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2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special vs. Indian Chieftain Dark Horse

Cycle World Logo By Zack Courts of Cycle World | Slide 1 of 8: Indian Chieftain Dark Horse and Harley-Davidson Sport Glide Special

Bikes such as the Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special and Indian Chieftain Dark Horse account for most of the motorcycles purchased in this country every year. Yet, to me, they hardly make sense. They’re heavy, low, and are meant to mosey along at a stately pace befitting their almost museumlike quality of being from another time. I know I’m in the minority, and in an effort to understand why, I decided to perform an experiment.

What if I were dropped halfway between the ­muddy banks of the Mississippi River and the shimmering shores of the Pacific Ocean, and told to make my way home? Would I understand those big bikes then? That became the mission: a roadracer, obsessed with horsepower and handling, astride baggers pointed across the heartland, in a mission to discover how and why ­American machines became what they are.

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© Spenser Robert

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