We may not be allowed to bodyshame motorcycles or each other anymore with the F word, brethren, but 25 years ago we had not yet evolved into the empathetic creatures we are today. Besides, all these motorcycles’ heirs have only added avoirdupois over the years, which seems to be a trend with us humans, too, so why bring it up and risk being trampled? We blame the agricultural industrial complex. At least the least guilty party here is the only bike of the five that’s still in production; our specs indicate it’s gone from 631 pounds dry in 1996 to 671 today – which isn’t bad, as its engine has also gone from 1.3 liters to nearly 1.9. Let us now read, then ride out and find something to eat, amen.
Five Fat Uglies on Five Fat Bikes: Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan, Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, Suzuki 1400 Intruder, Honda Shadow Ace, Yamaha Royal Star
By Andy Saunders, Fat Guy Number One Apr. 25, 1997
Take five motorcycles. All but one are V-Twins (10 years ago an endangered species, now one of the dominant motorcycle engines). All sized from 1100 to 1500cc, all weighing 550 or more. All with four or five gears, none with seat heights above 29 inches. They’re painted different colors, but if you think that we can’t tell them apart by anything other than the paint — well, you’re pleasantly wrong. How different can they be? That’s the question non-cruiser aficionados always ask, and it’s usually answered one way “If you have to ask, you don’t understand.”Even if you’ve never sat on a cruiser in your life, it’s actually easy to understand their appeal. They are motorcycles for the dietetically challenged. No thin people need apply. The svelte look silly in the ample tractor-based seat of an American …read more