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2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Review | First Ride

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Triumph Bonneville Bobber delivers a pure motorcycling experience with a unique look and confident attitude.

The Triumph Bobber is the kind of bike that stops you in your tracks when you see it. It has the personalized look of a custom bike with the coherence and harmony of a factory model. Not long after picking up our test bike, I found out the Bobber will help you make new friends wherever you ride it. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Bobber enjoys sunny afternoon rides on favorite roads. Who doesn’t?

When I see a bike that looks as cool as the Bobber, I think, Nice, but how does it ride? I wonder if the builder, or in this case the manufacturer, sacrificed attention to ride quality, comfort, or performance for the sake of appearance. Fortunately, Triumph took measures to ensure that function was not the sacrificial lamb of form. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Bobber’s unique appearance stands apart in the parking lot. If you don’t like people approaching you to admire your bike, this one isn’t for you.

Bare Necessities 

The “bobber” style emerged in America in the 1940s. Motorcyclists stripped their rides down, threw out everything that wasn’t essential, and tuned motors for a more exciting zero-to-full-power experience. These bikes were the simple bare necessities of motorcycling, and they appealed to riders who wanted a pure motorcycling experience without anything bogging them down. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The fat front tire and bar-end mirrors are additional styling elements that give the Bobber a custom look straight out of the factory.

Triumph’s attempt at a bobber-styled factory bike also involved cutting down and tuning up. Although it’s not a lightweight motorcycle – claimed wet weight is 553 lbs – the stripped-down look comes in the form of well-hidden cables, a solo tractor seat, and of course, bobbed fenders. Adding to the look of an old-school bobber are the battery box wrapped in a stainless-steel strap and the twin throttle bodies that look like carburetors.  

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Engine
Extra space around the 1,200cc parallel-Twin paired with the throttle bodies disguised as carburetors add to this bike’s stripped-down old-school aesthetic.

The Triumph Bobber is powered by the liquid-cooled 1,200cc parallel-Twin with 4 valves per cylinder – the same engine found in Triumph’s popular Bonneville T120 model. However, the Bobber version of the engine gets a special tune and taller gearing. Adding to the experience is a set of slash-cut exhausts that direct sound to the rider for a powerful and pleasant rumble. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
A 3.2-gallon fuel capacity and 61 mpg give the Bobber a range of nearly 200 miles.

When the Bobber was introduced in 2017, we were there for the press launch in Spain. Although our overall impression was positive, we noted some shortcomings. The small fuel tank had a limited range, and the single-disc front brake was mediocre. The Bobber Black remedied one issue by adding dual-disc front brakes, along with an up-spec 47mm KYB fork, a fat front wheel, and other extras. In 2021, the Bobber got an update that moved those Bobber Black components to the base model, as well as adding a larger fuel tank, LED lighting, cruise control, and new instrumentation. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
On the front end, the bobbed fender pairs with fork boots and the round headlight for a dose of nostalgia.

Take Me Higher 

My first day on the test bike would take me through the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. The Bobber is easy to pick out in a parking lot, not because it’s super bright or super big (it isn’t either) but because it sits with a poise of cool confidence, ready to be admired. The solo tractor seat is a focal point of the Bobber, appearing to float above the hardtail-looking rear. Add in the blacked-out components, brushed steel slash-cut dual exhaust, chunky front tire, bar-end mirrors, and fork boots, and it’s hard to look away. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The ergonomics were comfortable for my frame, and riders can slide the seat back for a more long-and-low seating position. The hardtail-looking rear hides a monoshock below the floating seat.

Gear Up 

The ergonomics of the Bobber provide a long and low riding position. The seat is adjustable fore and aft, which also changes the seat height from 27.6 inches in the forward position to 27.2 inches in the rear position. The seat is deceptively comfortable, appearing too thin to offer much support while actually providing plenty. The handlebar is a bit of a stretch for my arms, even with the seat positioned as far forward as it’ll go, but I became accustomed to the reach after a few miles, and it didn’t result in any discomfort or achiness after long hours. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Seat
The floating seat’s brushed-steel underside adds some contrast to the blacked-out components. The black arm underneath the seat allows for quick seat position adjustment.

Upon turning the key and starting the Bobber, the bike comes to life with a satisfying rumble befitting the Triumph name. The engine got an upgrade in 2021 with lower emissions and a lift in power at 5,500 rpm. In the Bobber tune, this engine is claimed to make 76.9 hp at 6,100 rpm and 78.2 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. There’s always grunt on tap in any gear. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Great for a cruise around town or a jaunt away from traffic, the Bobber has both looks and performance.

Upon picking the Bobber up in Atlanta, I had to wade through traffic for what felt like forever before I could get out of the city and see what it’s capable of. While my impatience grew as the pleasing rumble reached my ears and low-end torque pulled hard off the stoplight, the crazy Atlanta traffic gave me the chance to test out the brakes. As cars darted around like pinballs, I was relieved to find abundant stopping power at the ready. Dual 300mm discs up front with Brembo 2-piston calipers, paired with a 255mm rear disc and a Nissin single-piston caliper, were up to the task and shed speed quickly. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Front Brakes
Twin Brembo front brakes provide plenty of stopping power, and ABS comes standard.

When I finally got out of the city, I headed for higher ground. The Bobber’s tall gearing and smooth delivery allowed for both relaxing and sporty riding – a great combo for someone who likes to do both. I could cruise down the two-lane country roads with my hair in the wind, or I could twist around curves through the mountains with plenty of gusto. The Bobber is easy to maneuver and handles tight turns with grace – the downside being that the pegs often meet the pavement when ridden aggressively. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
A wide handlebar provides leverage for responsive handling – a pleasure for an afternoon ride on your favorite curvy road.

Where the original Bonneville Bobber had a fuel capacity of 2.4 gallons, resulting in a frustrating number of gas stops required, the current Bobber bumps capacity up to 3.2 gallons. During my time with the bike, my average fuel consumption was 61.1 mpg, netting nearly 200 miles from full to empty. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Sometimes extra gizmos and gadgets just get in the way. The Bobber’s simplicity invites the rider to enjoy the ride and the view.

The Bobber’s handling was an absolute pleasure – as long as the roads were smooth. When I got to a bumpy road, I discovered the first and perhaps only change I would make if I owned a Bonneville Bobber: the suspension. The monoshock with linkage at the rear didn’t soak up bumps well enough for me, and I found myself lifting up on the pegs when I saw inconsistencies in the road ahead to save my spine. My only other complaint about riding the Bobber is that speeds past 75 mph produce a strong gust of wind at my upper body and helmet, but I’ll take the excuse to stay off the highways rather than dilute the muscular attitude of the Bobber with an unsightly windshield. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The 47mm Showa fork and monoshock handled well on smooth pavement, but additional rear travel would be a welcome addition for bumpier roads.


While the soul of the bobber style is stripping down to the basics, the Triumph Bonneville Bobber comes with some electronics that are simple and easy enough to use that they don’t take away from that pure motorcycling experience but rather enhance it. Two ride modes (Road and Rain) can be selected with a toggle on the right switchgear to change the throttle map. The Bobber also has cruise control, operated with a single button on the left switch. Switchable traction control and ABS are both standard. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Bobber’s simplicity is one of its virtues. A single round speedometer with an inset LCD display provides enough functionality without distracting from the ride.

The dash is graced by a beautiful round analog speedometer with an inset LCD screen that shows fuel level, gear indicator, and ride mode. A round button on the left switch is used to cycle through extra information, including two tripmeters, odometer, rpm, average fuel consumption, fuel range to empty, and a clock. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Headlight
The Bobber is equipped with full LED lighting, and the round headlight adds a classic touch.

The 2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber comes in four color options with a starting MSRP of $13,795. Our test bike was in the Matte Storm Grey / Matt Ironstone color with an MSRP of $14,295. For 2023 only, Triumph is also offering a Bobber Chrome Edition with chrome treatment on the gas tank.  

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Bobber handles well on smooth pavement, and its 1,200cc parallel-Twin in the High Torque tune is a treat out on the road.

Keeping true to the history of bobber-styled bikes, Triumph also offers a list of accessories for customization, including an ape-hanger handlebar, a diamond-stitched comfort seat, a forward-controls mounting kit, footboards, saddlebags, heated grips, a Fox rear suspension unit, and more. 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Although far from a touring bike, the Bobber makes for a fun sight-seeing cruise, like my trip to Fontana Dam in North Carolina.

I tested the Triumph Bonneville Bobber over the span of a few weeks, and it continued to grow on me during that time. When the sunlight hit the Bobber upon opening my garage door before a ride, I knew I had a fun time ahead of me. I had people sticking a thumbs-up out of car windows as I rode by and plenty of compliments about the bike at gas stops. Whenever someone asked me if it rode as good as it looked, I was pleased to be able to say, “Yes, absolutely.” 

Check out more motorcycles in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide.

