The Raider from the Star cruiser line — now folded back into the Yamaha stable — and its chromed-out sibling, the Raider S, haven’t changed much spec-wise since 2008 (though the "S" didn’t appear for 2016). Red or black was the choice — the 2015 Raider in Liquid Graphite, the 2015 "S" in Crimson Red or the 2016 Raider in Candy Red — choices I like better than the Galaxy Blue offered in 2014. For 2017, we have basic black. With a 39-degree rake, low seat height, a fat rear tire and a tall front tire, it has just enough stretch to give that bad-boy chopper look that gets attention. It takes more than looks to impress buyers, though.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha Raider.
More and more riders have come to appreciate the look associated with what I would call Classic Americana, and manufacturers around the world have responded in recent years to try to exploit this niche interest. This movement has actually been on and gaining momentum for a few years now, and we are starting to see some fairly bold designs from some of the big names. Honda had two such designs available for the 2016 model year. First was the Stateline, the sole surviving member of the 1300 Custom Line having outlived its siblings, the Interstate and Sabre cruisers, though it met the same fate coming into 2017. The Fury joined the Stateline as a sort of brother-from-another-mother with lots of shared DNA, but with a few critical differences, and it represents a very bold design concept indeed.
Join me as I critique Honda’s attempt to recapture our glory days.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Stateline and Fury.
Suzuki pushes the venerable Boulevard S40 line into the ’17 model year with naught but a few extra touches to the paint. In fact, little has really changed with this ride since it came out in 1988 under the LS650 “Savage” moniker, and that honest simplicity is one of the main draws for this compact sled. Unfortunately, therein lies one of its biggest flaws as well. Air-cooled and carbureted, I imagine its low displacement is the only reason it’s able to meet emissions, and I fully expect tightening regulations to eventually strangle this line. At the very least, said laws may force it into the 21st century with fuel injection and/or a water jacket and radiator, but that’s speculation. Today, I’m going to delve into what we know to be true and take a look at the brushed-up S40 as it sits for MY17.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard S40.
Harley-Davidson has a reputation for incorporating modern technology with classic design elements from the past, even embracing custom looks that never saw a showroom floor, and the Softail Breakout does not disappoint.
The engineers borrowed from the custom “Gasser” look of the 1950s and 1960s when setting up this sled, then they packed it full of CVO-inspired innovations to ensure that the performance is up to date. Back in the day, Gassers were customized drag bikes and this bike pays tribute to its roots while maintaining the performance standards demanded by its customer base.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout
The factory custom-retro cruiser look is hot right now, and nearly every major cruiser manufacturer has a hand in the game. You see a lot of bikes that just hint or suggest at this or that era or subculture, many just presenting a veneer that runs only skin deep.
The 2016 Raider shows Star wasn’t afraid to commit to its chosen look, and far from merely making suggestions, this sled virtually screams old-school chop-job. Built to compete in the domestic market, it certainly has a slew of design features that should appeal to the American crowd, and I expect it to appeal to a slightly younger crowd than the average cruiser. As you know, Star is Yamaha’s Made-in-U.S.A. brand, and this ride is a gambit to capture some of the “showroom custom” market.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Star Motorcycles Raider.
The 75th Black Hills Motor Classic is fast approaching, and it is shaping up to be a rather special event this year. While Harley Davidson has long been a fixture at Sturgis, they have never been the “Official Bike” of this event — which originated at an Indian Motorcycle dealership – until now. The bike builders from Milwaukee got themselves named the “Official Bike” of the event, and they are wasting no time in making sure everybody knows it!
H-D plans on even more Harley-centric activities and vendors than ever before, with gear, accessory and motorcycle displays — complete with test rides — scheduled for the event. The H-D museum makes a return with the addition of the Harleywood bikes – machines made famous by appearances in Captain America, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Sons of Anarchy – which adds a nice, pop-culture spice to the historical collection. Speaking of pop culture, UFC fighters Mike Chiesa and Ricardo Lamas (what? No Ronda Rousey?!) will make appearances at meet-and-greets, complete with autograph and photograph opportunities for the fans.
