Tag Archives: Cruiser Motorcycle Reviews

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S | First Look Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999

After the successful launch of the Pan America 1250, Harley-Davidson’s first-ever adventure bike that’s built on the all-new liquid-cooled Revolution Max platform, the Motor Company has announced a late addition to its 2021 lineup, the Sportster S. It will be in dealerships this fall with an MSRP of $14,999.

Visually similar to the 1250 Custom teased several years ago, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S represents a new era for the legendary Sportster line. Since the introduction of the XL model family in 1957, Sportsters have always been stripped-down motorcycles powered by air-cooled V-Twins.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999
2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999

Harley-Davidson calls the new Sportster S a “sport custom motorcycle,” and at the heart of the machine is a 121-horsepower Revolution Max 1250T V-Twin, a lightweight chassis, and premium suspension.

“The Sportster S is the next all-new motorcycle built on the Revolution Max platform and sets a new performance standard for the Sportster line,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO, Harley-Davidson. “This is a next generation Sportster defined by power, performance, technology and style. And it’s part of our commitment to introduce motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson.”

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999

The new Sporter S has a stocky, muscular profile and fat tires that look like balled-up fists. Its minimalist front fender evokes the front end of a classic bobber, while its tail section, high-mount exhaust, and olo seat draw inspiration from Harley-Davidson’s legendary XR750 flat tracker. The engine’s lightweight magnesium engine covers stand out with a Chocolate Satin finish.

“Every visual design element of the Sportster S model is an expression of the motorcycle’s raw power,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. “This is a wolf in wolf’s clothing.”

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999

Displacing 1,250cc just like the Pan America’s engine, the Revolution Max 1250T in the Sportster S makes less peak horsepower and is tuned for a broad spread of torque. The riding experience can be tailored to conditions or preferences with selectable ride modes (Sport, Road, and Rain, plus two Custom modes) and H-D’s Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements.

Like on the Pan America, the Revolution Max engine is a stressed member of the Sportster S chassis. It has a welded tubular-steel trellis swingarm with a braced design and stamped X-member to further stiffen the chassis.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999

Suspension is made by Showa and is fully adjustable at both ends, with a 43mm USD cartridge fork and a piggyback-reservoir rear shock with a remote preload adjuster knob. Likewise, the Sportster S has Brembo brakes at both ends, with a single 320mm rotor up front squeezed by a radial monoblock 4-piston caliper and a 260mm rear rotor with a 2-piston caliper. Lightweight cast aluminum wheels with a staggered, five-spoke design are shod with wide Dunlop/Harley-Davidson Series GT503 tires.

Forward foot controls and a low handlebar put the rider in an aggressive posture, and seat height is 29.6 inches. Cruise control and a proximity-based security system are standard equipment. With its 3.1-gallon peanut tank full of fuel, Harley-Davidson says the Sportster S model weighs just 502 pounds.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S liquid cooled Revolution Max MSRP $14,999

A round, 4-inch TFT screen displays all instrumentation and supports Bluetooth-enabled infotainment. All-LED lighting includes a Daymaker Signature LED headlamp. A wide range of accessories will be available.

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be offered in Vivid Black, Stone Washed White Pearl, and Midnight Crimson.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S Photo Gallery

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 | Video Review

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 video review
2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 in Supernova trim (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Check out our video review of the 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350, an affordable, approachable cruiser with a base price of $4,399. It’s powered by an all-new 350cc air-cooled single that makes 18 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 18 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm at the rear wheel, as measured on Jett Tuning’s dyno.

To find a Royal Enfield dealer near you, visit royalenfield.com.

The post 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 | Video Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival | First Look Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

As the growing popularity of the resto-mod customization movement has shown, combining classic styling with modern engineering is a winning formula.

Harley-Davidson has announced its new Icons Collection, and the first model in the collection is the stunning 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival.

The Icons Collection is an annual program that offers very limited-edition motorcycles designed to elevate traditional forms and celebrate Americana, either by revisiting classic Harley-Davidson design themes or by exploring ideas that represent the future of motorcycle style.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

Only one or two models will be included in the Icons Collection each year, with a single production run that highlights their exclusivity. Production of that model will never be resumed or repeated. Each Icons Collection motorcycle will be serialized, and the purchaser will receive a certificate of authenticity.

“With The Hardwire, we made a commitment to introduce a series of motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president and CEO Harley-Davidson. “With that in mind, I am proud to introduce our new limited production Icons Collection, a series of extraordinary adaptations of production motorcycles which look to our storied past and bright future.”

