outstanding. The Roamer reaches triple digit speeds in no time and can easily cruise at 120kmph. The throttle response is smooth and the power delivery is instant, thanks to the shaft drive. While the upshifts are very smooth, the down shifts are little clunky because of the shaft drive. The clutch is smooth but heavy, meaning riding in traffic will wear your left hand out, and this is made worse because finding neutral is a task.
This cruiser has been sprung on the stiffer side, but the ride quality isn’t back breaking. It eats up the smaller potholes and undulations without any drama, but when it comes to places where there are bigger compressions involved (big potholes), the V9 Roamer gets unsettled. The best aspect of this cruiser is the way it handles. It handles incredibly well in the corners and thanks to the good ground clearance, the lean angle is much more than usual which gives the rider the ability be aggressive through corners. The Pirelli Sport Demon tyres are sticky and offer plenty of grip.
The brakes on the V9 Roamer are from Brembo. It gets a 320mm disc with four-piston calipers in the front and a 260mm disc with two-piston calipers at the rear. The brakes perform well but the rear brake lacks feel and feedback. ABS which is standard and performs flawlessly.