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber in Matte Storm Grey / Matte Ironstone

2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber 

  • Base Price: $13,795  
  • Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com  
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles  
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, parallel-Twin, SOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.  
  • Displacement: 1,200cc  
  • Bore x Stroke: 97.6 x 80mm  
  • Horsepower: 76.9 @ 6,100 rpm (factory claim)  
  • Torque: 78.2 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain  
  • Wheelbase: 59.1 in.  
  • Rake/Trail: 24.5 deg./3.6 in.  
  • Seat Height: 27.2-27.6 in.  
  • Wet Weight: 553 lb   
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gal.  
  • Fuel Consumption: 61.1 mpg 

The post 2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Returning 2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Announced

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS

Following Suzuki’s announcements earlier this month of the all-new 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ crossover sport-tourer and the 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R, the fully-faired and just slightly younger sibling of the GSX-8S, the company has announced more returning 2024 Suzuki motorcycles. Included in the announcement are the returning V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure, SV650 ABS naked bike, GSX-250R ABS sportbike, and Boulevard C50 and M109R cruisers.  

See all of Rider’s Suzuki coverage here. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Adventure 

2024 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Pearl Tech White
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE in new Pearl Tech White

At the beginning of October, Suzuki announced two new V-Strom 800 models with a more street-oriented focus: the V-Strom 800 and 800 Touring. Returning for 2024, the off-road-ready V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure are powered by the same 776cc parallel-Twin with a 270-degree firing order and Suzuki’s exclusive Cross Balancer system for smooth operation. 

Related: 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE | First Ride Review 

The V-Strom 800DE has a chassis with the most ground clearance and longest suspension travel of any V-Strom, and its suspension is fully adjustable. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels are shod with the latest Dunlop ADV tires (tubes required). The V-Strom 800DE Adventure comes equipped with quick-release black-anodized aluminum 37-liter side cases, a sturdy accessory bar, and a skid pan to further extend riding adventures. 

The Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.) includes traction control with a trail-oriented Gravel mode plus rider-adjustable ABS with two levels of sensitivity and the ability to switch off the rear wheel ABS when riding off-road. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Champion Yellow #2
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE in Champion Yellow #2

Other features include a bidirectional quickshifter, a full-color TFT instrument panel, and mono-focus LED headlights vertically stacked with a position light below a height-adjustable windscreen. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Adventure
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Adventure

The 2024 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is available in either Champion Yellow #2 or new Pearl Tech White starting at $11,599. The V-Strom 800DE Adventure comes in new Metallic Matte Steel Green starting at $13,049. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Street 

2024 Suzuki SV650 ABS 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS

The middleweight Suzuki SV650 has a liquid-cooled 645cc 90-degree V-Twin with DOHC. Suzuki’s Low RPM Assist feature adjusts engine speed during takeoff and low-speed operation for smoother power delivery and to help reduce the chance of a rider stalling the motorcycle on difficult starts. 

Related: Suzuki SV650 | First Ride Review 

The trellis-style frame is constructed of high-strength steel tubes, contributing to the motorcycle’s low weight and trim chassis, and braking is provided by a pair of Tokico 4-piston front calipers grasping 290mm stainless-steel discs. ABS is standard.   

The 2024 Suzuki SV650 ABS has Glass Sparkle Black bodywork, a gold frame, and matching gold cast-aluminum wheels, and pricing starts at $7,949. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Sportbike 

2024 Suzuki GSX250R ABS 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles GSX250R ABS
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles GSX250R ABS

The fully-faired GSX250R ABS returns with a liquid-cooled 248cc parallel-Twin and offers stellar gas mileage, with a claimed fuel economy of 73.6 mpg. The GSX250R ABS’s slim fuel tank helps riders easily plant their feet on the ground when stopped. It features Nissin petal-style brake rotors with ABS, KYB suspension components, and 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels. The bike has a reverse-lit LCD instrument panel and a bright halogen headlight. The position lamps and taillight use surface-emitting LEDs. 

The 2024 Suzuki GSX250R ABS comes in the two-tone Metallic Diamond Red and Pearl Nebular Black paint scheme starting at $5,099. 

Related: Small Bikes Rule! Honda CRF250L Rally, Suzuki GSX250R and Yamaha TW200 Reviews 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Cruisers 

2024 Suzuki Boulevard C50 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard C50
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard C50

The 2024 Suzuki Boulevard C50 gives its own style to traditional cruisers, featuring a kicked-out front fork, valance-style fenders hovering over 16-inch front and 15-inch rear tires, each mounted on spoke-style chrome wheels, and staggered, chromed dual exhausts. The C50’s liquid-cooled 50ci (805cc) 45-degree V-Twin is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. A hidden, link-style rear shock smooths the ride while giving the bike an old-school, hardtail look, and the bike has wide, buckhorn-style handlebars, forward-mount floorboards, a 27.6-inch seat height. 

The 2024 Suzuki Boulevard C50 comes in Candy Daring Red starting at $9,199. 

2024 Suzuki Boulevard M109R 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard M109R
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard M109R

The Boulevard M109R’s liquid-cooled 109ci (1,783cc) 45-degree V-Twin is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and shaft final drive, all wrapped with aggressive styling cues like slash-cut mufflers, drag-style handlebars, a supplied solo seat cowl, a 240mm wide rear tire, and a distinctively shaped headlight nacelle that is uniquely Suzuki.  

Like the brakes from a GSX-R1000R, the M109R’s radial-mounted, dual-front brake calipers deliver ample stopping performance, and suspension comes from a large-diameter inverted fork and a link-style rear shock. 

The 2024 Suzuki Boulevard M109R comes in Glass Sparkle Black starting at $15,699. 

For more information, visit the Suzuki website

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide 

The post Returning 2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Announced appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 BMW R 12 nineT and R 12 Review | First Look 

2024 BMW R 12 nineT
2024 BMW R 12 nineT

BMW has released details on two models that will replace the BMW R nineT: the BMW R 12 nineT and the new cruiser-styled R 12. The “12” in the names of these two models comes from their 1,170cc boxer Twin, and both bikes feature a new frame, new technology, and other updates. 

2024 BMW R 12
The cruiser-styled 2024 BMW R 12

The R 12 nineT “classic roadster” carries on in the tradition of the R nineT with suitability for urban riding and a dynamic ride, while the R 12 features some different components and ergonomics designed for comfortable cruising. 

2024 BMW R 12 nineT
2024 BMW R 12 nineT in San Remo Green Metallic

The two new models are powered by an air/oil-cooled 1,170cc flat-opposed Twin with DOHC, the same engine found in the R nineT. In the R 12 nineT, BMW claims 109 hp at 7,000 rpm and 85 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. For the R 12, it claims 95 hp at 6,5000 rpm and 81 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm. The engine redliens at 8,500 rpm. 

Related: 2023 BMW R nineT 100 Years Edition Review | Road Test 

Different from the R nineT, the 2024 R 12 models get a new airbox that is now integrated under the seat. Also new is the twin pipe exhaust system. The two rear mufflers on the left-hand side feature a reverse-cone cap design. On the R 12 nineT, the front muffler is chrome-plated, and the rear muffler is electro-polished. On the R 12, the front muffler is electro-polished while the rear muffler has a brushed finish. 

2024 BMW R 12
2024 BMW R 12

Another big update from the previous R nineT is the new one-piece trellis steel main frame to replace the previous two-piece frame. BMW claims that this new frame weighs less and gives the R 12 models a cleaner look. 

2024 BMW R 12 nineT
2024 BMW R 12 nineT

Both models feature cast light-alloy wheels, with 17-inch front and rear wheels on the R 12 nineT and 19-inch front with 16-inch rear wheels on the R 12. Both bikes also get dual 310mm brake discs up front with radially mounted 4-piston monoblock calipers and a single 265mm disc in the rear with a 2-piston caliper, and BMW Motorrad ABS Pro comes standard. 

2024 BMW R 12
2024 BMW R 12 in Aventurine Red Metallic

The R 12 nineT has a wheelbase of 59.5 inches, a rake of 27.7 degrees, a trail of 4.4 inches, and a seat height of 31.3 inches. The R 12 features a wheelbase of 59.8 inches, a rake of 29.3 degrees, a trail of 5.2 inches, and a lower seat height of 29.7 inches. 

Related: 2024 BMW R 1300 GS Review | First Ride 

Both new models also feature a new 45mm inverted telescopic fork, which is fully adjustable on the R 12 nineT. Rear suspension is provided by a Paralever swingarm with a linked shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping. Suspension travel front and rear is 4.7 inches on the R 12 nineT and 3.5 inches on the R 12. 

2024 BMW R 12 nineT
2024 BMW R 12 nineT

These two new models also come equipped with plenty of tech and electronic rider aids. The R 12 nineT has three ride modes (Rain, Road, and Dynamic), and the R 12 gets two ride modes (Roll and Rock). These ride modes adjust throttle response and the equipped Dynamic Traction Control and Engine Drag Torque Control. Engine Drag Control works to prevent rear wheel slip when abruptly releasing the throttle or downshifting. 

2024 BMW R 12
2024 BMW R 12

These models also come standard with a Keyless Ride function, with the key now only being needed for the steering lock and fuel cap. BMW’s Intelligent Emergency Call, which calls for help in case of an accident, is also included as standard on both models. 

