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Motorcycle USA Best of 2009 Awards

Friday, December 25, 2009
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Motorcycle USA Best of 2009 Awards
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Check out our editors' picks in the Motorcycle USA Best of 2009 Awards video.
Before the year is even over, new bikes and products are pouring into our offices in a continual stream of motorcycle saturation. We could easily go day-to-day like nothing has changed, but they say the holidays are a time for reflection and a time to be thankful. Plus, the truth of the matter is that a lot changed in 2009. From exciting racing exploits and technological advancements in products and machinery, to horrific economic impacts reverberating throughout the industry. Undoubtedly, this has been an important year for motorcyclists and it’s time to dig through the archived pages of MotorcycleUSA.com, MotoUSA Magazine and our own muddled memories to see who and what were the Best of 2009.

Best Sportbike: Honda CBR1000RR
To dominate the liter-class sportbike wars for even one season is an impressive feat when one considers the constant evolution of the hotly contested class, the four Japanese and Ducati all bringing new and more advanced models to market what feels like every other year. Even more impressive is to repeat. Such is the case of the Honda CBR1000RR. The Winged Warrior has been top dog for two years running now and doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Best Sportbike - Honda CBR1000RR
Honda captured our literbike shootout for a second consecutive time.
Blending lightweight, racetrack prowess with everyday, mild-mannered street behavior, say hello to what makes the big-bore CBR so rideable. Precise throttle response, low-end torque and arm-pulling top end are all trademarks of the 999cc engine, while the chassis and suspension are equally impressive. There truly is no better all-around sportbike currently available in the United States

For 2010 the Honda sees some serious challengers in the form of Aprilia’s RSV4 and BMW’s S1000RR, but for either to top the CBR it’s going to be a tall order as Big Red really nailed it with this one. It’s for this very reason that the Honda CBR1000RR is without question Motorcycle USA’s 2009 Sportbike of the Year. – Steve Atlas

Best Cruiser: Big Dog Wolf
It’s been a busy year in the cruiser realm. Kawasaki brought back the Voyager, Triumph reinvented the Thunderbird, Star released its V Star 950, and Suzuki came out with its M90, a smaller but spirited version of its M109R. In 2009, we saw the return of iconic American V-Twin manufacturer, Indian Motorcycles, and after almost three decades, Harley-Davidson finally revamped the chassis on its touring bikes.

Best Cruiser - Big Dog Wolf
Factory customs are becoming more popular, and the Big Dog Wolf is one of our favorites.
But the one cruiser that distinguished itself the most in 2009 is the Big Dog Wolf. The first area it gets our vote in is for sourcing S&S Cycle’s 121 cubic-inch X-Wedge engine. The air-cooled, pushrod V-Twin is the first 49-state certified powerplant to meet EPA 2010 US Tier II standards. Factory custom and eco-friendly are two words that don’t often get repeated in the same sentence, so kudos to Big Dog for bucking the trend. But don’t think for a minute that this is a watered-down mill. With a big, 4.25-inch square bore and 1976cc of power at the disposal of your throttle hand, the Big Dog Wolf launches with authority. BDM claims the big pro-streeter will hit 60 mph in less than four seconds, and after having a chance to twist its throttle, I believe them.

Despite posting gaudy dimensions like an 83.5-inch wheelbase, a 23-inch front tire set at a 45-degree rake angle, and a total length of almost 9.5-feet long, the Wolf’s handling belies its size. Big Dog pulled this off by keeping the rear a manageable 220mm-wide and mounting it in a new swingarm. The big cruiser has a low 25.5-inch seat height, a low center of gravity and a compliant hidden shock on the rear that provides excellent ride quality for a bike with a 770 lb claimed curb weight.

Finally, the Wolf showcases superb fit and finish. It has one of the longest, cleanest lines I’ve seen. It starts up front at the sculpted 4.5-gallon tank, flows down the back over the integrated seat pan and rolls seamlessly over the curve of the steel rear fender. Oversized tires maintain the bike’s balance, with a 20-inch tall, 220mm wide rear chunk of rubber teaming up with the monster 23-inch hoop up front. In between, a chunk of polished chrome in the form of its S&S X-Wedge engine provides the machismo.

Its combination of strikingly good looks, pulse-pounding power in an EPA-compliant package, and deceptively easy-handling make the 2009 Big Dog Wolf the top candidate for Cruiser of the Year. – Bryan Harley

Best Street Bike - Triumph Street Triple R
Trimuph's three-cylinder engine is one of our all-time favorite mills. The sound alone is worth purchasing the Street Triple R, but its spunky performance and smashing looks are just as great.
Best Street Bike: Triumph Street Triple R
Every year new street bikes come and go with most of them fading off into never-never-land… unless it’s the $9499 Triumph Street Triple R. So what’s so special you ask? Everything. From its charismatic liquid-cooled 675cc three-cylinder engine that feels like it runs at its best when you’re riding on the back wheel, to its racetrack-spec chassis complete with suspension and brakes as used on the Daytona 675 sportbike, the Street Triple R has the potential to do some serious damage to your driving record. From the moment you hit the starter button until you put the kickstand down, the Triumph’s engine blares a unique mechanical soundtrack unlike any of its rivals. The melody is so captivating that it can be difficult to restrain yourself from using 100% throttle at every given opportunity.

When you do keep both wheels on the ground, you can experience its enchanting composure as you barrel through the bend ahead at maximum speed. However, in the rare moments of law abiding clarity, the Triumph’s suspension settings can be adjusted giving more comfort for the daily grind to and from the office. A premium quality seat and upright riding position courtesy of the tapered aluminum handlebar keep you comfortably in control when you’re racking up the miles. The package is wrapped in Triumph’s signature double bug-eye headlights with the blacked-out engine fully exposed, while the exhaust covertly wraps through the rear of the bike exiting in twin upswept mufflers. The most entertaining and ultimately best street bike of 2009? That would be the Triumph Street Triple R. – Adam Waheed

Best Touring Motorcycle: BMW K1300GT
Riders can tour on anything from a superbike to a 50cc scooter, depending on their tastes, but for those looking to pile on the miles in comfort the OEMs have come up with some sweet purpose-built rides. When it comes time to make long-distance tracks our first inclination are the sport-tourers. And the best S-T ride this year was the 2009 BMW K1300GT.

Best Touring Motorcycle - BMW K1300GT
Sport touring bikes are a tricky bunch. Combining sport performance with all-day comfort is a difficult task, but BMW has the master plan figured out with the K1300GT.
Why is the BMW K1300GT Motorcycle USA’s touring motorcycle of the year? Well, it took the already strong platform of the K1200GT and added an extra 136cc displacement for a new 140 rear-wheel horsepower engine. The uber Beemer touring platform now holds its own against the previously matchless Kawasaki Concours in the motor department. It also managed to overtake the surefooted Yamaha FJR in handling, at least in our test rider’s minds. Stellar brakes and on-the-fly suspension adjustment from the ESA II complete on-road performance that could just as easily get your license suspended as transport you to and fro with reserved comfort and class. Speaking of which, the heated grips, heated seat and cruise control, along with the plenty of protection from the fairing and adjustable windscreen make long distance rides an enjoyable affair - and the spacious integrated saddlebags accommodate multiple days in the saddle.

The BMW K1300GT does everything well on the road, but its downside, and it’s not an insignificant one, is its $20K MSRP – actually $19,150 for the base ABS model, with far beyond the $20K marker once riders add on the options. In spite of its price, the BMW won our 2009 Sport-Touring Comparison handily.