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

The first model in the Icons Collection is the Electra Glide Revival model, a drop-dead gorgeous retro-classic motorcycle decked out with chrome and an old-school two-tone paint scheme. Global production of the Electra Glide Revival model will be limited to a one-time build of 1,500 serialized examples, with bikes available at Harley-Davidson dealers in late April, with an MSRP of $29,199.

The look of the Electra Glide Revival model is inspired by the 1969 Electra Glide, the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle available with an accessory “batwing” fairing. The fairing became an iconic Harley-Davidson styling cue, its shape an instant on-the-road identifier of many H-D models and the foundational design of the fairing featured on current models.

In 1969, the accessory fairing and saddlebags were only offered in white molded fiberglass, and the Electra Glide Revival replicates that look with a Birch White painted finish. The period-inspired tank medallion and Electra Glide script on the front fender complete the look. The Electra Glide Revival will be offered in a single color scheme inspired by the original 1969 colorway: The two-tone fuel tank in Hi-Fi Blue and Black Denim bisected with a Birch White stripe, with Hi-Fi Blue paint on the fenders and side panels.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

“We live in a very dynamic time, each of us experiencing constant change,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. “The Electra Glide Revival model is an oasis in this daily turbulence, a way to reconnect with the fundamental Harley-Davidson DNA that created Grand American Touring.”

Design highlights of the Electra Glide Revival model include a solo saddle with a black-and-white cover and a chrome rail, mounted over an adjustable coil spring and shock absorber, also a nod to Harley-Davidson FL models from the 1960s and a functional feature that adds rider comfort. Chrome steel-laced wheels and wide whitewall tires add to the nostalgic look, as do brilliant chrome on front fender rails and saddlebag rails, front fender skirt, Ventilator air cleaner cover, fork covers, and auxiliary lights.

The Electra Glide Revival model is powered by a Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine which delivers inspiring performance and classic Harley-Davidson look-sound-feel.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection
  • Displacement: 114 cu in (1,868 cc)
  • Torque: 118 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm (claimed)
  • Four valve cylinder heads (two exhaust and two intake valves per head, eight total); increased airflow through the engine contributes to power output.
  • Dual spark plugs for more complete combustion of the air/fuel charge and maximized power and efficiency.
  • 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission reduces engine RPM at highway speeds to enhance fuel economy and rider comfort.

The Electra Glide Revival offers classic style, but its design and technology is absolutely modern. The foundation of the Electra Glide Revival model is the single-spar Harley-Davidson Touring frame with a rigid backbone design to sustain the weight of luggage and to support current engine power. The entire chassis is designed for the long haul. A single knob hydraulically adjusts the pre-load of emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers for optimal ride and control. The 49mm fork with dual bending valve suspension technology deliver linear damping characteristics for a smooth ride.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

The classic Bat Wing fairing features a tall clear windshield and a splitstream vent to help reduce rider head buffeting. Electronic cruise control holds a steady speed for comfort on long rides, while a halogen headlamp and incandescent auxiliary lamps provide outstanding illumination and maintain the nostalgic styling of the Revival model.

A Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with color touch screen powers two fairing-mount speakers and features advanced navigation and hand and voice commands (when paired with a compatible headset) plus Android Auto application and Apple CarPlay software compatibility.

2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival review Icons Collection

Also standard is the suite of Harley-Davidson RDRS Safety Enhancements, a collection of technology designed to match motorcycle performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration and braking, including:

  • Cornering Enhanced Anti-Lock Brake System (C-ABS)
  • Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking (C-ELB)
  • Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (C-TCS)
  • Drag-torque Slip Control System (DSCS)
  • Hill Hold Control (HHC)

For more information, visit h-d.com/icons.

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

H-D 2021 Global Digital Event on January 19

Jason Momoa Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
Actor Jason Momoa will help launch the new 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250.

For the first time in its 118-year history, the Motor Company will bring the world together for the debut of its model-year lineup. On January 19, 2021, H-D 21, Harley-Davidson’s first-ever virtual event will announce new 2021 motorcycles, parts and accessories, riding gear and apparel.

The event is open to anyone who registers H-D.com/21.

Participants will hear from Harley-Davidson leadership, product experts and enthusiasts who are leading and shaping the industry on all that’s coming to Harley-Davidson dealerships in 2021.

