The 2014 Indian Chieftain (left), Harley-Davidkid Street Glide Special (center) and Win Cross Counattempt administer upper-body wind protection and also luggage capacity for the long road. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Functional, big-inch V-twin baggers are all the rage these days. In addition to numerous style, these bikes offer the comfort of some upper-body wind protection through the practicality and convenience of saddlebags. To enlarge upon the idea that these are not stripped yet well-equipped models, save in mind that, in addition to a fairing and also bags, an engine that dislocations more than 100 cubic inches powers each of these bikes. That is then teamed via a 6-speed transmission and belt last drive. Then consider that these bikes are likewise equipped with anti-lock brakes, cruise manage and a typical sound mechanism to include tunes and also communications to your riding pleacertain. And via their snarling style, these cruiser baggers perform not convey the stodgy vibe of “old-guys-go-touring.”

To appreciate simply precisely just how un-stodgy these bikes could be, we gathered 3 of the top American-made brands including the Victory Cross Counattempt, Harley-Davidson’s new Street Glide Special, and the renewed timeless on the block, the latest and also ideal iteration of the Indian, the top-line Chieftain design. Each of these bikes has its very own unique personality and also performance features, so after running about on them for a couple of weeks locally, we took them out for a multi-day ride to cover all elements of what they deserve to perform.

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Harley, Indian and also Success interpretations of America’s many popular touring motorcycle, the bagger.

The Harley-Davidchild Street Glide Special’s cockpit feels compact, its controls are positioned closer to the rider and its handlebar is narrower than the others. The batwing fairing has actually that classic look that will never go out of style, and also which gives great hand also protection. It receives particular contemporary tweaks and upgrades, and one development from Harley’s Project Rusheven more for 2014 is the Splitstream vent listed below the winddisplay. The vent reduces buffeting and is designed to be open in the majority of riding conditions; a One-Touch latch closes it save the rain out. Also, its inner fairing is now gloss babsence, and also the front fender has a brand-new, reduced profile.

For the traveler, the saddlebags retain their timeless look, yet their brand-new latches incorporate single-release levers that are simple to run from either side of the bike and are a vast advancement in convenience. However, the Harley’s saddlebags carry out not hold quite as much luggage as the bags on the other bikes here.

Climb aboard the Success Cross Counattempt and also there’s a lot of room to relocate around. With its lengthy, wide handlebar and also the feet spread out on long floorboards, it uses a spacious feel, much even more so than the Harley. Its wide, low fairing with vestigial windscreen does not offer much wind protection. What the bike does offer, however, is that its saddlebags through their arched lids provide the most luggage capacity of those right here, and the seat provides a actual pocket that I found exceptionally comfortable.

Get the Win approximately speed and also you’ll alert that its motor feels sprightly, yet rougher under acceleration than the others, and also that its brakes are effective but lack sensitivity and also feedback. Despite this, even more aggressive riders will appreciate the Success for its exceptionally impressive taking care of, sporty ride and power. Although it offers the most horsepower of the 3, the Success motor lacks the throaty sound of the Harley-Davidkid and Indian. Still, the entire bike presents a badass vibe.

Let out the clutch on the Harley and the 103-inch engine provides plenty of torque right off the line. Just like any kind of Harley, it carries its weight low and also its 27.4-inch seat height is low, yet the seats on the various other 2 bikes are lower still.

Each of these bikes offers the basics of touring comfort and also convenience, yet their snarling style avoids the stodgy “old-guys-go-touring” vibe.

The narrow handlebar indicates much less steering leverage, so the bike required slightly even more effort to steer. Though equipped with the new, beefier 49mm fork, the Harley still felt flexy in the turns. The rider have the right to currently readjust the prefill on the rear suspension by turning a knob on the side of the bike. However before, through just 2.13 inches of travel in the dual rear shocks, the rear suspension beats you up on a bumpy road regardless of the setting.

