2001 Cruiser of the Year

The cream of the crop award goes to the 2001 Honda VTX 1800

And the cruiser of the year for 2001 is...the Honda VTX 1800.Cruiser

This article was originally published in the December 2001 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

Have big guns, will travel. We love this bike and what it represents. The VTX blends off-the-rack performance with real-world rideability and an outstanding price point. It’s a bike that’s truly unique by design, yet at the same time, the VTX leaves plenty of room for personal refinement. And fun…boy, that motor has a giggle factor that’ll keep you up nights. Sexy and substantial all at once, the VTX has clearly become our favorite new motorcycle introduced in the 12 months since our last best-of, where Harley-Davidson's Deuce took top honors.

Sure, a lot of folks expected Motorcycle Cruiser to choose Harley’s V-Rod as its Bike of the Year, but what we find appealing about a motorcycle goes way beyond sensationalism. The V-Rod is a design marvel, yes. It recalibrates all current standards for cruiser design and is heartbreakingly beautiful to boot. But you know what? You can’t walk in and buy one. And if you did find one, you’d be likely to pay about $5000 over suggested retail. In some parts of the country you’ll find a waiting list for the VTX, but it’s short in comparison to those for the V-rod. In a lot of towns you can just walk in and buy one. Lack of accessibility and affordability are primary drawbacks in our book. Furthermore, we think that when someone pulls out of a dealership on their new bike, they should be able to ride it straight to Anchorage without looking back. We torture-toured on both the Harley and Honda straight out of the box. Cherney is still crippled from ripping across America on the Harley, while Elvidge did a similar stint on the Honda with nary an ache. Yeah, you can buy a bunch of stuff for the Harley to make it more pleasant, but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to?

After all is said and ridden, there are a lot of fantastic choices in the cruiser market today. The VTX simply offers the best package for the price and a clear representation of things to come. Believe us, it has nothing to do with bigger being better either. The sign of the times we see reflected in the VTX has to do with the theory of built-in performance, a standard that’s long due cruiser riders. It doesn’t matter what medium the sophistication takes; we’re just glad it’s finally arrived. Perhaps once we get our grubby little hands on Yamaha’s Warrior this fall, it’ll smoke the VTX in our ongoing contest of practicality vs. lust, but for now, it’s power to the pistons. The Honda’s the best package we’ve ridden this year.