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Top 5 new Cruisers coming in 2020

Top 5 new Cruisers coming in 2020

Large motors with plenty of low-end torque, forward set footpegs, and a laid-back reclined riding position

Being the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground, Cruisers have been the incarnation of the ‘30s to ‘60s American lifestyles. Large motors with plenty of low-end torque, forward set footpegs, and a laid-back reclined riding position define any modern-day cruisers. Traditionally, large V-twins ran under the hoods, but inline engines have become more common these days.

Here is our list of new cruiser motorcycles coming in hot in 2020 that gets us to simply cruise, at one with our bike, taking in the sights and smells, the cool air washing over, and supposedly cleansing the soul.

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Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?

Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?

And a guide to help you extract maximum mileage off a tank of fuel from your motorcycle

The beginning of this century saw the world views changing gradually towards climate change and the need to preserve the environment. This, along with stringent policies, has forced the manufacturers to develop motorcycles that can run cleaner fuel and extract the maximum economy from it, sometimes even at the cost of performance.

Bad news for people who seek the element of thrill, but a pretty good one for someone living in urban jungles where folks prefer commuting on a motorcycle rather thank a car for its practicality and frugal fuel-efficiency. Then there are us few who love the idea of putting serious miles on two-wheels and living the adventure.

We here have compiled a list to give you the best available tools for such situations and save some money on gas while at it.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

A Little Bit Retro, A Little Bit Café, And a Little Bit Gangster

Harley-Davidson expands the Sportster family with the new-in-2018 Iron 1200. Retro is in, so the ’70s-esque paint and custom touches drawn from that era give the Iron 1200 plenty of nostalgic value. Power comes from the venerable Evolution engine to the tune of 73 pound-feet of torque to give this ride modern performance that belies the dated veneer. A classic dish with custom spices, the new Iron 1200 raises the Iron stable’s displacement ceiling to draw new customers from a market that has been in decline for over a decade.

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2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Nothing Comes Out Of The Hole Like A Sporty

When Harley-Davidson makes changes to the Iron 883, they stay faithful to at least one important aspect – performance. While XL models have never been known as ’fast’ bikes, they certainly have a well-deserved reputation as ’quick’ bikes. Nothing in the Harley world comes out of the hole like a Sporty, or handles the corners like one, and the Iron 883 maintains that tradition with aplomb. Bikes like this show how the XL line has not only survived, but also thrived in the entry-level and sport-minded American markets.

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2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

It’s Back And The Dyna Crowd Is Celebrating

Harley-Davidson’s cruiser line isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind for a performance-oriented street machine, but that changes with its newly refurbished Softail Low Rider S model. The steering geometry is sharpened for the sake of agility, and as for power, the torque-rich, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine delivers the goods with well over 100 pounds o’ grunt ready to be unleashed on the public roads. Harley gives the Low Rider S with coastal-style design touches that sets it apart from the pack and begs for customization.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

Harley Puts The Bling Back In The Heritage Classic

After a revamp for the 2018 model year, Softail underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, but the overall classic look of the Heritage Classic remains largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley-Davidson put a new emphasis on the Softail lineup with plenty of performance-driven custom designs for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, but for someone looking for an old-school cruiser and tour bike, the Heritage Classic is your Huckleberry.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide / Road Glide Special

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide / Road Glide Special

"Special" Means So Much More Than Before

Harley-Davidson brought its Road Glide and Road Glide Special into the 2018 model year with the base-model Glide more or less a direct carryover in everything but color selection. However, the “Special” rocks a host of improvements from last year, and for 2019, comes with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 in its standard equipment package. With improved suspension from Showa cushioning the ride, this pair is ripe for customization and gives prospective bike builders a blank canvas with which to work.

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2015 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

2015 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Showing Off A Brand New Look

The 1200 Custom in Harley-Davidson’s Sportster line went into 2018 with a new look and hit the streets with the tried and true 1200 Evolution® engine along with the 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.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special

This Is What Sportster Owners Have Been Doing With Their Own Bikes For Generations

Harley-Davidson adds to its Sportster footprint and moves the progress bar on its “50-new-models” goal with the ’Seventies-tastic’ Forty-Eight Special. Like the base model Forty-Eight, it rolls with numerous custom touches that tie it directly to a specific era, just of a more-recent vintage. Blackout components and chrome accents mix freely across the machine with the same 1200 cc, 73 pound-feet Sportster engine that drives the base model. It all in the details, though, and it’s the details that separates it from its predecessor.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

Ride It Again For The First Time

Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob comes with a choice of engine: the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight or the 114-inch version. These grunty powerplants, along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system from the redesign in 2018 give the Fat Bob an aggressive bent that is meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. The Fat Bob saw a complete do-over in 2018, so if you rode it before and weren’t impressed, know that you haven’t ridden this Fat Bob.

