Personally, I feel like five speeds is plenty for a cruiser, really. Who wants to be shifting extra gears when they’re cruising relaxationally along feeling all Lee Marvin, having their chassis “further complimented by stout forks and shocks” like the press material for the new bike says? Why, thank you, forks and shocks, you’re not so bad yourself…
Moto Guzzi unveiled two new mid-sized cruisers powered by a new 850cc V-Twin engine. The new V9 Roamer is the spiritual successor to the Moto Guzzi Nevada while the V9 Bobber adds a blacked-out bobbed cruiser to lineup. both V9s will be available in the U.S. as 2015 models but we’ll have to wait a little while for MSRPs.
Struggling to figure out how to make inroads into the U.S. cruiser market, with the new XDiavel, Ducati has finally decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s not entirely true of course, because the new XDiavel retains plenty of performance. But it’s also the first Ducati ever with belt final drive, and the first ever where any Ducati official (Domenicali) has made a big deal of embracing the appeal of Low Speed Riding.
Victory, and parent company Polaris, know how to throw a birthday party. Take for example Alfonse Palaima’s thinly veiled attempt at a motorcycle review, seen below in this week’s Church feature. The bike is the 2009 Victory Vision Tour 10th Anniversary Edition, named such in honor of Victory’s 10th model year. Only 100 were made, and AP was lucky enough to throw a leg over one for a ride. Equally as important was the opportunity to join 98 other Victory owners for a chance to chew the fat, rub elbows and drink beer with Victory/Polaris execs. The Fonz was sure not to drink and ride, of course, and returned with an entertaining and informative review. Check out the whole story below, and to see more pics of the the Vision, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
When it comes to mid-displacement touring cruisers, the poor Honda VTX1300T often gets overlooked. It seems as the VTX1300T was the unfortunate victim of bad timing, as this time frame saw the rise of cruisers that took the “no replacement for displacement” mantra to heart. Big-bore cruisers were quickly gaining popularity from OEMs both near and far. For those with more reasonable displacement needs, the 1300T was a solid long-distance package, as Mark Gardiner makes clear to us in his ride review from 2009 below. To see more of the VTX1300T, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
In the great old US of A, lightweight motorcycles have traditionally garnered little respect – though that is changing with the recent focus of major manufacturers on developing modern, exciting motorcycles in the less than 500cc class. Still, while the 250cc cruiser market may be almost as minuscule as the displacement in the United States, this class of cruiser shouldn’t be ignored. World-wide, the class carries much more importance thanks to tiered licensing and tariffs on large-displacement motorcycles. Additionally, the 250 class is also extremely price conscious, challenging manufacturers to make the tough decisions to build a quality, desirable motorcycle for a diminutive MSRP. This is the environment that spawned the Hyosung GV250 Aquila.
When Can-Am introduced the Spyder F3 last year, the company knew that some potential customers had requested a more cruiser-ish riding position from their three-wheeler, but I’d be willing to bet that they had no idea how many sales the change would drive. After less than one year, the F3 accounts for almost 20% of Spyder sales. Then came the owner surveys that notched the overall satisfaction level at a whopping 93%! I can only guess that the product planners were patting themselves on the back for creating the F3 as a platform and not merely a model in Spyder’s inventory since the biggest requests from F3 owners and prospective owners were more wind protection and storage from the naked roadster. (Yes, we know there was the F3-S, which is really just an optional F3 trim package. We also know Can-Am calls the Spyder a cruiser, but the roadster title feels more appropriate.)
In 1995 the Virago was entering its fifteenth year of continuous production. Twenty years on and the Virago is nothing but a memory. The Star brand didn’t exist back then either, but as the modern cruiser subsidiary of Yamaha, it could choose to resurrect the name. Regardless, the Virago was a sweet cruiser by it’s own standards back then as well as used ones are today.
The idea of Ducati creating a cruiser-style motorcycle seems odd, but the Diavel, introduced in 2011, was an attempt to expand the appeal of the Italian brand to riders who value style and low seat heights over ultimate sporting potential. Diavel sales were initially decent but seem to have tailed off in recent years.
What’s this? A cruiser claims the Motorcycle of the Year title even though we’ve called 2015 the year of the Superbike? Yes, it might provoke a little cognitive dissonance until you think a little further. First, because the Indian Scout was introduced at Sturgis this time last year, many riders mistakenly thought of it as a 2014 model. To qualify for a MOBO, a motorcycle must be on sale to the public prior to the nominating process at the end of each July, and the Scout wasn’t available until late last year. Additionally, our MOTY must be something special, and the Scout is more than just a class-beating cruiser.
Recently, we pit the Star Bolt C-Spec against the Suzuki Boulevard M50, in a comparison test. That test was really more an examination of two extremes of cruiserdom rather than a true head-to-head comparison. I bring this up because, as I type this, the Suzuki is currently resting at my abode. I thought nothing of it until I started digging for this week’s Church feature. As you can see from the headline, today’s retrospective is… the 2005 Suzuki M50 Boulevard! So, what has Suzuki done to the M50 in the decade since we first rode one? Not a whole lot, really. Other than a price hike from $6749 to $8599 (which is still pretty affordable, in our opinion), the Suzuki mid-size “muscle” cruiser is pretty much the same. And with that, here’s Gabe Ets-Hokin to describe exactly what that means. Also, don’t forget to visit the photo gallery for even more pics of Gabe and the pocket-size Suzuki.
If you’ve been following the latest cruisers, the selection of the Indian Scout as the Best Cruiser of 2015 should come as no surprise. If you haven’t, then you’ve missed how impressed we were with the Scout at its introduction last year at Sturgis. Appearing out of nowhere, like a left hook to an unsuspecting opponent, the Scout authoritatively took our preconceptions of what the revitalized marque would produce and put it on the mat for a ten count.
If the vast open road is calling, many bikes are well suited to take you to destinations far away. One of the bikes well suited to this task, but maybe lost in the sea of touring bikes is the V-Max-powered 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe – the subject of this week’s Church of MO feature. Yamaha clearly knew it had something special in the V-Max, but it would be a shame to keep that engine from those seeking something other than a maniacal boulevard bruiser. Some people prefer the cruising lifestyle, but want the braun to let out their inner hooligan every now and again. As our own Sean Alexander discovered in 2005, the RSTD is capable of combining both worlds. Read on to see what Sean thought of the Royal Star Tour Deluxe, and don’t forget to visit the photo gallery for even more pictures.
Yamaha’s original V-Max was wild, bombastic, and an absolute shock to the senses when it was first introduced to the masses 30 years ago. Nearly 20 years later the V-Max was still in Yamaha’s lineup, still delivering mind-numbing straight-line performance. You’d think that two decades would be enough time for the competition to narrow the performance gap, but that was never the case. So, for this Church of MO feature, Eric Bass revisits the original V-Max. The year is 2004, but that doesn’t really matter, as the V-Max is one of those rare bikes that will leave people breathless no matter what year it is. Also, be sure to visit the photo gallery to see even more pictures of this iconic motorcycle.
The early years of the new millennium saw the rise of the big-bore battles amongst many manufacturers. However, we’re not talking sportbikes in this case. Far from it. The big-bore war was waged in the cruiser battlefield, and one of the combatants in this fight was the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000. For this week’s Church feature, we go back to 2004, and the MO staff review of this surly beast of a motorcycle. Is bigger really better? Here’s what the old MO staff has to say about that.