The 2013 Motorcycle Cruiser Buyer’s Guide
From the February, 2013 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser
Already? Seems like we were just basking in the glow of a balmy Indian summer and a great late riding season, and now, zing... the holidays are upon us. I’m reminded by the loud thunk of our annual Buyer’s Guide in my inbox—it’s a hefty chunk of a project that somehow manages to shove its way into every part of a magazine guy’s day. It’s all good though, because if nothing else, it serves as a barometer of the industry’s health. The 2013 edition of the Motorcycle Cruiser Buyer’s Guide doesn’t quite break the 100-model listing mark, but it comes pretty close and if you ask me, that’s a good reflection on the current state of the motorcycle market.
Some recent data I’ve seen backs that up; Harley stated in its First Quarter 2012 Earnings report that sales of new bikes worldwide for Q1 were up over 20 percent compared to the same period last year, and Victory touted numbers closer to a jump of 40 percent for their 2012 Quarter 1. Impressive stuff.
But while most indications are that the industry’s slide bottomed out last year, many cruiser manufacturers are playing it safe, stocking lineups mostly with carryover models and meting out just a few new bike debuts. Harley’s sole new model is the CVO Softail Breakout; understandably, the Motor Company seems to be more focused on its big 110th Anniversary in 2013. Victory added several early-releases for 2013, the Judge and the Boardwalk, along with the usual complement of Ness Series bikes. Star is making hay about its newest model, the V Star 1300 Deluxe, which looks to find a slot in the middleweight bagger niche. Meanwhile, Moto Guzzi announced a big California 1400 cruiser several months back, but we haven’t heard a peep from them since. Indian Motorcycle has also gone through the motions for 2013 with the Vintage Limited Edition, a blinged-up Chief that’ll fill the slot while new Polaris-designed models are being prepped for next year.
Other manufacturers have chosen to make do, which in some cases means bringing back previously omitted models. Suzuki has done just that with the C50—the base model that missed 2012 so the tarted-up C50T Classic could appear (it isn’t in the lineup for 2013). Suzuki has also brought back the middle-heavyweight M90 power cruiser, missing for a couple of years now.
Newcomers to the Guide this year include Russian sidecar maker Ural, which, like Royal Enfield, is making remarkable inroads into the U.S. market by trading on ages-old technology. We feature its two-wheel Solo model here.
Otherwise, the Guide’s structure is the same-old same-old, with manufacturers listed alphabetically and models following in order of price. Our listing contains companies that design proprietary motors, and we mention whether there was a price increase or decrease to carryover models. There’s also a big Specifications chart at the end with data for each model, as well as contact info for the manufacturers. So kick back and settle in with our annual guide to the cruiser world. It’s gonna be a good year.
DUCATI Diavel /Dark /Carbon
If the Diavel is indeed a cruiser, it wouldn’t be the first to be badged as such by Bologna (the 650cc Indiana debuted in 1986). But the Diavel is far more evolved, sporting ABS, Traction Control, and a retuned version of the 1198cc Testastretta mill that pumps out a claimed 162 hp—all this while rocking a 30.3 inch seat height, and weighing less than a Sportster. The devilish machine comes in several packages: The Dark is blacked-out, the Cromo adds shiny stuff, and the Carbon brings textured carbon weave componentry.
Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide
For all you dedicated—and well-heeled—long-distance fans, the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide represents the finest expression of the Electra Glide ethos. This one ticks all the boxes, starting with a Twin Cam 110 Screamin’ Eagle powertrain in a Touring platform, plus voluminous storage space. Then add the bling: a zumo 660 GPS, dual-control heated seat, Harmon/Kardon Advanced Audio System with BOOM Bagger speakers plus Sirius/XM radio and 8-gig iPod nano, ABS, and lots more. For 2013 there are four exclusive paint schemes, including a 110th Anniversary edition in Diamond/Dust/Obsidian with Palladium graphics.
Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Custom
The new year will see a heavily revised CVO Road Glide Custom. Leading the way on the shark-nose fairing is Harley’s Daymaker LED headlight; the Custom is the first production Harley with it. For road tunes, the Harmon/Kardon Advanced Audio System gets a second 200-watt amplifier, an extra pair of speakers (for a total of six) and an iPod nano in the right-side saddlebag. And the brawny, rowdy, 110-cubic-inch Twin Cam 110 now features a slipper clutch. Also new are three fresh paint schemes, including a 110th Anniversary model.
Harley-Davidson CVO Road King
Take almost everything lust-worthy about the Road King, crank it up to 11, and you get the CVO Road King, the newest, coolest ’King on the block. Want more power? The CVO-standard Twin Cam 110 V-twin now comes with a slipper clutch. Road tunes? This is the first ’King with a factory-installed audio system, boasting four speaks, a 200-watt amplifier and an 8-gig iPod nano. More comfort? Experience the detachable Vented Wind Splitter screen with adjustable vane to direct airflow, plus a new solo touring saddle with removable passenger pad and backrest. In three new color options, including a 110th Anniversary edition.
Harley-Davidson CVO Breakout
Harley says its new-for-2013 CVO Breakout is “muscle in motion,” and you wouldn’t want to argue with anything this bad-ass. H-D started with a basic Softail chassis, then added a Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B (with a slipper clutch), bolted on a wide, raked-out fork with a 21-inch front wheel, chopped the fenders, then went hog wild on the finishes. There’s a choice of three: Black Diamond and Molten Silver with Crushed Slate, Hard Candy Gold Dust and Liquid Sun with Pagan Gold, and Crimson Red Sunglo and Scarlet Lace with Hammered Sterling. All three require extensive hand work, making each bike unique.
Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited
Life’s full of tough choices, and if the Ultra Classic Electra Glide just doesn’t have enough of the right touring stuff, then simply step up to the Electra Glide Ultra Limited. To create the Limited, Harley kept the foundation: single-spar Touring frame, rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 mill, familiar Bat-wing fairing, ample cargo space, Harmon/Kardon audio system and so on. Sweeteners include ABS, Smart Security System, heated grips, Tour-Pak luggage rack and more. And if that still isn’t sufficient, for 2013 you can get the Limited in a 110th Anniversary Edition, with special paint and solid bronze trim.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
Harley starts with its Road Glide Custom, excises a touch of attitude, adds a full-size windscreen to the frame-mounted shark-nose fairing, a King Tour-Pak trunk with passenger backrest and wraparound armrests, vented lowers with storage compartments, an 80-watt Harmon/Kardon Advanced Audio System, and a variety of mechanical bits to come up with what it rightfully calls the “tourer’s touring bike.” Additional standard features such as ABS and H-D’s Smart Security System grace the Touring platform, powered by a blacked-out Twin Cam 103 V-twin with 6-speed Cruise Drive gearbox. For 2013 this tourer’s touring bike gets new paint options.
Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide
Harley’s Ultra Classic Electra Glide has long seemed perfectly configured for long-distance touring in the American idiom. A big-inch V-twin—in this case a rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 with 6-speed Cruise Drive—lets you lope along interstates and blue highways with equal ease, while the Touring platform, with air-adjustable rear shocks, keep you comfy and composed. The fork-mounted Bat-wing fairing, vented lowers with glove boxes, sculpted seat with passenger backrest, plus ample luggage space further attend to comfort and if you’re traveling two-up, harmony.
