motorcycle

The best vehicles for cross country trips

Sometimes cross country driving can be a monotonous nightmare. But there are a few vehicles out there that I think would make it enjoyable rather than a nightmarish battle with bad traffic, bad weather and bad scenery, like if your driving through western Kansas for instance. Most manufacturers keep a vehicles range to about 300 miles, so fuel economy isn’t necessarily the most important thing.

First, I’d have to say the Porsche Panamera Turbo

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0-60 in 3.9 seconds and 550 hp, it would make any road trip instantly better. With one of the best interiors I have ever seen and Porsches renowned reliability, it is easily one of the best options for longer drives. The only downside is it has a price tag of $141,000, so you had better have deep pockets. But if you can afford it I don’t think you’ll mind the 18 mpg you are probably going to be getting out of its twin turbo v6.

My second choice would be the Chrysler 300c SRT8.

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With a 6.4 liter Hemi that cranks out 470 hp and 470 ft lbs, this thing is the highway missile id probably put my money on. Nothing screams fuck yeah better than these things. It also has an amazing interior, it is super comfortable, and is surprisingly quiet. The brakes are fantastic, which is a good thing because they have 4300 lbs to bring to a screeching halt if necessary.

Next would be the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit with the Eco diesel v6.

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Fully optioned, this thing will run you north of $55,000 which is a lot of money. Not to mention that in that price bracket, it has some stiff competition from some very quick sports cars and if you consider the used vehicle market, you can get some amazing vehicles. But again, with a super comfy interior and a fuel range of over 600 miles, you can spend more time getting to where your going comfortably and less time stopping.

Last choice is a curveball, but I’d have to say the Ural Patrol with sidecar.

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With a sidecar you can carry more gear with you than you could with only a couple hard cases that you strapped onto your BMW R1200 GS. You also have the benefit of 2 wheel drive to get you through the terrible road conditions you may encounter. Sure it may only have 41 hp pushing its considerable heft, but it’s a great way to get the open air experience and not have to worry about dumping it when you go farther down the trails than you should have. And for only $16,000 who doesn’t want to drive cross country on a motorcycle?

Why the die hard, American V-Twin enthusiasts both new and old, should love and buy the new Indian Scout.

Harley Davidson has been the iconic American motorcycle name almost since its creation. Harley Davidson began small by attaching small 7 cubic inches of fury to bicycle frames, but by the end of WW2, with almost no stateside competition they utterly dominated the market. Fast forward more than 60 years, and it would appear that the Harley Davidson machine is in full tilt spewing shirts, leather jackets and skull caps to anyone interested in 2 wheels hoping that they can sell an over priced antique for 3x market value. Maybe I am being way too critical. I love V-Twins, I love the long legged cruiser bikes that eat highways for miles, but I dont necessarily want the brand image of “skullz and Fuck Yeah Murica!” or 10 year old technology that Harley Davidson offers. Enter the Scout.

When Polaris Purchased Indian a few years ago, I had hoped  and wondered if something like this motorcycle would be in the cards. Being the 2nd biggest name in American Motorcycling on and off for decades, they had to win this game even if it was an uphill battle. Harley Davidson has not had any major financial issues since round the same time frame that the bowling ball manufacturer AMF bought them. Even when they were struggling to make reliable bikes, ‘Muricans still flocked to the dealerships to buy them, and for the most part things have not changed.

Frankly speaking, we need to quit holding onto the past. Air Cooled V-Twins are great if your just eating asphalt on the highway or want nothing more than to putt around town with technology that came from the steam engine era. The folks at Indian knew this however, and opted to quite literally revolutionize the American V-Twin game for the first time using a watercooled V-Twin. This is the first watercooled engine in Indians history. It produces 84 hp and 69 ft lbs of torque, which is significantly more horsepower than its Harley Davidson competitor, the 1200 Sportster, despite having a smaller engine. (The 1200 Sportster was chosen because of the price point of both bikes.) Not too mention the engine alone is beautiful. Just look at it. No seriously, stop what your doing and look at it. I just had a crisis… (if you dont get the reference, it’ll be ok)

Its lighter, easier to ride, doesnt vibrate you to death, and it actually performs which is revolutionary for American cruising motorcycles. And most important of all, it is CHEAPER than the HD sportster.

BTW, YES you H-D fanboys that are screaming at their screens saying, “Harley Davidson has a water-cooled engine too! Its in the V-Rod, Muscle-Rod, Night-Rod and jesus-another-special-edition-rod.” Yeah it does. It was co-developed by Porsche, can make a shit ton of HP, and dear GOD can it be beautiful.

But lets be real. 99% of the HD riders do not ride these, they ride blacked out fat boys with ape hangers like they just came out of Sons of Anarchy. If more HD riders were open to the new technology in the V-Rod, I would not be sitting here advocating the Indian Scout.

So go buy a new Indian Scout now so that Indian does not close up its shop for 2nd time this century alone and save a piece of Americana thats worth saving.

Scout HP: 84.8 at 7900RPM

Scout Torque: 63.5 at 5900RPM

HD Sportster 1200 HP: 60.78 at 5800RPM

HD Sportster 1200 Torque: 65.1 at 3800 RPM

This is the bike that made me love the Cafe Racer scene. Bonita Applebum.

The man who created this masterpiece did so starting out with nothing but a frame, and built it in his apartment living room entirely himself, even doing the wiring while color blind. Wiring is hard enough to do before you add in the color blindness. . Worth following the link and reading through it real fast.

http://www.pipeburn.com/home/2011/01/04/honda-1971-cb450-bonita-applebum.html#.VGpZX_nF-So