Top ten power cruisers

The phrase power cruiser is a fairly new name in the motorcycle world, although the actual concept has been around for quite a while

Harley-Davidson FXDR 2019 Review

THE term power cruiser has been around in the motorcycle world for a few years now, although the origins of the machine can be traced back some way to bikes like the Yamaha V-MAX 1980s.

The concept is simple, take a laid-back cruiser and add all the power and torque the frame, tyres and brakes can handle! In the mid-2000s the genre went through somewhat of a renaissance, with bikes like the Rocket III and Kawasaki Vulcan leading the charge in the feet-forward, ballistic missile brigade.

Fast forward to 2020 and pretty much every major motorcycle brand is looking to get in on the game, pushing the envelope of what can be achieved further and further on in the process.

10. Indian Scout 1200

While the Indian Scout may not be every Brit’ rider’s first choice of machine, it’s a worthy holder of a place in this top ten. It’s powered by an all-new 100bhp, liquid-cooled V-Twin engine, has decent suspension and funky, art deco styling that makes it tricky to distinguish whether it’s an original machine from back in the day or a modern iteration. Pricey it may be, and it’s not the fastest machine around but worth considering if you’re looking for some exclusivity to match the brawn.

9. BMW K 1600 B

Thankfully, for BMW, the blueprint for a power cruiser is pretty loose, meaning a silky-smooth 1600cc lump fits right in in this top ten. It’s no slouch either, pushing out around 160bhp and 130lb-ft. Thanks to it’s transversely mounted six-cylinder engine and typical Bavarian build quality, it’s probably the smoothest and most soothing of all the bike on this list too.

8. Moto Guzzi Audace

The Audace is the Moto Guzzi’s answer to the power cruiser question. An unashamedly macho machine, with the typical transversely mounted V-Twin engine packing 1,380cc and just under 100bhp. The bike is crowned with red powder coated cylinder heads, a nod to its ‘sporty’ tune, and lashings of carbon fibre. Buy an Audace also means you’ll probably never see another on the road at the same time as you!

7. Kawasaki Vulcan S

While it’s output might not scream power-cruiser, everything else about the Vulcan S does. It’s got the look and feel of a full-sized, full-fat power cruiser, just in a much more accessible and easy to ride package. If you are a new or aspiring rider and want to get into the power cruiser genre, this is the bike for you!

6. Honda Gold Wing

The 2018 Honda Gold Wing spawned the (slightly) lighter and sleeker looking ‘bagger’ variant in 2018. With the rear seat/topbox now gone, the whole aesthetic of the machine changed. The bike looked more muscular and purposeful. All this was backed up by one of the best engines ever to grace a 1200cc+ motorcycle, the beautiful flat six-cylinder.

5. Harley-Davidson FXDR

The pinnacle of the Harley-Davidson Softail range comes in the form of the brutal-looking FXDR. It’s like a Softail that been hitting the gym too hard, necking supplements and losing weight by the shed load. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable bike to hammer along a twisty road. Not perfect by any means, but bloody good fun!

4. Yamaha V-MAX

Look, before you say it; I know that the V-MAX is RIP in the UK. But there are still almost new bikes sat in dealers waiting to be snapped up for silly money. And as with any of the bikes that are killed off by emissions regulations – I don’t think the V-MAX will be dead forever!

3. Ducati XDiavel and 1260 Diavel S

If you are looking for the fastest, most challenging to ride and most thrilling machine in this sector – here it is. The Ducati XDiavel and 1260 Diavel S boast low weight (when compared to the rest), huge power at 160bhp, advanced electronics and all of Ducati’s chassis and set up knowhow combined in one eye-catching package.

2. Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

While some of H-D’s big CVO machines seem more touring motorcycle than anything else, the bagger version of the CVO Road Glide looks every inch the power cruiser. In the bike’s standard trim it’ll put out about 95bhp, although if some extra pennies are spent in Harley-Davidson’s aftermarket parts catalogue you can unlock much more.

1. Triumph Rocket 3

Rounding out the top ten is one of our favourite bikes of the 2019 launch season. The Rocket 3 is a complete package, with excellent handling for its size, a full suite of electronics, all-day rider comfort and one of the best engines Triumph has ever produced. Yes, it’s a fair chunk of wedge to own, but it is a 100% all-new motorcycle, and developing something this good takes time and money!