Anvarious other Project Rusheven more development on the Street Glide Special is the Reflex Linked anti-lock brakes, which work-related well. This mechanism is distinctive in that it functions electronically so that it is not connected at speeds below 20-25 mph, which allows the rider to drag the rear brake in particular instances, such as low-rate maneuvers or in hairpin turns to stabilize the bike. At higher speeds (or once being braked down through this speed selection from a greater speed) the brakes are attached, through braking pressure distributed as necessary by a proportioning valve.

Approach the Indian and also you’re left through no doubt as to what it is. In addition to the usual emblem on the tank, those signature fenders and the illuminated Indian head out front, the bike comes via one more emblem on the motor and yet others on the air cleaner and derby cover for great meacertain.

Take a seat on the brand-new Indian and its dashboard is clean. It supplies a vintage look with just a speedometer and also tach, however there’s a full-attribute LCD display in the facility, and keymuch less starting. The rider carries an electronic fob that enables the motor to be began or the bags to be unlocked when the fob is within a couple of feet of it. Forobtain your fob, and you deserve to enter a personal access code to go motoring. The Indian’s seat offers great cushioning, yet each of us wiburned that it had actually been positioned just a tiny farther rearward so we might stretch our legs more. The mirror stalks are so short that the carbon-fiber knuckle protectors on our gloves came into call with the mirrors while we were riding.

While the Harley (left) and Success (right) fairings market good hand also and upper body security, their shorty windscreens market little more. But the Indian Chieftain (center), with its electrically adjusecure display screen, blocks the majority of wind.

The Indian’s suspension is extremely compliant, consisting of the air-adjustable rear shock, but it can use some better calibration. It’s the just bike right here on which the fairing incorporates an electrically adjusteady winddisplay and, thanks to it, the Indian offers the ideal wind defense as a whole, though there is some distortion around the edges of the shield. With that shelp, yet, it would be an easy matter for riders to include a taller accessory winddisplay screen and lower wind deflectors to the other 2 bikes to enhance their security.

The new 111-inch Indian motor has a good sound and feel, yet the power does not come on in a rush. It is said that dyno numbers don’t lie, but on occasion they don’t tell the full story, either. In our riding test, the Success felt strongest and the Harley absolutely obtained off the line quicker than the Indian, which felt lazy by comparichild. But as soon as we checked the numbers from our dyno-cologist, things didn’t seem to make sense. On paper, the Win created the the majority of horsepower by a good margin, which was confirmed by our seat-of-the-pants impressions. However before, the figures additionally showed that the Indian made substantially more torque than the Harley up until 4,500 rpm, yet in actuality the Harley introduced from a stop a lot much faster. Granted, at 808 pounds wet, the Street Glide Special is much lighter than the 847-pound Chieftain, however otherwise we think that the distinctions between dyno numbers and actual performance have the right to be described by the truth that dyno tests are performed through a rolling start, and bereason of distinctions in the 2 bikes’ servo-operated throttles.

Overall, after the previous revivals, we were impressed that this latest Indian effort is this great, and also that the price is this competitive. The bike deserve to contend on its very own merits, fairly than having to rely on the coolness element of its magic name.

These are all touring bikes, yet their bags are quickly removable for cleaning or have to you wish to adjust their look. Though we rode them aggressively, we discovered that each bike has actually acceptable cornering clearance so they did not inordinately limit our fun in the curves. Should you desire even more in regards to luggage capacity and wind protection, Harley and Win each offer more fully dressed models with a trunk and lowers, yet Indian, as yet, does not.

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To summarize this trio of American big-inch V-twins with their practicality and also tradition touches, here’s your standard guide: If you desire a spacious cockpit that allows you to stretch out, a taut suspension, good frame and great power, and the bike that feels most proficient on a winding road, take the Success. Or if you’d like the many classic look that will certainly become a conversation starter at eincredibly biker hangout, and also want to ride the comfortable one through an extra compliant suspension and also cushy seat, you’ll pick the Indian. Finally, for that other timeless look and also an engine that delivers immediate low-finish power (no issue what the dyno says), the Harley Street Glide Special will certainly be happy to spfinish time on your alternative of roads.

This post American Baggers was publiburned in the February 2014 issue of Rider magazine. It consisted of sidebars about each of the three motorcycles. To review them, follow the web links below: