The 1965 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide virtually invented the touring bike concept. Over 40 years later, H-D is still breathing new life into the touring cruiser theory. The Screamin’ Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide, from Harley-Davidson’s famed Custom Vehicle Operations, combines the bling of custom paint and leather with the muscle of the new Twin Cam 110 powerplant and matching 6-speed transmission. This grouping of design cues sets a new standard for V-twin touring.
Harley-Davidson CVO Electra Glide. Photograph by Kevin Wing.A technical tour de force since its inception, the latest Honda Gold Wing includes a safety device we typically associate with automobiles—an air bag. Positioned in front of the rider, it is triggered by an ECU that analyzes signals from four fork-mounted crash sensors. When an impact to the front of the motorcycle is detected, the bag inflates almost instantaneously. We salute this potentially life-saving advance in safety design.
Honda Gold WingBe it a pure sport bike or a one-off custom chopper, motorcycles have one thing tying them together—a clutch lever and a gear shifter. The Yamaha FJR1300AE sport tourer is attempting to break that bond. Replacing those manually operated items on the AE is an electronic gear selector operated with your left thumb or left foot, and an automatic clutch that works in concert with this novel design. Those comfortable with the traditional manual clutch/shifting may shrug at this development, but it is a feature that may gain favor with riders who would like some assistance in the shifting endeavor.
Yamaha FJR1300AE www.harley-davidson.com