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2015 - 2019 Harley-Davidson SuperLow

2015 - 2019 Harley-Davidson SuperLow

It’s Unintimidating For New Folks, Yet Fun For Experienced Riders

Powered by the 883 cc Evolution engine, the SuperLow 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.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

It’s Post WWII-Era Bobber Styling On A Modern Power-Cruiser

Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the updated-in-2018 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 the 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.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

After The Dynas Died, The Street Bob Was Rebuilt And Reintroduced As A Softail

The Harley-Davidson lineup underwent some serious changes for MY2018, and the chopped-down, Dyna-based Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail model before the Dyna family was cut from production in its entirety. Not only did it switch to Harley’s faux-rigid style frame, but the frame itself was completely reinvented to the point where it bears little resemblance to the original that saw the light of day for the first time back in ’84. Sure, it still has that classic Softail visage, but the factory achieved it in a totally different way this time, and any perceived similarities are only skin deep. To add to the revamp, the Street Bob was on the receiving end of a beating-heart transplant with the addition of the then-new-to-cruisers, Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant that brings over 100 pounds of grunt to the table. The Street Bob has more power, new frame, and a new family/model combination as it rolls into 2019.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Low Seat Height, Butt-Friendly Saddle, And A Smooth Ride

Harley-Davidson’s Fat Boy survived the Great Purge of 2017 that saw so many models eliminated from the Softail and Dyna lineups as the former absorbed the latter. The FLSTF joins the rest of the all-new-in-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame and a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark these Fat Boys as members of the New Guard.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Ride It Again For The First Time

With the Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson brings a strong dose of nostalgia and antique design and with it comes H-D’s Big-Twin powerplant — the Milwaukee-Eight 107 — and its 109 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that turned in a stronger top-gear roll-on than any previous engine family before it with the same 45-degree V-Twin. The charm and engine lope that even the oldest fans of the brand would recognize wasn’t lost and ABS, security and oodles of laid-back, classic vibes are included in the standard equipment package, so this is truly a melding of two technologically-distinct eras.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

One Of The Softail Initiates From The Dyna Family

Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine with a total of 110 pound-feet of torque, the agile Softail frame brings heretofore unseen performance to the Low Rider. Harley-Davidson is digging deep to give us better handling and more power and the Low Rider is a prime example.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Low Rider.

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Top 10 Cruisers of 2018

Top 10 Cruisers of 2018

Large motors with plenty of low-end torque, forward set footpegs, and a laid-back reclined riding position

Being the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground, Cruisers have been the incarnation of the ‘30s to ‘60s American lifestyles. Large motors with plenty of low-end torque, forward set footpegs, and a laid-back reclined riding position define any modern-day cruisers. Traditionally, large V-twins ran under the hoods, but inline engines have become more common these days.

Here is our list of the cruiser motorcycles of 2018 that gets us to simply cruise, at one with our bike, taking in the sights and smells, the cool air washing over, and supposedly cleansing the soul. Basically defining the concept of motorcycling, cruisers keep us wandering off with just a twist of the throttle to the unknown.

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2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

Features Inspired By Harley’s NHRA Team.

Harley-Davidson advances its 100-new-bike agenda in 2019 with the new FXDR 114 that turns the nearly-new Softail into a drag race-inspired stoplight burner. The factory went outside the envelope for design inspiration, with some interesting results that head in an unexpected direction to say the least. A 114 cubic-inch engine delivers the goods to make the FXDR the most powerful production Softail up for grabs so far this year, so you can be assured that it’s by no means an all-show/no-go machine. Plus, an effort was made to shed some weight to improve handling- and ride-quality, and that translates into even better acceleration to make this a rather sporty, non-Sportster ride. Let’s dive into the details.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Breakout

New Engine Choices, New Chassis, New Attitude

Once again, Harley-Davidson takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-in-2018 Softail lineup, and the drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump and carried into 2019. Harley offers this bobber-burner with the 109 pound-foot, Milwaukee-Eight 107 and the Mil-8 114 that boasts a total of 119 pounds o’ twist. The ground-up Softail-family rebuild contains myriad changes from the remarkable to the mundane that go way beyond a handful of re-arranged trim packages. We’re talking about the re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology that is more in line with the current industry standards. We’re talking a renewed focus on the Softails as H-D’s sole (or should it be soul?) cruisers. This is it; the drag-tastic sub-model of the range that Harley hopes will attract the younger buyers.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Breakout.

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2019 Harley Davidson FXDR 114

2019 Harley Davidson FXDR 114

its most powerful and expensive Softail yet with aluminum and carbon-fiber bits

With what went down as the biggest shift in the company’s corporate stance, Harley Davidson has gone on record showcasing its future plans over the next five years in great detail. As part of its brand new “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022, HD has showcased multiple concepts under electric motorcycles, adventure-tourers, streetfighter, and Customs being the prominent ones.

But Harley has definitely taken care not to forget about its past nor the present. After releasing nine new Softails earlier this year, the Milwaukee brand has unleashed a brand new one, and this time, it gets the biggest of the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engines with 1868cc. It’s the FXDR 114, and it comes built around the new platform with 240-section rear tire and lightweight aluminum swingarm.

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