Harley-Davidson Road King Classic $19,899–$20,659
Subtle but meaningful style and trim touches—with a nod to nostalgia—transform the standard Road King into the Road King Classic. You’ll find leather-wrapped saddlebags, tooled metal detailing on the fender, tank, seat and bags, plus chrome laced wheels with wide whitewall tires. Supporting it all is Harley’s Touring platform with a rubber-mounted and black-powder-coated Twin Cam 103 V-twin with 6-speed Cruise Drive. Electronic cruise control is standard, while ABS and H-D’s Smart Security are available options, and you get new color choices for 2013.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Custom
With the Road Glide Custom, it’s OK if you’re not packing enough attitude, because this motorcycle has enough for you both. This “bagger with swagger” starts with that frame-mounted shark nose fairing and shorty wind deflector, carrying on the theme with the bike’s slammed good looks. A Twin Cam 103 provides thrust at the twist of wrist, while Harmon/Kardon’s 40-watt Advanced Audio System with CD/MP3 player can supply the tunes. Air-adjustable rear shocks, 6-gallon tank, injection-molded bags and Streamliner footboards, brake pedal and passenger pegs complete the picture.
Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Take your basic Road King, swap out the windshield for a fork-mounted Bat-wing fairing with smoked wind deflector, add Harmon/Kardon’s Advanced Audio System, strip off the superfluous chrome, et voilá: You’ve just created the Street Glide. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but the basics are the same, with a rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 V-twin at the heart of H-D’s Touring platform, air-adjustable shocks, 6-gallon tank, Brembo brake calipers, hard bags and full rider floorboards, to name a few. There are new paint options this year, and you can still get the Security package with ABS.
Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic
Within the stable of Harley-Davidson’s touring models, the prices and long-haul amenities continue to ascend at a commensurate pace. So it is with the Electra Glide Classic. At this level, the clear additions are a Tour Pak trunk and a passenger backrest. They provide extra luggage space and comfort, crucial items for anyone who travels two-up. Basics are covered in the Touring platform, Twin Cam 103 engine, air-adjustable shocks, hard bags, Harmon/Kardon Advanced Audio System and a host of other details. Electronic cruise control is optional.
Harley-Davidson Road King
The Road King evokes a time when travel wasn’t about sheer speed, when it was accompanied by a certain flair. It does so stylistically by channeling the 1965 Electra Glide to a T, from the front of its deep, wide FL front fender to the tips of the chrome exhausts; likewise with the booming torque of the Twin Cam 103 V-twin, injection-molded bags and detachable windshield. Other touring accoutrements include air-adjustable rear suspension and spacious floorboards for both rider and passenger. For 2013 the Road King is also available in 110th Anniversary Edition trim with vintage paint, bronze medallions, and a Security package with ABS.
Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
In the Heritage Softail Classic, Harley-Davidson continues to mine its history and nostalgia with relentless efficiency and clarity. This time the period is from the 1940s, illustrated in the overall look and highlighted in the chrome-studded leather saddlebags. And while the engine and chassis mimic the looks of classic Harleys, the rigidly-mounted and counterbalanced Twin Cam 103B engine in the hardtail-look Softail frame bring the Classic into modern times. For 2013, H-D digs a little deeper with a 110th Anniversary Edition, featuring special paint and badges, plus a Security package with ABS and H-D’s Security system.
Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe
Harley touts its Softail Deluxe as “one of the most confidence inspiring Big Twins.” No doubt that stems from a basement-level saddle height (only the Slim and Breakout CVO are fractionally lower), plus broad, smoothly flowing power from the solid-mount, counterbalanced Twin Cam 103B engine, combined with the predictable handling and ocean-liner stability of the Softail chassis. Style accents that ease of riding, in the form of fat whitewalls on chromed, laced rims, full fenders, front light bar, tombstone taillight and shotgun exhaust. New color options—including Hard Candy Lucky Green Flake—are the only updates this year.
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
By now, the Fat Boy’s FLSTF designation is practically iconic. But never mind. It’s the motorcycle itself that matters, and the Fat Boy certainly matters in a very large way. As H-D says, the Fat Boy defined the fat custom look, and it continues to do so to this day, with fat tires, handlebar, fenders, tank and headlight. Then there’s that Softail chassis and the burly, rigid-mounted (but counterbalanced) Twin Cam 103B powerplant with 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission. New color options are the only change for 2013.
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo
The Fat Boy Lo brings more to the party by offering less—less suspension travel and, consequently, a lower saddle height. Otherwise, all the things you love about His Fatness are present and accounted for: Softail frame for the hardtail look without the pain, a 103B V-twin, rigid-mounted for quality vibes, but counterbalanced to take the edge off, and a big, fat custom presence few motorcycles can equal. The Lo also comes as a 110th Anniversary model with Vintage Bronze/Black paint, bronze tank badges, and Security package (ABS and H-D’s Security System).
Custom touring bikes have become as common as perfidy during an election year. Ah, but if such a motorcycle could take on each role—custom or touring—separately, that would be something. H-D’s Switchback is just that motorcycle. At heart it’s a Dyna chassis surrounding a rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 engine, with decent quality suspension and visually striking 5-spoke cast wheels. The magic’s in the removable touring pieces; leave on the hard bags and windscreen for the open road, take ’em off when you’d rather ride the mean streets of the urban jungle. See? You can have it all.
Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
A mid-year 2012 release, the Softail Slim is another elemental Softail, and one that is, according to H-D, pared to the bone. But, unlike the Blackline, the Slim channels the vibe of postwar bobbers, the home-built customs of the 1940s and 1950s. And it does so with minimal chrome, a relatively narrow rear tire paired with a fat front, classic Fat Bob tank, over/under shotgun exhausts and more. Motive power comes from a solidly mounted (but counterbalanced) Twin Cam 103B V-twin, naturally in a Softail chassis. New paint options are the sole change for 2013.
The original Softail was a pretty bare-bones motorcycle, and the Blackline arguably takes the Softail back to its roots as a basic, stripped-down motorcycle, lean, mean and ready to rumble. True to the first Softail, the engine is rigid-mounted, but now in counterbalanced—and more powerful—powder-coat-black Twin Cam 103B form mated to a Cruise Drive 6-speed. Of course, there’s the Softail chassis with twin shocks neatly hidden. The one thing H-D didn’t pare back was style, which you’ll find in the raked out front end, bobbed rear fender over a narrow, 144mm Dunlop blackwall, Split Drag handlebars, and a low, sleek saddle.
Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
At Harley-Davidson, the organization of obesity, the conspiracy of corpulence, the fine-tuning of fatness continues unabated. Which is all good, especially when applied to H-D’s capable Dyna Chassis as it is in the Fat Bob. “Truly fat from start to finish,” is how H-D characterizes the Fat Bob, and the words ring true, starting from that 130mm front tire, carrying on back to forward-mount controls, on through the black-powder-coated drivetrain with rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103, and ending with beefy, 180mm-wide rear rubber. New paint color options are the only alteration for 2013. Let the parade of pudginess proceed.
Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special
Harley-Davidson reworked the Night Rod Special pretty thoroughly for 2012, so it should come as no surprise it returns unchanged for 2013. But that’s OK. The same things that made the Night Rod so freshly appealing last year resonate just as strongly. There’s the more humane ergonomics thanks to shorter reaches to the flat handlebar and the footpegs, improved ride quality from fiddled suspension rates and lighter wheels, and a little added eye candy in the tapered tail section. That it flat hauls—because of that potent, rubber-mounted 1250cc liquid-cooled V-twin—is just icing on the cake.
Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
V-Rods just never seem to get the respect they deserve from the Harley faithful. What’s more, a lot of that attitude appears directed at the Porsche-designed liquid-cooled DOHC 60-degree Revolution V-twin. That’s a shame, and undeserved, especially when that stellar powerplant resides in the V-Rod Muscle. If Webster’s had an entry for the term Power Cruiser, you could make a case the illustration for it would be this very V-Rod. One twist of the right wrist should convert even the most doughty doubter, as the V-twin’s formidable torque pastes the 240mm rear Michelin to terra firma. Triple Brembo brakes, decently sorted suspension and aggressive styling ought to seal the deal.
Harley-Davidson Wide Glide
Ever since its original introduction in 1980, the Wide Glide has been the go-to canvas for H-D’s most reliably outré styling licks, and the same is true for 2013. Wide, raked-out fork with 21-inch wire-spoke rim? Check. Far-forward foot controls? Check. Fat rear tire, slammed rear suspension and chopped fender? Check, check and check. For a little more style, there’s the Tommy Gun exhaust, kicked-back ergonomics, and optional two-tone paint—with flames, of course. Providing motive power is H-D’s excellent 103-cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin with 6-speed Cruise Drive, all packed into a Dyna chassis, one of H-D’s best.
Harley-Davidson Super Glide Custom
It didn’t exactly set the world on fire when it was first introduced in 1971, but H-D’s Super Glide has since aged nicely, now anchoring the Big Twin lineup as the least expensive such model. The requisite coolness comes from a long, low-slung profile, Fat Bob fuel tank, mini pull-back handlebar, spoke wheels and, of course, a muscular V-twin—in this case H-D’s Twin Cam 96 with 6-speed Cruise Drive—all in a Dyna chassis. New for 2013 is the 110th Anniversary model (shown here) with special paint, a slathering of bronze, and ABS plus the Special Security Package as standard.
Harley-Davidson Street Bob
For 2013, Harley has freshened its Street Bob with a load of styling licks. H-D applied the black-out treatment to the triple-clamps, Twin Cam 96 powerplant and battery box, then added a full-length, wrinkle-black finish console atop the fuel tank. A retro, round air filter cover graces the engine bay, while a side-mounted license plate and stop/turn/tail lights fluffs the chopped fender, and rubber-mount handlebar risers atop a forged top-clamp reduce vibration. And for those who want to step up the styling H-D’s made the Bob eligible for the company’s H-D1 Factory Customization program, with more than 2000 factory-installed options.
Harley-Davidson XL 1200V Seventy-Two
Now this, is your basic candy-colored, metal-flake streamlined baby. Where H-D mined its way-back pages for the look of the Forty-Eight, the Motor Company comes forward in time about a quarter century for the Seventy-Two. A late-2012-introduction model, the Seventy-Two sports a heavily raked front end with a 21-inch front wheel, narrow-whitewall tires, ape-hanger handlebar and longer-travel suspension than the rest of its slammed Sportster brethren. Frame and engine are basic 1200cc Sportster stuff. It’s a perfect canvas for H-D’s optional Hard Candy Custom Color paint, with super-fat metal flakes.
Harley-Davidson XL Forty-Eight
There’s just something iconic about a peanut-tank Sportster. That tiny 2.1-gallon fuel cell might not be very practical, but it just looks right—especially when it’s parked on a stripped-down streetfighter the Sportster’s always been. Underneath the tank sits an equally iconic air-cooled V-twin, blacked-out here, as is most everything else, and the whole bike sits on chunky 16-inch-diameter balloon-tire Michelin Scorchers, highlighted by shorty fenders. All together, the Forty-Eight is one of those motorcycles that hits the monkey nerve every motorcyclist has—if they’re honest. New for 2013 is H-D’s optional Hard Candy Custom Color paint.
Harley-Davidson XL 1200C 1200 Custom
Think of the 1200 Custom as the Fat Sportster in H-D’s lineup. So much about it seems larger than life, such as the chunky, 16-inch-diameter Michelin Scorcher tires on chrome 5-spoke wheels, the 4.5-gallon walnut tank (shared with the SuperLow), wide fork spacing and mini-ape-hanger handlebar. Otherwise it’s classic big-bore Sportster, with a torquey rubber-mounted 1200cc V-twin, 5-speed and shorty dual exhausts. New for 2013 is 110th Anniversary Edition model, featuring special paint, solid bronze tank medallion and air cleaner cover trim ring, and H-D’s Smart Security System as standard.
Harley-Davidson XL 883L SuperLow
The SuperLow heralds its arrival into 2013 with new color options, with a pair each of solids and two-tones. Otherwise it’s business as usual for the Sportster with the lowest saddle height—just 26.8 inches above the blacktop. That means power comes cascading out of an air-cooled and rubber-mounted 883cc Evo V-twin mated to a 5-speed tranny and belt final drive. H-D makes the pitch its SuperLow dovetails nicely with riders not only short on inseam, but experience too, courtesy of what Harley says is a canny combination of steering geometry, wheel sizes and radial tires.
Harley-Davidson XL 883N Iron 883
If you’re looking for the easiest, cheapest entry to new-Harley ownership, and the H-D family, then step this way to the Iron 883. This is motorcycling at its stripped-down essence, raw-boned and real. It’s also, as H-D says, the “anti-chrome” Harley model, blacked-out from the 13-spoke cast-aluminum wheels, to the powder-coated engine, to the fork sliders and gaiters, and more. Running gear is basic H-D as well: air-cooled 883cc pushrod V-twin with 5-speed, belt final drive and single-disc front brake. New color options—Big Blue Pear, Candy Orange, and Black Denim—are the extent of the changes to the Iron for 2013.
Honda Gold Wing
We’re playing diavel’s advocate (ba-boom) by including the Wing—just ‘cause we know folks will howl in protest. But if Ducati gets to call the Diavel a cruiser, surely the ‘Wing can get equal time. Last year Honda recalibrated the suspension and redesigned the fairing and saddlebags. Options for 2013 include new colors, the Honda Satellite Linked Navi System plus XM radio choices. With that do-it-all 1832cc six cylinder engine and all the amenities you could ask for, the Gold Wing isn’t always right for around town, but set a course for the horizon and you’ll know why Honda’s plush luxury touring rig is supreme.
Honda Fury /ABS
Can we still call the Fury radical? Even if it is now considered mainstream, the flag-bearer for Honda’s VT line continues to draw attention with its whopping 71-inch wheelbase punctuated by a 200mm tire on the back end. Honda’s venerable liquid-cooled 1312cc V-twin motivates the whole package, with a 5-speed transmission and shaft drive delivering power to the rear. There’s nothing new for 2103 other than red and black color options (the ABS version is only in black). ABS adds $1000 to the price, which stays the same as the 2012 MSRP.
