It is a truth: the profusion of radar pushes more in addition to bikers the customs, which suddenly, diversify. With their stripped down look, the baggers offer us in 2013 three new developments that we have faced in the initiator Street Glide between Sun and showers for a ride full of pleasure and surprises… In the saddle!
Today, it is completely possible to reconcile a custom spirit with real road aptitudes and practical aspects, without inevitably falling into the higher bid from the licensed touring. The solution?, The growing family of the baggers, which lately propose very beautiful machines to us, combining a pace pure and style with true carrying capacities and of comfort on the long stages.
Here thus the occasion dreamed to confront the last representing of the kind, with like value standard, Harley-Davidson Street Glide, and in the role of claiming the news Victory Cross Country – its frontal and American competitor in addition -, as well as very last Honda F6B – variation bagger of Gold Wing 1800 – and Moto Guzzi California Touring, the latter oscillating between custom and road new retro.
In short, the beautiful one, the heavy one and expensive: do not count less than 12 cylinders, 6,633 Cm3, 1 478.4 kg and 86,920 Euros for the whole! Acknowledge that one could have chosen worse to trot itself… by this rotted May. But let us enter the sharp one of the subject under the virile push of our baggers 2013.
Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide: big bagger
Incontestably, Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide is the initiator of this family of motorcycles. In fact, she completely assumes her style one nothing old school or voluntarily fixed since years via its careenage ‘Batwing says’. Vis-a-vis our other motorcycles of the day, it is paradoxically it which passes most unperceived, more ‘slender’ of appearance and with most contained the proportions our quartet of the day. However, as soon as the move, measuring o how much the Motor Company appreciates the steel… On our scale, the Street Glide makes that 9.4 kilograms to the Honda 1800 F6B powered six-cylinder! Thus, manipulate the Street Glide, prompting its 376 kg a certain grip, the price to pay for all these gleaming chrome once in the judgment.
Become almost insignificant by its lines which broadly gained a following, Harley-Davidson Street Glide is not her any more from the kickoff of driving sculptural sound: Arnaud, our editor any ground come as reinforcements and which lived its ‘losing of virginity ‘ in this opportunity in wholesale trade custom could not help appreciating this so characteristic kickoff: earthquake of the fins of the engine mounted soft, palpable vibrations, starter or exhaust sound (Harley-Davidson seeks to file to avoid too copies!)… Harley folklore remains a safe bet; no competitor of the day could not offer sensory cocktail.
Therefore, the catch in hands of Street Glide is not the most complex of the lot. Certainly, unless 30 km / h she remains less easy than Honda or the Moto Guzzi, but Pierre, our biker dandy and less amateur of ancient motorbikes, as well as your attendant can appreciate an easy equilibrium to be found as soon as they erase the weight of the most archaic of the parties-cycles of our comparative bagger on 2013 on a net of gas. Carried by the couple of his big V-Twin on 1690 cm3, American becomes easy in… the street, revealing a welcome agility. Remain to put up with a ordering of clutch made for the men (idem Victory), of the soundest and rustic gear box of the batch.
We prefer the sound system of the engine on the radio
No sooner do we find ourselves on the road that the instructions of the Street Glide turns quickly shift gears to the sixth report to 80 km / h and then feast on the elasticity of the Twin Cam 103. More than any other, the Street Glide lives between 80 km / h and 120 km / h, a most vivid rev range where it is not ridiculous compared to other times and watch (and vibrant) our comparison.
Very quickly, revivals have something of addictive on Street Glide, ‘ wholesale trade more ‘ of the animal since available exactly hair in common paces. They would almost like it not to launch the efficient well accomplished regulator of speed or to light the radio (honest up to 100 km / h). Side comfort, the balance sheet is satisfactory, but Harley-Davidson Street Glide suffers from the comparison with other motorbikes of our file sooner or later: It protects less than Victory, the duo is less pleasant than on the Moto Guzzi, it filters significantly less irregularities than the Honda… Short, cut the Street Glide road is not a punishment, far from it, but in comfort just a little back from its competitors of the day.