2021 Harley-Davidson XL1200NS Sportster Iron 1200
2021 Harley-Davidson XL1200NS Sportster Iron 1200

New Approach to Product Launches
The H-D 21 global virtual launch is part of the company’s streamlined and overhauled approach to bringing products to market. Earlier this year, Harley-Davidson it would streamline its planned product portfolio by 30%, shift its new model year debut to align with the start of the riding season and amp up marketing efforts to drive desirability and maximize impact in the market.

2021 Harley-Davidson Road King
2021 Harley-Davidson Road King

“We’re thrilled to bring the world together virtually to showcase the inspiration and passion behind our 2021 motorcycles, including a glimpse of our first adventure touring motorcycle, Pan America,” said VP Marketing Theo Keetell. “We look forward to sharing this moment with our customers and dealers from around the world.”

2021 Harley-Davidson FXLRS Low Rider S
2021 Harley-Davidson FXLRS Low Rider S

Adventurer Jason Momoa Shares his Passion
American actor, producer and motorcycle enthusiast Jason Momoa will play a key role in the H-D 21 event. Forever seeking new adventures, Momoa will share his thoughts on how Harley-Davidson’s upcoming Pan America motorcycle has expanded his passion for the brand and created new opportunities to explore endless horizons beyond paved roads.

“Harley-Davidson has unlocked opportunities for me to find adventure with amazing people, awe-inspiring places and expand my inspiration seen in the United We Will Ride content series,” said Momoa. “I was excited to collaborate with Harley-Davidson for a first look and chance to ride the Pan America 1250 motorcycle. It’s the perfect vehicle that combines my love of the outdoors, the unknown and Harley-Davidson. People are going to be completely stoked about this bike.”

Harley-Davidson Pan America Global Reveal February 22, 2021
Harley-Davidson’s all-new Pan America 1250 adventure touring motorcycle will be previewed during the H-D 21 virtual launch experience. Harley-Davidson will bring the world back together on February 22, 2021, to reveal the motorcycle’s full details in a separate digital event with the spotlight on the new Pan America.

Stay informed at H-D.com/PanAmerica.

The post H-D 2021 Global Digital Event on January 19 first appeared on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 | First Look Review

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Honda has announced the latest addition to its Rebel family, the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100. Available in manual transmission and DCT versions, the Rebel 1100 now takes the title as the biggest Rebel in Honda’s longstanding cruiser lineup. In fact, it’s the largest displacement Rebel that’s ever been produced. The Rebel 1100’s aggressive price-point is even more exciting — $9,299 for the manual transmission version and $9,999 for the DCT variant.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Powering the Rebel 1100 is a retuned version of the 1,084cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine found in Honda’s recently updated Africa Twin platform. Complete with a 270-degree crankshaft design, the 1084cc engine is expected to provide ample low-end torque and tractable power delivery, suitable for this cruiser application.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission, which is available as an option on other models such as the Gold Wing and Africa Twin, enables computer-controlled automatic shifting. However, riders can still retain control of shifting by using the “manual” transmission mode and perform gearshifts via handlebar-mounted switches. The conventional transmission Rebel 1100 is equipped with a slip and assist clutch.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

A full suite of electronic aids is standard on the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100, including four selectable riding modes: Standard, Sport, Rain and a customizable mode. Each mode alters the throttle map and power delivery. Four-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) is also featured, which incorporates traction control, wheelie control, engine braking and DCT settings. Cruise control is standard.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

The Rebel 1100 uses fairly typical cruiser chassis geometry with a lengthy 59.8-inch wheelbase, 28-degree rake and 4.3 inches of trail. Notably, the seat height is a low 27.5 inches, carrying on the Rebel line’s tradition of accessibility for riders of varying sizes. The maximum lean angle is cited as 35 degrees. The claimed wet weight is 487 pounds for the non-DCT version and 509 pounds when equipped.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Handling suspension duties is a conventional 43mm fork equipped with cartridge damping and 4.8 inches of travel, along with twin Showa shocks featuring piggyback reservoirs and 3.7 inches of travel. The fork also uses a titanium oxide finish for a blacked-out appearance.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

A single radially mounted monobloc 4-piston caliper and 330mm disc take care of braking in the front. In the rear, a single-piston and 256mm disc rounds out the braking components. ABS is standard.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Honda is also offering a plethora of accessories, ranging from simple cosmetic customization options to more focused touring components.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

Stylistically, the Rebel 1100 takes essential cues from the cruiser world with steel front and rear fenders, as well as a seamless 3.6-gallon fuel tank. Modern touches come in the form of LED lighting all-around and an LCD instrument panel, which displays a speedometer, tachometer, gear-position indicator, fuel gauge, riding modes and more. Two color choices are available, Metallic Black and Bordeaux Red Metallic.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

The 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 is scheduled to be available in dealers in January 2021. MSRP is set at $9,999 for the DCT model and $9,299 for the manual-transmission option.

