2015 - 2018 Triumph Rocket III Roadster
Triumph takes a shot at the U.S. power-cruiser market with its Rocket III Roadster. Essentially a carryover from the last several years apart from price, the Roadster still runs the largest production powerplant in the world with its now-famous, 2,294 cc triple set in a very cruise-tastic package. To call it a “roadster” is almost tongue-in-cheek considering the mass of this thing, but the “rocket” part of the name is spot-on.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Rocket II Roadster.
2015 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom
Coming into 2018 with a new look, the 1200 Custom in Harley-Davidson’s Sportster line hits the streets with the tried and true 1200 Evolution® engine and agile chassis that’s secured a place for itself in the lineup for over half a century. Kinda the black sheep of the Sportster stable, the 1200 Custom lives up to its name with a look apart from the rest of its siblings with a beefier front end and more aggressive riding position to put a little more ’sport’ into the ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom.
2015 - 2018 Harley-Davidson SuperLow
The SuperLow line saw few changes into the 2017 model year, and carried that into 2018. Powered by the 883 cc Evolution engine, the XL 883L delivers modest performance and nimble handling. The slammed suspension puts the rider’s butt close to the ground where even the shortest inseams can feel confident and in control with both feet down flat. While this ride isn’t quite as entry level as the Street 500/750, it is the smallest of Harley-Davidson’s traditional designs and typically serves as a trainer bike for folks interested in air-cooled cruisers.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson SuperLow.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard M90
Around the turn of the century, the cruiser style had evolved into fat tires, lots of chrome, wide bodies and pegs out front to give you that almost slouched, relaxed riding posture. Since then, cruiser style has cycled back to "old school." They’ve lost some weight and slimmed down, creating a low and lean version of a sport look. If your vision of what a cruiser should be is stuck in the fat tires and wide body — think of it as "old new-school" — Suzuki has the Boulevard M90 that’s right up your alley.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard M90.
2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
Harley-Davidson’s Fat Bob is one of only a few [Dyna1760] models that made the crossover into the all-new 2018 Softail lineup. Its popularity as an FXD played heavily into that decision, and it looks like the factory is doubling down on more of the same modern-custom/bobber vibe that endeared it to its fans. Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Fat Bob comes with a choice between the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight and the 114-inch version along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system, all of which gives the Fat Bob an aggressive bent that is meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. Will it be enough? Time will tell, and with the overall decline of motorcycling, models that grab the Millennials’ attention may help prop up the MoCo until the next gen comes of age or, at least, until the pendulum swings back the other way.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob.
2015 - 2018 Indian Chieftain / Chieftain Dark Horse
The Chieftain has all the classic elements that identify it as part of the Indian Motorcycle heritage, including classic badging and iconic War Bonnet mounted on the front fender, much like the figurehead on a wooden sailing ship leading the way into the wind. Carried forward into 2018, the Chieftain — powered by the triple-cam, V-twin Thunderstroke 111 engine — wears the same valenced fenders and vintage styling, leaving no question that it has a prominent place in the lineup of this historic brand.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chieftain and Chieftain Dark Horse.
2015 - 2018 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
Moto Guzzi presents its California 1400 Touring model as one of its ambassadors to the motorcycle world. This is not a statement to be taken lightly given the long-standing history — since 1921 — and unmistakable passion of the designers at the factory in Como, Italy. The handcrafted California possesses the same classic style and grace of previous California models, with modern, cutting-edge technology that would make the previous models positively die from envy. The factory touts this bike as the flagship of Gran Turismo, and backs it up with plenty of innovations and features that place it squarely in the luxury tour-bike category.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.
Introduced as the bad-ass brother of Suzuki’s M109R, the Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S. carries forward into 2018 with its 109 cubic inch (1,783 cc) engine. Yeah, B.O.S.S. stands for ’Blacked Out Special Suzuki’, but I’m gonna call it ’Blacked Out Super Sweet’. It might not be the fastest cruiser on the market, but it is definitely a power-cruiser and it really wants to go when you let out the clutch.
Continue reading for my review on the Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard C50 / Boulevard C50T
Suzuki unveiled its Boulevard C50 back in 2005 after renaming its “Volusia” bike of prior model years. The C50 and C50Ts carry straight into 2018, with a mid-displacement engine to serve as Suzuki’s mid-size cruiser and weekend tour bike. Smooth acceleration and comfortable seating combine with laced wheels and classic styling to keep the C50s on the list of middleweight contenders in the two-wheeled market.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard C50 and Boulevard C50T.
