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Original Article:
2011 Bagger Cruiser Shootout

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2011 Bagger Cruiser Shootout in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Been saying this for awhile but Harley better take notice rebadgeing the same old thing with a few new bits...is killing them. Having out dated suspensions on bikes that cost that much is just asking for fail...Harley wake up and smell the coffee There is this new tool called the internet that people use to make informed judgments with before they buy something these days.
 

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Lemme get this straight. After installing big bucks PowerPak the Harley is still dead last with a big margin both in power and torq?

How the f*** is it possible to produce only 65 rwhp with a power pack? Even my lazy cow 2002 Fat Boy has dynoed 64 rwhp. How in the God's name is this possible? Are these worthless nitwits going to employ some engineers at some point? Is the company's so called management still focussing into "maximising the use of the brand value" i.e. sunglasses?

Screw me with a stick. I thought my weekend was on a bad start when my -90 diesel Merc blew the head gasket but no, its getting worse.

- cruiz-euro
 

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Lemme get this straight. After installing big bucks PowerPak the Harley is still dead last with a big margin both in power and torq?

How the f*** is it possible to produce only 65 rwhp with a power pack? Even my lazy cow 2002 Fat Boy has dynoed 64 rwhp. How in the God's name is this possible? Are these worthless nitwits going to employ some engineers at some point? Is the company's so called management still focussing into "maximising the use of the brand value" i.e. sunglasses?

Screw me with a stick. I thought my weekend was on a bad start when my -90 diesel Merc blew the head gasket but no, its getting worse.

- cruiz-euro
You should feel happy! Your bike has as many horses as a Screamin' Eagle TC103!
 

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Desire

Doesn't anyone else want a less than 500 lb bike with 150 HP and the torque that goes with it,brembo brakes, ABS,trellis frame,Ohlins suspension,single sided swingarm in red?I guess not.How about adding shaft drive? I still like these baggers for some twisted reason even if they aren't all of the above.
 

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Doesn't anyone else want a less than 500 lb bike with 150 HP and the torque that goes with it,brembo brakes, ABS,trellis frame,Ohlins suspension,single sided swingarm in red?I guess not.How about adding shaft drive? I still like these baggers for some twisted reason even if they aren't all of the above.
Wait until the batwing and bags are fitted to the Diavel. That would put some woo in the hoo!
 

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I bet every manufacturer in the comparo was saying the exact same thing...

"We've got this one in the 'bag', baby!"

Get it? "... in the bag"? ;)
 

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Gimme a Vic with that Star engine and I'd be a happy man. Frankenbike indeed.

For me, it is all about the engine, so the Star is the most attractive. I am willing to put up with the other shortcomings to have that motor. The Star pulls at the heart, the Vic pulls on my rational side.

Bah. Who am I kidding. The brain rules and the Vic is most likely to find itself in my garage someday.

Harley and it's 65 hp. Now that is just plain pathetic. An SV650 makes more than that! Built DRZ400 dirt bikes make about that LOL...
 

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The only bike that works worth a damn in the Yamaha. The Harley looks like it's made from pladough, and the Victory's ugly, period.

But they all don't hold a cancle to my Honda Chair...hic....
 

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My 0.02: This shootout turned out to be very interesting, with each bike offering its own distinctive merits and demerits. If I were to take the best from each, I’d combine the Stratoliner’s burly powertrain and swoopy styling with the Street Glide’s ergos and maneuverability. Then I’d incorporate the Cross Country’s comprehensive instruments, capacious saddlebags and versatile suspension to create my ideal bagger.
 

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Gimme a Vic with that Star engine and I'd be a happy man. Frankenbike indeed.

For me, it is all about the engine, so the Star is the most attractive. I am willing to put up with the other shortcomings to have that motor. The Star pulls at the heart, the Vic pulls on my rational side.

Bah. Who am I kidding. The brain rules and the Vic is most likely to find itself in my garage someday.
My 0.02: This shootout turned out to be very interesting, with each bike offering its own distinctive merits and demerits. If I were to take the best from each, I'd combine the Stratoliner's burly powertrain and swoopy styling with the Street Glide's ergos and maneuverability. Then I'd incorporate the Cross Country's comprehensive instruments, capacious saddlebags and versatile suspension to create my ideal bagger.
 

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Two inches of rear suspension travel!?!?!?! I know Harley buyers love low seat heights, but come on! No one wants the compressed spine feeling after a day's (or several) ride.
I guess all their engineers were focused on finally buying brakes that worked. How many years ago was it that BMW introduced ABS? (1988)
 

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My 0.02: This shootout turned out to be very interesting, with each bike offering its own distinctive merits and demerits. If I were to take the best from each, I'd combine the Stratoliner's burly powertrain and swoopy styling with the Street Glide's ergos and maneuverability. Then I'd incorporate the Cross Country's comprehensive instruments, capacious saddlebags and versatile suspension to create my ideal bagger.
And if we can get Erik to build it with a Rotax motor we will be singing in the streets of Costa Rica smoking Cuban cigars.
 