Related: BMW Announces New Intelligent Emergency Call Feature, 2024 Motorcycle Lineup 

Adding to the list of technology available on the BMW R 12 models is new instrumentation. The R 12 nineT is equipped with two round analog gauges (speedometer and tachometer), a USB-C charging port, and a 12V socket. The R 12 gets only the speedometer. Control lights and a digital display are integrated into the speedometer on both models. The display functions as a scrollable menu on the R 12 nineT and displays gear and ride mode on the R 12. Riders can also choose to purchase the option Digital Display, which replaces the round analog units with a 3.5-inch TFT display. Both models also come with full LED lighting. 

2024 BMW R 12 Optional TFT Display
The optional 3.5-inch TFT display replaces the round analog speedometer on the R 12.

In addition to many standard electronic elements, the BMW R 12 nineT and R 12 offer several optional rider aids. The optional Shift Assistant Pro allows for clutchless shifting, and Hill Start Assist Pro holds the brakes when on a hill and releases the brakes when starting from a stop. Another option is Connected Ride Control, which allows for Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone. From the BMW Motorrad Connected app, the rider can find vehicle data, riding dynamics data, weather info for the current location, and map navigation. The MotoMount is available as an option to allow for mounting a smartphone to the handlebar. 

2024 BMW R 12
2024 BMW R 12 in Option 719

The BMW R 12 models will each come in three color options. The standard color for both models is Blackstorm Metallic. The R 12 nineT will also come in an optional San Remo Green Metallic, while the R 12 will be available in an optional Aventurine Red Metallic. Both models will be available in Option 719 colors. Pricing has not yet been announced, but BMW expects these models to arrive in dealerships during the first quarter of 2024. 

Check out more new motorcycles in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide. 

The post 2024 BMW R 12 nineT and R 12 Review | First Look  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

More Returning 2024 Yamaha Motorcycles Announced

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha XSR900
2024 Yamaha XSR900 in Heritage White

In July, Yamaha announced several new/updated motorcycles for 2024, including the Ténéré 700 adventure bike and Tracer 9 GT+ sport-tourer, as well as returning dual-sport and adventure models (XT250, TW200, and Super Ténéré ES).

This week, during the EICMA show in Milan, Yamaha announced updated versions of the MT-09 and MT-09 SP naked sportbikes as well as returning models in several categories, including Hyper Naked, Sport Heritage, Sport Touring, Supersport, and Scooter.

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles: Hyper Naked

Born from the “Dark Side of Japan” design concept, Yamaha says its line of Hyper Naked MT models deliver aggressive street-focused styling and supersport-level capability. In addition to the updated MT-09 and MT-09 SP, the MT-03, MT-07, MT-10, and MT-10 SP return unchanged for 2024.

2024 Yamaha MT-03

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha MT-03
2024 Yamaha MT-03 in Midnight Cyan

The entry-level MT-03, with a liquid-cooled 321cc parallel-Twin with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder, returns in Midnight Cyan or Matte Stealth Black for $4,999 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha MT-03 Review | First Ride

2024 Yamaha MT-07

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha MT-07
2024 Yamaha MT-07 in Team Yamaha Blue

The middleweight MT-07, powered by a liquid-cooled 689cc CP2 parallel-Twin with a crossplane-style 270-degree crankshaft, DOHC, and 4 valves per cylinder returns in Team Yamaha Blue, Midnight Cyan or Matte Raven Black for $8,199 MSRP

Related: Yamaha MT-07 Review | Road Test

2024 Yamaha MT-10

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha MT-10
2024 Yamaha MT-10 in Midnight Cyan

The MT-10, powered by a liquid-cooled 998cc CP4 inline-Four with a crossplane crankshaft, DOHC, and 4 valves per cylinder, returns in Midnight Cyan for $14,499 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha MT-10 Review | First Ride

2024 Yamaha MT-10 SP

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha MT-10 SP
2024 Yamaha MT-10 SP in Liquid Metal/Raven

The up-spec MT-10 SP returns in Liquid Metal/Raven for $16,999 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha MT-10 SP Review | First Ride

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles: Sport Heritage

Yamaha says its Sport Heritage lineup offers equal parts street-conquering performance and standout retro-inspired style. It includes two cruisers and two roadsters.

2024 Yamaha Bolt

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec
2024 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec in Raven

The Bolt R-Spec cruiser, which has an air-cooled 58ci (942cc) V-Twin, returns in Raven for $8,899 MSRP.

Related: Renting a Yamaha Star Bolt from EagleRider

2024 Yamaha V Star 250

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha V Star 250
2024 Yamaha V Star 250 in Raven

The light and accessible V Star 250 cruiser, powered by an air-cooled 15ci (249cc) V-Twin, returns in Raven for $4,699 MSRP.

2024 Yamaha XSR700

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha XSR700
2024 Yamaha XS7900 in Raven

The XSR700, a retro roadster with a liquid-cooled 689cc CP2 parallel-Twin with a crossplane-style crankshaft, returns in Raven for $8,899 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha XSR700 Review | Long-Term Ride

2024 Yamaha XSR900

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha XSR900
2024 Yamaha XSR900 in Heritage White

The XSR900, a larger retro roadster powered by a liquid-cooled 890cc CP3 inline-Triple with a crossplane-style crankshaft, returns in Heritage White for $10,299 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha XSR900 Review | First Ride

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles: Sport Touring

2024 Yamaha FJR1300ES

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha FJR1300ES
2024 Yamaha FJR1300ES in Cobalt Blue

The perfect tool for long-distance on-road adventures, Yamaha’s sport-touring motorcycles are designed to provide strong, torquey engines, advanced technology, and all-day comfort. In addition to the 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+, the open-class FJR1300ES, powered by a liquid-cooled 1,298cc inline-Four and equipped with electronic suspension (ES), returns in Cobalt Blue for $18,299 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha FJR1300ES Review | Road Test

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles: Supersport

Yamaha’s line of high-performance R-Series supersport motorcycles are designed for the track as well as the street, combining high-revving engines, agile chassis, and distinctive styling.

2024 Yamaha YZF-R3

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha YZF-R3
2024 Yamaha YZF-R3 in Vivid White

The entry-level YZF-R3, with a liquid-cooled 321cc parallel-Twin with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder, returns in Team Yamaha Blue or Vivid White for $5,499 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha YZF-R3 Review | First Ride

2024 Yamaha YZF-R7

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha YZF-R7
2024 Yamaha YZF-R7 in Team Yamaha Blue

The middleweight YZF-R7, with a liquid-cooled 689cc CP2 parallel-Twin with a crossplane-style 270-degree crankshaft, DOHC, and 4 valves per cylinder, returns in Team Yamaha Blue, Raven, or Matte Gray for $9,199 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha YZF-R7 Review | First Ride

2024 Yamaha YZF-R1

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha YZF-R1
2024 Yamaha YZF-R1 in Raven

The liter-class YZF-R1, powered by a liquid-cooled 998cc CP4 inline-Four with a crossplane crankshaft, DOHC, and 4 valves per cylinder, returns in Team Yamaha Blue or Raven for $18,399 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M Review | First Look

2024 Yamaha YZF-R1M

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha YZF-R1M
2024 Yamaha YZF-R1M in Carbon Fiber

The top-of-the-line YZF-R1M returns in Carbon Fiber for $27,399 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M Review | First Look

2024 Yamaha Scooters

Yamaha says its scooters are built for economical urban fun. Reliable, efficient, and offering motorcycle-inspired capability for handling everything from rush-hour commutes to weekend get-aways.

2024 Yamaha XMAX

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha XMAX Scooter
2024 Yamaha XMAX in Granite Gray

The XMAX, powered by a liquid-cooled 292cc Single with SOHC and 4 valves, returns in Granite Gray for $6,199 MSRP.

Related: Yamaha XMAX Scooter Review | First Look

2024 Yamaha Zuma 125

2024 Yamaha Motorcycles 2024 Yamaha Zuma 125
2024 Yamaha Zuma 125 in Sand Gray

The Zuma 125, powered by a liquid-cooled 125cc Single with SOHC and 4 valves, returns in Matte Black or Sand Gray for $3,799 MSRP.

For more information on all 2024 Yamaha motorcycles, visit Yamaha’s website.

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

The post More Returning 2024 Yamaha Motorcycles Announced appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Honda Gold Wing, Rebel, and NC750X Returning Models 

2024 Honda Gold Wing Matte Armor Green Metallic
2024 Honda Gold Wing in Matte Armor Green Metallic

Honda has announced six models returning for 2024, including the Gold Wing family, the Fury, the Rebel family, and the adventure NC750X. These returning models join previously announced 2024 models, including the Ruckus and Metropolitan, the Monkey and Super Cub, the Shadow Phantom, the Shadow Aero, the ADV160, and the XL750 Transalp

The models in this announcement, except for the NC750X, receive new colors for 2024, and the bagger-styled Rebel 1100T will now come in a 6-speed manual transmission version to join last year’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) version. 

2024 Honda Gold Wing 

2024 Honda Gold Wing Tour Pearl White
2024 Honda Gold Wing Tour in Pearl White

The ultimate touring motorcycle returns for 2024. Powered by a liquid-cooled 1,833cc opposed 6-cylinder engine with a 7-speed manual transmission or DCT, the Gold Wing family includes touring accommodations and conveniences for the most comfortable long-distance ride available. Technologies include throttle-by-wire, four ride modes, Honda Selectable Torque Control (Tour models only), Hill Start Assist, optimized cruise control, and electronically controlled combined braking system with ABS. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow riders to take advantage of the 55-watt speakers, and 121 total liters of storage provide plenty of space for long-haul travel needs. 