Honda Interstate /ABS
Almost the polar opposite of the minimal Fury, the long-haul Interstate instead piles touring amenities onto the Stateline foundation, with locking, leather-covered hard saddlebags, windshield and floorboards. It’s stylish yet sleek, even with full fenders, a 17-inch front wheel and a blacked-out powertrain. As on the Stateline, underpinnings include a fuel-injected 1312cc V-twin connected to a 5-speed gear box doling out power to a shaft final drive. There’s a new light metallic silver color for 2013, but the Interstate’s price stays the same as last year (ABS adds $1000).
Honda Sabre /ABS
The foundation is the same on all four VT1300s, though you’d never know it by looking. The lower-riding Sabre may appear the most menacing on the outside, but underneath is the liquid-cooled 1312cc 52-degree V-twin powering the entire VT line. The pro-street-savvy stance is reinforced by the 21-inch front tire, forward controls, a slim gunfighter saddle, and briefer fenders. The Sabre also leaves some air at the neck/frame junction like the Fury. ABS can be had as an option, and black joins the color palette. Price stays put for 2013.
Honda Stateline /ABS
Think of it as an Interstate without the accessories. The Stateline brings a similar classic bike aesthetic, with full fenders, rangy 70-inch wheelbase, wide pullback bar and a 26.8 inch seat height, all rolling on a 17-inch front and 15-inch rear tire. You also get the tried-and-true SOHC, 1312cc powerplant, with five speeds, shaft drive, and a 2-into-2 exhaust. A single two-piston caliper does the stopping up front. Black is new for 2013, and you can also choose ABS for another $1000. A one-year warranty is standard.
Honda Shadow Aero /ABS
The Aero is the all-arounder mount of Honda’s 750 series, with an open ergonomic layout made to fit a wide range of riders. It’s also got a pleasing, full-fendered classic style, and the beans to back it up: the reliable, liquid-cooled 745cc powerplant with PGM-FI that powers all the Shadows, along with a silky-smooth, 5-speed transmission. The 25.9 inch-high dished seat makes it user-friendly for all, and the Aero can be had with ABS (for an extra $1000); new black and silver metallic join the color options for 2013.
Honda Shadow Phantom
Black is the new chrome, and Honda’s 745cc Phantom brings it to the Honda stable, with a thick coat of ebony covering most of its powertrain, bodywork, frame and fork legs. But the menace is surface only, as riders will cotton to the smooth vibe of the SOHC 745cc V-twin engine, wide ratio five-speed tranny and 25.8 inch seat height. A beefy 41mm fork gripping a chunky 17-inch tire delivers 4.6 inches of travel up front, with dual (adjustable—and blacked-out, of course) shocks out back, bracketing a 15-inch wheel.
Honda Shadow RS
Standard-style ergos usually make for greater versatility, and that sums up the RS’s best quality perfectly. With a more-upright seating position, mid-mount foot pegs, and a 32-degee rake, this do-it-all machine also manages to squeeze in a 29.4-inch seat height. Down below is a 745cc, 52-degree V-twin putting power through a five-speed gearbox. Connected to the 16-inch rear wheel is a chain final drive, making the RS the only Shadow without a shaft. That keeps the weight low (under 550 lbs.) to maintain nimble handling. Surprise: black is a new color option for 2013.
Honda Shadow Spirit 750 C2
Where the Aero goes for bigger, rounder shapes, the Spirit 750 C2 slims down and bulks up on attitude. It’s nearly 20 pounds lighter than the Aero, thanks to chopped fenders, exposed forks, a punched-in headlight and a thin, 21 inch front tire. A more streamlined one-piece seat smoothes out the Spirit’s lines, too, but otherwise, it shares the same snappy 52-degree 745cc motor with fuel injection as the Aero. Blue Metallic Flame joins black for 2013, and there is an ABS option. Availability: December 2012.
If you took an MSF Basic training course back in the day, chances are it was on a Rebel. More than 25 years on, the Rebel is still inspiring new riders with its 331 lb. weight, low seat, and easy handling. The foundation is simple but effective: a carbureted 234cc vertical twin engine, a single overhead camshaft, five speeds and an O-ring chain drive, so there’s absolutely nothing to fear. The spoke wheels, teardrop tank and bobbed fender are pure cruiser, too. The Rebel gets black as a color option this year.
Hyosung ST7 /Deluxe
The ST7 may displace just 678cc, but don’t be fooled: It’s a fairly high-spec blend of modern technology and classic styling. As a result, Hyosung positions the ST as a ‘performance cruiser,’ and the liquid-cooled DOHC 90 degree V-twin engine doesn’t disappoint, dishing out impressive low and mid-range performance. A sky-high compression ratio (11.5:1) lets this bike really spin up too. A 5-speed gearbox modulates power to a belt drive, and there are disc brakes front and rear. The two-piece 26.5 inch seat height provides an unintimidating perch , and the Deluxe adds saddlebags and a shield to the mix.
Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro
Its styling is more modern than the ST7’s, but the GV650 still brings plenty of performance and a surprisingly upmarket spec sheet, considering the price. The engine is an 8-valve, 90 degree V-twin, suspension consists of an adjustable (compression and rebound) upside-down fork up front, and adjustable dual shocks out back, and brakes are semi-floating, dual discs in front, with a single disc out back. A constant mesh 5-speed tranny delivers power to the belt drive. Needless to say, the GV650 is the only contender in the lightweight performance cruiser class.
249cc looks pretty full-size on the GV250, as this entry-level cruiser brings a traditional, full-fendered style along with a smooth-running, fuel-injected V-twin engine with dual overhead cams—things you might expect from bigger machines. This smaller GV splays its twin cylinders 75 degrees apart, and adds electronic fuel injection to boot. Concessions to its beginner-bike status include a chain final drive and a drum rear brake, but the rear shocks are adjustable and the fuel tank offers a full 3.7 gallons of capacity. Price is unchanged from 2012.
Indian Chief Vintage /LE
Polaris-designed Indians are set to debut next year (2014), so the Vintage LE is the sole new model for the Tribe in 2013. All four 2013 Indians feature the Power Plus 105ci engine with six-speed transmission, and the 2012 Indian Chief Vintage is the top of the line, featuring post-war design cues like two-tone paint, chrome tank badges, and fender lights. Distressed leather and 60-spoke chrome wheels with whitewall tires distinguish the Vintage from the other Indians. The LE model adds a quick-detach passenger backrest, exclusive paint and, yes, many chrome accents.
Indian Chief Dark Horse
Even perpetually chromed-out Indian has a black bike in the line. But the Chief Dark Horse adds a splash of color to the proceedings, with a warbonnet tank graphic that literally pops against the stark black background. Then it’s back to the Dark Kingdom, with spoked, matte rims and blackwall tires adding a somewhat post-industrial feel to this Chief. The darkness continues on to the headlight, fork covers, and even the stainless steel exhaust system. Your perch is a solo seat complete with fringe and rich, thick leather, and your price remains the same as last year’s.
Indian Chief Classic
Take the Dark Horse, remove the black paint, and you get the base model Chief Classic. What’s more, it comes with a full chromium package: A black and polished engine with chrome covers; a teardrop halogen headlamp, chromed spoke wheels, and a stainless, two-into-one exhaust system. A PowerPlus 105ci V-twin and six-speed transmission lurk below, and those classic deep fenders, tank-mounted speedo and glass front fender light can all be considered sweet bonuses. Get it for the same MSRP as 2012, in Thunder Black or Indian Red, with the Indian Script emblazoned across the tank.
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager /ABS
Kawasaki’s top-of-the-line, full-boat dresser doesn’t do things by half, so extended trips are no sweat. Long-haul accoutrements include a grunty, liquid-cooled 1700cc V-twin connected to a seamless 6-speed transmission, frame-mounted fairing, cruise control, and all kinds of storage options. Stuff your stuff into a 13.2 gallon lockable top trunk or opt for the top-loading, lockable 10-gallon hard saddlebags. Adjustable rear shocks, rider and passenger floorboards and dual 300mm front brake discs seal the deal. The full audio system is iPod, XM and CB compatible. For an extra grand, you can add ABS.
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
The Vaquero may be Kawasaki’s “custom” bagger, but you’ll find few compromises to style. This sleek tourer still packs the same 1700cc twin as the rest of the Vulcan 1700 line, and rolls with many of the same amenities, like electronic cruise control, a full audio system and side-mounted saddlebags. A brief windscreen caps the frame-mounted fairing which also features integrated louvers for wind management, and the rear shocks are easily adjusted with air. In Metallic Flat Sparkle Black, the Vaquero gets a $350 price bump this year.
Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad
The classics never go out of style, right? So it is with the Nomad, which taps into a more traditional touring combination, with a tall windshield, lockable hard saddlebags, and a wide passenger backrest. There’s no skimping on comfort either, with full floorboards for pilot and passenger and handy grab handles built into the backrest’s chrome mounting bracket. A low 28.7 inch seat allows for easy access, and like the other Vulcan 1700s, this one gets a 52 degree V-twin mill and 16-inch tubeless tires bracketing a 65.6 inch wheelbase.
Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom
It’s an 800cc drop to the next Vulcan in Kawasaki’s cruiser lineup, but the Custom is worth the wait. While it rolls with the same basic underpinnings as the Classic, this middleweight dresses differently. The first giveaway would be that tall, skinny 21-inch front tire wrapped around a trick, custom-cast 18-spoke wheel, followed by the aggressive, flat handlebar, and then the forward controls. Sculpted bodywork, chopped fenders and clean lines surround the rubber-mounted 900cc V-twin found on all Vulcan 900s. A black-out treatment extends to the air cleaner, engine cases and exhaust.
Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic /LT
With a torquey, 903cc V-twin to do the work, the Vulcan 900 Classic delivers a powerful ride, and one that’s pretty comfortable too. That’s because this nicely-priced middleweight ushers in some big-bike features to stack the deck: Floorboards, a 5.3 gallon tank, disc brakes (front and rear), chrome dual slash-cut mufflers and a 180mm rear tire. The ultra-low 26.8 inch tall saddle will especially please shorter riders. The LT model adds leather saddlebags, an adjustable windshield and a studded seat. Both bikes get a price boost this year.
Moto Guzzi California 1400
The Italians have finally hit the heavyweight segment with the latest in a long line of ‘Cali’s—and this one looks more refined than the last. The newer, bigger engine will displace 1400cc, but we can only speculate on the rest (no other info has been shared with us as yet). The 1400 replaces the 1100 version, which was available last year as a limited edition, celebrating Guzzi’s 90th anniversary. Guzzi says a fully dressed touring version will be also be available later this year. No word on yet on pricing or availability.
Moto Guzzi V7 Stone /V7 Special
Guzzi’s middleweight line grows for 2013 with the new V7 Stone, a stripped-down V7 that’s aimed at the youth market. Both the new Stone and V7 Special (which replaces the V7 Classic) have the same bones, with an air-cooled, 744cc twin engine,in a classic 90-degree V configuration. But that powerplant has been completely reengineered this year, for increased power and torque. New alloy wheels reduce weight, and there’s an extra 1.3 gallons in the now-5.8-gallon fuel tank. The V7 Stone comes in black or white, while the V7 Special gets a two-tone paint scheme as well as spoked wheels.
Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Classic /Military /Chrome
Despite the many cosmetic options, the differences between the Bullet models come down to seat style, frame size and tire choice. Underneath, all U.S.-imported Royal Enfields have the same air-cooled, fuel-injected 499cc powerplant, five-speed tranny and front-disc/rear drum brake combo. All U.S. bikes also get electric starters and a one-piece Unit Construction Engine/transmission. You’ll find smaller, 18-inch tires on the Bullet C5 Classic along with a smaller frame and a solo seat. For 2013, the C5 is available in black, maroon and green, as well as Military and Chrome trims.
Royal Enfield Bullet G5 Classic /Deluxe
You still get a 499cc single cylinder engine, but the G5 rolls on 19-inch Avon tires instead, and is topped with a longer bench saddle. The G5 also adds a kickstarter in addition to the electric start found on all Enfields, and it’s available in single-color schemes only (British Racing Green or Black), with hand-painted pinstripes. The G5 Deluxe will appeal to the vintage/retro crowd, with its chrome tank, and fenders, rubber knee pads and chrome airbox. It’s available in Black/Chrome, with a 2-year warranty.
Royal Enfield Bullet 500 B5
Based on the legendary iron-barrel Bullet 350, the Bullet 500 captures the rugged simplicity and timeless style of the original machines with a classic one-color design adorned with a winged tank graphic. It rolls on 19 inch tires, but you still get the unit construction engine, 54-inch wheelbase, 5-speed gearbox, and disc front/drum rear brake combo, as on the other U.S.-imported Bullets. This most basic of Bullets is available in Black only, but it still gets a 2-year warranty.
Star Royal Star Venture S
Don’t underestimate the power of Four. Though the Venture’s 1298cc engine displaces less than the competition’s, the liquid-cooled, V-4 powerplant is one of most responsive around. The Star’s high-tensile steel frame is loaded with touring amenities, including an iPod-compatible four-speaker sound system, cruise control, a CB radio and intercom. You get lockable storage with the 15-gallon trunk, as well as from the 9.3-gallon, color-matched saddlebags. And with ergonomically designed, plush bucket seats, the Venture delivers super-comfy support for both rider and passenger. It gets a $400 price bump for 2013.
Star Raider SCL
As you’d expect from a limited edition model, the Raider SCL packs on the premium features. According to Star, the SCL is “crafted for riders who value exclusivity,” with items like an exclusive Crimson Red with Intense Black paint scheme, a unique yoke angle and a 33-degree rake, stainless steel throttle cables, clutch and brake lines, and custom 5-spoke chrome wheels co-developed by Performance Machine (with matching chrome pulley). This production custom holds a 113-cubic-inch OHV pushrod 48-degree V-twin in the engine bay. For 2013, the SCL’s clutch pull has 20 percent less effort.
For over 25 years, the VMAX has symbolized the sheer adrenaline rush of unleashed power. The legend continues with the Generation 2 model, which debuted in 2009 with an eye-opening, 65-degree, 1679cc V-4. This mill features downdraft four-bore fuel injection and fly-by-wire throttle, complemented by a five speed tranny, a hydraulically activated slipper clutch, twin radiator cooling, and an underseat-mounted fuel tank. The bike somehow manages to blend current sportbike tech with a unique style that puts it in a class of its own. The VMAX gets a $100 price bump for 2013.