Want specifics? Read the full 2009 S-T review, but for the short answer consider my actions on the final day of our ST excursion. Having to head home early for a family obligation, I had to leave at 5 a.m. with 400 grim miles of wind, rain and darkness ahead of me. As I looked over the available touring rides from our test, I packed up the Beemer and snuck out of the hotel parking lot like a thief in the night. – Bart Madson

Best Off-Road Motorcycle: Husaberg FE 450
Best Off-Road Motorcycle - Husaberg FE 450
Husaberg shocked the off-road world with the quiet release of the FE 450. The KTM subsidiary flipped enduro thinking on its head with a radical engine design mated to a spectacular chassis and compliant suspension.
Bikes come and go, but few leave truly significant marks on the sport. Husaberg made big waves in the dirt bike world with the 2009 FE 450. This enduro provides big-bore power with handling unlike anything else in the class. A 70-degree tilted cylinder and repositioned crank create a center of gravity which allows both ends to pivot effortlessly around it. That means it handles like a 250cc 2-stroke. Mass centralization is the name of the game for all OEMs, but Husaberg beat everyone to the punch with a truly innovative solution which elevates the KTM-owned Swedish company to the forefront of the off-road market, and it can no longer be viewed as an odd-ball Euro machine. With the might and security that comes from associating with KTM, the Husaberg FE 450 is breaking enduro stereotypes as much as it is mechanical molds.

Electric start and Keihin fuel injection are important off-road goodies, but the closed-loop EFI offers more than most systems used on dirt bikes. Fed through the 42mm throttle body, the ‘Berg’s motor cranks out tremendously usable power, and plenty of it. Everything about the bike was smooth, including the link-less WP suspension. The FE is undeniably a trail bike with its quick-handling, easy-to-ride attitude. Husaberg essentially sprung the new FE models on an unsuspecting enduro public, and the result was impressive to say the least. People still complained about the price, but not many had anything bad to say about actually riding such an awesome machine. Not to mention, it spawned a model line expansion for 2010 which promises to be even better. – JC Hilderbrand

Best Dual Sport Motorcycle - Kawasaki KLX250S
It's tough to explain why we like a bike for being plain, but that's what the KLX250S is - a straightforward small-displacement dual sport motorcycle. Cheap, economical, versatile, and most importantly, full-size - the KLX fits an enormous spectrum of riders and uses.
Best Dual Sport Motorcycle: Kawasaki KLX250S
You don’t have to be big to be the best. Kawasaki is known for its dual sport bikes with the KLR650 an industry standard which took this award in 2008. Once that project was complete, the engineers set out to design the smallest street-legal dirt bike in the Kawi stable and they felt like everyone should not only be capable of riding it, but affording it as well. At $4899, this is by far the most value-packed small-bore DS bike you will find. Thanks to better dirt performance and a wider spectrum of riders, it steals the crown for Best Dual Sport from its bigger sibling.

As far as small multi-purpose bikes go, the KLX is actually pretty plain in terms of outright power, suspension and chassis action and technological development. It still has a carburetor and it’s fairly heavy, however, that being said, we really appreciate the fact that it’s a full-size machine. Comparative engine displacements come in machines from other OEMs but often in shrunken bodies which really make them more of the so-called “wife’s bike.” The adult-sized 250S isn’t as racy as bikes from Yamaha or Husqvarna, perhaps, but its beauty is in its simplicity. Kawasaki has managed to bridge the gap between funky RV camper bikes and overpriced, underperforming racers. The KLX250S is a bike that can suit riders of any skill and background, and for 2009 it suits even more because it comes as a 50-state model. Dual sports are one of the few motorcycle categories showing growth in these difficult times and the small-displacement trend is leading the way. Motorcyclists want a bike that is comfortable, versatile for transportation or play and is cheap to own and maintain. The KLX250S embodies all of these traits. – JC Hilderbrand

Best Motocross Motorcycle: Kawasaki KX450F
Creating a fast, agile motocross bike that’s easy-to-ride for all riders regardless of skill level is never easy. But that’s exactly what Kawasaki did with the introduction of this year’s KX450F. From its powerful yet ridiculously smooth fuel-injected engine and its accurate chassis, to its versatile ergonomics, Team Green did its homework with this year’s premier KX. Repeatedly, Kawasaki has earned a reputation for cranking out powerful 450cc engines, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that it continued to impress by being the horsepower king on both the dyno and within our testers’ notepads. What we were amazed by was how effective it is at putting that power to the dirt, not to mention the ease of control as well as its simple starting procedure hot or cold. Even more exciting is the ability to fine-tune the engine’s power characteristics with the optional Kawasaki Fuel-injection Calibration Tool.

Best Motocross Motorcycle - Kawasaki KX450F
It's the biggest and baddest, plain and simple.
A great engine will only get you so far. Fortunately, engineers graced the KX-F with an equally adaptable chassis. We were especially enamored by with how quick and accurate it steers without comprising any stability at speed. Its maneuverability is also astounding despite its 250-pound curb weight. The Kayaba suspension components offer smooth, controlled action over bumps, and offer an accommodating range of adjustment. The controls are designed with average and above sized rider in mind, and we absolutely love its profile, wide footpegs and aluminum Renthal handlebar. Make no mistake, if you’re looking for the one bike that does it all well and want the Best Motocross Motorcycle, the 2009 Kawasaki KX450F is it and it can be all yours for $7549. – Adam Waheed

Best Adventure Motorcycle: BMW F800GS
We rode the beans out of this bike. Actually, it was several F800GS machines, but as we came up with projects throughout the year, the 800 fit the bill time and time again. That’s the mark of a good adventure bike, something that can go anywhere and do anything. From scenic pavement rides to exploring Baja to dropping ravines and slogging mud bogs in the notorious RawHyde Adventure Rider Challenge, BMW provided us with an excellent two-wheeled companion in the F800.

Best Adventure Motorcycle - BMW F800GS
BMW finally bridged the gap in its GS line and produced a bike truly capable, and worthy, of world travel. We can't get enough of the new F800GS.
The GS line is synonymous with adventure, but until now, the gap between the single-cylinder 650 and the massive Boxer Twin-powered R1200GS has been too much for many to overcome. BMW saw the need for a mid-sized offering, and it also saw the opportunity to provide a bike that truly has off-road potential. The big GS is just that – too big – but the 650 was always more of a commuter machine. To make sure the 800 was a blend of both, engineers used a more manageable Parallel Twin, sourced from the existing F800ST, and wrapped it with an off-road-inspired steel-trellis chassis and real suspension. The 800 uses a 45mm Marzocchi fork and an oil/spring monoshock rather than the Paralever/Telelever and air shocks found on previous models. Though a bit soft, these offer real performance in the dirt, and they’re perfectly capable of handling pavement as well. A 17/21-inch tire combination adds to the equation.

Like all BMWs, there are about a million upgrades available, including an awesome ABS system. Companies like Touratech have hit the ground running and the aftermarket support has already reached remarkable levels. The early release base model retailed for $10,520, not exactly chump change, but far more affordable than the 1200GS and with a much higher performance-to-dollar ratio. If you’re contemplating a trip around the world, this is the BMW you want to have. – JC Hilderbrand

Innovation Award: TTXGP Electric Racing at IOM
More than 100 years ago the inaugural motorcycle races at the Isle of Man took place. They featured primitive motorbikes - essentially bicycles with small engines – the winner turning the course at an average speed of 38 mph with most entries not finishing the race. Flash forward to 2009 and the Isle once again played host to a new breed of racing machines, of the electric variety, in the first-ever TTXGP.

The electric motorcycle continues to gain momentum and racing showcases and spurs new development. All those spec sheet promises, so optimistic on paper, get sorted out rather quickly when a checkered flag is the prize. No excuses, just racing. And the more hyped teams at this year’s TTXGP were humbled when the AGNI Motors effort, piloted by Ron Barber, pretty well smoked the electric paddock by turning the course at 87.434 mph. Like the first IOM TT, many entries did not finish the race.