2024 Honda Gold Wing Dash
2024 Honda Gold Wing Dash

Related: 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT | Road Test Review 

The 2024 Honda Gold Wing will arrive in November 2023, and the base model will have an MSRP of $24,700 and come in Matte Armored Green Metallic. The Gold Wing DCT in the same color will be priced at $25,700. The Gold Wing Tour will be $28,700 in Gray Metallic/Black or Pearl White, and the Tour DCT will be $29,700 in the same color. The top-line Gold Wing Tour Airbag DCT will have an MSRP of $33,000 and come in Pearl White. 

2024 Honda Fury 

2024 Honda Fury in Adventure Green
2024 Honda Fury in Adventure Green

The Honda Fury is a chopper-styled cruiser powered by a liquid-cooled 1,312cc V-Twin. The front is raked out to 32 degrees, and the hard-tail styling and low seat height complete the look. It has adjustable front and rear suspension, a 336mm front disc with a twin-piston caliper, and a 296mm disc with single-piston caliper in the rear. ABS comes standard. 

The 2024 Honda Fury will be available in December 2023 in a new Adventure Green color with an MSRP of $11,499. 

2024 Honda Rebel 1100 

2024 Honda Rebel 1100T Matte Armored Green Metallic
2024 Honda Rebel 1100T in Matte Armored Green Metallic

Introduced for 2021, the Rebel 1100 cruiser is the next step up from the popular Rebel 500. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled 1,083cc parallel-Twin with a 6-speed transmission available in either manual or DCT. Last year, the bagger-styled 1100T DCT joined the family with hard saddlebags with a combined 35 liters of storage and a fairing with a short windscreen. For 2024, Honda has added a 1100T with a manual transmission. 

2024 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT Metallic Blue
2024 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT in Metallic Blue

Related: 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 | First Ride Review 

The 2024 Honda Rebel 1100 will arrive in January 2024. The base model with a manual transmission will come in Gray Metallic or Metallic Blue with an MSRP of $9,549. The 1100 DCT will come in the same colors with an MSRP of $10,149. The bagger-styled 1100T with a manual transmission will come in Metallic Black or Matte Armored Green Metallic for $10,699, and the DCT version will come in the same colors for $11,349. 

2024 Honda Rebel 500 

2024 Honda Rebel 500 ABS SE Pearl Smoky Gray
2024 Honda Rebel 500 ABS SE in Pearl Smoky Gray

The Rebel 500 is Honda’s highly popular modern cruiser and is powered by a liquid-cooled 471cc parallel-Twin. It features a peanut fuel tank, LED lighting, and blacked-out engine components. It’s available in standard and ABS versions, as well as the ABS SE version, which includes add-ons like a diamond-stitched seat and a headlight cowl.  

2024 Honda Rebel 500 Matte Laurel Green Metallic
2024 Honda Rebel 500 in Matte Laurel Green Metallic

Related: 2020 Honda Rebel 500 ABS | Road Test Review 

The 2024 Honda Rebel 500 will be available in January 2024 in Matte Laurel Green or Pearl Black. The standard model will have an MSRP of $6,499, and the ABS will be priced at $6,799. The Rebel 500 ABS SE will come in Pearl Smoky Gray with an MSRP of $6,999. 

2024 Honda Rebel 300 

2024 Honda Rebel 300 Nitric Orange
2024 Honda Rebel 300 in Nitric Orange

The Rebel 300 is Honda’s most approachable and affordable cruiser. With a low seat height, comfortable ergonomics, and predictable power delivery, the Rebel 300 is designed to provide new riders with confidence and fun without breaking the bank. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled 286cc Single and, like the Rebel 500 and 1100, includes a peanut fuel tank, blacked-out components, and LED lighting. 

2024 Honda Rebel 300 Pearl Black
2024 Honda Rebel 300 in Pearl Black

The 2024 Honda Rebel 300 will be available in January 2024 in Pearl Black or Nitric Orange. The standard model will have an MSRP of $4,849, and the ABS version will be priced at $5,149. 

2024 Honda NC750X 

2024 Honda NC750X Matte Nightshade Blue
2024 Honda NC750X in Matte Nightshade Blue

The do-it-all Honda NC750X commuter bike is powered by a liquid-cooled 745cc parallel-Twin and comes standard with DCT. It features an upright riding position and a large front storage compartment. Also included is the Honda Selectable Torque Control, which allows riders to choose between some rear-wheel spin for gravel and dirt or reduced spin. 

Related: 2019 Honda NC750X | Long-Term Report 

The 2024 Honda NC750X will be available in January 2024 in Matte Nightshade Blue with an MSRP of $9,499. 

For more information, visit the American Honda website

See all of Rider’s Honda coverage here. 

The post 2024 Honda Gold Wing, Rebel, and NC750X Returning Models  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Buell Amasses $120M in Super Cruiser 1190 Preorders

Buell Super Cruiser Roland Sands Design
The Buell Super Cruiser was designed in partnership with Roland Sands and features Buell’s existing 1190cc V-Twin in an FXR-inspired chassis.

Buell has announced that it has surpassed $120 million in preorders for its new Super Cruiser 1190, which will go into production in 2025. This impressive amount over only six months of preorders shows an enthusiastic interest in the Super Cruiser and will help Buell continue growing its company.

Related: Buell Super Cruiser Designed by Roland Sands Unveiled at VIP Party

The Super Cruiser 1190 was designed in collaboration with famed builder Roland Sands and was unveiled in February 2023 at Roland Sands Design’s complex in Long Beach, California. It uses a new steel-tube frame, is powered by Buell’s liquid-cooled V-Twin that produces a claimed 175 hp, and weighs in at only 450 lb. This club-style hot-rod, which was also seen at Daytona Bike Week in March, has clearly attracted enough attention to draw in big dollars for Buell even before production starts.

2022 Buell Hammerhead 1190 review
Buell re-entered the consumer motorcycle market in 2021 with the Hammerhead 1190, the fastest production sportbike built in the USA.

“Americans love style, muscle, and performance,” says Bill Melvin, CEO of Buell. “The Super Cruiser breaks the mold for all three, and the response shows that Buell simply nailed it. This is utterly unheard of for an American V-Twin.”

Related: Buell Hammerhead 1190 to Start Production

Buell re-entered the motorcycle scene in 2021 with two new models. The company now has a five-model lineup, including the Hammerhead 1190 and Buell 1190SX sportbikes, the SuperTouring, and the 185-hp Baja Dune Racer dirtbike. The Super Cruiser will use Buell’s existing 1,190cc sportbike engine and a chassis inspired by Harley-Davidson’s FXR, which Erik Buell helped design. The Super Cruiser is estimated to retail for $20,000-$30,000.

Buell Super Cruiser Roland Sands Design
An impressive preorder amount proves that the Super Cruiser is already attracting customers – and lots of them.

This hefty preorder number has cemented Buell’s commitment to continue growing its company. Buell is looking to create jobs, collaborate with suppliers and vendors, and find development partners.

“We’ve laid a solid foundation over the last two years with an amazing team and support from West Michigan leaders,” said Melvin. “Now, the overwhelming demand for the Super Cruiser puts Buell on a trajectory for significant long-term growth. This ramp-up will be nothing short of exhilarating. Anyone interested in joining us for this exciting ride – in any capacity – should reach out now. We want to work with you.”

For more information, visit the Buell Motorcycle website.

The post Buell Amasses $120M in Super Cruiser 1190 Preorders appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Review | First Ride

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom celebrates its 41st birthday this year with updates to both its bobber styling and performance. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

When something has been around for four decades, it’s usually because of a combination of inherent quality and general likability. Take a look at Rider magazine, for example. Next year, we celebrate our 50th birthday. There’s a reason for that. But quality doesn’t live in a vacuum. To survive – and even better, to thrive – there has to be change. Honda has succeeded in finding the next step in the evolution of the Honda Shadow Phantom, and the company hopes the changes, combined with a 40-year history, will help the bobber-style bike succeed in the middleweight cruiser market.

The Spirit of 750

The Honda Shadow was introduced in 1983 with two options. The larger of the two cruisers featured a liquid-cooled 745cc 45-degree V-Twin with SOHC and 3 valves per cylinder. It had a 6-speed gearbox, a slipper clutch, and shaft final drive. More than 19,000 Shadow 750s were sold that year.

Related: Retrospective – 1988 Honda VT800C Shadow

There were several other chapters in the Shadow story, but if we’re following the lineage to the Phantom, significant mileposts included the shift to a 52-degree V-Twin in 1988 with the 583cc Shadow VLX. The 52-degree V found its way to the larger displacement 750cc Shadow ACE in 1998, which dropped down to a 5-speed gearbox, chain final drive, and no slipper clutch. The Shadow Phantom was introduced in 2010 with blacked-out styling (the exhaust was still chrome), the introduction of fuel injection, and a return to shaft drive.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 2024 Phantom carries the blacked-out styling through the exhaust, which was still chrome for 2023.