Star Stratoliner S
You’ll find one of our favorite engines powering Star’s big classic touring cruiser—an air-cooled, 48-degree, 1854cc lump that puts power through a smooth five-speed gearbox and feeding to a belt final drive. You’ll be that much more comfy with the Stratoliner S’s locking, leather sidebags, adjustable, quick-detachable windshield and a quick-detach backrest, all nicely integrated to fit the bike’s classic style. The streamlined Stratoliner gets a 4.5 gallon tank, and rolls on 18-inch front and 17- inch rear tires topped with a 27.8-inch seat. For 2013, the Strat S gets $200 price bump.
Star Road Star Silverado S
This classic tourer is a long-running favorite and it brings all the traditional touring amenities you’d expect in the class: an adjustable windshield, locking saddlebags (these are hard-sided bags), floorboards, and a wide touring saddle with passenger backrest. An air-cooled 48-dgree 1670cc V-twin engine thrusts the power through a 5-speed transmission to belt final drive. Because this is an S trim, this Silverado has plenty of shiny bits, like the forks, fork covers, fork clamp, and brake/clutch lever. Get it in blue for 2013, with a $300 bump over 2012.
Star Roadliner S
The Roadliner is your back-to-basics, no-nonsense cruiser—only there’s very little that’s basic about it. That familiar air-cooled, 1854cc V-twin lighting up the engine room is still a straight-up beast, with a 9.48:1 compression ratio and aggressive cam timing teaming up for impressive performance qualities. In the Star universe, “S” means the shiny stuff, and the Roadliner S wears plenty of it, with chrome switchgear, engine covers, polished wheels and more. You also get tubeless radials, and the floating floorboards add ride comfort. A $300 price boost and an easier-pull clutch are added for 2013.
Star Raider /S
Not quite a chopper, but certainly chopper-inspired, the Raider is one of those bikes that’s instantly recognizable even from far away. You’ll snap your head when you see the 21-inch front tire, kicked-out front end and super-phat 210mm rear radial go by. The total rake is a super-lazy 39 degrees. The “S” version ladles more chrome onto the triple clamps, fork sliders, air box cover, engine covers and more, but both bikes still run with the 1854cc air-cooled V-twin. Both also get the new lower-effort clutch and a $300 price jump.
Star Road Star S
The one that started Star’s heavyweight cruiser presence is still going strong 12 years later. The classically-styled Road Star rolls with a smooth, solid-mounted 1670cc air-cooled engine with OHV and pushrods, bolstered by fuel injection and belt final drive. There’s a low 27.9 inch seat perched atop the adjustable rear shock and full-size rider floorboards mounted along the 66.5 inch wheelbase. There’s no standard Road Star, so the S model covers the switchgear, forks and levers in bright chrome. Get it in black only, for $300 more than last year.
Star V Star 1300 Deluxe
Star’s newest dresser builds on the existing V Star 1300 platform with the addition of a specially designed, fork-mounted fairing stuffed with an integrated audio system and a motorcycle-friendly Garmin zumo 665 GPS. It’s topped by a windshield for extra weather protection, too. There’s more, of course, like a pair of hard locking side bags made just for the Deluxe, a 4.5-gallon fuel tank, and a dished saddle to make long treks more comfortable. At its core, the Deluxe packs the same 80-cubic-inch, counterbalanced V-twin found on the other 1300s, with 5-speed transmission and belt drive.
Now in its third year of production, the Raider’s baby brother continues to impress. And that’s why this popular model hasn’t had many changes. You still get the super-kicked-out, 40-degree rake ending in a 21 inch front tire, a powerful 60-degree 1304cc powerplant to push you along, and that rider-friendly, ultra-low seat height (26.4 inches) to perch on. Steel fenders, a 4-gallon tank and belt drive are just some of the other sweet details the Stryker brings. Choose from red, white and raven, all at the same price, which has gone up $500 for 2013.
Star V Star 1300 /Tourer
Even though there’s 1304cc in the engine bay, Star’s “modern classic” touring cruiser feels like a much bigger machine when you experience it. The engine sure has the ‘modern’ part down, with twin-barrel fuel injection, four valves per cylinder and a 9.5: 1 compression ratio. Rider ergonomics are friendly too, with a relaxed handlebar bend, wide saddle and floating floorboards with heel/toe shifter. The Tourer packs on top-opening, leather-wrapped hard bags, a sissybar with backrest, and a tall adjustable windshield. Both bikes receive a $200 price bump for 2013.
Star V Star 950 /Tourer
It’s no secret we’re big fans of Star’s V Star 950 platform; in either version, the bike has received high marks in a multitude of shootouts. The reasonable price tag is just a bonus, because the 950 works for a variety of physiques and riding styles. The 66.3 inch wheelbase makes it stable, yet it has light handling, and the air-cooled 942cc, 60-degree V-twin is more than capable—it’s fun. If you opt for the Tourer version, you’ll get saddlebags, a sissybar and a shield. Both models receive a slight price boost over last year.
Star V Star Custom
It’s back for 2013, and that should please a variety of new riders. The V Star Custom—leanest of the full-size Stars—gets an air-cooled, SOHC, 649cc V-twin that’s still carbureted, but runs with a shaft drive. The Custom rolls with a choppier look, starting with the skinny 19-inch wheel, framed by a small headlight above. The low-profile saddle sits 27.4 inches off the pavement, and it all ends at a semi-bobbed rear fender covering a hidden shock with 3.4 inches of rear wheel travel. A long 63.4-inch wheelbase helps give it rock-solid stability.
Star V Star 250
That the V Star 250 will inspire confidence in even the newest of newbies should be perfectly clear. With a weight of just 323 lbs., the 250’s seat hovers just 27 inches off the ground, and wedges firmly atop a wheelbase that’s a reassuring 58.7 inches. That air-cooled, 249cc V-twin engine is all about rideability, and it still breathes through a carburetor and runs through a 5-speed gearbox. It’s a classic-looking cruiser too, with spoked wheels, a staggered exhaust and the right chrome accents. Get it in blue, for $100 more than last year.
Suzuki Boulevard M90
Suzuki didn’t list the M90 in its lineup for the last 2 years, and that’s our loss—this is one rip-roaring machine. The M90 takes its styling cues from beefier big-brother M109R, but instead brings a still-powerful 1462cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled engine to the fore, carried by a stout, steel-tubed frame. Beefy, 43mm upside-down forks grip a specially-design Bridgestone front tire, with full-floating discs set to slow it all down. A smooth five-speed transmission metes power to a shaft final drive. For 2013, the M90 is available in black and gray.
Suzuki Boulevard C50T
The C50T represents Suzuki’s sole contender in the classic touring category, bringing a wide, dished saddle, a matching backrest, height-adjustable windshield and large-capacity, leather saddlebags with Boulevard emblems. Telescopic forks with polished stanchion covers provide a plush 5.5-inches of wheel travel, while the power comes from an 805cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 45-degree V-twin tuned to deliver low RPM power and torque. It all gets channeled to a shaft final drive, which turns the 170 series rear whitewall. Two-tone paint and deep fenders complete the classic formula.