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 Photo Gallery:

The post 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 BMW R 18 | First Look Review

2021 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.

It’s here, and for the most part it looks exactly how we hoped it would: like a classic BMW. The 2021 BMW R 18 “Big Boxer” cruiser has finally been unveiled in complete production form, with a look reminiscent of the R 5 model of the 1930s.

Powered by a massive 1,802cc OHV air/oil-cooled 4-valve opposed twin, the largest “boxer” engine BMW has ever produced for a motorcycle, that generates a claimed 91 horsepower at 4,750 rpm and 116 lb-ft of torque at 3,000, the new R 18 certainly seems to talk the talk, ready to go toe to toe with the established cruiser brands. It sports modern rider aids like partially integrated braking (the hand lever activates both front and rear brakes, the foot pedal only the rear) with ABS, a six-speed transmission with anti-hop (slipper) dry clutch, standard ASC (stability control) and MSR (engine drag torque control), and three ride modes: Rain, Roll (for regular riding) and Rock (for sportier riding). Hill Hold Control and Reverse Assist are optional.

2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
The 2021 R 18 with its styling inspiration, the classic R 5.

The R 18’s classic lines come courtesy of a double loop tubular steel frame with easily removable rear subframe for easy customization, a double-sided swingarm with exposed driveshaft on the right side, a telescopic 49mm fork with 4.7 inches of travel and a hidden, preload-adjustable cantilever rear shock with 3.5 inches of travel for a hardtail look. Three brake discs, two up front and one in the rear, are 300mm in diameter and are squeezed by 4-piston calipers.

Spoked wheels are 19 inches up front, 16 at the rear, and appear to be tube-type, although that is not specified in the information we’ve received. Lighting is all-LED, and the R 18 can be fitted with an optional Adaptive Headlight (lean-angle sensitive cornering lights). Keyless Ride is standard.

The 2021 R 18 will be available worldwide in a special First Edition model, which includes the signature black paint with white pin striping, chrome details, “First Edition” badging and more. A base model will also be available in the U.S. and other select markets. Pricing starts at $17,495 for the base model and $19,870 for the First Edition.

This is, after all, a cruiser, and so BMW will also be offering two customization packages from Roland Sands Design, the “Machined” and the “Two-Tone Black.” BMW will also offer an extensive list of customization parts and accessories so buyers can make their R 18 uniquely their own.

Keep scrolling for more photos….

2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
Exposed driveshaft on the right side of the double-sided swingarm.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
Mid-mount controls are behind the huge cylinders. We’re not sure how forward controls would work on this design, but we do know that floorboards are a BMW option.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
Classic round display includes a gear indicator. “Berlin built” refers to the fact that this model is built in BMW’s Berlin-Spandau factory.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
LED headlight includes an optional Adaptive Headlight (cornering lights).
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 base model.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Big Boxer
2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special vs. Indian Challenger Limited | Comparison Test Review

Road Glide vs Challenger
This comparo is a fixed-fairing fistfight between an icon — Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide Special — and an upstart — Indian’s all-new Challenger Limited. These are premium V-twin touring cruisers that deliver big-time torque, style and functionality. We put them to the test to find out which is the better bagger. Photos by Kevin Wing.

V-twin baggers are as American as baseball and apple pie. Big, stylish and built for our wide-open highways, they embody the self-expression and freedom that make motorcycles objects of obsession rather than just vehicles. America’s two major bagger manufacturers — Harley-Davidson and  Indian — are well-known brands from coast to coast, even among folks who’ve never ridden one, and their histories and rivalries stretch back more than a century. Being so steeped in tradition, Harley and Indian take great pains to satisfy their base, building motorcycles that conform to the expectations of loyal cruiser riders.

Read our First Look Review of the 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard here.

Modern baggers must strike a delicate balance. On the outside they need to look a certain way — a big V-twin front and center, a long, low profile and muscular styling with bodywork covered in rich paint. But on the inside they need to meet increasingly stringent emissions, sound and safety standards, provide modern levels of comfort and reliability and deliver an engaging riding experience in terms of performance, technology and features.

Road Glide vs Challenger
Both of these American-made baggers carry the nameplates of legendary brands, and are similar in many ways. But there are key differences between them—the Indian (left) is powered by a liquid-cooled, SOHC V-twin and has a modular cast aluminum frame, while the Harley-Davidson has an air-cooled, OHV V-twin and a tubular-steel double-cradle frame.