Assessment Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide: A myth that is deserved
Sold 23,590 € (at the 6/4/13), Harley-Davidson Street Glide makes pay always also expensive his row of traveling myth, even if its equipment of useful equipment is complete and it’s almost assured resale. With almost equal equipment and higher road services, Victory Cross Country requires 3,600 € of less, whereas Street Glide costs the same price as Honda F6B, equipped it with an engine 6-cylinders and a more modern total techno. Remain that the Harley-Davidson image is unstoppable, Street Glide proposing an inimitable mechanical ‘environment in addition’, much of feelings to the current paces and a real comfort without sacrificing to the look.
Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide
Honda Goldwing F6B The convertible version
Discovery Milan end of 2012, Honda F6B resembles the bagger version of the GL1800. The idea is to propose a priori incongruous Gold Wing convertible version finally appeared relevant to Manu in his first test F6B. Certainly, aesthetically, including on profile views, the cast Queen of the large Japanese road seems have been wildly ‘split’ the bubble level! Nevertheless, Honda did to not sacrifice ergonomics so far since the F6B proves to be the most welcoming of our file.
The six pictured – cylinder flat 1832 CC retouching side ignition/injection system on this F6B, this extraordinary flexibility and behave as velvety as a pumpkin soup. In addition, its provision in the framework considerably lowers the centre of gravity of the bike. Result, Honda F6B may be the heaviest of the lot with 385.4 kilos all full facts verified; it is finally the easier low-speed! In the city, between his driving positions, the large part of his body and engine spares gear changes; it’s like on a maxi scooter 1.8 liter engine! De ‘MOTOMOBILE’ Honda cultivates the width and shape of the mirrors, power horn (tied with Harley-Davidson, the other horns as 125 cm3) or games transmission it shares with Moto Guzzi. The two Americans in our case, with belt, suffer less on the latter.
Take for a walk, break, Honda F6B has two faces
Obviously, Honda F6B is the most powerful motorcycle in our ‘chapter’ multi brand. His times are tougher, the most invigorating acceleration. We do not expect less of a big six-cylinder, although this particular engine offers unrivaled pleasure. Flexible, it can drop to 50 km / h on the fifth and final report and leave in a breath. Other twin-cylinders, whether it is in 5th or 6th, appreciates hardly to go down so low. Besides, Honda F6B lengthens at least as much as the Moto Guzzi, with in the key the vastest useful beach of regime of our quartet of day. Suddenly, between dawdling and muscular behavior, this motor deserves only praises and justifies its maximum notes.
And that to say aluminum cycle about his party? Honda F6B gives the most definite behavior of our file: rigor in curve, held by flawless cape whatever is the speed, formidable combined stopping ABS of amenity in bonus. Those qualities F6B then No, besides a protection restricted for the head certainly, it generates the most important eddy of our comparative, or almost. Note also a manipulation commands that starts dating against new GT more functional on this point.
Honda F6B: Ultimate variation for the GL1800
With F6B, you buy a Goldwing in disguise bagger and 22 pounds lighter. Full of charm and pleasure, mechanical six-cylinder alone is worth a visit. Honda F6B but also has a real load capacity with very inhabitable rear trunks and passenger reception almost as royal as the Moto Guzzi. His versatility of use between city, road, walk, sports, is enough bluff ante and unequalled faced with the others. The selling price comes finally: 23 990 €, either 5 600 € less than GL on 1800, but without regulator of speed and reverse, or lacunas of equipment which seem unjustified to this price, especially compared with other protagonists introduced here.
Honda F6B 2013
Moto Guzzi California Touring Alternative new retro
Having more portrayed than the first generation of California, the model 2013 is between the pure custom and the road vintage midway. Posed on its side crutch, it throws as much of it, if it is not any more, that others. With its nicely worked parts, Moto Guzzi California Touring shows itself most elegant of our comparative.
One discovers on his board ergonomics which points out still old California there, in low and bulky. Start-up of the twin open 90 ° facing shows a parallel with the Harley-Davidson: the bike shakes as soon as the pistons come alive! Gas shots reveal a couple of even this reversal and good vibrations which fade as soon as the first km/h through the elastokinematics of the engine in the frame. Ago beautiful and much the custom in this Moto Guzzi!