Suzuki Boulevard C50
The base C50 model is back for 2013, and with its full fenders, floorboards, pullback handlebars and dual pipes, it looks like a much bigger machine. The classically-styled Boulevard (hence the ‘C’) usually tops our “favorite middleweight” lists, thanks to its ample power and rideability. The liquid-cooled, 8-valve 805cc V-twin powers both the standard and the touring version. A 5-speed gearbox and shaft drive get the power down to the rear 15-inch, tube-type tire, and a chromed and staggered dual exhaust system on the right side of the engine propels spent gasses out the back with a nice rumble. The C50 is available in black only for 2013..
Suzuki Boulevard S40
Except for a couple of nips and tucks, the entry-level Boulevard S40 hasn’t changed much since 1986, when it was known as the Savage and rolled with a 4-speed transmission. The chopper-style machine still packs an air-cooled 652cc, OHC, single-cylinder engine that’s economical and reliable. In Suzuki-speak, “S” stands for skinny, and the S40 is just that, with a slim 19-inch front tire, 27.6-inch seat height, and reliable 5-speed tranny. While other Boulevard models feature shaft drive, the S40 is satisfied with a belt, and it remains a solid option for newbies and re-entry riders alike. For 2013, price increases $300.
The TU250X looks like it’s straight outta 1969, and that’s not a bad thing. Its standard vibe and wide saddle translates into easy ergonomics for all, and with those spoked wheels, teardrop fuel tank and copious chrome accents, it’s pretty stylish as well. The 30.3 inch seat isn’t as low as some entry-level bikes, but that may be because its focus is more on agile handling, thanks to a snappy 249cc single cylinder mill and a sub-350 lb. weight. The price goes up $300 from last year, but the claimed mpg remains 79.
Triumph Rocket III Touring /ABS
The Touring brings civility to the beastly 2.3 liter Rocket III platform, though the numbers are still impressive: A claimed 150ft.lbs of torque and 105 bhp. But this Rocket is in it for the long haul, with a sumptuous, 18-inch wide saddle, locking (and detachable) hard bags, a quick-release touring shield and spring-mounted floorboards, all standard. A longer chassis is designed to offer greater stability on the road, and 16 inch wheels stopped by triple disc brakes and ABS offer peace of mind. Transferring power is a five-speed gearbox, and shaft drive.
Triumph Rocket Roadster
The Rocket III Roadster is Triumph’s no-nonsense packaging of the biggest production motor in motorcycling. You get few flourishes here, just an uprated version of the iconic three-cylinder engine and tighter ergonomics, in black only. The tweaked 2294cc inline triple motor boosts power to a claimed 146 bhp, and high quality chassis components like a 43mm upside down fork and triple disc brakes with ABS abound. Some components (like those shocks, for example) are blacked out, adding to the menace, but otherwise the Roadster shares the same drivetrain as the other Rocket IIIs.
The newer and brawnier Storm is essentially the Thunderbird, stripped down and hot-rodded. As such, it gets a bigger 1700cc version of the award-winning parallel twin T-16 engine. Visually, there’s not much difference, though the Storm wears its bodywork in basic black, and carries twin headlights in between the fork legs (as opposed to the T-Bird’s single lamp). The sophisticated underpinnings include 310mm dual disc brakes with ABS, and 5-way adjustable twin shocks out back. The engine cases, covers and fork legs are darkened but the 6-speed transmission and belt final drive remain.
At its heart, the base Thunderbird carries the awesome 1597cc liquid-cooled DOHC engine, with a six-speed transmission delivering the juice (85bhp) to chunky 200mm rear tire via belt—Triumph’s first belt drive since 1922. Triple discs with an ABS option makes this one serious performance cruiser. Up top, a solo headlight perches atop a wide 47mm fork gripping a 19-inch aluminum wheel, and a 27.5 inch seat height, along with a worry-free 5.8 gallon fuel capacity, makes the T-Bird accessible for all. Price is unchanged from 2012.
Although the Scrambler is basically a re-dressed Bonneville—it’s based on the same fuel injected, air-cooled 865cc parallel-twin platform, and carries many of the same underpinnings, including a steel cradle frame, 59-inch wheelbase, 5-speed gearbox and chain final drive—there are enough differences to give it its own space. The spoked wheels are 19 inchers up front and 17 inchers out back, and the engine timing gets tweaked to bring the distinctive exhaust note from those classy high swept chrome pipes to the fore. A classic bench saddle and fork gaiters complete the transformation.
It’s traditional cruiser styling with a twist: The longer America’s more classic 16-inch front and 15-inch rear cast wheels wear high-walled tires and a more pronounced front fender than on its Speedmaster cousin. Otherwise it’s the same 865cc-twin platform, with low 27.1 inch seat height (differently shaped on the America) but with a stretched wheelbase and forward controls placed for the optimal laid-back cruising position. The America also covers the fork legs, fattens the headlight and bulks up the rear fender. New two-tone colors will be announced for 2013, but no price changes.
Like the laid-back America, the Speedmaster is motivated by Triumph’s revered 865cc parallel twin engine (with 270 degree firing interval), but it’s in a stripped down, moody package. Blacked-out engine cases and a 19-inch cast aluminum front wheel with single disc brake and skinny tire give the Speedmaster more attitude, while a 27.1 inch seat coupled with wider handlebars makes it still accessible. A five speed tranny is connected to a chain final drive, and slash-cut pipes handle spent gasses. The Speedmaster gets no price change for 2013.
Triumph Bonneville /T100
The iconic Bonneville—in all its variations—is perenially one of Triumph’s best-selling models. There are usually some new trim options each year, but the basic foundation remains: lightweight, 17-inch wheels, a fuel-injected air-cooled 865cc parallel twin engine (with injectors concealed behind throttle bodies), 5-speed transmission and chain final drive, all capped with a semi-bench saddle. The T100 (shown) goes for the 1960s-vibe with its pea-shooter exhausts, spoke wheels (with 19-inch front tire) and two-tone paint. This year there is a lower-priced T100 Black, too.
Ural Solo sT
If you’re looking for a simpler machine from a simpler time, you can’t get more basic than this Ural Solo, a machine built around a 70-year-old BMW design. The power comes from a decidedly simple, air-cooled 745cc boxer engine (complete with Keihin carburetors) hung in a bulletproof, heavy steel frame. There’s even a kick starter, should you really want to revisit your roots. But there are upmarket components here too, like a 40mm Marzocchi fork, Sachs rear shocks and Brembo brakes, all of which make the Solo an oddly compelling machine.
Victory Cory Ness Cross Country Tour
Price-wise at least, Cory Ness’ take on the Cross Country Tour supplants his father’s custom Vision as the big dog in Victory’s lineup for 2013. The main change is Cory’s swap from Cross Country to the trunk-equipped Cross Country Tour. And it’s chock-full of Ness custom accessories, Cory’s paint and graphics, plus a numbered metal badge featuring graphics of Cory’s signature. On this limited-production beauty you get Gold Digger Pearl paint, blacked-out Freedom 106/6 V-twin with diamond-cut cylinders and heads, heated suede saddle, Kicker premium speakers and much more.