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Bagger Cruiser Shoot Out - Misses on SomeThings

I like reading comparisons, but some important things were missing or maybe even intentionally omitted. First of all forget horsepower on baggers…the real number to compare is torque. Empirical numbers (especially horsepower) are not nearly as important as the practical use of torque….roll-ons, quarter mile, engine character, etc.
It sounds like the new H-D frame and rubber-mounted engine is the most comfortable for handling, slow speed maneuvers and long term rides. I was sold on these things vs HP or TQ.
Regarding the comments about MP3 being the new standard, check Apples Stock….the iPod is the new standard and the H-Ds deck with auxiliary input allows the use of the CDs for us old guys and both MP3 players and iPods. Seems to me, the most practical multi use stereo option is H-Ds deck. And as for the "adds weight" comment, there needs to be an amp to drive speakers whether there was a CD player or not. So the point is moot.
As for the fit of riders 5'8" or taller or shorter…..it seems the wealth of seat design options for an H-D make it the most customizable for fit and functionality for ANY rider. Besides, I'd rather have a seat designed for long term comfort than worry about the feel of the wider seat at a stand still (I too am under 6 feet). Also, with regards to the SG, the bike was designed to be a sporty tourer….a bike that has the benefit of looking cool. If you want or need passenger comfort….see "wealth of seat design options". Besides, (and I quote from the article re the rigid mounted engines "buzz from the Strat makes its way to the rider…..but not to the extent the Cross Country tingles"), I would rather not experience the hand and foot numbing experiences of dated, rigid mounted engines of days past vs a small investment in a seat that suits me and my passenger.
Lastly, and regarding cost….have you ever tried to sell a used Victory or Star on the "previously owned" market?? I haven't, but my friends have and they had to give-them-away. I would rather pay a small premium to be able to ride a brand that can actually give some kind of re-sale value. And that's my final point…..I'd buy a Harley-Davidson because it will provide a great riding experience (based on your articles comments) and great value.
 

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I like reading comparisons, but some important things were missing or maybe even intentionally omitted. First of all forget horsepower on baggers…the real number to compare is torque. Empirical numbers (especially horsepower) are not nearly as important as the practical use of torque….roll-ons, quarter mile, engine character, etc.
Torque indeed rules the cruiser roost, so you should be able to admit the SG comes up way short. It barely tops 80, and only briefly, while the Star is well above 100 over the vast majority of its powerband. The TC103 is a sweet motor, aided by relatively low gearing, but it is easily the least powerful, whether in terms of hp or tq.

Regarding the comments about MP3 being the new standard, check Apples Stock….the iPod is the new standard and the H-Ds deck with auxiliary input allows the use of the CDs for us old guys and both MP3 players and iPods. Seems to me, the most practical multi use stereo option is H-Ds deck. And as for the "adds weight" comment, there needs to be an amp to drive speakers whether there was a CD player or not. So the point is moot.
Not quite moot, IMO. Just so we're on the same page, an iPod plays MP3 files. So, yes, MP3 is the new standard. And, indeed, a CD player adds weight, and their big vibe-reducing size consumes luggage room.

As for the fit of riders 5'8" or taller or shorter…..it seems the wealth of seat design options for an H-D make it the most customizable for fit and functionality for ANY rider. Besides, I'd rather have a seat designed for long term comfort than worry about the feel of the wider seat at a stand still (I too am under 6 feet). Also, with regards to the SG, the bike was designed to be a sporty tourer….a bike that has the benefit of looking cool. If you want or need passenger comfort….see "wealth of seat design options".
Yes, if you're looking for custom seats, the Harley has huge aftermarket support unmatched by any other brand. Or you could just be happy with the seats of the Vic or Star.

Besides, (and I quote from the article re the rigid mounted engines "buzz from the Strat makes its way to the rider…..but not to the extent the Cross Country tingles"), I would rather not experience the hand and foot numbing experiences of dated, rigid mounted engines of days past vs a small investment in a seat that suits me and my passenger.
Yeah, not many would want one of those counterbalanced V-Twins. Well, except the ones in the millions of H-D Softails around the world... those are great!

Lastly, and regarding cost….have you ever tried to sell a used Victory or Star on the "previously owned" market?? I haven't, but my friends have and they had to give-them-away. I would rather pay a small premium to be able to ride a brand that can actually give some kind of re-sale value. And that's my final point…..I'd buy a Harley-Davidson because it will provide a great riding experience (based on your articles comments) and great value.
Well, check out KBB and you'll find late-model Vics and high-end Stars hold their value quite well. Still not as good as Harleys, but not exactly giveaways.

Anyway, I hope I wasn't too confrontational with my reply. It's just that we put a lot of work into our words, so I can get a little defensive. Hope you at least got a few things good out of this one! Your Harley is surely a great bike, but don't be afraid to take its rivals out for a test ride.
 

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Nice first post, DaveJohnson. Clear, coherent, logical, structured.

Do you like to watch Gladiator movies?
 
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