Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?

China vs America, who takes the cake in this comparison?

Gaokin’s Thor GK 1000 cruiser belongs to a distinctive club of Chinese motorcycles which aren’t rip-offs, and it actually comes across as a rather likable package. So likable, in fact, that some might even argue it can take on the dominant figure in the cruiser segment, Harley-Davidson.

This is exactly why we thought why not pit the Gaokin Thor GK 1000 against the sportiest Harley-Davidson right now, the Sportster S, in a paper-based comparison. Here’s how it went.

Gaokin Thor GK 1000 vs Harley-Davidson Sportster S: Design & Features

The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 and the Harley-Davidson Sportster S follow different design philosophies.

Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?
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On one side, the Thor GK 1000’s design shouts muscle from head to toe boasting, elements such as a brawny radiator shroud, a silver nacelle headlight, unique squarish alloys, and a chunky rear end replete with an extra-wide 240-section tire.

Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?
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On the flip side, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S takes inspiration from flat-tracker motorcycles and looks the part, thanks to this very reason. Compared to the Thor, the Sportster S has a sleeker rear end, high-set exhausts, and chunky 160/180-section (F/R) tires at both ends.

Looks are subjective so you’ll have to form your own opinion here, but we’d give the vote to the Thor GK 1000 because it looks a lot brawnier, just how a power cruiser should.

Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?
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Coming to features, both bikes are neck-and-neck here with a TFT instrument cluster, electronic aids, smartphone connectivity, ABS, and all-LED lighting common to both. However, the Sportster S takes the cake as it has a wider set of rider aids, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a USB Type-C charging port.

Gaokin Thor GK 1000 vs Harley-Davidson Sportster S: Performance

Specification Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Engine 997cc, V-Twin engine 1250cc, V-Twin engine
Power 88.5 horsepower 121 horsepower
Torque 70 pound-feet 94 pound-feet
Gearbox  Six-speed Six-speed
Weight 555 lbs 502 lbs
Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?
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This is where the Sportster S truly prevails over the Thor GK 1000. Not only does the Harley pack a bigger engine, but it also puts out substantially more power and torque than the Chinese motorcycle.

To further strengthen its case, the Sportster S is also 53-pounds lighter. The Thor GK 1000’s massive proportions are probably to blame here.

Gaokin Thor GK 1000 vs Harley-Davidson Sportster S: Underpinnings

Specification Gaokin Thor GK 10000 Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Front suspension Adjustable 43mm USD forks Adjustable 43mm USD forks
Rear suspension Monoshock Monoshock
Front brake Twin disc brakes Single disc brake
Rear brake Disc brake Disc brake
Wheel size 18-inch 17-inch
Seat height 26.7-inch 28.9-inch
Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?
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Clawing back some points on the Sportster S, it’s the Thor GK 1000 that comes out on top here, thanks to its lower seat height and double the braking prowess upfront.

The Sportster S is no slouch, though, and its higher seat, coupled with the 17-inch wheels, should make it sportier to ride than the Chinese counterpart.

Gaokin Thor GK 1000 vs Harley-Davidson Sportster S: Which Is Better?

Can The Gaokin Thor GK 1000 Power Cruiser Prevail Over The Harley-Davidson Sportster S?
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To sum up, the competition between these two is, safe to say, fierce. But if we were to recommend one, we’d go with the Harley-Davidson Sportster S as it makes more power, weighs less, and most importantly, comes from a reputed and proven brand.

But there is no doubt that the Thor GK 1000 is one capable power cruiser capable of taking on some big names. Plus, it costs just $7,700 in its hometown, making it crazy value for the money.

Punya Sharma
Punya Sharma
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