Victory Arlen Ness Vision
Where sons Cory and Zach have chosen different Victory models as their 2013 custom canvases of choice, patriarch Arlen Ness sticks with his customary Vision—and that’s no bad thing. Lowered and loaded with Ness custom accessories, Arlen’s version of his Vision gets slathered in Havasu Red paint and head-turning flame graphics. Hot Rod Ness billet wheels, a leather-covered saddle, Kicker premium speakers and a numbered metal badge with Ness’ signature make it a unique statement. Of course, all the Vision’s touring goodness is underneath, with beaucoup touring accoutrements, and that sterling Freedom 106/6 V-twin.
Victory Zach Ness Cross Country
This makes it three for three. With Zach Ness’ choice of the Cross Country as basis for his talents, that means the whole Ness clan offers signature-series Victory touring bikes for 2013. And the youngest Ness’ bike might be the coolest of the trio. It’s a replica of the motorcycle Zach built and rode to Sturgis last year, so you know it can do the business. Ness piles on the style with lavish Titanium Metallic custom suede paint and graphics, black Ness handlebars, and a thorough black-out treatment for the Freedom 106/6-powered drivetrain, exhausts and trim.
Victory Cross Country Tour
Victory calls it their “ultimate luxury touring bike for the riders who churn out the miles.” And after you ride one, you’d be hard pressed to disagree. It’s certainly got all the stuff necessary for long-haul bliss and comfort. Leading the massive moto-parade is a fork-mounted fairing, ably assisted by Victory’s Comfort Control System lowers, plus the world’s largest cargo capacity (Victory claims), ABS and more. Luxury touches include heated seat and grips, adjustable passenger floorboards, and cruise control. And to whisk you along there’s Victory’s Freedom 106/6 V-twin with 6-speed and belt drive.
Victory Vision Tour
When it was introduced as an early-release 2008 model, Victory’s Vision was a stunner, with swooping styling, clever two-piece hollow aluminum frame and Freedom 106/6 V-twin powerplant. And it’s still one of the most desirable big-rig touring machines you can buy, with such amenities as full frame-mounted fairing with electric-adjustable windshield, 29 gallons (claimed) of cargo capacity, linked ABS, cruise control, dual-zone heated saddle and heated grips. Victory says that V-twin now pumps out 108lb./ft. of torque for relaxing riding, regardless of how far your destination might be.
Victory Cross Country
Take a Cross Country Tour, lop off the tail trunk, and you’ve got a Cross Country. It really is that simple, because otherwise the two are virtually identical. That means the same cast-aluminum touring frame, ditto for the Freedom 106/6 V-twin with 6-speed and belt drive, likewise for the air-adjust shock, and same for the ABS and cruise control. The few changes include footpegs for your passenger in place of floorboards, and less cargo space, although Victory does claim the weatherproof bags hold 21 gallons. And if you really miss the top box, a Lock & Ride trunk is optional.
This particular motorcycle wasn’t released in time for the 2012 buyer’s guide, so it’s listed here as a new model (even if Victory couldn’t provide us with a suitable photo). And it’s Victory’s take on stripping almost everything but the bags from its touring bikes, adding a coat of ebony and some ape hangers. Blacked-out from stem to stern but accentuated with flashy red pinstripes, this motorcycle announces your arrival, with attitude. Other features include black 40-spoke laced wheels, ABS, and Victory’s rumbling Freedom 106/6 V-twin with counterbalancer, oil cooler and belt drive.
Victory Cross Roads Classic
Full-boat big-rig touring bikes are all well and good, but some riders prefer traveling a little lighter. To that end, Victory offers up its Cross Roads Classic (a simpler version of the Classic LE, dropped for 2013). The Classic has plenty of street-smart style, including the two-tone and pinstriped tank, 18-inch chrome 60-spoke wheels, front and rear chrome fender bumpers, and classic white stitching on the saddle and bags. Touring fare includes a big windscreen, ample storage—a claimed 17.4 gallons—and comfy accommodations, plus a low, 26.25-inch saddle. Power comes from the Freedom 106/6 V-twin, while ABS-equipped brakes handle stopping duties.
With the Jackpot, you have indeed hit one—jackpot, that is—with an over-the-top factory custom, laden with the requisite chrome. Start with a flashy paint scheme carried on in the headlamp, color-matched frame and swingarm, custom 21-inch billet Anvil front wheel, 250mm rear tire and split-tail gas tank. Then keep it coming with Victory’s brawny Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 V-twin with 110 lb./ft. of torque and 6-speed transmission with true overdrive. Customs don’t come much cooler than this, and certainly not from the factory.
Another early-release 2013 model, the Boardwalk is, in Victory’s words, “the classic-styled cruiser with ‘Relaxed Ride’ in its DNA.” That relaxation comes via easy ergos featuring chrome-finished beach bars and spacious floorboards, complemented by a saddle with a removable passenger seat. There’s plenty of style, too, with chrome engine covers, chrome exhaust, 16-inch chrome laced wheels with wide-whitewall tires, and wraparound fenders. With all that low-key stuff, you can count on excitement aplenty from the Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 V-twin, which is ready to rumble anywhere you want to go.
Victory Hammer 8-Ball
Other performance customs might cringe at the Hammer’s enviable spec sheet, and rightfully so. Start off with the undeniable torque of the Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 V-twin, delivered through that 250mm rear tire, just the thing to, as Victory says, “convince wannabe riders to keep their distance.” Then there’s the handling of an inverted front fork, and all that blacked-out style that’s part and parcel of every 8-Ball. Then finish it off with stylish wheels and exhaust, and removable seat cowl that detaches to reveal a pillion saddle.
By definition a highball means a long, tall, iced drink, or to move with great speed. In other words, a perfect description of Victory’s High-Ball: a long, cool motorcycle designed to move you, emotionally and physically, at great speed. The High-Ball takes care of the former with high style, in the form of tall ape hangers, severely bobbed fenders, and 16-inch wire-spoke wheels on black rims with wide-whitewall tires. As to the latter, there’s Victory’s 106-cubic-inch Freedom V-twin with 110 lb./ft. of torque, 6-speed tranny and belt drive.
Yes, here it comes, the Judge. An early release, new-for 2013 model, the Judge embodies Victory’s take on the American muscle-bike, with muscle-car-inspired styling and sporty ergos. Motivation comes courtesy of the 106-cubic-inch Freedom 106/6 V-twin with a lusty 110 lb./ft. of torque, more than enough for stoplight-to-stoplight jousts. And Victory piles on the style, with fresh bodywork, racing-inspired side panels, black-and-chrome 16-inch wheels with premium Dunlop Elite II tires with raised white letters, new drag handlebar and mid-mounted controls. The Judge awaits your verdict.
Victory Vegas 8-Ball
Here it is, folks, your entry-level ticket to the Victory family. But don’t think the low price means Victory’s skimped on the essentials. This blacked-out boomer features Victory’s own Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 V-twin with a claimed 110 lb./ft. of torque, and 6-speed tranny with overdrive. Black Stingray wheels add visual bling, as does the split-tail fuel tank and streamlined solo saddle. The low, 25.2-inch seat height should inspire confidence, and will certainly enhance your cool factor on the boulevard. Blacked-out pipes and headlight complete the Dark Side look.
SPECIFICATIONS & PERFORMANCE