These two 2020 baggers, Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide Special and Indian’s Challenger Limited, strike that balance remarkably well. Being the latest incarnation of a model family that’s been in Harley’s lineup for 40 years — starting with the 1980 FLT, then known as the Tour Glide — the Road Glide is the seasoned veteran in this comparison, and its signature feature is a frame-mounted sharknose fairing with dual headlights. Powering the Road Glide Special is the air-cooled, 114ci (1,868cc) version of Harley’s Milwaukee-Eight 45-degree V-twin with pushrod-actuated overhead valves. The Challenger is Indian’s newest model platform and the first to be powered by the PowerPlus 108 (1,768cc), a liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin with valves actuated by single overhead cams. Like the Road Glide, the Challenger has a frame-mounted fairing, a first for Indian.

Check out our 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles here.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
Compared to motorcycles with handlebar-mounted fairings, those with frame-mounted fairings like the Road Glide and Challenger have lighter steering.

As head-to-head competitors, the Road Glide Special and Challenger Limited are similar in many ways. Their fixed fairings have bright LED headlights and large vents that bring fresh air into the cockpit, and both have long floorboards and protective highway bars. Their rumbling V-twins have hydraulic valve adjusters, throttle-by-wire and rear-cylinder deactivation, and both send power to their rear wheels through 6-speed transmissions with assist clutches and belt final drive. Both have cruise control, electronic rider aids (cornering ABS, cornering traction control and drag torque slip control — standard on the Indian, optional on the Harley), keyless ignition and touchscreen infotainment systems with audio, navigation, Bluetooth and USB ports. They have low seat heights, 6-gallon fuel tanks, cast wheels with tire pressure monitoring, top-loading lockable saddlebags and a pair of non-locking fairing pockets. Even their as-tested prices are separated by just $45 and their curb weights differ by a single pound—the Road Glide Special costs $28,794 and weighs 847 pounds; the Challenger Limited costs $28,749 and weighs 848 pounds.

Indian Challenger Limited
With about 31 degrees of cornering clearance on each side, both baggers can be leaned over quite a ways before their floorboards start to drag.

Despite so many similarities, these bikes are anything but clones. Specs and features are one thing, style and personality are quite another. With nearly every component bathed in black, a tinted shorty windscreen, minimal badging and foregoing traditional metal flake and gloss in favor of matte Barracuda Silver Denim paint, the Road Glide Special is dark and brooding. (The FLTRXS is available in five other colors, all with gloss finishes.) The Challenger Limited, on the other hand, grabs your attention with Ruby Metallic paint, plenty of chrome and multiple Indian logos visible from every angle. (It’s also available in two other gloss colors, while the Challenger Dark Horse comes in three matte colors.)

More differences between the Harley and Indian emerged after logging hundreds of miles in their saddles. Cruisers are tuned for low-end torque, helping heavy bikes — especially those loaded two-up with full saddlebags — pull away quickly from stops and make brisk passes. These baggers deliver ample torque, sending more than 100 lb-ft to the rear wheel, but they go about it in different ways. The Road Glide has great engine feel, with crisp throttle response, right-now thrust and a deeply satisfying V-twin pulse. The impressive refinement that went into the Milwaukee-Eight V-twin — more power and torque, less heat, less vibration at idle and smoother operation — is why we selected the entire M8-equipped Touring family as our 2017 Motorcycle of the Year. On Jett Tuning’s dyno, the Harley generated smooth power curves with nary a dip or blip, torque rising to 104.5 lb-ft at 2,900 rpm and dropping off thereafter while horsepower increases linearly to 78.5 at 4,800 rpm. Due to its low rev ceiling (5,100 rpm) and narrow torque spread, short shifting the Harley helps it stay in its meaty midrange. 

With its liquid cooling, oversquare bore/stroke and SOHC valve layout, Indian’s PowerPlus generates more output with less displacement and revs higher than the M8. Starting at 2,400 rpm, the Indian’s advantage over the Harley increases steadily, the gap widening to 28 lb-ft of torque and 27 horsepower by the time the Harley’s rev limiter kicks in. The Indian keeps going, hitting a peak of 108 horsepower at 5,600 rpm before finally signing off at 6,300 rpm. With a broader spread of torque — more than 100 lb-ft are on tap from 2,400-5,600 rpm, reaching 113.3 lb-ft at 3,300 rpm — and much higher peak power than the Harley, the Indian likes to be revved. The Challenger has three ride modes that adjust throttle response, with Standard mode being fairly soft (Rain mode is even softer) and Sport mode delivering the goods immediately without abruptness.

