Top Speed vs Cruiser ???
Rev limiter aside, who really wants to go more than 80-90 on a laid-back cruiser. I think the best I've done is a few miles over 90 and still had considerably more throttle left to go. It's just not comfortable at that speed because of the rider position. I have one road here in New Mexico with a speed limit of 75. I usually do it at about 77 (GPS) and after about 10 miles I find it difficult to maintain it because of the rider position. I don't have forward controls or highway pegs on my engine guard and that is about the time my feet have a hard time staying on the floorboards without a noticible effort.
If you want speed get a machine thats designed for it. If you want a leisurely ride down the 2-lane and once-in-a-while the 4-lane highway relax and enjoy the ride at 60-70mph.
NOTE: I believe the stock rev limiter is 5000 rpm (I know it is on a Roadstar). The PowerCmdr will allow you to raise that and typically you do raise it to about 5500 rpm (the extra 500 rpm is a vast improvement to the run-up to highway speed from the on-ramp). I had my Stratoliner PowerCmdr II custom mapped for performance last summer. While I observed the mechanic at work I noticed he routinely revved it up to 5400rpm during his high-speed runs. I couldn't see the speedometer so don't know what the bike speed was. In any case the limiter on my bike seems to be ~5400 rpm. That's still good enough to get me 86.9 HP at ~3500rpm, and 116 lb torgue at ~2500rpm. That's with Yamaha Speedstar Long pipes and Power Commander II, no O2 sensor, and stock airbox.
NOTE2: You mentioned your buddy's extra $5000 spending on Harley hotups. Look at Harley's Screaming Eagles; they are almost comparable to the Stratoliner/Roadliner engine performance (110ci vs our 113ci) and they typically run in the $30K-$40K price range. They are not even really custom bikes because they are based on standard Harley's with a high-performance power mills, though some have some enhanced paint jobs. I don't ever think I could be rich enough to spend that kind of money on a non-customed chopper motorcycle.
Last edited by hilleyja; 05-10-2010 at 02:48 PM.