One of the most clear-cut differences among the bikes was power. The Intruder just runs away from the other machines, especially the single-carb models. No matter what the speed, if you open the throttle on the Intruder, you immediately zip past the other bikes. Some of the other bikes can’t keep up with it, even when downshifted a gear. What surprised us the most, however, was how much slower the Marauder—which is supposed to have the same engine as the Intruder, and more efficient chain drive—was in comparison, at least in all-out sprints, where it fell behind the second-faster Vulcan 750 and the Virago. The Marauder does better when the race starts in top gear; in that event, the Marauder is stronger than anything except the Intruder. Among the single-carb bikes, the Kawasakis were slightly better performers. Honda’s new Shadow A.C.E., which has the least displacement in the class by a few cubic centimeters, is the slowest member of this club. But displacement isn’t the answer, since the Sportster, with a 10 percent advantage in engine size over the next biggest machine, was barely faster than the Honda. The slower bikes suffer in part because of their tall gearing, which makes them feel more relaxed at highway speeds than the others.