Road Glide vs Challenger Dyno
Road Glide vs Challenger Dyno

These heavy machines can be a handful when pushing them around the garage or negotiating parking lots, but they feel well balanced and easy to maneuver at speed. With much of their weight carried low they roll in and out of curves gracefully, and their generous torque propels them out of corners with authority. About 31 degrees of cornering clearance on either side means they can be heeled way over before anything starts to scrape, especially with some extra preload dialed into the rear suspension. Despite having “race-spec” radial-mount Brembo calipers up front, the Indian’s front brake lever feels vague and requires a firm pull to generate full stopping power. In contrast, the Harley’s front brakes have the perfect amount of initial bite and better response at the lever.

If you’re ready to lay down some serious miles, these baggers have nearly everything you need (except heated grips — a curious omission for premium models costing nearly $29,000). But they’re not created equal when it comes to touring comfort. With a lower laden seat height (25.9 inches vs. 26.5 inches on the Indian), you sit deeper in the Harley’s cockpit, with hips rolled back in the dished seat. Because the seat is U-shaped front to back and has a slick finish, it’s difficult to sit farther back; hit one bump and you slide back down.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
The Harley has an upright riding position with a comfortable reach to the handlebar. The seat locks the rider into place, and those with long legs will ride with their knees above their hips.

Greg’s Gear
Helmet: HJC RPHA 90
Jacket: Aether Divide
Pants: Aether Divide
Boots: Sidi Gavia

And bumps can be a problem on the Harley. Most of the time the Road Glide Special provides a comfortable, compliant ride, but its rear shock, which is firmly damped and allows only 2.1 inches of travel, responds harshly to pavement ripples, cracks and seams. Big bumps and potholes send shock waves right up the spine and can bounce a rider out of the seat. Also, the Harley’s fairing sits much farther forward (it’s a long reach to the infotainment screen), its windscreen offers no adjustment and the two large vents flanking the headlights cannot be closed so a high volume of air always flows into the cockpit. This comparison took place in December, and testers always felt colder and more buffeted by the wind on the Harley than on the Indian.

The Challenger Limited provides a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience. Its seat is flatter and has more grip and support, its long tank is narrower between the knees and its fairing provides more wind protection. The Indian’s fairing is closer to the rider and its windscreen is electrically adjustable over a 3-inch range — raising the screen all the way up and closing the fairing vents creates a calm, quiet space for the rider. With 5.1 inches of suspension travel in the front and 4.5 inches in the rear — 0.5 inch and 2.4 inches more than the Harley, respectively — and more compliant damping, the Indian is much better at insulating the rider and passenger from rough roads. Even at a sporting pace with riders well over 200 pounds in the saddle, the Indian never bottomed out nor reacted harshly.

Indian Challenger Limited
The Challenger’s fairing is closer to the rider and has an electric windscreen. Its seat also locks the rider in place but is flatter, more supportive and has a taller rear bolster.

Ken’s Gear
Helmet: Shoei RF-1200
Jacket: Tourmaster Transition
Pants: Aerostich Darien
Boots: TCX Evo

The Road Glide Special was clearly Indian’s benchmark for the Challenger Limited. At the press launch last October, Indian provided a side-by-side comparison of their performance and features as well as a Road Glide Special for us to ride. With Indian’s sales being about one-tenth of Harley’s, one way to improve its market share is to offer more bang for the buck on competing models. Indian has done so in terms of performance with an all-new, liquid-cooled engine that makes more power and torque and offers the flexibility of throttle-response modes. It has done so in terms of convenience with a more modern and user-friendly infotainment system with higher audio output (100W vs. 50W on the Harley) as well as extra features like central saddlebag locks and a keyless locking fuel cap. And it has done so in terms of comfort with a more supportive seat, better wind protection and superior ride quality, all in a package that costs and weighs nearly the same.

Healthy competition is good for the industry and good for riders because it provides us with better motorcycles. Since the launch of Project Rushmore for 2014, Harley-Davidson has continuously raised the bar with improvements to its engines, chassis, comfort, convenience and other features. The 2014 model year also happens to be when Indian launched its all-new Thunder Stroke V-twin and Chief lineup, reigniting an old rivalry and spurring a feverish pace of innovation from both companies. The 2020 Road Glide Special is better than ever, but the Challenger Limited surpasses it.