Innovation Award - TTXGP Electric Racing
Electric racing could be the future of our sport. The TTXGP event at the 2009 Isle of Man is just the start of promoting this technology.
For its short history, a lot has happened since the first TTXGP at the Isle of Man. For starters, its founder, Azhar Hussain, saw the FIM withdraw its initial support for his series to start its very own competing electric championship. The funny thing, at least so far, is that Hussain appears to have the upper hand - the TTXGP flourishing from its Isle of Man exhibition status to a far more robust 2010 schedule, which will include the Isle of Man original along with four races slated for the UK, three for North America and a season finale at Albacete Spain.

No one is pretending that electric motorcycles will overwhelm MotoGP anytime soon, and the long-term future of the TTXGP is anything but assured. The riders themselves seemed a little abashed by the first TTXGP electric race - more than one rider mentioning the awkward sensation of being able to hear jeering from the less appreciative roadside Manx fans. However, if we’re betting on it, electric motorcycle racing is here to stay.

Check back on this one in a half century or so – we anticipate looking pretty damn smart for once. – Bart Madson

Industry Leader Award - MX Sports
Motocross in America was losing its luster. Declining spectators, less intrest from the racers and race teams and an unenthusiastic promoting body were killing the sport. MX Sports came in with fresh ideas and is turning the tide on men and women's professional motocross.
Industry Leader Award: MX Sports
American motocross desperately needed a facelift. With Supercross garnering all the attention from prime-time media outlets, big-name sponsors and selective career-minded athletes, the outdoor Nationals were losing their luster. Frankly, the motocross series seemed to be losing its appeal to riders, teams, fans and business partners. That downward trend has finally been addressed with MX Sports intervening in 2009.

First off, they changed the class naming conventions to simple and accurate “250” and “450.” Women’s motocross is no longer a sideshow attraction (or detraction as it often seemed). The ladies were promoted to same-day racing with the men and expanded from the WMA banner to a full-blown, recognized AMA championship. The format change was not only needed, but surprising as the men’s schedule condensed from a full weekend to Saturday racing only. Sponsors were allowed additional real estate once numbers weren’t required on the side panels – a move that reflects the switch to electronic scoring which has been used for years. MX Sports recognizes the pressures of and need for conforming to better fit mainstream America and had the balls to sacrifice some traditions in order to modernize our sport. The TV package works better, fans can get to races and back home again without missing work, scoring is more efficient, accurate and faster, sponsors are better represented and women riders are now being treated like the professional athletes that they are.

Not only did the West Virginia-based group revamp the professional MX circuit, they nurture the health of motocross from the infant stage by operating the largest amateur national racing program in the country. Loretta Lynn’s is a regular pilgrimage to pro-am Mecca and a virtual prerequisite for professional stardom. MX Sports is a company where actions are stronger than words - they are true stewards of American motocross. – JC Hilderbrand

Manufacturer of the Year: BMW
It’s hard times in the motorcycle industry right now. The first three quarters of 2009 have been brutal – with uniform double-digit percentage losses across all motorcycle genres and an approximately 30-40% total drop in sales and production.

So why does BMW win manufacturer of the year? First, the Bavarian firm has managed to staunch the blood-letting better than most. In fact, in its third-quarter report BMW could boast that while sales dropped 8.4% compared to the previous year, it actually gained market share thanks to the worse numbers from its competitors.

Manufacturer of the Year - BMW
BMW continues to push the envelope despite economic uncertainty and declining profits. The Germans hope to weather this storm and come out with a stronger presence across the industry.
But enough with the numbers, we tapped BMW this year because the German brand has challenged our perception of it as a stodgy, conservative marque. First surprise for 2009 was the F800GS, a mid-displacement adventure bike that delivers both off-road and on the street. A hit across the industry, we’re not the only ones to lavish praise on the 800. Second shocker was the S1000RR, a bold challenge to the Japanese Inline Four superbike supremacy. BMW campaigned it in World Superbike, where it managed top-10 results and even beat Kawasaki in the manufacturers’ standings. Another change was a complete overhaul of the K series to 1300cc - the sport-touring K1300GT winning our 2009 ST comparison test.

Add to the 2009 changes plenty of teasers for what’s to come from BMW. There was the C1-E scooter, an electric-powered take on its earlier C1 concept, as well as the three-wheeled leaning Simple and Clever concepts, which went on display at the BMW museum this fall. Most interesting of all, however, was the Concept 6, an Inline-Six-powered design that surprised everyone at this year’s INTERMOT Show. BMW hinted the new six-cylinder mill will power a future luxo-tourer. On top of it all, BMW also continues to race the G450X enduro and support the Husqvarna brand, which is churning out some of the more intriguing off-road designs in the market today.

And that’s just the new stuff, as BMW’s uber bread and butter, the R1200GS, continues to hold strong. BMW celebrated the production of its 500,000 Boxer-powered GS earlier this year, and the model remains the adventure-touring standard upon which all contenders are measured. – Bart Madson

Motorcycle of the Year - BMW F800GS
It doesn't matter which editor rides the F800GS, every MototcycleUSA tester love the overall capabilities of the newest BMW GS model.
Motorcycle of the Year: BMW F800GS
It handily took home the Best Adventure Bike award, but our editors, from the sportiest to the dirtiest, all thought the 800GS could potentially win any of several categories. Such is the strength of BMW’s new mid-size Adventure motorcycle. Not only does the F800 attract new customers into Beemer dealerships, but plenty of long-time BMW riders are enticed to either downsize or upgrade. The big 1200GS is simply too much - too much money, weight, power and stature. Yet the 650 models, both Twin and Single configurations, just doesn’t cover the full spectrum.

We’ve seen the F800GS take on transcontinental voyages, off-road races, urban commuting and even street racing and freestyle stunting. Try imagining that on any other bike. You would think we’d fight tooth and nails over this category, but it was the easiest choice for our editors to make. There wasn’t a single vote against the F800GS. It’s impressive, all-encompassing, fun, capable and affordable by BMW standards. It’s the 2009 Bike of the Year. – JC Hilderbrand

Rider of the Year: Ben Spies
What more can we really say about the wonder kid from Texas? After defeating Mat Mladin to become a three-time AMA Superbike Champion on Suzukis, he jumped ship to the highly competitive World Superbike Series on a new team and with an all-new motorcycle – Yamaha’s YZF-R1. Not knowing the majority of the tracks and with only a few months to prep for the season, he did something no one could have believed. The 25-year-old won the world championship in his rookie season, defeating the likes of Noriyuki Haga, Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi in a battle that went down to the final race.

Rider of the Year - Ben Spies
A championship in his rookie season of WSB and straight on to the MotoGP circuit. Ben Spies dominated in 2009.
Not only did this bring the World Superbike crown back to the United States after a seven-year drought, it brought Yamaha their very first series title in the two-decade history of the championship. So what does one do for an encore after that? If you’re Ben Spies you go MotoGP racing. The Texan was able to try his hand at the new series in Valencia, Spain for the final round of the 2009 season. How did he do? Seventh place amidst the world’s most competitive field, and he did so his first time on the Yamaha YZR-M1, a motorcycle he’d never so much as sat on before the start of the weekend. But even more impressive was his fourth-quickest time during testing the two days following the finale, joining the MotoGP elite in his first Yamaha GP test, again exceeding even the harshest critics’ expectations.

