The Mikenomad Factor: Cruiser = Single-crankpin, Narrow-angle V-twin
Let's just skip the non-controversial topics like abortion and gun control and jump right into something that matters: the core defining element of a cruiser is a single-crankpin, narrow-angle V-twin.
No, a Ninja with apehangers is not a cruiser. An inline four doesn't have the essential syncopated lope and staccato brrraaap.
No, a stripped Goldwing (AKA Valkyrie) is not a cruiser. A humming flat six doesn't have the essential syncopated lope and staccato brrraaap.
No, a V4 standard with a stepped seat (AKA VMax, Magna) is not a cruiser. A V4 doesn't have the essential syncopated lope and staccato brrraaap.
And no, a V-twin with a dual-pin crankshaft and even firing intervals is not an acceptable cruiser engine. It's fine for a lawn tractor. An engine whose exhaust note goes DUD-DUD-DUD-DUD is okay if you're crawling across the front lawn. But it doesn't cut it for cruising, unless you want to show everyone how incredibly lame and clueless you are for riding a soul-less, neutered DUD-DUD motor designed by geeks with pocket protectors who don't ride motorcycles.
No, a single-crankpin, narrow-angle V-twin is not synonymous with a Harley. Anyone who knows anything about motorcycles and isn't just a johnny-come-lately poser will know that Harley was not the first V-twin motorcycle nor the first single-crankpin, narrow-angle V-twin motorcycle. Indian had a V-twin before Harley did, and almost every motorcycle manufacturer since the beginning of time has offered V-twin models.
Just because a bike is styled like a cruiser does not make it a cruiser, anymore than a male transvestite is a woman. If it doesn't have the right equipment, it ain't the real thing. If you can't tell the difference, or if it doesn't matter to you, don't try to convince me that there IS no difference.
There are plenty of bonafide single-crankpin, narrow-angle V-twin cruiser engines available today, both metric and American. Unfortunately, Honda and Suzuki have been rapidly neutering their herds, although a few models survive.
If it ain't got the lope and the brrraaap, it ain't a proper cruiser motor.
And for wankers who keep describing their Valkyrie or VMax or Magna as a "power cruiser," step off, you posers. These bikes are the motorcycle equivalent of the 20-year-old on the Little League team or the East German woman athlete with an XY chromosome. These bikes are overweight, poor-handling, underpowered, cruiser-styled sportbikes or standards, not cruisers.
So to sum up: If you want to ride a proper cruiser, make sure it has a single-crankpin, narrow-angle V-twin motor.
If you disagree, you're free to go take your East German transvestite girlfriend for a ride on your poser bike.
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