The full list of events is too exhaustive to go into in great detail. Suffice to say that H-D is taking full advantage of its new status as “King of Sturgis,” and there will be plenty of food and entertainment for all. Lodging is another story. Let me put it this way; it may not be too late to book a room for 2016 – maybe. If you are lucky enough to have secured your sleeping (read: hot shower and cold a/c) arrangements already, then enjoy this historical event for the rest of us.
Continue reading for the full story.
Is it a half bagger, a cruiser or a boulevard bruiser? No one knows for sure. What I do know is the look is growing in popularity, and nearly every major manufacturer produces bikes that fall in this sort of in-between category. Indian and Victory are two such manufacturers, with the 2015 Chieftain and Cross Country models that follow the “bagger sans tour-pack with a vestigial windshield” look. Although they both are owned by Polaris Industries Incorporated, they each retained their own identities and own ideas about bike design, and it shows. Let’s take a look and see how these two bikes from their together-but-separate companies stack up.
Continue reading for my comparison of the 2015 Indian Chieftain and the 2015 Victory Cross Country.
Rigid-looking frames are nothing new, and many manufacturers have followed Harley-Davidson into this cruiser/dragster sub-genre. Kawasaki is one such competitor, and its entry for the 2015 model year is the Vulcan 900 Custom. Since it so closely resembles the H-D Softail Breakout, I wanted to see how these two stacked up against each other. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Continue reading for my comparison of the Softail Breakout versus the Vulcan 900 Custom.
Ask any motorcycle enthusiast where Sturgis is and that person can probably pinpoint the exact location of the small South Dakota city in any map. That’s the kind of love and affection riders have for the city that has hosted the biggest motorcycle gathering in the US for the past 74 years. This year marks the 75th anniversary of bike convergence in Sturgis, making it the perfect time for Harley-Davidson, one of the most well-represented brands in the annual event, to step in and ensure that Sturgis lives on for another 75 years.
The American bike maker has just signed a deal with the city, making Harley-Davidson the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. That’s a distinction Harley-Davidson will be proud to wear. More importantly, the deal sets up the rally for at least until 2090. I don’t think I’ll be able to live that long, but apparently, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will.
As part of the deal between the city and Harley-Davidson, the latter will build a permanent structure on the main street in the town for events all year round. The road towards building this structure began when a 2015 Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle tore a brick out of the company’s Milwaukee headquarters. That brick, another one from the brand’s museum, and 73 others from the headquarter’s parking lots will all be part of the new building in Sturgis. Once completed, the location will be able to accommodate a wide variety of events, including concerts, weddings, and obviously, motorcycle gatherings.
Harley expects to finish the project in time for the 75th rally this August, so in the event you’ve already circled Sturgis on your calendars, this is one part about this year’s festivities - and the 75 more to follow - that you can look forward to.
Click past the jump to read more about harley-Davidson’s deal with the city of Sturgis.
It’s often a theme among cars, especially those small enough to fit small engines, that some motorcycle engines find their way under the hood of certain types of vehicles. But rare is the day when the opposite holds true, especially when said car engine belongs to a Lamborghini. Granted, putting an engine on a motorbike isn’t inexactly unheard of. But a Lamborghini V-12? Yeah, that doesn’t happen a lot, if it does it all.
But anything is possible, which probably explains the monstrosity we saw at a recent Caffeine and Octane meet in Alpharetta, Georgia. At first glance, the customized bike looks like any other cruiser, albeit an alarmingly long one. But when you take a closer look, you begin to realize that this bike isn’t just your typical steel-toe prowler sporting a normal engine. It’s actually carrying a massive 6.5-liter V-12 engine. And not just any V-12 engine. It’s a Lamborghini V-12 engine.
We’re not quite sure how that engine found its way inside that cruiser, but quite frankly, who cares! It’s a Lamborghini V-12-powered bike that certainly has all the qualifications of a prowler on two wheels.
The unmistakable roar of the engine when the bike comes to life is absolutely a thrill to the senses. It’s just like hearing the pop when you turn on the engine of an actual Lamborghini, except that when you turn around, you’re not greeted by a Murcielago or a Gallardo, but a two-wheeled powerhouse that can probably put all other bikes to shame.