The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom sees the blacked-out styling now carried through the exhaust – a good look that represents a more modern appeal. It still features a liquid-cooled 745cc 52-degree V-Twin, but machine-cut cylinder head fins add a nice visual contrast that makes the engine pop. There’s also a new two-tone paint scheme on the tank (Deep Pearl Gray or Orange Metallic), LED turnsignals, fork boots, shortened fenders, and a new single seat (a passenger seat and footpegs are available as accessories).

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 41mm fork on the new Phantom provides 5.1 inches of travel, a .5-inch increase over the 2023 model.

Colin Miller, American Honda assistant manager of public relations, said members of Generations Y and Z are more attracted to Honda’s Rebel platform, partially because of its more aggressive styling, and Honda is leveraging some of that style with the Shadow Phantom. Whereas the Shadow Aero still has the more laid-back appearance of a traditional cruiser with a swept-back handlebar and more relaxed seating, the revamped Phantom takes a more contemporary approach, with a new handlebar and clamp that puts the rider in more aggressive forward position. A graphic during the presentation showed the handlebar position close to that of the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
An undeniable part of the cruiser appeal is the appearance, and the new styling of the Phantom is definitely eye-catching.

And from a customization standpoint, while the previous model’s rear fender and license plate holder was one piece that had to be cut if a customer wanted to make changes, the holder on the new model can be unbolted to aid customization.

Another significant update to the Phantom is its stopping power. Braking in the front is still provided by a 2-piston caliper gripping a 296mm disc, but the previous rear brake drum has been replaced by a 276mm disc and 2-piston caliper, and a new ABS version is available for an extra $300.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
Instrumentation on the Phantom is minimal – about on par with the older cruiser in my stable, but at least it has a low-fuel light. And while there is no gear indicator, I appreciated the green neutral light.

Front suspension travel has been increased by half an inch (to 5.1 inches) but remains the same 3.5 inches in the rear courtesy of dual shocks with five-position spring-preload adjustability. Otherwise, seat height is essentially the same at a very cruiser-like 25.6 inches. Even though fuel capacity has been bumped 0.2 gallon to 3.9, curb weight of the 2024 model is 6 lb lighter at 543 lb.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The Phantom may not be a sportbike, but with a 543 pound curb weight, it doesn’t mind being flopped through corners.

Unlocking the Phantom Zone

The middleweight cruiser market exploded during the Covid pandemic. The wave crested in 2021, but Miller said Honda is hoping the Shadow Phantom will bring in both new riders and existing cruiser fans looking for something new. I don’t know about the younger generation – in more ways than just their riding preferences – but I can say this Gen X cruiser guy sure enjoyed the ride.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The Phantom returns with a liquid-cooled 745cc 45-degree V-Twin with SOHC and 3 valves per cylinder.

The first thing I noticed when firing up the bike was the rumble, which was surprisingly satisfying for a Japanese bike with the stock exhaust. The Phantom continued to impress as we rolled through the streets of San Dimas, California. When we tested the 2013 Shadow Aero, it made 44.7 lb-ft of peak torque at the rear wheel, with more than 40 lb-ft available between 2,200 and 5,000 rpm. I appreciated that level of low-end grunt when pulling away from intersections in town, and it held its own as we climbed 6,000 feet on State Route 39 to Crystal Lake.

Related: 2013 Honda Shadow Aero Review

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The rear fender on the 2024 Phantom is shorter than the previous model. Also note the three bolts (with three corresponding on the other side) to remove the rear portion for customizing.

The rear suspension was a little squishy in some of the bumpier parts, but that was likely a result of the preload being set for someone a little lighter than my two-plus bills. Fortunately, the new saddle is nice and cushy and didn’t give me any grief during the four hours I was on it.   

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
2024 Honda Shadow Phantom


The pull on the clutch lever was a little heavy, and I would rate it “medium.” Since I own an older cruiser, it’s not anything new to me, but many bikes today are equipped with slip/assist clutches, and once you get used to this feature, you notice when it’s not there. I was okay with the lever pull – although a slip/assist clutch would’ve lightened it – but there was a moment going up the twisty, narrow one-way route to Crystal Lake where a quick downshift, combined with some debris in the road, gave a hop of the rear wheel on a curve that was a little bracing.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
My only gripe with the Phantom is that I had to ride with my right heel on the footpeg instead of my arch if I didn’t want to rest my foot on the brake pedal or drag my boot on tight right corners.

At just $8,399 ($8,699 for the ABS version), the 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom may not have all the bells and whistles, but it is a very attractive proposition for either a new rider or someone looking to add another steed to their stable from a segment without a lot of competition.

Only Breath and Shadow

I had only one other issue with the Phantom. The bike has a decent 27.4-degree lean angle. However, when I put the arch of my boot on the forward-mount footpegs, if I didn’t want my toe resting on the brake pedal, the heel of my boot found the road surface before the pegs did. This required a shifting of my right boot to various positions, none of which were as comfortable or confidence-inspiring as having the peg positioned directly under my arch.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The Phantom sticks with its shaft drive roots, which has lower maintenance costs, a factor Honda says is appealing to new riders. I liked the clean look but wish they could’ve found someplace else for that sticker.

This is not to say that I was high-speed slaloming up the canyon. In fact, I was the most conservative of the riders that day on the winding SR-39. As to those peg scrapes, I was once advised by my colleague and editor-in-chief of our sibling publication American Rider, Kevin Duke: “Ride your own ride, but challenge your limits when your confidence grows.”

So I did. Most riders won’t treat the Honda Shadow like a sportbike, but it certainly responded to my prodding enough to make it a spirited ride up the winding SR-39. When it comes to riding my own ride, I like to cruise, take in the scenery, breathe the air, and get my heart pumping enough to remember I’m alive.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The curving, climbing ride on State Route 39 to Crystal Lake was a great mix of man versus nature.

If you are of a like mind, you’ll be very happy with the Phantom. And for those of you wondering if it’ll haul a little ass, the Phantom has something for you as well, as I can attest based on the taillights winking in the distance ahead of me from some of the other riders in my group.

The new Phantom has brought the Shadow into the light, and it looks to be a bright future indeed.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom comes in the two-tone Orange Metallic or Deep Pearl Gray.

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Specs

  • Base Price: $8,399
  • Website: Powersports.Honda.com
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 52-degree V-Twin, SOHC w/ 3 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 745cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 76.0mm
  • Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated clutch
  • Final Drive: Shaft
  • Wheelbase: 64.6 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 34 degrees/6.4 in.
  • Seat Height: 25.6 in.
  • Wet Weight: 543 lb
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.9 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 56 mpg (claimed)

See all of Rider‘s Honda coverage here.

The post 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator Review | First Ride

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator name returns to Kawasaki’s lineup after a long absence. This 451cc cruiser is light, fun, and affordable, making it ideal for new and intermediate riders. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

When a new rider asks for advice on a good first bike, they quickly find out that opinions vary wildly. Some will suggest a bike in the 250-300cc range, but that might not be ideal for riders who frequently travel at highway speeds. Others will suggest larger-displacement bikes that the new rider won’t outgrow, but those might be too intimidating and squash what little confidence the new rider had to begin with.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
While the Eliminator sits a little higher than many cruisers, it maintains a low and long stance with a sleek fuel tank befitting a cruiser.

The 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator seeks to be the Goldilocks in this story, slotting above the smaller-displacement beginner bikes to be the bowl of porridge that is just right: It’s an approachable machine that will grow with a new rider while providing enough punch to entertain an intermediate rider.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator’s 451cc parallel-Twin, derived from the engine in the Ninja 400, produces fun power across its rev range, although we’d wish for an equally fun exhaust note to match.

Related: Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS | First Ride Review

The Eliminator also seeks to attract new riders with a sport-cruiser style. The new 451cc parallel-Twin derived from the Ninja 400 likes to rev high and provides pizzazz, and the new chassis and ergonomics fall somewhere between a cruiser and a standard, making for a controllable yet comfortable riding experience. Add to that a light curb weight of only 386 lb for the base model, and you get a motorcycle that’s both easy and exciting to ride.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator’s Ninja-derived parallel-Twin provides enticing power for canyon roads.

While the 2024 Eliminator is an all-new model for Kawasaki, the name is a familiar one. It first appeared in 1985 with the ZL900 Eliminator, a cruiser stuffed with the ZX900 Ninja’s liquid-cooled inline-Four. The Eliminator name carried on to other models up into the mid-2000s. Now, the Eliminator has returned and brings some of the sport-influenced lineage with it.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
All lighting on the Eliminator is LED, but the round headlight harkens back to earlier Eliminators. The headlight features a low-beam chamber and a high-beam chamber with position lamps so that the whole light appears lit.

The Eliminator makes some nods to its namesakes in the styling department. The round headlight harkens back to earlier days, although now all lighting is LED. The tailsection is also reminiscent of older models, as are the headlight cowl and fork boots available on the SE version of the Eliminator.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator slots between lesser-powered beginner bikes and heavier cruisers to be a motorcycle that’s both easy and exciting to ride.

These styling hints are incorporated into a contemporary look, so nobody will think you’re riding around on your dad or mom’s old bike recently unburied from the back of the garage. With a mostly blacked-out frame and other components, a slim fuel tank, and a tidy taillight and turnsignals, this is a modern-looking machine.