The Moto Guzzi breath away
Side taken over, Moto Guzzi benefits from rather soft orders and a very easy proportioning of its electronic accelerator (wrinkle by wire). System which allowed the integration of three cartographies engine (swift, touring, rain), of anti-skid and electronic speed regulator. There techno in this neo retro bagger! So much so that Veloce mode, the 1400 California Touring Upsets F6B in performance and forget the other two with its upper stretches … Despite its only 1380 cm3, the Italian therefore not issue demerit feel unusual sound, effective brake motor are supplied as standard here! What a pity then that the subject is still flashing on the Moto Guzzi first. Between its always higher consumption and smaller tank (20.5 liters), it has the worst battery life.
Its chassis is not rest, more rigorous and precise as Harley-Davidson, more agile than the Victory, but down the strictest Honda F6B. Cut the road Moto Guzzi California Touring has so much its advantages, such as superior protection through windshield allows’ lighting up to 90 km / h. The comfort saddle and suspension proves to the height and the passenger will not be able to decide between the Moto Guzzi of Honda.
Moto Guzzi California Touring: It will make date!
Not quite bagger side look (but not far off), the Moto Guzzi California Touring yet offers a very close use philosophy. Its versatility is real and not far away from that offered by Honda. In town (but be careful with suitcases!) and on road, Duet, or even in bastard transient, it is accommodated with talent and style of a wide use for a price eventually well placed in our comparison: 18,750 €, takeover offer of 600 € deduced, with complete equipment and a thorough technology (cartographies, anti-skid). With of not doubting, an alternative more than credible for which wants to associate look custom and true road capacities.
Moto Guzzi California Touring 2013
Victory Cross Country another American bagger
At the discovery of the Victory Cross Country, we almost stayed speechless. This line, this color, this way USS Enterprise refit have really nothing as innocuous. As says Bertrand, our photographer: ‘ with Victory, it is connecting to the red light.’ The Cross Country is undoubtedly the UFO of our folder with very personal details: tail light style Gothic, also angular lighthouse, huge steps (without double selector Branch), inverted fork, aluminum frame, twin open to 50 ° (compared with 45 ° for Harley-Davidson) particularly provided in fins and a very complete equipment.
The amazement continues as soon as it takes control. The strange shape of the handle, with its branches very backwards and almost perpendicular handles does not facilitate the maneuvers and turns at low speed (small arms, refrain) while the Cross Country has the lowest seat of the lot (667 mm). In addition, it feels very close to the axis of the front wheel and it is confusing at first. Attention also to the side stand, so that it does not need to stretch the leg to the point of tearing the adductor as the Harley-Davidson does not have the least secure famous stop it … I will be leaving for the spread gently resting on his imposing barrier cylinder.
The Victory is also comfortable on the highway that passes
The V-Twin shows no doubt less exuberant than its competitors. It is the least sound of the band, the less ‘vibrant’ also, if we put aside the exceptional approval of the 6-cylinder Honda. The gearbox is also very sound to the passage of the first, the pretty manly clutch control. Nevertheless, as soon as the road opens, we discover a powerful motorcycle. The cycle part shows amazing precision, with a holding of cap to make green with envy all Harley tourers. The Cross Country is not disunity, moves easily when cornering, as its ground clearance allows nice angles. Braking, also assisted by ABS, is sufficient if it sits the bike in advance via the rear brake.
Like the Moto Guzzi and Honda, Victory gladly accepts stroll or ride more sportingly. To do this, its suspension easily compensate the shocks and its protection outclasses its two ‘truncated’ competitors of the day, F6B and Street Glide, the latter having clearly served ‘target’ for Victory. The Cross Country is especially comfortable for the driver.
Mechanically, the 1700 Victory is probably the most confusing of our comparison. Because behind its discretion facade lies the largest torque value of the band … Suddenly, the Cross Country is most sports the lot, tearing dice low revs eagerly despite sensations probably deceived by a smooth behavior (for a big twin, of course). However, fans of the genre would be mistaken to deprive of the stage 1 kit (all also common on HD) to discover a more alive engine, which scolds copiously down and becomes more charismatic.
Victory Cross Country Beware of Tom Thumb
Victory is no longer the small American Thumb. The brand, owned by Polaris Group (also owns Indian) designs its bikes with care, responsiveness and service quality level and offers services quite competitive in the dynamic plan. Cross-country running Country is illustration, and on many points her initiator Street Glide prevails. More comfortable, more definite, more competitive, roomier for trips in duo, she offers a report price / performance also judicious in 19 990 €.
Victory Cross Country 2013