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Cruiser + Touring Motorcycle Reviews

2015 Triumph Thunderbird Nightstorm Special Edition – First Look Review

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Triumph’s Thunderbird cruiser, powered by a convention-bucking parallel twin displacing 1,597cc, debuted for 2009, slotting between the Bonneville-based America and Speedmaster (both have a 865cc parallel twin) and the super-sized Rocket III (with its 2,294cc in-line triple). The Thunderbird’s accessory 1,699cc big-bore kit became standard equipment on spin-off models, including the blacked-out Thunderbird Storm, the muscle-cruiser Thunderbird Commander and touring-ready ...

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2014 Cutting-Edge Cruisers – Snapshot Reviews

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There was a time, not that long ago, when in motorcycle terms cruisers were considered something less—simpler machines that were somewhat inferior to other bikes in terms of function. After all, a touring bike’s function is to deliver many miles of comfort while hauling riders and luggage, a sportbike excels in terms of power and handling reined in by great ...

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2014 Indian Chief Classic Review

2014 Indian Chief Classic

The original Indian motorcycle company began in 1901, but then faded away in the early 1950s. Two recent attempts to revamp the brand failed in the early 2000s, then Polaris Industries, which manufactures snowmobiles, watercraft, ATVs and the Victory motorcycle brand in Minnesota and Iowa, purchased the Indian name and trademark. With the backing of this major company, Indian has ...

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2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom ABS Review

2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom ABS

You immediately realize there’s something different about this bike when you notice its more aggressive, almost sporty stance. At 708 pounds, it’s the lightest in our test and it’s also the only one of these machines that was based upon a sportier touring bike—an Italian machine designed for use in the Alps and environs rather than America’s more wide-open roads. ...

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2014 Victory Boardwalk Review

2014 Victory Boardwalk

The Victory brand was started by Polaris Industries in 1998 as a means of addressing the lucrative big-inch V-twin market that Harley-Davidson largely had to itself. The bikes are built in Minnesota and Iowa, as are the Indians. From the start, Victory wanted to position its bikes as more performance-oriented V-twins than Harleys and, as a result, they utilize an ...

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2015 Indian Scout – First Ride Review

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Before the Chief there was the Scout. The Chief may have been Indian’s stylistic high-water mark, but the Scout was its engineering masterpiece. Designed by racer-turned-engineer Charles B. Franklin and introduced in 1920, the Scout was powered by a 600cc (37ci) side-valve, semi-unit V-twin with twin cams and a gear-driven primary bathed in oil (enlarged to 61ci, the engine went ...

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2014 Harley-Davidson Low Rider and SuperLow 1200T – First Ride Review

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Despite the traditional stereotypes, younger riders and women make up a substantial, and ever-increasing, portion of Harley-Davidson’s customers. The Motor Company says that in 2012, it held 50 percent of the U.S. market share for men and women riders ages 18-34, and over 60 percent for women ages 35 and up. To more directly target that audience, last March Harley ...

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2014 Triumph Thunderbird LT and Commander – Road Test

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Triumph’s return has succeeded because the company is producing excellent motorcycles, from eager sportbikes to first-rate dual-sports to an exquisite line of modern classics. It’s also building cruisers, and its Bonneville-based customs have been best sellers. But it wasn’t until the introduction of the liter-class Thunderbird in 2009 that the cruiser lineup really made heads turn. In the tradition of ...

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American Baggers Comparison: Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special vs Indian Chieftain vs Victory Cross Country

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Functional, big-inch V-twin baggers are all the rage these days. In addition to lots of style, these bikes offer the comfort of some upper-body wind protection with the practicality and convenience of saddlebags. To enlarge upon the idea that these are not stripped but well-equipped models, keep in mind that, in addition to a fairing and bags, an engine that ...

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2014 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special Review

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A four-year effort by Harley-Davidson called Project Rushmore has culminated in a number of features and improvements to the 2014 touring models, including the Street Glide Special here. Though it does not get the much ballyhooed partial liquid-cooling system that was introduced exclusively on the Ultra Limited, CVO Limited and Tri-Glide Ultra models for 2014, the Street Glide does get ...

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