Kawasaki did a good job of making the Eliminator feel like a “real” cruiser – although the same can’t be said for its sound. The parallel-Twin uses a 180-degree crankshaft instead of the more popular and rumbly 270, so it doesn’t have a deep exhaust note befitting a cruiser. Some are more interested in how a bike performs, but there’s something to be said – particularly for cruisers – for sound and style. Deep down, we love a bike with character, and whereas Kawasaki has paid attention to the character of the Eliminator’s style, the company has missed the mark on giving us those nice rumbling exhaust notes we expect from a cruiser.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
While this motorcycle fits into the cruiser box, its mid-mount footpegs and a slightly leaned-forward riding position edge toward the ergonomics of a standard motorcycle.


The good thing is that once you start riding, you remember that exhaust notes are superficial, and the real spirit of a motorcycle lies in its performance. What the engine lacks in sound, it makes up for in the riding experience. The liquid-cooled 451cc parallel-Twin with DOHC is derived from the Ninja 400’s 399cc platform, and its extra displacement comes from lengthening the stroke by 6.8mm, from 51.8mm to 58.6. That longer stroke adds torque befitting a cruiser, and that extra grunt is obvious while riding. This is a bike that is happy to lope through town and sit comfortably in a cruiser rev range with nice low-end pull. That is, until you decide to twist that throttle for a little more pep.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The slip/assist clutch reduces fatigue while riding in town amid stop lights, delivery trucks, and pedestrians with their canine companions.

Upon that twist, you’ll discover that this engine has so many revs to give. Redline shows at 11,000 rpm on the tachometer, and the power keeps building until that limit. Where you’d expect a cruiser like this to need shifting much earlier, this engine is eager to rev. Although Kawasaki doesn’t slot the Eliminator into the “sport-cruiser” category, the engine’s attitude certainly does. It pulls down low for a satisfying power surge, and then it continues building power all the way to its rev limit.

Engine performance is only a small part of the equation for a fun and comfortable beginner to intermediate bike. We need ergonomics to match. The riding position of the Eliminator is sportier than most cruisers. The mid-mount footpegs give a sense of control that is often lacking on more forward-mounted cruiser pegs. The 28.9-inch seat height is also a little taller than many cruisers. At five-foot-one, I am not able to flat-foot on the Eliminator, but I feel stable enough that I would be comfortable on this bike as a new rider. Accessory seats that raise or lower the height by 1 inch are available. The stock seat is nice and plush with a slightly scooped-out design.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
A 310mm front disc with a Nissin dual-piston caliper sheds speed adequately, but the $300 extra for ABS front and rear is a worthwhile addition, especially for new riders.

The Eliminator’s brakes are uninspiring but get the job done. Up front is a single 310mm disc with a twin-piston caliper, and in the back is a single 220mm disc with a single-piston caliper. The ABS version of the Eliminator adds $300 onto the base price and 2 lb to the wet weight. The 41mm telescopic fork has 4.7 inches of travel, and the twin shocks have 3.1 inches of travel, and there is no adjustability. The suspension felt well balanced and absorbed all but the most egregious road bumps.

The round instrumentation screen also harkens back to Eliminators of yore. The LCD screen has a tachometer up top, speedometer, gear indicator, clock, fuel level, and the option to switch between odometer, two tripmeters, fuel range, and current and average fuel consumption.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The LCD display is simple, but all necessary information is included, and the gear indicator is particularly helpful for newer riders.

The Eliminator pairs with Kawasaki’s Rideology app. Once connected, the display will show message and call information. More interesting are the options available on the app itself, which includes vehicle information and general display settings (such as preferred units and clock format).

Most interesting is Rideology’s ability to log your rides. I used the app to track our test ride in and around Oceanside, California, and it showed a map of the route and information such as date and time, location, mileage, total trip time, and average speed. I found this feature quite fun, and I enjoyed the ability to look back at my route after the ride had ended. The app stops tracking the ride if the bike is keyed off, but as long as the rider remembers to resume the route on the app after gas or lunch stops, that isn’t an issue.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
With a curb weight of only 386 lb, the Eliminator is easy to handle for newer riders.

Other useful technologies on the Eliminator are the slip/assist clutch and the positive neutral finder. The slip/assist clutch results in a very light clutch pull and easy shifting, which was helpful for reducing fatigue during our several photo stops throughout the test ride day. The positive neutral finder is a feature that is quite helpful for newer riders. When stopped or traveling below 6 mph, a lift of a toe from first gear will automatically access the neutral position and prevent upshifting to 2nd gear.

Related: 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR | First Ride Review

The Eliminator’s closest competitor is the Honda Rebel 500, which has a starting price of $6,449 for model year 2023. Both bikes have a sporty cruiser style, and a glance at the spec charts shows similar numbers. The Honda Rebel has 20cc more displacement than the Eliminator, but they make roughly the same torque (about 32 lb-ft). Kawasaki has not released horsepower figures for the Eliminator, but we expect those numbers to be similar as well. The Eliminator is lighter than the Rebel by 26 lb for the ABS versions, and the Eliminator has a longer wheelbase by about an inch. There are other small differences, but they stack up closely.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
Kawaski’s motto for the Eliminator is “Just Ride,” and it’s a bike that invites you to do exactly that.

The Eliminator comes in three versions. The base model has an MSRP of $6,649. For an extra $300, you can upgrade to the ABS version. Both the base model and ABS version are available in Pearl Robotic White and Pearl Storm Gray. Tack on another $300, and for $7,249, you’ll get the SE version, which includes ABS, a headlight cowl, a USB-C outlet, fork boots, and a two-pattern seat. It’s also the only version available in the eye-catching Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Ebony colorway.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator comes in non-ABS and ABS versions in Pearl Robotic White or Pearl Storm Gray, and the SE version (center) comes in a bright Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Ebony.

As someone who loves to see new riders finding their place in the world of motorcycling, I’m glad Kawasaki has recognized a hole in its lineup and made the effort to fill it, providing a cruiser option that’s more approachable and significantly lighter than the 650cc Vulcan S. With its light weight, low seat height, comfortable riding position, and a Ninja-derived engine, the Eliminator is a motorcycle that is as welcoming as it is fun.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
2024 Kawasaki Eliminator

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator Specifications

  • Base Price: $6,649
  • Price as Tested: $6,949 (w/ ABS)
  • Website: Kawasaki.com
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 451cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 70.0 x 58.6mm
  • Torque: 31.7 lb-ft (factory claim)
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Wheelbase: 59.8 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 30 degrees/4.8 in.
  • Seat Height: 28.9 in.
  • Wet Weight: 386 lb (388 lb w/ ABS)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gal.

See all of Rider‘s Kawasaki coverage here.

The post 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Motorcycle of the Year Countdown

2023 Rider Magazine Motorcycle of the Year

Starting Friday, Sept. 8, and resuming Monday, Sept. 11, we’ll be announcing two MOTY finalists per day, with the big reveal of Rider‘s 2023 Motorcycle of the Year winner on Friday, Sept. 15. So bookmark this page and keep checking back. –Ed.

If Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year, now in its 34th year, were a person, it would have graduated from college or completed military service, launched a career, got married, bought a house, and started a family. It would have a couple motorcycles in the garage, perhaps a cruiser or sport-tourer for the open road and a dual-sport or adventure bike for exploring the backcountry.

In other words, it would be like the rest of us: a dedicated motorcycle enthusiast.

Rider has been bringing you “Motorcycling at Its Best” for almost 50 years. We’ve tested nearly every street-legal motorcycle on the market, with an emphasis on real-world bikes that are within reach for most of us. For every $100,000 Arch 1s we review, we test dozens if not hundreds of motorcycles you’ll find in dealerships and garages across America, from sea to shining sea.

Related: 2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year: The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Unlike car dealers, most motorcycle dealers don’t offer test rides. Demo rides are great, but they are few and far between and often involve parade-pace conga lines that don’t allow riders to experience a motorcycle’s true capabilities. We know you count on us to provide honest, in-depth reviews to help you make informed purchase decisions – or to just keep you up to date on the latest and greatest bikes on the market.

Every year, we ride as many new or significantly updated motorcycles as we can and evaluate them within the context of their intended use. Then we put our collective heads together and identify those that best fulfill their intended purpose and advance the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

For 2023, there were more than 80 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one winner. Starting Friday, Sept 8, and resuming Monday, Sept. 11, we’ll be updating this post with two finalists per day, with the big reveal of this year’s 2023 Motorcycle of the Year winner on Friday, Sept. 15. So bookmark this page and keep checking back.

Without further ado…

2023 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists:

1. BMW R 18 Roctane

2024 BMW R 18 Roctane
BMW R 18 Roctane (Photo by Jörg Künstle, Markus Jahn)

The fifth member of the R 18 family is a unique alternative to the ubiquitous American V-Twin. It’s powered by the BMW 1,802cc “Big Boxer” Twin and features blacked-out styling, a midrise handlebar, a 21-inch front wheel, and hard saddlebags. The Roctane has admirable curb appeal, good comfort and handling, and high-tech features including Rock, Roll, and Rain ride modes.