Next year sees the Texas Terror full-time on the Monster Tech 3 MotoGP satellite squad in what is the first of a two-year deal with Yamaha Motor Corp to race Grand Prix. Spies says top-10 finishes are his goal, but we all know he will far exceed that. Spies hasn’t even started racing in GPs consistently and already looks set to be America’s next best shot at winning the MotoGP World Championship. It’s for this reason that the Motorcycle USA Rider of the Year for 2009 was a no-brainer: Ben Spies. – Steve Atlas.

Well, that’s it. We saw a lot of great bikes, products and racing in 2009, but the cream must rise to the top. Hopefully you have enjoyed sharing our experiences through the articles, photos and videos on MotorcycleUSA.com. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season from everyone here, and stay tuned for bigger and better things in 2010.
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Editors' Choice Awards
JC riding the Idaho ISDE qualifier.
Here are some extra categories that feature individual selections from our editors. Photo: JC contests the ISDE Qualifier on the factory FMF Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. 

Best Product Award:

JC: Pro Taper Tie Downs
Ken: HD Pocket Cam (ask Heed)
Adam: GoPro Wide Angle Camera
Steve: Shoei X12 Helmet
Bryan: Risk Racing LED Light Mine

Best Motorcycle Experience:

Bart: Barcelona Triumph Thunderbird
JC: ISDE Qualifier with RM-Z450
Ken: Honda Japan Tour
Adam: 2010 Yamaha YZ450F Intro at Budds Creek
Steve: Jordan Superbike Test
Bryan: Sturgis Bike Rally

Gear Pick of the Year:

Bart: TCX Boots
JC: Sidi Crossfire Boots
Ken: Alpinestars Supertech R Boots
Adam: Alpinestars Supertech R Boots
Steve: Alpinestars GP Pro Gloves
Bryan: Icon PDX Rain Gear
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quentinthorne   May 22, 2012 03:11 PM
My list would look pretty similar to this. I love riding on my cruiser. The scenery is so pretty in Utah. I'm looking for more motorcycles to buy though if anyone knows a great place to buy from around Salt Lake? http://www.snowcity.com
regular -enough  November 16, 2010 11:36 AM
The beauty of this whole argument has obviously been forgotten. As humans, we have the right to choose the bike we enjoy riding... no matter what is may be, no one can take that right from us. Opinions are like ass..... Not everyone is comfortable on a sport bike, not everyone understands a Big Dog and their owners. I have owned sport bikes, a few naked bikes, and currently have a HD road glide, a '79 R65, a Buell and a hand-built v-twin. I have liked or liked each and every bike I have ever owned because each one offered something unique. I don't think it is right to bag on Big Dog just because you don't understand why people like them. They employ American workers. That is all that matters this day and age. Also, probably not really considered a cruiser, but calling them a chopper isn't really correct either. It doesn't sound like many people really know the true origin of the word.
Mike Garies -Harley Softail  April 5, 2010 02:54 PM
I've got a 2009 Softail Classic and I think it's the best.
Mr. Comparo -Who chose what  April 1, 2010 01:02 PM
Interesting to see how this list compares with Motorcycle.com's Best of: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/best-of-2009-motorcycles-of-the-year-88656.html They also rate the 800GS K13GT and Street Triple highly, but there are other different and interesting choices.
Mcguire -sewer rat  March 2, 2010 04:20 PM
I had a get-off the other day where I had to ditch instead of running into the back of a SUV. Not a bad one in fact I rode the bike away with just a scrape on the crashbar (thats what they are for) however as I spun out of the way of the sliding bike I flopped on my back and the back of my head hit the pavement hard. Hard enough for me to know I would be seriously hurt if I didn't have on that new full coverage helmet that my daughter gave me for christmas. I believe in freedom as much as anyone but a helmet is a good idea. Remember....there are more cellphones than helmets.
Big Tom -WTF?  February 19, 2010 06:37 AM
It's his list, not yours. Your list, my list would all be different. Go out and ride and stop whining and being unhappy. If this stuff gets you this upset, anger management should be your next stop.
Hilly -Nope  February 7, 2010 01:55 PM
Nope we dont need anymore Chinese knock-offs[junk personified]
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citizenx -Big bad dag  December 29, 2009 08:06 PM
I applaud the reasoning behind the pick of Big Dog. What I believe is stated here is an opinion of what is considered here to be best cruiser. Obviously there are many who do not agree. There are many that consider chopper style bikes to be a sub-group of the cruiser market, upright riding position, forward foot controls, etc. Ya know, sort of like sport touring bikes to be a sub-group of touring, and/or sport bikes (I believe this is called an amalgom). It is great to see the passion surrounding an opinion, especially being that it is about motorcycles. I would never buy a Big Dog though. It is hard to justify the price when there are so many more comfortable, cheaper models available -- maybe an F800 GS? My motto, let people ride what they wanna ride, just do ride!
Woodman -One more item.  December 29, 2009 06:18 PM
One more item, then I will let it rest. I just read "Motorcycle Cruiser" magazines annual cruiser guide. 115 bikes built by 11 different manafacturers. Hmmm, no mention of BigDog, Ya think maybe because BIGDOG DOES NOT BUILD CRUISERS!!

Enough said, I have blathered and bloviated on ,add naseum, long enough.

Everyone can make up thier own mind, except of course for Mr Harley. He prefers to have the government tell him what is best.

Chris -Best Street Bike  December 29, 2009 11:56 AM
I feel like such a D-bag because I haven't ridden any of the bikes that won awards this year. However, I did get to ride the 2010 z1000 at the LB IMS show and I was wondering Adam, how it compares to the Triumph Street (or Speed) Triple. I know you're not considering 2010 models for the awards but you did just test out the new z1000 so I just wanted your opinion on how it would fare against the Triumph in a head to head comparison. BTW, I love sport standards/naked bikes so any chance you could compare the z1000, FZ1, Bandit, CB1000r, Brutale, Tuono, Streetfigher, K1300R, Speed/Street Triple, etc?
Chrisie -Yeah, Right!  December 29, 2009 11:24 AM
Big Dog, oh for Pete's sake, give me a break. I was truly going to comment, but this is just to ridiculous to even get into and this is coming from a girl who rides her own 2006 Roadliner.
Woodman -Response to tourman  December 29, 2009 07:47 AM
So what, some us like riding 2-4 hours in jeans and a do rag. I do not always ride in jeans, sometimes I wear shorts. I do not need the gubmint to tell me how to dress. When I surf the north shore of Oahu I know I can die. I have raced mountian bike downhill, served in the military overseas and been deep inside 3rd world countries where folks often get kidnapped or just disapear. Motorcyles are about freedom, cruisers represent this in my opinion.

I ride to relax and get away from rules, bosses, phones and posers. If i become a poser (in your eyes) in doing so, so be it!

You can pick up a good used cruiser for under $5k, $10k will get you an awesome new machine. My bikes are all very comfortable, I do build my own seats, this helps. Fast is as fast does. I am happy at 70mph.

The Bigdog is a cruiser in some folks eyes, not 1 in most. It is certainly not a modern, comptemporary cruiser built by all the big players. Nor is it meant to be. I would guess Mr Harley prefers to ride this style of bike, from his past writings. Perhaps he can convice Bigdog to come out with a modern style cruiser, as some custom builders have. Sales of these bikes are down a bit , but still strong.
TourMan -Big Dog?  December 29, 2009 06:19 AM
Big Dog motorcycles are just an expensive penis extension. How could anyone consider this crap as a cruiser. I will admit that I do not like cruiser style motorcycles. They are worthless for anything except just riding around town. They are heavy, uncomfortable and expensive for what you get. Most cruisers riders wear jeans, t shirt and a do rag, have very loud exhaust to show there insecurity and just plain like to show off.
Woodman -Thanks for the advice!  December 29, 2009 04:42 AM
I am in retail sales, so no vacation until the spring! BikeWeek and the Gator Nationals are coming up. Gonna check out the new flattrack at Daytona! And yes, I am passionate about cruisers! It is all I own, ride and build. I did ride a Bigdog style chopper once for about a mile. I could not wait to get back on my Star!