2016 - 2018 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
Kawasaki created its Vulcan line back in 1984 in an attempt to capture a slice of the American cruiser market, and it is still alive and kicking in 2018. The family includes a trio of models from the boulevard bruiser “900 Classic” to the heritage-style “900 Classic LT” and the home-cooked “900 Custom.” A 900 cc, V-twin mill and 600-plus pound curb weight put the range firmly in the mid-size cruiser category and give it the mass one expects to find an American cruiser.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic, Vulcan 900 Classic LT and Vulcan 900 Custom.
2015 - 2018 Indian Chief Classic
The base model cruiser in the Indian Motorcycle lineup, the Chief Classic carries the vintage badging and iconic lighted War Bonnet that is still the hallmark of the brand even through the fits, starts and financial turmoil of various owners during the post-WWII years, right up to the turn of the century. Since Polaris acquired it in 2011, Indian has become its top-selling motorcycle brand. Carried forward for 2018 and powered by the Thunder Stroke® 111 engine, the Chief Classic has the styling and valenced fenders that identify it as classic Indian with rider amenities and features such as ABS, cruise control, keyless starting, electronic fuel injection and a manually-adjustable single-shock swingarm.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chief Classic.
2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the new Softail Slim makes for a rolling tribute to both. The Slim rides on the same, newly-revamped frame as the rest of the fake-hardtail family for that unmistakeable geometry and dated look that you just can’t get from a traditional swingarm. Bobbed fenders and blackout paint tie right into the custom trends of yesteryear
quite nicely, but it’s the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin and its 100-plus pounds of torque that drives the Slim past “historical-tribute” turf right into viable power-cruiser territory. Since the whole point of the original bobbers was to provide a more thrilling ride, I find this pairing of power and panache to be entirely fitting. This is a big year for the Softails as the MoCo phases out its Dyna cruisers and the ST family takes on the full weight of the cruiser market all by its onesies, and it’s interesting to see what the factory decided to hinge its mid-size hopes upon. That’s right folks; this ain’t last year’s Softail, so let’s check it out.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Slim.
2016 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.
There can be no doubt that the American cruiser market is heating up, and Suzuki looks to capitalize on that class popularity with its Boulevard C90 Blacked-Out Special Suzuki (B.O.S.S.) model. Powered by a 1,462 cc V-twin engine, the C90 B.O.S.S. lives up to its name with black-out styling and agile handling for that sinister boulevard-bruiser look and feel. Let’s take a look at what Suzuki is doing to maintain a foothold with buyers in the U.S. cruiser market.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.
2016 - 2018 Indian Chief Vintage
The word “vintage” gets tossed around a lot, but when a company with a history as long as Indian Motorcycles uses it, you can believe they mean it. Though the company has changed hands many times, the Chief model family, in one form or another, has been part of the Indian lineup since its inception in 1922. Indian Motorcycles, under Polaris Industries Inc., keeps that tradition alive with its 2018 Chief Vintage powered by the Thunder Stroke® 111 engine. The designers build upon 95 years of Chief tradition with this ride, and while all Indians show their historical roots in varying degrees, none is quite as overt as the aptly named ’Vintage’.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chief Vintage.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
American riders have had a love affair with the Harley trike ever since the original Servi-Car hit the streets all the way back in 1932, and that’s a fling that Harley-Davidson is still trying to take to the bank with the 2018 Freewheeler. This newest iteration of their naked trike is a real hotrod running the all-new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine that cranks out 100-plus pound-feet of torque to push it well into the power-cruiser bracket. Last year saw some significant improvements as well as some fairly major structural differences with the tour-tastic Tri Glide Ultra, so let’s see what else Harley packed onto its stoplight-burning trike.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.
2018 Indian Motorcycle Indian Chief
Indian Motorcycle has had a Chief in the lineup since 1922, so it makes sense for the factory to try to take some of that name recognition to the bank. Even more importantly, the new Chief has established itself as a cruiser that is worthy on its own merits with an unmistakable look and powerful 111 cubic-inch engine. Indian goes farther than most — even farther than Harley-Davidson recently — to bring high-fidelity historical design to the market, and the Chief is a good example of that. Indian has seen many false starts since the company folded in 1953, including a disastrous attempt to import and rebadge Royal Enfield’s Meteor, but it’s on an upward trajectory under the Polaris umbrella and models like the Chief prove it.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Indian Chief.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard C90T
Cruisers and touring bikes go hand in hand for that relaxed, comfortable ride you get. The Boulevard C90T from Suzuki — absent for 2014, but back in 2015 - is the touring version of the C90 that was dropped after the 2013 model year, though the C90 B.O.S.S. is still going strong in 2018. Leather-look — not real leather, just leather textured — hard saddlebags and an ample windscreen give the C90T that "I’m ready for the road" look along with a 1,462 cc engine and five-speed transmixer. Is it ready for the road? I wanted to see if, in fact, the "T" in C90T really does mean "touring."
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard C90T.