Related: 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane | First Ride Review  

2. CFMOTO Ibex 800 T

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T
CFMOTO Ibex 800 T (Photo by Aaron Crane)

CFMOTO has been on the gas lately, expanding its motorcycle lineup from seven to 10 models, including two versions of the Ibex 800 adventure-tourer powered by a 790cc parallel-Twin adapted from the KTM 790 Adventure. The top-of-the-line Ibex 800 T is comfortable, capable, and packed with useful features yet retails for an accessible $10,499.

Related: 2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T | Road Test Review 

Check back Monday, Sept. 11, for the next two finalists!

The post 2023 Motorcycle of the Year Countdown appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

West Coast Cruiser Motorcycle Battle: 2023 H-D Low Rider S vs. Indian Sport Chief

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief
If you’re looking for a club-style performance cruiser motorcycle, this duo is at the pinnacle. Harley-Davidson’s Low Rider S is the OG, and it’s now joined by a worthy adversary in the form of Indian’s new Sport Chief. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

The simple formula for going fast has been in play since the dawn of motor vehicles: Stuff the largest and most‑powerful engine into a sporty chassis that can handle it. When it comes to fully air-cooled motors made in America, none are bigger than those in the cruiser motorcycle comparo you see here. They’ve got a combined 233 cubic inches on tap for our visceral and aural pleasure – 117 cubes on the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S and 116 on the Indian Sport Chief.

Power has a charm all its own, but nothing puts butts in seats like attractive designs. Here we’ve got variations on West Coast club-style, with sporty windscreens leading their way to tall-but-forward club-style handlebars and mid-mount foot controls. These are elemental but imposing motorcycles, graced by subtle flash and plenty of dash.  

Low Rider Cruiser Motorcycle Legacy 

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

The Low Rider S follows a lineage of Low Riders that began in 1977 with Willie G.’s Shovelhead-powered FXS and then the belt-driven FXSB. The model transitioned to the Dyna platform in 1995 and remained in production until 2009.

The nameplate was too potent to lay dormant, so Harley delivered a new Low Rider for 2014-17, including the debut of the Low Rider S moniker in 2016. In 2018, it transitioned again – a bit controversially – to the Softail platform and the Milwaukee-Eight powertrain. Upon its debut, H-D referenced past models and inspirations from California.

Related: 2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S | First Ride Review

“We’ve applied that coastal style and performance-first attitude to the Softail chassis to create a Low Rider S that’s more powerful and agile than ever,” said Brad Richards, H-D vice president of design. And the formula has proven to be successful, also spawning the desirable FXRT-inspired Low Rider ST in 2022.

Indian: Me Too! 

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Indian Sport Chief

Indian gave the Chief a thorough overhaul for the 2022 model year, introducing a steel-tube frame with twin-shock rear suspension. Ironically, its layout is closer to Harley’s former Dyna than the Softail-based Low Rider S.

And now we have the Sport Chief, which adds a bullet-nose fairing sized midway between the Low Rider S’s windscreen and the Low Rider ST’s more expansive fairing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  

Related: 2023 Indian Sport Chief | First Ride Review

Miss America

A cursory look at this duo reveals many similarities, all framed around narrow-angle V-Twins. Most surfaces are black, but polished cylinder finning adds a bit of brightwork. Harley’s M-8 is a little brighter with its chromed pushrod tubes. The Indian’s black wheels feature machined spoke edges for a flash of bling, while the Radiate wheels of the Low Rider are finished in dark bronze.

The most visually obvious distinction is in their snouts, with the Indian’s fairing much more prominent than the diminutive wind deflector on the H-D. Both bikes have dual-disc brakes on their inverted forks, and both have black shotgun-style mufflers. Neither accommodates a passenger in stock form, but accessories are available to ensure your significant other doesn’t have to stay home.

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief

Both bikes feature cruise control and self-canceling turnsignals as standard equipment, but the cockpits differ in terms of technology. The Low Rider uses a familiar 4-inch analog tach with a small digital section that includes readouts for speed, gear selection, fuel level, clock, tripmeter, and fuel range. Its location is set higher than the Chief’s, making it easier to scan quickly.

That’s enough instrumentation for most, but Indian one-ups its Milwaukee rival with a color TFT touchscreen that adds Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and audio inputs, as well as readouts for air temperature and altitude, a trip computer, and ride-mode selection. It also provides a USB charge port and a 12V outlet.

The Harley’s triple clamp, handlebar clamp, and tank console are finished in a Rhino Lining-like Wrinkle Black, which looks tuff if not pretty. On the other bar, the Sport Chief’s upper triple clamp features machined accents that add a high-end touch, along with a bar clamp capped by an attractive scripted Indian “I” in silver.  

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
The Low Rider’s cockpit is quite basic, with an instrument layout that seems spartan for a $20K motorcycle.
Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Indian Sport Chief
The Sport Chief has a bright TFT gauge pod that includes many features not available on its rival.

West Coast Cruiser Motorcycle Cost Analysis 

Parking either of these bikes in your garage will set you back about $20K, but their prices add up differently.

The base Low Rider S retails for $18,199, while the Sport Chief starts at $18,999. Choosing a color other than black adds $525 to the Harley and $500 to the Indian. The Indian comes standard with ABS, but it’s a $950 option on the LR-S. Traction control is also standard on the Sport Chief, but H-D’s Rider Safety Enhancements package (with traction control) costs an extra $200. As tested, the Harley is priced at $19,874 and the Indian at $19,499. Both companies tack on additional surcharges and fees, some of which are at the dealer’s discretion. 

Fired Up 

Both bikes come to life via an electronic key fob, which is a huge convenience for many and a PITA for some old-school brothers. While many appreciate the tactile mechanicalness of an actual key, there’s no denying the handiness of a fob.

Harley’s Milwaukee-Eight engine convulses at idle, adding some drama to the experience, accompanied by ticking lifter noise. Indian’s Thunderstroke feels smoother, like it’s bathed in oil. Both rumble with pleasing baritone exhaust notes – loud enough to sound mean but not mean enough to be obnoxious. They’re a decent compromise within EPA requirements.

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
The Low Rider S shares a similar riding position with the Sport Chief, with a forward reach to the bars and mid-mount footpegs under riders’ knees.


Our fondness for Harley’s M-8 powertrain is raised to a more supreme level with the 117ci versions we’ve tested. It spits out hearty low-end grunt beginning below 2,000 rpm and continues surging with a strong pull on the way to its 5,500-rpm redline.

Indian’s 116ci Thunderstroke is a nice match, just 1ci shy of H-D’s M-8. Can you really feel the extra inch? How about 33cc? A bit, but the bikes feel similarly powerful in general use. Indian says its mill cranks out 120 lb-ft of torque at 2,900 rpm, while Harley claims 125 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm.

It’s at the upper end of the rev ranges where the MoCo motor stretches its 4-valve-per-cylinder legs, making it feel almost like it has dual personalities – it’s torquey yet revvy – and cranks out about 95 hp at 4,700 rpm on a rear-wheel dyno. That’s more than 10 ponies up on the Indian motor, a significant advantage. However, when riding them on the street, we never would’ve guessed the gap was so large, as these engines are all about surfing their prodigious midrange torque.

The Harley’s motor also earns an edge in the direct responses from its twistgrip. No ride modes here, just an unbroken connection with the throttle. In comparison, the Thunderstroke feels like a computer is dictating its responses. 

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Indian Sport Chief
The Sport Chief’s quarter-fairing adds a cohesive styling element to the Chief platform that is proving to be a powerful draw for consumers. A local dealer rep says he can’t keep them in stock and has a waiting list nearly 100 deep.


Indian’s Sport mode delivers unnecessarily jumpy throttle responses, but switching to Standard mode calms things considerably and makes for a much smoother ride. But when you jump on the Harley and feel the immediate responses cued from its right grip, the Chief feels docile in comparison. I ended up preferring the liveliness of Sport mode and adjusted to its snatchiness.

The Sport Chief may lose ground in outright power, but it makes some of that back with a gearbox as good as a big-inch cruiser gets, even allowing seamless upshifts without using the clutch. The slip/assist clutch requires less lever effort and allows for sloppy downshifts, but its engagement zone isn’t as broad as the Harley’s. Six-speed transmissions feed belt drives on both.

Cruiser Motorcycle Battle Tale of the Tape 

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief
The Low Rider S’s flyscreen is mounted higher than the Sport Chief’s, providing more wind protection than expected. The Indian’s quarter-fairing is mounted lower but is topped by a windscreen that supplies greater shelter from the elements. The Sport Chief’s headlight also has superior illumination.

Again, we have a close match in several areas, but there are a few key distinctions. Weights with full fuel tanks are nearly identical, with the Low Rider just 6 lb lighter than the 685-lb Sport Chief. The actual weights of the machines are likely 12 lb apart due to the 5-gallon Harley tank holding 1 gallon more than the Indian’s.

Ergonomically, there are few distinctions. Straight handlebars are mounted on risers for tall hand positions. The Low Rider’s 4-inch bar risers position the handlebar a little closer to the rider. Footpeg locations are pretty much identical, mid-mounted to deliver a position that places feet below knees. They yield a much tighter knee bend than with forward controls, so longer-legged riders might feel cramped.  

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief

The Sport Chief enjoys a lower seat height, at 27 inches, but that’s certainly not a problem if you have an inseam of at least 28 inches, which is where the Low Rider’s seat is located. The Harley’s saddle is slightly more scooped out than the Indian’s, but both feel equally comfortable, with supportive bolsters holding riders securely in place.