Road Glide vs Challenger
The Harley-Davidson vs. Indian wars are alive and well, and both make gorgeous motorcycles that are desired the world over. Brand preference is the lens through which many will view these bikes, but the Indian wins this battle.

Keep scrolling for more detailed photos after the spec charts….

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Specs

Base Price: $27,299
Price as Tested: $28,794 (RDRS, color)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: harley-davidson.com

Engine

Type: Air-cooled, transverse 45-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,868cc (114ci)
Bore x Stroke: 102.0 x 114.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Valve Train: OHV, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: NA (self-adjusting)
Fuel Delivery: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
Lubrication System: Dry sump, 5.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: Belt

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 625 watts max.
Battery: 12V 28AH

Chassis

Frame: Tubular-steel double cradle w/ two-piece backbone & steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 64.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/6.8 in.
Seat Height: 25.9 in. (laden)
Suspension, Front: 49mm stanchions, no adj., 4.6-in. travel
Rear: Dual shocks, adj. preload w/ remote knob, 2.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston calipers, fully linked & ABS
Rear: Single 300mm fixed disc w/ opposed 4-piston caliper, fully linked & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 18 in.
Tires, Front: 130/60-B19
Rear: 180/55-B18
Wet Weight: 847 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 513 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 1,360 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 39.3/40.4/42.3
Estimated Range: 242 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,200

2020 Indian Challenger Limited Specs

Base Price: $27,999
Price as Tested: $28,749 (color)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Website: indianmotorcycle.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin
Displacement: 1,768cc (108ci)
Bore x Stroke: 108.0 x 96.5mm
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: NA (self-adjusting)
Fuel Delivery: EFI, 52mm dual bore throttle body x 2
Lubrication System: Semi-wet sump, 5-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet assist clutch
Final Drive: Belt

Electrical

Ignition: Electronic
Charging Output: 803 watts max.
Battery: 12V 18AH

Chassis

Frame: Modular cast aluminum w/ engine as stressed member & cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/5.9 in.
Seat Height: 26.5 in. (laden)
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, no adj., 5.1-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, remote adj. for spring preload, 4.5-in. travel 
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm floating discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 298mm floating disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 16 in. 
Tires, Front: 130/60-B19
Rear: 180/60-R16
Wet Weight: 848 lbs.
Load Capacity: 537 lbs.
GVWR: 1,385 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 37.7/38.1/38.6
Estimated Range: 228 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 2,500

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
Harley’s optional Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) include cornering ABS, cornering traction control and drag torque control.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
An American classic, finished in black.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
The Harley’s Boom! Box 6.5GT touchscreen infotainment system includes audio and GPS.
Indian Challenger Limited
Smart Lean Technology (cornering ABS and TC and drag torque control) is standard on the Challenger Limited.
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian’s all-new PowerPlus 108 belts out serious horsepower and torque.
Indian Challenger Limited
Indian’s Ride Command is a comprehensive, customizable infotainment system.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Indian Scout Bobber Scout Sixty | First Look Review

2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty ABS in Thunder Black Smoke.
2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty ABS in Thunder Black Smoke. Images courtesy of Indian Motorcycle.

After announcing two new Scouts in its 2020 lineup back in September, Indian Motorcycle has dropped yet another new model, the 2020 Scout Bobber Sixty. Powered by the same 78 horsepower, 999cc, liquid cooled twin as that used in the Scout Sixty, but with the Scout Bobber’s stripped-down, blacked-out stying, the new Scout Bobber Sixty is a claimed 24 pounds lighter than the regular Scout Bobber and is priced starting at just $8,999.

Read our Comparison Test Review of the Indian Scout Bobber, Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber and Triumph Bonneville Bobber here.

The Scout Bobber Sixty maintains the stripped-down styling of the Scout Bobber, including chopped fenders and a confident riding position, while adding several cues that give the model a look of its own. 

2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty ABS in Thunder Black
2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty ABS in Thunder Black.

It features a blacked-out engine, a modern tank badge, perch mount mirrors, a stripped down headlight, an all-black seat and all new five-spoke all black wheels. Riders looking to customize their Scout Bobber Sixty can do so by selecting from more than 140 authentic Indian Motorcycle accessories.

Read our Tour Test Review of the 2019 Indian Scout here.