This is how you catch people’s attention, folks.
The Harley-Davidson Road King was launched in 1994, but shortly after it managed to become a benchmark in its segment. The 2012 Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King looks like a timeless boulevard cruiser, but it is also a fully equipped, long-distance tourer.
As far as comfort goes, the 2012 Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King features a detachable windshield, an air-adjustable touring rear suspension and a comfortable seating position. You also get a set of spacious, standard saddlebags.
The Harley Davidson Road king is equipped with a 1690 cc Twin Cam 103 engine which sends power to the rear wheel through a 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission. The engine’s fuel consumption is rated at 42 mpg.
Other features worth noting are the optional anti-lock braking system, Harley-Davidson’s Smart Security system, a six-gallon fuel tank and the electronic cruise control.
The bike is offered in a wide range of colors including Vivid Black, Big Blue Pearl, Midnight Pearl, Ember Red Sunglo/Merlot Sunglo.
Hit the jump for more information on the 2012 Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King.
With its classic style and the old school stance, the 2013 Triumph Scrambler looks like a blast from the past. And there is no wonder why, because when designing the Scrambler, Triumph’s engineers have drawn inspiration from the 60s Triumph off-road sports motorcycles that were stripped down for racing.
In terms of style, we especially like the Scrambler’s classic gaiters and high swept chromed side pipes, as well as the spoked wheels, high footrests and the wide off-road style handlebars.
The motorcycle’s backbone is represented by a strong tubular steel cradle frame which is combined with 41mm forks and chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload.
Needless to say that the Scrambler’s center piece is, of course the engine – an air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin unit that sends its power to the ground through a five speed gearbox. The engine rewards you with an average fuel consumption of 53 mpg.
Hit the jump for more information on the 2013 Triumph Scrambler.
Do you want to mix your passion for choppers with your passion for martial arts? Then you should take a closer look at the BMS Choppers Road Star Mortal Kombat.
This custom bike features a tasty paint scheme which draws inspiration from the famous video game. Though, besides its custom paint the BMS Choppers Mortal Kombat Road Star offers a wide range of features which make it a fairly capable chopper.
For the starters it is equipped with a modern 102 cubic-inch, air-cooled, pushrod OHV, 48° V-twin engine which has a displacement of 1670cc. The engine is mounted on a rigid, double-cradle frame which features a tasty 32° rake. The retro look of the motorcycle is further enhanced by its long 66.5" wheelbase as well as the old school headlight and the simple fenders.
As far as suspensions are concerned, the Mortal Kombat Road Star is fitted with telescopic 43mm preload adjustable front forks and a Link-type, preload-adjustable single rear shock.
Hit the jump for more information on the BMS Choppers Mortal Kombat Road Star.
Everybody loves a well built chopper and the guys from BMS are considered among the top dogs manufacturers. Their products were always appreciated for their first class built quality, the thrilling performances and the astonishing designs.
The BMW Chopper’s Toro’s Road Star is another beast born from BMW’s garage and like all its siblings it offers a wide range of features which will make any passionate rider fall in love with her.
The low slung stature, the aerodynamic fuel tank and the fluid design of the highly comfortable seat are all working together to form a great overall style which inspires freedom and power.
At the heart of the BMS Choppers Toro’s Road Star beats a massive 1670 cc pushrod OHV, air-cooled, 48° V-twin engine which cranks out more than enough power and torque to make your adrenaline levels go crazy.
Hit the jump for more information on the BMS Choppers Toro’s Road Star.
The guys from BMS Chopers have a pretty creative imagination and the Got Rake Road Star is a solid proof for this statement.
The motorcycle features a fancy design with an extra long front fork and is propelled by a 102 cubic-inch air-cooled, long-stroke, OHV 48° twin engine.
The engine is mated on a five speed transmission and is brought to life by an Electric starting system which features solenoid-activated auto-decompressor for easy starting. The 102 cubic inch unit is linked to a 2-into-2 exhaust system with dual pipes.
