As the cruiser market grew along with the rest of the industry at near exponential rates over the last 15 years, so did displacement and the "performance" level of some cruisers. Now there's an unofficial subset of this segment where the words muscle, power or performance may be used along side the word cruiser.
Sure, performance cruisers still have most of that essential cruiser profile. But a lot of them also stop well, are agile, powerful enough, and comfortable enough to catch the eye of a consumer that may be considering an altogether different style of bike.
Witness Suzuki's latest introduction, the Boulevard M90. During the bike's U.S. launch this past fall in Monterey, CA, Mel Harris, vice president of American Suzuki Motor Corporation, says the M90 fills a gap that existed not only in Suzuki’s own product line, but also in the market.
So this got us to thinking. Is it possible this friendly bruiser can hold its own against a veteran of the class? The other party in this showdown is the venerable Warrior from Star Motorcycles. Entering its eighth year of production, the Warrior is a standard setter. The successful combination of comfort, style and performance is undeniable, and for its many admirable traits it won our 2007 Power Cruisers Shootout.
After eight happy years the Warrior is about to come under attack from a lesser-powered combatant, a combatant that has a strong race heritage in its big family tree. Will the Warrior finally lose favor with the cruiser masses? Let's find out!
More: 2009 Muscle Cruiser Shootout