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BIKER NEWS: All About Cruisers

BN- Motorcycles, as they say, are soul movers, and owners don’t just ride them – they love them and live by them. They’re bikers, and th...


BN- Motorcycles, as they say, are soul movers, and owners don’t just ride them – they love them and live by them. They’re bikers, and their beefy rides dripping with chrome and oozing machismo, are symbols of their rebel attitudes. And, with loads of attitude and burly styling, cruisers are the most popular rides when it comes to motor-biking as a lifestyle (yeah, sport-bikes step aside please).

The big, brawny ride cruisers tell the story of trademark American motorcycling, and they do it mostly by sound. There is no mistaking the roar of an 1800cc engine and the assault it makes on the road and eardrums of anyone in the vicinity. The cruiser style of motorcycles emerged in the USA in 1930s and the bikes gained huge popularity worldwide, especially those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson.

The comfortable riding position usually places the feet forward and the hands up, with the spine erect or leaning back slightly, making long-haul riding, chewing up of endless miles of pavement, all the easier.

Typical classic cruiser engines emphasise easy rideability and shifting, with plenty of low-end torque, but not necessarily large amounts of horsepower; after all they are supposed to be mile-munchers, and not back crunchers. Hop on, and enjoy the scenery as you rumble down breezy roads.

But an old-school cruiser just isn’t edgy enough for some. Enter the power cruisers: rowdy muscle bikes that take cruiser-style riding to an exhilarating new level. These bikes are one part hot rod, one part sportbike — and several buckets of attitude — wrapped in taut, muscular bodywork. Power cruisers blast down the dragstrip, leaving regular motorcycles sniffing tendrils of tyre smoke.

As biking became more and more common and the territory of the grownups began to be intruded by the not so grownups, new school riders overtaking the purists, a need for more power and sophisticated ergos began to be felt.

Cashing in on the situation, European and Japanese brands, like Ducati, Triumph, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Moto-Guzzi (who were already the leaders in sports-biking but looking to break into the cruiser segment as well) were poised to edge in on what had long been American territory. Thus emerged the concept of power cruisers in the 1990s.

Power cruisers have greater performance than usual, including more horsepower, stronger brakes and better suspension, are often also called as performance cruisers, or muscle cruisers, still retaining lines evocative of the American cruiser. The power cruisers have more neutral riding positions, and better cornering ability, even at high speeds.

Though the label ‘Performance Cruisers’ is considered by many as an oxymoron in the truest sense, as even the most powerful motorcycle in the group can be easily mauled in the quarter-mile and tore-apart through corners even by a five-year-old super-sport.

That said, the power cruisers are seriously fast in themselves, and the newest crop of performance cruisers will make any modern-day ordinary cruiser look like it’s tied to the porch.

With so many options out there today, the only question is, what kind of rider are you?

Biker club culture: the Origins

Originating in the USA, bike gangs took root in the 1940s, after World War II, when bored US Army veterans started to buy motorcycles and band together to relive the camaraderie and stimulation of wartime.

“The end of World War II saw young men returning from combat in droves,” William L. Dulaney wrote in 2005 in the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies. “Many found the transition back to a peaceful civilian life a more monotonous chore than they could handle. Some combat vets were trained in riding motorcycles, specifically Harleys and Indians, while serving overseas, and it were what they got back to, to break the monotony.”

“Returning veterans used their severance pay to buy motorcycles and party in taverns,” writes James F. Quinn, a professor at the University of North Texas who has studied motorcycle clubs. “Thrill-seeking attracted some returning veterans to choose a saloon society lifestyle centred around motorcycles.”

The oldest and biggest two Motorcycle clubs in the world are Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) and Mongols Motorcycle Club (MMC), both from California, USA, and having a member strength of over a thousand members each, and stretched across various countries.

The Top 5 Power Cruisers

They aren’t sport bikes, yet they can perform on the same level as the world’s fastest bikes while weighing a hundred or two kilos more. The intention is not to scare the devil out of you, every time you twitch the throttle, struggling to hang on to the bars for life This quintet of bruiser cruisers has enough power to screamingly propel ahead of others on the road in style, or to go out real fast from one red signal to the next, and we mean real fast. Here are the five fastest power cruisers based on 0-60 mile-per-hour times.

#5 Harley-Davidson

Night Rod Special

0-100kmph: 3.59 seconds

The fastest ever Harley sports a Porsche designed 1250cc engine churning out 112nm of torque, to propel you ahead with extreme brute. The bike has a dry weight of 302 kilos at the curb.

#4 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie

0-100kmph: 3.3 seconds

Honda’s monstrous Gold Wing matches the best time posted by any Gold Wing model. Packing a 6 cylinder engine of 1832cc, capable of 150nm of torque and 104bhp, the Valkyrie is ready to match nearly any cruiser on the road.

#3 Triumph Rocket Roadster

0-100kmph: 3.3 seconds

With 148bhp and an earth-pounding 221nm of torque, to power a wet weight of 366 kilos, it is easy to see why this Triumph bike is called the Rocket. It houses the world’s biggest production motorcycle engine (an imposing 2249cc) and can power from 0-100 in 3.3 seconds. It can run the quarter-mile in 11.48 seconds.

#2 Ducati Diavel

0-100kmph: 2.8 seconds

The most devilishly styled, the power hungry hunks will definitely want a sprint on the Diavel, a bike that can go 0-100 in just 2.8 seconds. Powering the Diavel is the 1198cc V-twin engine churning out 162bhp and 130nm of torque; while the bike’s wet weight is just 252 kilos.

#1 Yamaha Star VMAX

0-100kmph: 2.5 seconds

The VMax at 0-100 in 2.5 seconds, is the fastest bike that still makes for good long-range riding. It houses a 1679cc V4 engine capable of 179 horsepower and 154nm of torque. Weighing in at 315 kilos, it can match the Diavel on pound-for-pound power.

Source: http://timesofoman.com/article/69189/HI/All-About-Cruisers

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