As far as suspensions are concerned the BMS Choppers Got Rake Road Star rides on a 43 mm Telescopic fork with adjustable preload (5.5 in. travel) and a rear link type single shock. (4.3 in. travel).
All its custom features and the capable engine, make this model a pretty unique bike. However, the BMS Choppers Got Rake Road Star doesn’t come cheap at all as it is priced at $125,000.00.
Hit the jump for more information on the BMS Choppers Got Rake Road Star.
The Big Bear Choppers Venom Two Up is a pure American chopper that has all it needs to make you love it.
Unlike many other choppers this beauty can accommodate two adults and is powered by the V111 engine which cranks out 115.8 bhp and 122.8 lb/ft of torque. The engine is kept in check by a 6-speed Baker transmission built in Detroit.
The motorcycle’s backbone is represented by a unique frame design which features a large single radius downtube. Needles to say than every frame component (e.g. neck, side plates, tank mounts, tranny plate, axle adjusters, etc) is CNC manufactured with precision. BBC used a 0.250 wall, 1.5” tube steel for the backbone and downtube and a 0.160 wall, 1.125” tube for the rest of the frame.
The bike rides on front 21" x 2.125" and rear 18" x 8.5" rims wrapped in 90mm front and 250mm rear Avon Cobra tires.
Hit the jump for more information on the Big Bear Choppers Venom Two Up.
The guys from BMS Choppers have always managed to pleasantly surprise us with their attractive motorcycles and the MCclimond’s Warrior is one of their best models.
The 2004 version of the BMS Choppers Mcclimond’s Warrior is built on a lightweight aluminum frame with a 41mm inverted fork and an aluminum swingarm. The stopping power is assured by monoblock brake calipers and the motorcycle’s alloy custom wheels are shod in sticky performance tires.
At the heart of the BMS Choppers Mcclimond’s Warrior lies a pushrod, air-cooled, fuel injected, 102 cubic inch (1670 cc) V twin engine which is paired with a 5-speed, close-ratio transmission with multi-plate wet clutch.
Compared to the previous versions the 2004 Warrior received revised rider and passenger foot peg location, new handlebar design and an all-new two piece seat which offers a more comfortable ride.
Hit the jump for more information on the BMS Choppers Mcclimond’s Warrior.
The Titanium is one of the newest models built by Big Bear Chopper and compared to its other siblings it features a quite different design approach.
It is powered by a fresh S&S V111 engine that cranks out 122.8 lbs of torque and is paired with a Baker 6-Speed Overdrive transmission. It is also worthy of being mentioned that the engine is linked to a capable exhaust system developed by BBC together with Yoshimura.
The 2013 Big Bear Choppers Titanium rides on 19" front and 18"rear wheels which are shod in 100 mm front and 180 mm rear Avon Cobra tires.
Other notable features include World Class Brake Tech rotors, an inverted front end suspension co-developed by BBC and Öhlins, Nissin handlebar controls and a Hydraulic Clutch System.
The Big Bear Choppers Titanium is available with Sport and Touring fairings.
Hit the jump for more information on the 2013 Big Bear Choppers Titanium.
With its distinctive style, and low slung stature the BMS Choppers Blue Crush Warrior is a mean-looking cruiser designed for those who want to ride with style.
The motorcycle is powered by a pushrod, air-cooled, fuel injected, 102 cubic inch (1670cc) V-twin engine that has enough grunt to fill your brain with a tasty mix of dopamine and adrenaline. The engine’s power is kept in leash by a capable 5-speed, close-ratio transmission with multi-plate wet clutch.
The engine is mounted on a lightweight aluminum frame which is combined with a 41mm inverted fork and an aluminum swingarm.
The motorcycle rides on three spoke alloy wheels shod in sticky performance tires (120/70-ZR18 Radial front and 200/50-ZR17 Radial) and the stopping power is assured by monoblock brake calipers.
The BMS Choppers Blue Crush Warrior is available at a starting price of $42,900.00.
Hit the jump for more information on the BMS Choppers Blue Crush Warrior.