I guess my final point would be, I went back and read past articles of Bryans, he never once refers to Bigdog as cruisers. Honda, which makes both cruisers and choppers has separate catagoiries for both style of bikes.

Mr Harley loves Bigdog choppers, this is obvious by his past writings. I am sure they advertise a lot is this magazine. He is now trying to convince us to buy the bikes by giving them the award. His logic that goverment approval of the motor is the reason is foolish. No one has ever bought a bike becuase of EPA approval. Heck, fisrt thing we do is rejet/map and pipes!

I do not attack Mr Harley personally as other have. Just his motives and logic. This magazine caters to the Euro/sport crowd primarily. I realize this.my offense was lumping all choppers/cruisers/bobbers into one catagorie when cruisers are actually the most inmportant style of bike in the USA.

Finally, I like to write and argue my points. I will openly asmit that cruiser are the only bike I really care about. Even though I actively fight for the rights of all bikers (or motorcyclists, if you wish). The government has become our enemy, unfortuantely. Seeking thier approval to rate a bike is foolish.
Woodman -No Worries  December 29, 2009 03:40 AM
Word on the sreet Bigdog wil be classified as bankrupt and out of business in about a month anyway. Lets just move on.
Kanban -Give it up, Woodman  December 29, 2009 01:49 AM
You can argue your point all you want, but they're not going to change their choice. Accept it and move on. If something this insignificant gets you so upset, then maybe it's time for you to take a couple weeks vacation.
Dannicus -S&S  December 28, 2009 08:17 PM
I guess S&S motors fit that type of cruiser just fine. Just a big ol' Harley Davidson-like, pushrod twin.

BTW. Motorcyclistonline, Motorcycle.com, CycleWorld, MotorcycleCruiser, and MCUSA all catagorize choppers like Big Dog's as cruisers.
Rex -cruiser  December 28, 2009 05:17 PM
Can you tell me why Big Dog uses an S&S motor? The way I see it, if you cant build your own motor to push your own pile of painted metal,
you aren't a real bike manufacturer, just someone who wants to be. HD also uses a S&S motor but they do build there own, smart HD buyers choose the S&S. I am not real sure whose tranny Dog uses but IT AINT theirs, maybe a Baker? Indian uses an S&S for now but they have their own read to go. All the rest of the manufactures mentioned uses or has their own motor.
Just saying take the S&S out of the big dog and you have a pretty puppy training area.
Woodman -Here we go again.  December 28, 2009 03:29 PM
We all know what modern cruisers are and represent. The BigDog simply is not one of them, nor does it even claim to be. It is and always will be, a niche market, poor selling, little known factory custom 9 1/2 foot long chopper. Just like the company claims it to be on thier website. There is no logical reason for this choice or I would accept it.

By the way, the HD UltraGlide, a cruiser by any standard, is by far the best selling touring bike made.
Seekenout -bryan harley  December 28, 2009 01:18 PM
Bryan, although I don’t care for the Big Dog bike either no matter what bike you would have picked would get somebody pissed off. If it was an American make the metric guys would bitch if it was a metric the cubics would bitch if it were a European bike everybody would bitch. With that said why the HELL was the stupid CBR1000RR sportbike of the year did you know the GSXRYZFZXMVF41198RRSV675GRISO8V is the best sportbike!!! (:-)
RT Owner -R1200RT  December 28, 2009 12:08 PM
The BMW R1200RT is a wonderful touring motorcycle. Heated seats and grips, cruise control, adjustable suspension on the fly, auto spin control, ABS, electric adjustable windscreen, AM/FM radio, a proven twin boxer motor, 6 speed transmission, 3 year warranty. The RT is much more comfortable that the K1300GT and a radio is not an option on the GT. The GT is faster though if that is what you want. The RT is probable the best equipped sport touring bike on the market.
FranklinM -Cruisers  December 28, 2009 12:00 PM
I live in a retirement community in the southwest. We also have a large group who tour on motorcycles. One resident decided to buy a Harley and he put loud exhaust on it. After a few weeks he started dressing up like an outlaw. Everybody hated the loud noise he was making with the bike and thought he looked like a fool the way he was dressed up. Anyway, now the community has passed an ordinance banning motorcycle riding in our community. We all have to rent a storage unit to keep our bikes in off premise. Thanks to our Harley rider and his friends with there loud exhaust. They are cruiser bikes and all he does is dress up like a outlaw and ride and show off. Cruiser style bikes do not handle well on winding roads and are not intended for touring or highway trips. I guess if you are like my neighbor and just want to dress up and show off your loud exhaust then a cruiser like a Harley or a Big Dog is alright.
Ada Ada -BMW Best Mfgr.  December 28, 2009 11:54 AM
I agree about BMW. I used to be a Bimmerphile and gave up on BMW during the oilhead bikes they produced in the 'noughts. They were too heavy, underpowered, uncomfortable and they surged.

But now! Not only the new models and changes mentioned, but don't forget a re-worked R1200RT, too, for 2010. I'm expecting a six cylinder tourer any time now. BMW has taken itself to task and is pulling ahead.

There was a comment about Buell. While I'm sorry to see it go and I always wished Buell the best, Eric certainly had sonme great innovations, I don't think Buell ever had a chance with Harley ownership. I know I'd never go into a Harley dealership unless Megan Fox was in there, naked. And Harley wouldn't give Buell the engine it needed until it was way too late, if then. I don't think Buell ever came out with a real world, marketable product.
Rider -Cruisers  December 28, 2009 11:39 AM
"Honda, Harley, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha/Star, Indian, Victory and Triumph all depend on cruisers for the lion share of their sales and profit." Harley Davidson is the only manufacture listed that depends on cruisers for the "lion share" of there market. That is all they make. For the rest cruisers are a small share of there manufacturing. Cruisers are basically sold in the United States as the rest of the world pretty much sees them as they are. A useless toy used to show off on and only ride in town. Honda, Yamaha & Kawasaki only make them because we buy them in the U.S. It is over 50% of our market. That is why they only import a small portion of there line-up. Most American riders prefer to cruise around town with loud overweight motorcycles and make a lot of noise and think they are cool. The Big Dog motorcycle is a typical cruiser for the American market. Ugly, loud no performance and dangerous on the open road. Europe laughs at our cruiser market. In Europe a motorcycle is important transportation not a toy such as a cruiser with loud exhaust just to ride around and show off on.
Observer 2.0 -Bobby's Comments  December 28, 2009 10:49 AM
This comment is in reference to Bobby's "It's no wonder american manufacturing is done. you bias one sided media. has pretty much put the U.S. auto industry out of business."


The "media" controls the outcome of the auto industry and its a one-sided conspiracy. We all know Buell should have won manufacturer of the year... Oh wait, it doesnt exist anymore. Because the of the media!

OMG, the "one-sided media" is coming to get me. You're right Bobby, let's get together and go on a quest to visit the wizard Glen Beck and maybe, just maybe, we can thwart the evil power of "the one-sided media"...

