Excellent Review.. Love all of thescenic pictures (this is why I like MOs photos the best Fonz) commentary. I really feel like I know a lot more about these bikes now. That said if I went to the dark side and started riding cruisers the Harley meets my bling bling requirements. i.e I would be into the looks and the cool HD thing. I have toyed with buying my wife an 883 for Christmas or her birthday. Should would look very nice in black leather and boots on a Sportster. Contrary to Sean's derogatory comments, my wife is a pretty blond, green-eyed Irish tempered firecracker. I prefer the Victory bikes looks overall but I do like the V-Rod. I could see my wife and I on his and her V-Rods. I would rather have his and her sportbikes but she isn't an adrenaline junkie like me.
Screw the Speedmaster. Put a T100 in the mix and it would stomp them all. You can't tell me with a straight face that there is a world of difference between the Bonni and the 883. They were DIRECT competitors for decades. H*ll, just put a Bonni Black into the shootout. It's only $7K. Comes with a 2 yr warranty and holds resale value better than any of the bunch here and has a better powerband.
Not my cup of tea to be sure. You are right IMO, an 883 Sporty, but with the 1200 kit, is the only way to go if one wants a Sporty. I had one many moons ago and it had its charms (when it ran - it was an iron head) but there are so many better motorcycles out there...
I have to hand it to you guys. You make a review of boring (to me) bikes interesting and entertaining.
WOW!! This classification thing is getting real confusing. let's see---we got power cruisers,heavyweight cruisers,middleweight cruisers,light middleweight cruisers and (I presume) lightweight cruisers. Then we got standards...when does a standard become a cruiser? Is an HDXl883R a standard but an XL883 C a cruiser.? Is a Triumph Bonneville a cruiser but a Thruxton a standard? How bout the Triumph Scrambler?? We need a handbook!!
Seriously though,interesting read. A nice followup may be an XL1200(or maybe 883)R against one of the Triumph cruiser/standards.
Also,I know its not within the scope of a shootout,but one advantage of a Sporty(especially the R models) is how easy it is to hop up in your own garage. You can buy an 883R as a starter bike and after you are used to it,upgrade the suspension very easily. Then if you are ready for more power, make it a 1200 and upgrade carb and pipes. Of course,you can just trade in your japanese cruiser for a bigger one when you're ready,but its more fun to hot rod the Sporty(at least to me) plus you keep the lightweight as opposed to a bigger Japanese bike.
lately ive been looking at bikes to replace my old zuki Savage that is too small, too slow and too old (however great to learn on). The M50 has always stood out to me since it was introduced two years ago as a great looking bike for the money.
I'm not sure why, but lately I have been thinking about getting more of a standard style bike. The Bonnie black is beautiful IMO, but I think its a little overpriced. For $7K I could buy a 2006 Kawi Z750S which has 2x the power of the bikes in this test, and a fairing to boot. Too many choices.
Now that we have the middleweights out of the way...let's get to comparing the heavyweights everyone wants to see like the Triumph Rocket, Vulcan 2000, Yamaha Roadliner, H-D V-Rod, Victory Hammer or Vegas and INCLUDING the SUZUKI M109R!