The 2020 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty is available in glossy Thunder Black and matte Thunder Black Smoke, in both ABS and non-ABS versions, starting at $8,999.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard | First Look Review

2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard
2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

Earlier this month Harley-Davidson announced two mid-year additions to its 2020 lineup — the CVO Road Glide and Fat Boy 30th Anniversary. Now they’ll be joined by a third new model, the Softail Standard.

Like the stripped-down Electra Glide Standard introduced for 2019, the Softail Standard was designed to deliver an essential, no-frills cruiser experience. With a lean bobber profile, a Softail chassis and a Milwaukee-Eight V-twin, the Softail Standard is a back-to-basics Big Twin.

2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard
2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

Offered only in Vivid Black, it has a solo seat that exposes
the chopped rear fender and a smooth, 3.5-gallon fuel tank that shows off the
frame and engine. The all-black Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin engine is
highlighted with polished rocker, primary and timer covers and a center-bolt,
round air cleaner. With chrome shields and mufflers, the 2-into-2 offset
shotgun exhaust enhances the Softail Standard’s long, low profile.

Classic laced wheels (19-inch front, 16-inch rear) with
steel rims are finished in brilliant chrome, and the front end features
clear-coated fork sliders, polished triple-clamps, polished top clamp and
riser, and chromed headlamp bezel and turn signals. A mini-ape handlebar adds a
touch of attitude.

2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard
2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

With the look of a classic hardtail frame, the Softail swingarm is stout for dynamic handling and the rear coil-over shock is hidden under the seat. Removing the seat allows access to the shock for easy preload adjustments. The Softail Standard has a Showa dual bending valve fork, front and rear disc brakes, and standard ABS.

Check out Rider‘s 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

Priced at $13,599, the 2020 Softail Standard is affordable and provides a solid foundation for customization. Harley-Davidson has created four Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories packages for the Softail Standard model, and they’re offered at a discounted price when ordered as a package (price does not include labor for installation by an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer):

Day Tripper Custom Package ($1,409.95): Combine classic bobber style with next-level versatility by adding a pillion and a 21-inch detachable sissy bar with pad so a passenger can come along for the ride. This package also includes passenger footpegs and mounts, forward foot controls, and a black leather Single-Sided Swingarm Bag designed to hold essentials.

Coastal Custom Package ($1,599.95): Capture the elements of the performance-oriented, West Coast style. Components include a Softail Quarter Fairing, black anodized aluminum Moto Bar handlebar and matching 5.5-inch tall riser, a Bevel two-up seat and passenger footpegs, and BMX-style foot pegs from the rugged 80GRIT Collection.

Touring Custom Package ($1,699.95): This package outfits the Softail Standard model for the long haul, with a comfortable Sundowner two-up seat and passenger footpegs, a 14-inch-high light smoke quick-release windshield, classic black Detachables saddlebags, and a 14.5-inch detachable sissy bar and backrest pad.

Performance Custom Package ($1,299.95): Amplify throttle response and mid-range acceleration with a Screamin’ Eagle Stage II Torque kit for the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine and a Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner to dial it in. Complete the package with a free-flowing Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather Performance Air Cleaner and Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon mufflers for a deep-bass exhaust note. It’s a 50-state street legal, factory-engineered performance upgrade that retains the original equipment factory warranty when installed by an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special with Eagle Eye Custom Paint

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special Eagle Eye Paint
2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special with the Eagle Eye Special Edition Paint Option

The new Eagle Eye Special Edition Paint Option is a custom
paint scheme only available as installed at the Harley-Davidson factory on the
Road Glide Special model.

New Harley-Davidson Models for 2020

Factory installation offers the customer an attainable
custom paint option that eliminates the need to either re-paint the original
components or install an accessory paint set that leaves take-off painted parts
on the shop floor. The Eagle Eye Special Edition Paint Option finish meets
demanding Harley-Davidson standards for quality and durability, and is backed
by the Harley-Davidson limited warranty.

Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Join 2020 Lineup

The Eagle Eye paint option is executed on a brilliant yellow
base color with a glossy clear coat finish. A design highlight is a black eagle
graphic with spread wings that flows from the right side of the fuel tank to
the right side of the fairing. A simple Bar & Shield logo is on the left
side of the tank. Harley-Davidson script is aligned on the outside edge of each
saddlebag lid, and the saddlebag latches are color-matched. The special edition
paint is applied to the fairing, fuel tank, front and rear fenders, saddlebags and
sidecovers.

Check out Rider’s 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

MSRP for the 2020 Road Glide Special with the Eagle Eye Special Edition Paint Option is $29,294, a $1,495 premium over the base price with a standard solid color.

Source: RiderMagazine.com