Seriously, life must be terrifying for you.
bryan harley -cruiser of the year  December 28, 2009 09:57 AM
Our bike of the year awards are based only on bikes we test. Granted, I'd love to ride every bike out there, but I can't. I did ride all of the 2009 Harleys, most of the Victorys, I tested the new Indians, rode Suzuki's Boulevards, Kawasaki's Vulcans and Voyager, a handful of Triumphs, all of the Big Dogs with a few other factory-custom bikes in between.
We do not take into account 2010 bikes that were released in 2009. This rules out the Thunderbird.
Yes, the Big Dog Wolf gets my vote for Cruiser of the Year. I commend them for using an EPA-friendly S&S engine that still doles out incredible power. The bike's handling belies its size. And its styling is unmatched by any other bike in the category. Big Dog has been perfecting this style of bike for 15 years and the Wolf is the pinnacle of their engineering accomplishments.

And Tom, I find your rhetoric insulting. I cover the spectrum on the cruiser page, from live event coverage to motorcycle reviews to interviews with people in the industry. Cruiser riders like to have fun, we ride hard and party hard, so if you're too stodgy to enjoy what I'm writing, don't read it. And I'm nobody's 'drooling little schoolgirl.' It's easy to hide behind an anonymous name on a keyboard and type spiteful things, but it doesn't demonstrate much maturity or class.

Vendetta -Numbers  December 28, 2009 09:38 AM
numbers dont lie....Yamaha is the manufacturer of the year. Check out their stats
Tom -Big Dog  December 28, 2009 07:17 AM
Oh well, all has been said about this preposterous choice for cruiser of the year.

But we all know how Bryan turns into a drooling giddy little schoolgirl when in the company of his best friends at big dog and big bear. Just read his other ridiculous articles on the subject, you'll find a comment of mine there as well. He just wanted to throw them a bone I guess, being totally taken in by BD en BB. So much for journalistic integrity.

Also, I have no idea how this got through the editorial board at MC-USA. I imagine they at least have a meeting and discuss the options before posting an important article such as this one. What I think is that no one really cares about cruisers at MC-USA in the first place. Must be why they have only one contributing author for the cruiser section of this site? They just let him do his thing, it fills up the site nicely with content, everyone pleased.

I don't think cruiser buyers really care about reviews or thorough journalism either. Every two-wheeled long contraption with a V-twin achieving 50 mph while turning good fuel into noise and nothing else will do just fine. That's why the cruiser section on this site is almost laughable. Nothing more than adolescent fanboy articles, which is fine for the intended audience I guess.

Anyway, about this big dog. Really? A 20.000+ $ cruiser? Without creature comfort whatsoever? Bike of the year? What's the waiting list, where do you go for service, where do you go for warranty? A bike being built by a small workshop can in no conceivable way trump the astounding quality delivered by _real_ engineering and precision manufacturing. The latter offer an extensive dealer network and service as well.
Jay Mack -MCUSA Best Bikes  December 27, 2009 07:44 PM
I don't have any of them.
Citizenx -Love the articles  December 27, 2009 07:44 PM
I enjoy reading the opinions of others. I'm a proud american -- own two beamers and a buell -- and drive a hyundai (which is made in Alabama by american workers). I can't argue the results due to the fact that I haven't ridden all of these bikes. But I do thank the website for all of the input. I'm always looking for the next bike to own. Great choice on Ben "Elbowz" Spies. My favorite racer by far. Hope he endures moto gp like he did WSBK. Keep up the good work on the bike info, guys.
BuellBoy -seriously!!!!  December 27, 2009 07:28 PM
I am surprised why would the CBR1000 would be sportbike of the year.
Thid bike is so uglly looks like a dolphin forhead as far as looks. it has no soul like your typical jappanese bike. This bike was a joke in AMA and WSB. I really wonder on how this thing was concluded. I guess Honda must be paying a lot of marketing bills for this website.
Woodman -Once again  December 27, 2009 07:10 PM
I am not ranking out BigDog. they describe themselves as a chopper company. There is not one thing about thier bikes a rational person person in a motorcyle related business would claim makes them cruiser of the year. This choice simply defies logic. Quit drooling over the BMWs and give us real info on the bikes we actually buy.

Lets be realistic, shall we my friends. We all know what modern, comtemporary cruisers are. I listed 8 companies that build and market them. From 250 to 2000cc. Heck, even Sucker Punch Sally builds a soft-tail early HD FL cruiser stlye bike. Give it to them if you want to prove how open you are to all entrees..

BigDogs are 9 1/2 foot long Choppers. Not modern cruisers. Which by the way, have all the modern technology of sport touring. 6 speed, frame mounted fairings, aluminum frames, cruise control, electric heated components, stereo/nav/cell systems, ABS and FI. Lots of great choices.
Dannicus -Best Cruiser of '09  December 27, 2009 04:04 PM
Some people don't think that a Big Dog is a chopper and a chopper is not a style of cruiser. Everyone I know and the media seem to think choppers ARE a type of cruiser whether or not the makers of said bikes use the word cruiser in their ads. Your opinion on that may even boil down to where you live, or who you hang out with, tho. HD calls their Rocker C and other raked out factory customs "chopper style." My dad thinks a chopper is a bike like the death trap he built in his garage out of mail order parts with an old triumph twin, no front brake, and solid rear end. I think a chopper is a variety of cruiser with a low seat, fat rear tire and a skinny tire way out front on a raked out set of forks. Big Dog bikes have been around a while and I have personally seen them in quite a few publications for at least the last four years and have known two people that owned them. More recently, tho, alot of the cruiser riders I know are distancing themselves from cookie cutter "bar bike" choppers like the Big Dog, saying they are not much more than rolling fashion accessories.
Woodman -Response  December 27, 2009 12:36 PM
What are valid reason to label something a best of? Perhaps it is simply the most capable at its intended function. The Honda sportbike appears to fit this. Or the most technologically advanced wthout cost, the BMW K1300GT represents this, as it is not the best value or seller in this genre. Or, it can fill a gap no one else does, or even define that gap, once again BMW has does this with the F800GS. No one, by any stretch can award the Bigdog this award on these basis. Assuming you can convince anyone it is even a cruiser.

Your argument that even HD builds choppers is weak at best. Harley is, was and always will be a cruiser company. It is all they build. BigDog is a chopper company and describes themselves as such. Never once, anywhere on thier website on in the brochures do they even claim to build cruisers or label any of thier bikes cruisers.

I would even be suprised if anyone outside the "Factory Custom Prostreet Chopper" world had heard of big Dog before this award. I have never seen them in the annual "Cruiser" guides put out by some magazines. Though they do seem to pop up in chopper magazines alot.

This website is MOTO-USA and the cruiser is the most important and best selling style in the USA. Sport touring and Adventure bikes are small part of our market. BMW sells 15,000 bikes a year in the USA. Harley sells that many cruisers in a month. If cruisers went away at least 8 motorcycle manafacturers would be drasticlly altered or go under completely. Honda, Harley, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha/Star, Indian, Victory and Triumph all depend on cruisers for the lion share of thier sales and profit. Sure the highend Euros, BMW, Ducati, KTM, Aprilla and MotoGuzzi do not do build cruisers, but once again, they are a tiny part of our market.

If anything, MOTO-USA should give the most consideration to the most important bike in the market they put in their name. Not just make up some silly excuse to give it to a unknown fringe player for unspecific reasons. The government approves of the motor so we give it an award. Who cares what Al Gore thinks.

MOTO-USA can give thier goofy award to any bike they want and call themselves what ever they like. Nothing can change the fact that the cruiser is the stlye of bikes most folks in the USA want and purchase. And that 9 1/2 foot long "thing" they call the cruiser of the year is not want folks want or care about.

Having said all that, lets just move on. Ride what ever bike you like and can afford. (BigDog starts at $35k)
Most importantly ride safe and smart.

See you at BikeWeek 2010, I will be the one on the black cruiser.

