Back when your dad was a lad a 650 was considered a big bike, now you need be touching 800cc to be classed as a middleweight.
Yes, bigger is definitely better in bikes these days, and you don’t get much more cubes for your cash than with cruisers. If capacity is number one on your list, here’s five monsters you should be considering:
Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide – from £31,295
Engine Type: Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114ci
Torque: 165Nm @ 3,250rpm
The CVO Street Glide has an engine almost as big as its price tag. It comes fitted with the all-new 114ci Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight®, which in modern money is a whopping 1868cc. It has four valves per cylinder, single chain-driven cam, dual spark plugs, is counter-balanced and rubber mounted. Harley say it’s the most powerful, coolest-running engine they’ve ever built, and that it’s smoother, stronger and more durable than the Revo’ units it will eventually replace.
Honda Goldwing – £24,999
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 12-valve SOHC flat-6
Torque: 167Nm @ 4,000rpm
Honda’s Goldwing really is the granddaddy of touring bikes: big, expensive and specced to excess, there’ are few bikes that are better appointed, more comfortable or more accomplished at eating up the miles. Settle into the sumptuous seating, adjust the suspension and screen at the touch of a button, turn up the sound system and let the 1832cc, 167Nm Boxer-six engine waft you across continents.
Indian Roadmaster – from £23,699
Engine Type: Thunder Stroke 111
Torque: 135Nm @ 2100rpm
Heritage and heft, the Indian Roadmaster blends the traditional feel, look and sound of a classic Indian V-twin tourer, with modern performance, comfort and handling. At its heart is Indian’s massive 1811cc, 135Nm Thunder Stroke 111 engine. Quite literally, it’s a masterpiece: smooth, powerful, torquey and with just enough vibration to remind you you’re riding a vee, but not too much to intrude on longer runs.
Suzuki Intruder M1800 – £12,499
Engine Type: Four stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 54° V-Twin
Torque: 160Nm @ 3200rpm
Although the baby of this bunch the M1800 is no tiddler, in fact its 1,783cc V-Twin engine has 112mm bores, the largest of any production motorcycle in the world. It’s also one of the most sophisticated, with technology like Suzuki’s advanced digital fuel injection system and Dual Throttle Valve System which – believe it or not – is borrowed from the GSX-R.
What all that means is that despite its intimidating numbers, the Intruder’s massive motor is remarkably smooth and controllable – even the most nervous of hands can control it.
Triumph Rocket III Roadster – £14,100
Liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
146 bhp @ 5,750 rpm
221 Nm @ 2,750 rpm
Still the biggest of them all, Triumph’s Rocket III retains its crown for the world’s biggest production motorcycle engine. The Rocket’s eye-popping 2294cc, in-line three-cylinder powerplant puts out an arm-wrenching 221 Nm of torque at just 2,750rpm.
It’s not as comfortable, refined or practical as some here, but twist that wrist and feel that turbine-like power from the motor and all that disappears into a blur of insignificance and scenery.