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2014 Indian Chief Classic
Motorcycle enthusiasts have been showering praise on the revived Indian brand, and the 2014 Indian Chief Classic is no exception.
The Wall Street Journal called it “fantastic” and “a great overland bike.” Motorcycle USA said, “With the 2014 Indian Chief Vintage, Polaris has done an admirable job of combining the classic and contemporary.”
The stunning new cruiser is a big bruiser with a 68.1-inch wheelbase underlying a 103.5-inch bike — a full 9 inches longer than a comparable Harley Softail.
The larger size is matched with a two-cylinder, 18-liter engine that brings home an estimated 35 miles per gallon (combined) for about 190 miles in between fill-ups for long trips and ground shaking torque.
America’s oldest motorcycle brand will turn heads in iconic Indian style with an innovative aluminum frame with integrated intake a leather seat, mirror-chromed steel headlamp and tech upgrades such as anti-lock brakes, cruise control, LED lighting and keyless ignition.
All that for about 28 percent less than the 2013 Indian Chief sold for.
2014 Harley-Davidson Street
With an eye toward future generations of buyers, Harley-Davidson introduces the 2014 Street, its first all-new model in 13 years and a substantially lighter and more manageable urban street bike.
What’s really exciting is that Harley-Davidson is courting a younger market with liquid-cooled real-steel bikes designed for agile handling but with the familiar Harley look and sound. Both the Street 750 and the Street 500 feature the blacked-out or semi-blacked-out styling of the Dark Custom line, an all-new frame and the new Revolution X motor, which is designed to meet the demands of stop-and-go city driving.
The engine is a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin whose chain-driven single overhead camshafts operate four valves per cylinder via roller rockers with screw adjusters displacing 749cc and 494 cc respectively.
Appealing to an entry-level market, the Street features a chassis that is narrow and lean, slim front tire, super-low seat height, six speed transmission, a suspension tuned to riding in urban environments and broad handlebars for maneuverability.
MSRP: Street 500 $6,700
MSRP: Street 750 $7,500
Yamaha Mustang Star Bolt
Yamaha has electrified the biking world with the Mustang Star Bolt, and you don’t have to think too hard about who it’s obviously trying to emulate.
The Star Bolt is a bare-bones bike that’s taking on Harley’s tried-and-true Sportster. There’s room for both bikes, though, as they appeal to baby boomers who appreciate tradition and younger riders who want a stripped down look devoid of chrome.
The Bolt’s muscular appearance starts with a short 61.8-inch wheelbase with 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels and a solid-mounted engine on a tubular steel frame, a blacked out finish and polish finned edges. The compact chassis showcases the 58 cubic inch (942cc), air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin sitting at the heart of the bike. With a lean chassis and slim frame, the Star Bolt is a solo seat ride with “bobbed” fenders. The slim body and low seat design combine to give the motorcycle light maneuverability and a stable handling feeling. The upright riding posture helps the rider feel the wind, hear the sounds, and experience the pulse of the machine.
“Dead set on the cruiser thing?” Ride Apart asked, “This is a friendly, stylish, reliable, safe and affordable option. The Bolt has better performance, a plusher ride and is just friendlier and easier to use than equivalent Harleys.”
2014 Honda Grom
Sure, it’s basically a pumped-up scooter, but the 2014 Honda Grom motorcycle is a 125cc shot of fun sure to appeal to Gen-Y hispters.
Let’s start with the name: “Grom” is surfer jargon for a younger kid who can really rip it up on a skateboard or wave, and the funky-cool Grom looks like it would be at home in a beach town or hip city locale.
Pint-sized and fully street legal, the Grom features a fuel-injected 125cc, single cylinder, air cooled four stroke engine sitting atop 120mm wide tires on 12-inch rims. With a wheelbase of 47.4 inches and a shiny, inverted gold fork, the narrow but long seat sits high at 29.7 inches. While it may be small, the Grom can take a passenger, but that will slow you down. Drawing fuel from a 1.45-gallon tank, the Grom has surprisingly strong acceleration and can hit speeds of 60 mph and 130 mpg. Other features include disc brakes front and rear, 4.1 inches of rear suspension from a single shock package.
Small, light and powerful, the all-new Yamaha FZ-09 is priced right coming in at under $8,000. This is an all-around motorcycle that can take you to work during the week or hit the open road for adventure.
The FZ-09 hits one of the hottest segments of the market. A “naked” bike, it combines sport bike performance with a stripped down design.
The FZ-09 is powered by a fuel-injected, 847cc three-cylinder engine with a four-valve cylinder head and an equal firing interval, which Yamaha calls “crossplank crank.” There’s also a six-speed manual gearbox, steel and aluminum chassis, an adjustable inverted fork, rear single-shock suspension and triple-disc brakes. Curb weight is only 414 lbs.
Riders will feel free to wrap themselves around the bike because of a narrow seat and fuel tank design. This nimble ride comes with a heavy blast of bottom-end torque for great cornering, and when you hit 5,000 RPMs the power train roars to life.
Performance components include Yamaha’s YCC-T ride-by-wire throttle system, D-mode with three throttle position settings, adjustable suspension, variable throttle intake lengths.