2011 Bagger Cruiser Shootout Conclusion

Justin Dawes | July 11, 2011

The 2011 Street Glide was the champ in the curves thanks to its light steering and good cornering clearance.
The Vaquero turns in to corners easily and is solid as a rock in the turns.
Even with Harley-Davidsons optional PowerPak the Street Glide was the least powerful bike in our 2011 Bagger Cruiser Shootout.
The 2011 Street Glide won our bagger Cruiser Shootout by just one point.

Adam Waheed – 6’0”, 175 pounds – Harley-Davidson Street Glide
I would buy the Harley-Davidson because it is the best overall bike. It doesn’t feel as fast as the rest of the bikes but I am in love with the character of the engine. The fueling and throttle response is spot-on perfect and the exhaust note is exquisite. You wouldn’t even need to put any pipes on it as it sounds bad-ass stock. It’s also a very comfortable motorcycle and offers excellent handling for a bike that weighs in excess of 800 pounds. Heck if I could get a good deal at the dealership I’d take this bike over a lot of other more sport-oriented street bikes.
Ray Gauger – 6’5”, 180 pounds – Kawasaki Vaquero
If I ever decided to drop down 17K on a bagger, I would spring for the Kawasaki Vaquero. I’m a techno geek, so I love all the features and gizmos from the fully functional stereo to the cruise control, not to mention the nostalgic awesomeness that is the Vaquero’s retro dash. It’s an all-around good package that can be made near perfect with a few bolt-on parts and customization. The fact that it’s got the lowest cost of entry is just icing on the cake.
Ken Hutchison – 5’8”, 185 pounds – Harley-Davidson Street Glide
It is tough to beat an original. This motorcycle felt lighter, was faster through the twisties and fit me perfectly. The seat is comfortable and the riding position was so spot-on that I could ride it all day and not feel uncomfortable. That was not the case with the other two baggers in this test. There are things I do not like about the Harley like the smallish and funky saddle bags but they still work. I thought the electronics could have a much better layout, too. Other than that it comes down to how it feels when you are riding it and in this test, riding through epic scenery and twisty canyon roads the H-D is the bike of choice for me.
Justin Dawes – 5’ 10”, 225 pounds – Harley-Davidson Street Glide
After the very first 15 minutes on the Street Glide, I knew it was my pick if I were to drop a considerable chunk of change on a bagger. However, I wasn’t entirely sure it would win this shootout, as the Kawasaki and Star both had some great features that trumped the Glide. Sure, a banging stereo and a monster motor are nice, but it boiled down to the issue of the comfortable riding position and sweet handling. I could ride the Harley-Davidson all day long, and I can’t say the same for the other two.


Justin Dawes

Digital Media Producer | Articles | Raised on two wheels in the deserts of Nevada, "JDawg" has been part of the industry for well over two decades. Equal parts writer, photographer, and rider, he is a jack of all trades and even a master of some.

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