In terms of chassis geometry, both bikes have the same rake angle (28 degrees), but the amount of trail diverges. More trail results in slightly slower steering responses, and it’s 4.4 inches on the Indian to the Harley’s 5.7 inches. However, the wheelbase of the Low Rider is 1 inch less than the Chief’s 64.6 inches, gaining back some agility, as does its slightly narrower front tire.

All those numbers add up to remarkably similar vehicle dynamics, with neither bike having a clear advantage. The narrow bars look cool but decrease leverage, yielding steering effort best described as deliberate, not flickable.

Both are quite sporty for bikes with more than 5 feet between contact patches, feeling secure up to and beyond the available cornering clearances. Burly frames keep the bikes from getting twisted up when levered hard into corners. Harley states a 31.3-degree lean angle for the Low Rider S, which is a slender cornering advantage over the Sport Chief’s 29.5 degrees.

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief
When it comes to tilting horizons, this is a fairly even match, although the Indian’s pegs drag a little sooner than the Harley’s.

Suspension performance is nearly a wash. Inverted forks with 5.1 inches of travel on both respond similarly well with nicely dialed damping. The Harley’s 4.4 inches of travel in its Softail rear suspension is slightly more (0.4 in.) than the Indian’s dual shocks offer – more than other Softails and Chiefs – but both do an effective job of smoothing out all but the biggest bumps.

With the power on tap to pile up speed on these muscle-bikes, it’s nice to know they have stout sets of brakes. Both use dual-disc setups up front with 4-piston calipers actuated via braided-steel lines. We’ll give the nod to the Indian’s radially mounted Brembo calipers and bigger discs, which provide a bit more power and feedback than the Harley’s binders.

The lighter clutch pull on the Chief makes it less fatiguing to ride in stop-and-go traffic, but the effort required from the Low Rider isn’t onerous. Heat radiating from the engines is attenuated by rear-cylinder deactivation programming, but there’s no escaping the warmth produced by immense air‑-cooled motors.

Hand controls are similarly effective, both with beefy, contoured levers that feel good on fingertips. Gripes are few. Harley’s dual-button turnsignals still feel like one button too many, while we wish Indian’s signal switch had a tactile cancel click. Self-canceling turnsignals mean you never look like an absent-minded old man, even if you are one. Kudos to H-D for its signals canceling quicker. But shade gets thrown on the Low Rider S for the mediocre low-beam illumination from its headlight.  

Same But Different 

The motorcycles in our last all-American shootout – H-D Sportster S and Indian’s Scout and FTR – couldn’t have been much more different for a trio of bikes with liquid-cooled V-Twin engines. But the bikes in this comparo are remarkably similar and priced that way too.

The Low Rider S stands out for the stellar responses and visceral feel of its 117ci M-8 powertrain. It feels more alive – and more powerful – than the cloudier feedback from Indian’s Thunderstroke. On the downside is a less attractive cockpit. The H-D’s instrument pod looks cheap in general – especially next to the Indian’s TFT – and its wrinkle-finish triple-clamps and bar risers aren’t as classy as the finishing on the Indian.

The Sport Chief struts an impressive profile with its prominent and visually appealing fairing and is augmented by classy finish detailing. Technology adopters will appreciate its vastly more robust suite of electronics. Purists might whinge about the dilution of feedback from the machine relative to unadulterated responses from the MoCo’s offering.

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief
Another classic Indian‑­versus‑­Harley battle with a great deal of parity. Choosing your favorite might be determined only by their appearance or your brand preference.

“In terms of engine character, overall performance, and handling, these bikes are pretty much neck and neck,” said EIC Greg Drevenstedt, co-rider in the comparison. “If one isn’t clearly head and shoulders above the other in terms of function, then it comes down to the details. The Wrinkle Black finishes on the Harley look utilitarian, like the bed of a pickup truck. The Indian exhibits more attention to detail and has nicer finishes, and the Sport Chief’s fairing gives the bike a more cohesive look than the Low Rider S’s flyscreen.”

Greg and I were on the same page when deciding which bike we preferred, judging them remarkably close.

“While I appreciate the more raw feel of the Harley’s 117, neither of these bikes will stay stock for long,” said Drevenstedt. “A few performance mods will make either bike even meaner. For me, it comes down to style and stance. I love the bronze wheels on the Low Rider S, but I’m not a fan of the White Sand Pearl paint, which looks beige. Those wheels look better on the Vivid Black version, which reminds me of a late ’70s ‘screamin’ chicken’ Trans-Am.

“But the one that draws me in is the Sport Chief. It’s longer, lower, and looks more aggressive. A muscle cruiser should scream ‘bad ass’ even when parked on the curb, and the Indian does that.”

With a comparison this competitive, choosing a winner might all come down to brand loyalty and how the forms of each bike hit subjective eyes. And whichever bike you pick, you won’t be wrong.

West Coast Cruiser Motorcycle Spec Chart Shootout

Cruiser Motorcycle 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Indian Sport Chief
Here are the two biggest fully air‑­cooled motors offered in production motorcycles

Base Price:

  • 2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S: $18,199
  • 2023 Indian Sport Chief: $18,999  

Price as Tested:

  • H-D: $19,874 (White Sand Pearl paint, ABS, Rider Safety Enhancements)
  • Indian: $19,499 (Ruby Smoke paint)     


  • H-D: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
  • Indian: 2 yrs., unltd. miles



Engine Type:    

  • H-D: Air‑cooled, transverse 45‑degree V‑Twin, OHV w/ 4 valves per cyl. 
  • Indian: Air‑cooled, transverse 49‑degree V‑Twin, OHV w/ 2 valves per cyl.


  • H-D: 117 ci (1,923 cc)
  • Indian:  116 ci (1,890 cc)

Bore x Stroke: 

  • H-D: 4.075 x 4.5 in. (103.5 x 114.3mm)
  • Indian: 4.063 x 4.449 in. (103.2 x 113.0mm)

Compression Ratio:

  • H-D: 10.2:1
  • Indian: 11.0:1

Valve Insp. Interval:

  • H-D: N/A (self‑­adjusting)
  • Indian: N/A (self‑­adjusting)

Fuel Delivery:

  • H-D: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
  • Indian: Closed loop EFI w/ 54mm throttle body

Lubrication System:

  • H-D: Dry sump, 5.0 ­qt. cap.
  • Indian: Semi‑­dry sump, 6.0 qt. cap.


  • H-D:  6‑speed, cable-­actuated wet assist clutch
  • Indian:  6­-speed, cable‑actuated wet assist clutch

Final Drive:     

  • H-D: Belt
  • Indian: Belt



  • H-D: Tubular steel w/ rectangular‑­section backbone & steel swingarm
  • Indian: Tubular steel w/ steel swingarm


  • H-D: 63.6 in.
  • Indian: 64.6 in.


  • H-D:  28.0 degrees/5.7 in.
  • Indian:  28 degrees/4.4 in.

Seat Height:

  • H-D: 28.0 in.
  • Indian:  27.0 in.

Suspension, Front:

  • H-D: 43mm inverted fork, no adj., 5.0 in. travel
  • Indian: 43mm inverted fork, no adj., 5.1 in. travel

Suspension, Rear:

  • H-D: Single shock, adj. preload, 4.4 in. travel
  • Indian: Dual piggyback shocks, adj. preload, 4.0 in. travel

Brakes, Front:

  • H-D: Dual 300mm discs w/ 4­-piston calipers & ABS (as tested)
  • Indian: Dual 320mm discs w/ 4‑piston calipers & ABS

Brakes, Rear:

  • H-D: Single 292mm disc w/ 2‑piston caliper & ABS (as tested)
  • Indian: Single 300mm disc w/ 2‑piston caliper & ABS

Wheels, Front:

  • H-D: 19 x 2.5 in.
  • Indian: 19 x 3.5 in.

Wheels, Rear:

  • H-D: 16 x 5.0 in.
  • Indian: 16 x 5.0 in.

Tires, Front:

  • H-D: Tubeless, 110/90B‑19
  • Indian: Tubeless, 130/60B­-19

Tires, Rear: 

  • H-D: Tubeless, 180/70B‑16
  • Indian: Tubeless, 180/65B­-16

Wet Weight:

  • H-D:  679 lb
  • Indian:  685 lb

Load Capacity:

  • H-D: 481 lb
  • Indian: 475 lb


  • H-D: 1,160 lb
  • Indian: 1,160 lb



  • H-D: 103 @ 4,750 rpm (factory claim)
  • Indian: 96 @ 4,200 rpm (estimated)


  • H-D:  125 lb­-ft @ 3,500 rpm (factory claim)
  • Indian:  120 lb‑ft @ 2,900 rpm (factory claim)

Fuel Capacity:

  • H-D: 5.0 gal.
  • Indian: 4.0 gal.

Fuel Consumption:

  • H-D: 47 mpg
  • Indian: 48 mpg

Estimated Range:

  • H-D: 235 miles
  • Indian: 192 miles

See all of Rider‘s Harley-Davidson coverage here.

See all of Rider’s Indian coverage here.

The post West Coast Cruiser Motorcycle Battle: 2023 H-D Low Rider S vs. Indian Sport Chief appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com