Motorcycle Readers' Rumblings

We welcome your comments and criticisms. Send them to Motorcycle Cruiser, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245, or All materials sent to the editors will become the property of Motorcycle Cruiser and cannot be returned.

**No Replacement for Displacement
** Just read the Open Class Touring shootout in your December issue, with the sidebar on a Rocket III Touring and a V Star 950 Tourer. Unfortunately, you used the HP and torque specs of the Rocket III Roadster. The Touring model only has 104 Hp, while the Roadster has 146. That is one of the reasons I put aftermarket hard bags on my Classic, instead of buying a Touring model.
Bryan Boyce
Via email

Bryan; the specs mentioned in the sidebar should indeed be tagged to Triumph’s Rocket III Roadster (which, for the record, puts out a claimed 146bhp @5750rpm, and 163 ft.-lbs. of torque @2750). According to Triumph, the Touring version delivers 105bhp and 150 ft.-lbs., of torque—nothing to sneeze at, but that might make a difference to some riders. —Ed

Received my December 2012 edition of Motorcycle Cruiser...and went through each page methodically, as I always do. Everything was going well...until I came to the "Big Caper—Ultimate Open Class Touring Comparison" article. On the Spec Page, I see:
2012 H-D Street Glide—Displacement 1690cc
2012 Kawasaki Vulcan—Displacement 1700cc
2012 Victory Cross Country Tour—Displacement 1731cc
2012 Honda Interstate—DISPLACEMENT 1312cc????

Whoa! A 1300 in there with the larger 1600/1700 Twins? I would think the Suzuki C90T or Road Star Silverado/Silverado S would have been a better fit. So I hit the Web for some clarification, and found that Suzuki’s only 2011–2013 touring model was a C50T! Who knew? But Star still has their Stratoliner or Road Star Silverado, with a windshield, back rest and saddlebags. Same as the Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad.

So—why the displacement difference with the Honda Interstate and the larger touring bikes? For the record, I ride a 2007 Star Midnight Silverado. That prompts me to ask; is Yamaha/Star holding out on you guys for your mag's shoot out(s) too? In any case, thanks again for such a great and informative magazine.
Woody Wagner
Via email

Woody, you hit the nail on the head—even though we asked for a Stratoliner well in advance, Star still couldn’t get us a unit for the test. As for the Honda, we wanted to showcase touring machines from each manufacturer, though not necessarily all in the same class. The Interstate is Honda’s sole touring cruiser—of any displacement. —Ed

Chemical Warfare
Personally, I feel E10—or even worse, E15—is the work of demons. During the heat of summer it facilitates fuel percolation, reduces fuel efficiency, separates the liquid, increases the cost of fuel, rots fuel system components, misuses food-producing farm land and even worse, its whole emission-reduction value is in question. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'd like to add some helpful tips. I have been using StarTron in my bike since March, and it has performed very well. I mix it at one ounce to six gallons of E10, at a fuel fill-up. Campmor sells one ounce Nalgene bottles which aren't affected by the StarTron (an enzyme fuel treatment —Ed). I can easily carry two of these bottles under the fuel door on my GL1800, enough for a day's ride.
Herb Seegers
Eustis, FL

Herb, most of us at the magazine couldn’t agree with you more: ethanol does more harm than good to our engines, our food supply and our economy. Plus we resent the fact that it was pushed down our throats. Hopefully the proposed waiver to the Renewable Fuel Standard (which mandates ethanol) will pass soon, due to reduced crops from the summer drought. Meanwhile, for a list of stations that sell ethanol-free gas, check out: —Ed

Victory and Enfield
It seems that Victory and Royal Enfield motorcycles have a common theme. Both are based around the same powerplant for all their bikes. Last year Enfield introduced the Chrome version of its Bullet, and now they are introducing the Thunderbird 500. Same engine, only the new bike looks like it belongs in the modern era (at least late 1900s).
Ron Rickers
Elk River, MN
We'd go even further with that thread, Ron, after hearing that Victory's parent company, Polaris, recently entered into a joint venture with Royal Enfield's parent company in India, Eicher Motors. Who knows? Maybe we'll be seeing some single-cylinder Hard-Balls soon. —Ed