As the evolution of the custom high-neck chopper continues, the Big Dog K-9 redefines the genre’s parameters. The BDM Balance Drive System that moves the final drive to the bike’s right side, for improved balance and cornering, is reason enough to put this nine-foot custom on this list, but the Baker 6-speed transmission and 117 cu in motor are fitting icing on an already perfectly-baked cake.
American IronHorse Slammer. (Click image to enlarge)
Taking the custom pro-street cruiser concept to a more-than-reasonable extreme, is the American IronHorse Slammer. A 124 cu in, 130 hp motor spits power out to the 300mm rear tire, then you slow it all down with twin front discs grabbed by six piston calipers. Properly conceived frame geometry and Progressive air suspension allows the rider to confidently travel in directions other than a straight line.
Suzuki Boulevard M109R. (Click image to enlarge)
Borrowing technology from its legendary GSX-R sportbike line, Suzuki has approached the metric cruiser category from a new perspective with the Boulevard M109R. The engine is the center of its design gravity, thanks to twin high-tech 4-valve, DOHC cylinders in the classic V arrangement, and pistons that measure 4.27-inches across. Handling, suspension and braking are all there to manage the invigorating acceleration.
Big Dog K-9. Photograph by Michael Lichter. (Click image to enlarge)
Leave it to Moto Guzzi to do something different with the cruiser. The stunning Griso 1100 is a sport cruiser that performs as well in the corners as it does striking a distinctively Italian pose on Main Street. Wide bars and generous clearance give the rider dominance over the machine, as it is put through its paces. The conspicuous tubular steel frame, enormous left-side muffler and characteristic transverse air-cooled V-twin are all flawlessly designed to serve the dual masters of performance and style.
Moto Guzzi Griso 1100