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Big Twin Rumble: Comparing the Big Twins from Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, and Suzuki

Motorcycle Cruiser Logo By staff of Motorcycle Cruiser | Slide 1 of 12: The diverse group of big twins we took on the diverse roads of the Owens Valley.

We considered it a well-deserved three-day vacation for our left feet. After grueling daily-duty running lesser cruisers up and down through the gears in city traffic, we hit the road on the biggest production V-twins available. This would be a strictly shifting-optional expedition. We’d select top gear on our mega-twins and simply chug along until the fuel warning lights winked on or the next Tastee-Freez appeared on the horizon. Just three manufacturers have entries in the mega-twins class.

Though you can opt to load each of them down with all sorts of aftermarket and OEM highway gear like saddlebags and windshields, we took ’em straight and undiluted, just as they roll out of the factory. Harley-Davidson created the segment, or at least was the first of the present manufacturers to capitalize on it, and offers a long roster of 1340cc twins. We chose the representative of each manufacturers’ full-cruiser family.

The Dyna Low Rider represented the modern, rubber-mounted Dyna line, and the retro Springer Softail—a pricier and more stylish take on big-inch motoring—carried the colors for the Softail family. Kawasaki offers three variations of the 1500 Vulcan, and we chose two: the basic Vulcan 1500, and the pleasingly plump 1500 Classic that debuted in ’96. Suzuki provided the elemental-looking 1400 Intruder. It made for a diverse mix of machinery; our route up California’s Owens River Valley would provide an equally diverse selection of roads.

© Provided by Bonnier Corporation

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