Dannicus -Best of '09  December 27, 2009 11:11 AM
Woodman- Even HD builds chopper style cruisers like the Soft Tail Custom or the Rocker C. HD doesn't separate them and back when HD was building the first iconic cruiser style bikes, honda was flooding world markets with little scooters. Would you still be complaining if MCUSA gave the Rocker C the award? Doubt it. Maybe you feel that the average joe should be able to afford the Cruiser of the Year, but the award isn't for "Most affordable Cruiser." If it were, it probably would have gone to a Honda, tho. Jimmy- It's not just the greed of the suits keeping the US out of competition. For some reason the US "tards" on the factory floors think they deserve more than $10 an hour.
Jimmy -Greed  December 27, 2009 05:16 AM
Good old corporate greed is what kills the American brands.Be it cars or bikes all CEO's care about is the bottom line.That is why things are out-sourced its cheaper to have some 3rd world tard put it together than Americans who might actually buy the product.
WoodmanWest -BestCruiser Still NOT  December 27, 2009 03:47 AM
Well lets go to Hondas Website surely they would know. They are one of the worlds largest, most sucessfull and respected MC manafacturers. They make every style of MCs.

Hmm, they have a catagory for cruisers and a catagory for choppers. So according to Hondas official website, choppers are not cruisers.

If MotoUSA is so bent on convincing folks to buy BigDog bikes (that must be one heck of a free T shirt Bryan got) then just have a chopper of the year award. But please do not lump some little known poor selling custom pro street chopper into the catagory of the countrys best selling style of bikes.

Harley Davidson is still the biggest, best selling MC company in the USA. HD makes cruiser style motorcycles. Crusiers are the countys most important and profitable bikes made. I do not own or ride HD personally and they can give the award to any bike they see deserving. As long at is a cruiser!!
Abdusment -MOTY  December 26, 2009 08:28 PM
Best rider of the year…why didn’t Danny Eslick win? :) With the way the motorcycle industry has been the past 1 ½ years this article should read “Biggest Losers or the Year”. The innovation award for some stupid electric sport bikes, WTF. Does anyone really want to own an electric sport bike…really? Maybe an electric scooter hmmm no not even that. Big Dog? I know you guys at MUSA knew this would be funny but I don’t think you knew just how humorous this award is. BMWF800GS gets two awards, interesting. The first one maybe but MOTY shouldn’t this award be given to a make and model that will be seen/owned /ridden by at least 9 or more people. I am stunned the Honda Fury did not win any awards but then again Honda is cutting back on their racing budget and advertising budget. Is it me or did you notice every time there is a picture, ad, article or mention of Triumph’s “urban” bikes the bike is doing a wheelie? Which is fine but that action pose has grown to be a little stale. I really don’t know how you can pick best sportbike because they are all so good and close to each other. I myself would have picked one that maybe had a championship title this year, had the strongest sales, or pushed the envelope with new designs and chart toping numbers or just pick the one Steve Atlas likes the most. Let’s see next year Honda’s NT700V will win best light weight tour but be discontinued the following year for poor sales. Something Harley makes will win cruiser award because Big Dog will be gone. BMW won’t win many awards because they spent their entire advertising budget this year. Something from Triumph will be doing a stopie instead of a wheelie. The Honda CBR600RR will win sportbike. The innovation of the year will be getting these electric bikes to go 17 miles on a single charge instead of only 14 miles. The MOTY will be Fischer MRX, and Ben Spies will be rider of the year for winning the Moto GP championship.
Dannicus -Best Cruiser  December 26, 2009 05:12 PM
Bobber, chopper, musclebike, they're all cruisers!

Woodman West -BestCrusier NOT!  December 26, 2009 04:15 PM
I am not ranking out cruisers, it is all I ride or have ever owned. My only point is THIS BIKE IS NOT A CRUISER. Sounds like Brian sold out for a free T shirt and test ride. In his own article about htese very bikes 12 days ago he does not even describe this bike as a cruiser. The folks who make this bike NEVER use the word crusier on thier website or in thier literature!

It is a prostreet chopper, that for some reason no one can justify, they have awarded the cruiser of the year!!
steve -hank  December 26, 2009 02:00 PM
even a bigger idiot. hank, i have a bridge you can buy. it's american!
steve -bobby  December 26, 2009 01:56 PM
Grow up.............you are an idiot. If we produce great stuff at a competitive price than America will remain great.

When we blame the press and foreign manufacturers for the crap that we produce, we are in denial, just like GM and the UAW were for 30 years.

Comparing a Harley to a Victory is like comparing and Oldsmobile to a Hummer. Same demographics and idiots like you.

HD really cared...........soon as the stock price dropped, they closed down Buell and the York plant is next. How American off them.
JorgeQ -Cruisers  December 26, 2009 01:25 PM
The U.S. market is approx 65% cruiser sales. Foreign manufactures are not going to import there full line up when over half your market is cruisers. You have a cruiser mentality here in the U.S. I have noted that bikers in the U.S. like to just ride around town and show off with loud exhaust. In England and Europe motorcycle touring is a major sport. Gas is just too expensive to buy something like a heavy out of date Harley and just ride around making noise.
Kaw Man 4 Life -funny stuff  December 26, 2009 12:54 PM
BMW should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done to husqvarna. Americans need to work harder not whine louder.
dannicus -Big Dog  December 26, 2009 10:41 AM
The Big Dog is a caracature of a cruiser.

Picking it as the Cruiser of the Year is funny and fitting. What douche on a cruiser, be it a chopper or whatever (still a cruiser), isn't putting on his own little silly fashion show. If they were riding to ride, they'd all be on a Concourse14 etc...
Mark -Triumph Street Triple  December 26, 2009 08:35 AM
Best bang for the buck out there. Catch one if you can.
HarleyMan -Big Dog is Cool  December 26, 2009 08:27 AM
Man I could pull up to the stop lights on that Big Dog and rev the loud engine and everybody would look at me. I don't care if it is uncomfortable and has a small gas tank. I would only ride around town anyway. Make a lot of noise like my Harley only this bike is better looking. I would put on my Harley outfit so everybody would think I was a tough guy on my loud bad ass motorcycle. Man this is what biking is all about. Forget those sissy sport bikes. I'll take my loud show off bike any day. I want people to look at me and think I am cool.
Watcher -Big Dog  December 26, 2009 07:33 AM
Not everyone is a moron Harley rider. Why in the hell would you give a bike like the Big Dog even any consideration. It is not a cruiser style motorcycle. It is only a show off bike like Steve said. It is hard enough to put up with the Harley morons riding around with out mufflers and now you are condoning that style of riding. Shame On You!!!!!!
Steve R -Stupied choice for cruiser  December 26, 2009 07:25 AM
Best cruiser? A typical Harley style bike with no mufflers!!! Yea, just what I want. A uncomfortable loud motorcycle. Where in the hell are these guys coming from? Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki make a line of great cruiser motorcycles that perform great and are comfortable to ride. I can't believe anyone in there right mind would buy a Big Dog motorcycle unless they just want to ride around and Show Off like the Harley bunch. Hey look at me - I have a loud motorcycle. Everyone must think my bike is really fast because it is loud. Typical Harley mentality.
Superbikemike -price of big dog.....  December 26, 2009 06:50 AM
$36k for that!!!!!!! if someone is paying that much for that POS, which i seriously doubt, they need to have their head examined.... what a waste of resources, sportbikes costing half that much are languishing on dealers floors and they are a much better bang-4-your-buck, fun and smile producing ride....2010 prediction.... big dog extinct by the end of the year..... the weak shall not survive this economy
Woodman -BestCruiser  December 26, 2009 05:08 AM
As a matter of fact, Bigdog's website does not even call this bike a cruiser. They list it as a "ProStreet" bike (whatever that means).

I guess actually doing research on the bikes was too much trouble.

Lets read the article you wrote on Deember 14 of this year about Bigdog. Hmm, you call it a "factory-custom production motorcycle" use the term "a factory-custom chopper", "The big-engined, fat-tired, super-stretched motorcycle", "nine-foot choppers and Pro Street motorcycles."

Wow, you do not even use the term "cruiser" one time in defining Bigdog or any of thier bikes.

Look, I understand you do not want them to go under. Sales of these non cruiser stlye bikes are way down. But, please do not dismiss the many excellent cruisers built just to try to give them a sales push. The Wolf starts at $35K, it is a factory custom Prostreet chopper.
Dannicus -Best of '09  December 25, 2009 10:15 PM
Great article MCUSA!

It's interesting to see how different magazines put together their "Best Bikes" line-up.

Too bad ur brainwashed into thinking imports are superior! ;)
Brian -Best street bike?  December 25, 2009 09:29 PM
Darn right, the TriOOMPH takes it! Even the non-"R", standard, Street Triple takes it. That things a light weight, hard hitting, street bully. Sound, power, handling, character, price. Triumph took a swing and it's a 1 punch knock out!
irksome -Triumph triples.  December 25, 2009 08:59 PM
Tim B.-> Yup. You're the only one.
Tim B -Trimphs Sound Good???  December 25, 2009 08:17 PM
Am I the only one who hates the sound of the Triumph triples? It's just an odd sound to me.

And I'm blown away that the KX450F won best MXer.

I really can't argue with anything else, though. I'd love to own any of those bikes on the list!
Woodman west -BestCruiser  December 25, 2009 06:44 PM
Are you insane, it is not even a cruiser, it is a chopper. And every V twin, vert twin and triple on every bike made the the Japanese, Euros and the 2 big US made bigs is 50 state certified.

Cruisers are made to be ridden, not gawked at. This truly defies logic.
Joel -Read my post  December 25, 2009 03:49 PM
Whoever you are that sent the "read my post" comment, I would like to thank you for buying the american products. and NO!!! you're not a commie or an idiot. I didn't say they had the largest recall ever, I said the largest this year.Thats of the car manufacturers.and NO sam rendell and silver are not morons or commies Sorry...........
Bobby Adkins -Sam  December 25, 2009 03:29 PM
I'm sorry Sam.About the "idiot" thing But I still believe most americans are brainwashed about foreign made products, seems everyone would rather have an import, especially when it comes to vehicles and m/c's.I guess I'm american enough That I'd rather drive and ride american, no matter what the magizine articles say. Thats usually their personal opinions, and this is mine.
Sam -Well..  December 25, 2009 02:28 PM
Bobby- I agree that Victory is a great American bike maker. I would buy one of their bikes before anything made by HD. I am not sure how the correlation works into doctors,plumbers,etc though. Majority of people want something that is well made and until recently most American cars were poorly made when compared to the imports. The last few years the big 3 in MI have made huge strides to improve quality. I know if I am lying in the hospital needing something serious done I could care less where the Dr. came from as long as he is great at what he does. Still don't understand why this article makes them "idiots"

Joel- Read my post please. I had to read it another time to find where I said anything about Toyota or Honda. I can't find it. If you are going to start making accusations at me, brainwashed/commie, at least make sure there is something to back it up. I am so brainwashed I own a Dodge Ram, Chevy Traverse and a Buell XB12XT. Recalls happen all the time. It was the largest for Toyota but not even close to the largest ever. Didn't a manufacturer from the USA just recall EVERY touring bike they made last year? http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/568/5266/Motorcycle-Article/Harley-Davidson-Recalls-111-569-Motorcycles.aspx
Joel Alexander -Sam  December 25, 2009 01:21 PM
Bobby, I have to agree with you. Sam is brainwashed. They must think God Himself builds toyotas. He must not have heard they had the biggest recall of all the manufacturers this year..But don't try to argue with a moron. I'd say Sam,Silver, and rendell are commies too.
Bobby Adkins -Sam  December 25, 2009 12:54 PM
sam,For one thing I believe Victory could have won tourer of the year, or the manufacturer of the year. I'd much rather tour the U.S.A. on a victory vision than a BMW with your feet up under your rear end.If that riding postion is so comfortable .why don't we have living room chairs.like that? And I believe If the foreign manufacturers build better cars and motorcycles then they are also better doctors,lawyers,teachers.nurses,salesman plumbers electrians,and all other professions. Don't you agree Sam?
Silver -Bobby is clueless  December 25, 2009 12:44 PM
Name one automaker that makes American made cars! They may be "assembled" in the US but they are assembled with parts that are manufactured and subassembled outside the US. Then add in the money hungry UAW and their members (which are Americans we are to support) which single handedly destroyed their own jobs. To stay competitive with the Japanese manufacturers they have resorted to making "quality automobiles" with junk parts. That is why people like myself drive a Toyota and Acura. I like owning a reliable car that isn't in the shop and dealerships that aren't in my pockets.

And for Harley, nothing like 1970's technology at twice the price. I will just keep my overpriced Ducati (which was still less expensive than a fat pig of a bike like a Harley).
Hank -I agree with Bobby  December 25, 2009 12:13 PM
My Harley Street Bob should have swept all classes, from Innovation of the Year, to MX bike of the year, to Superbike of the Year. But mo-usa hates America, so it didn't....
RENDELL -USA  December 25, 2009 10:48 AM
I love my country. But, last time I checked most Chevys are made in Mexico or Canada. Hondas and Toyotas are made in Ohio. GM sold the rights to make Hummers to China this year. WTF are you talking about Bobby? Japan makes the best 4 cylinder sportbikes. Italy the V-twins etc. I don't know when or if ever the USA will make a competitive sportbike.

Thanks for the review on the Honda CBR 1000RR, it was right on, so I bought one, I can't get enough of it.
Barry -Huh  December 25, 2009 10:38 AM
What American bike companies are left?In a few years there may not be any American car manufacturers either.
Sam -Bobby?  December 25, 2009 08:54 AM
What American manufacturer should they have given an award to? The cruiser market was won by an American manufacturing company. Besides Buell there isn't any major American manufacturer making any other type of bike than a cruiser/touring bike. When Buell starts making world class type bikes, with an interesting bike in the future, HD decides to kill them for no real reason. Buell sales have been up every year. Back on point... What American made bike should have won any of the categories that they did not? Prove that these guys are "idiots" with facts please.
Eric -990 Adv  December 25, 2009 08:11 AM
"We’ve seen the F800GS take on transcontinental voyages, off-road races, urban commuting and even street racing and freestyle stunting. Try imagining that on any other bike." Last I checked the KTM 990 Adventure checks all those boxes and has more power to boot.
Bobby Adkins -Best awards  December 25, 2009 06:40 AM
It's no wonder american manufacturing is done. you bias one sided media. has pretty much put the U.S. auto industry out of business. Now honda has replaced oldsmobile,toyota has replaced pontiac,nissian,has replaced saturn.and you idiots won't stop til there is nothing left in america but imports.Shame on you.I hope your job is next.you think it can't happen. because of the U.S. auto industry pretty much shut down because of the one sided commies,the detroit news has shut down the Ann Arbor news closed.You idiots don't have the brains to know it but you're cutting your own throat.Oh Well!!!!!!
George -Amazed  December 25, 2009 04:45 AM
I'm amazed at how well the Euro bikes did.Now if they took their greedy heads out of their rearends they might sell more than a coupla dozen bikes in the US.
Night Cop -Adam's Crash  December 25, 2009 03:57 AM
Nice touch with the video by adding Adam crashing the street fighter! LOL! My co workers never live down crashing police cars either.