Over the years the staff of Motorcycle.com – no matter the regime – usually hasn't been one for the conventional view. We often come up with some silly premise for pitting a bunch of bikes not usually seen in the same circles together, or arbitrarily choose a location to ride off to and generate some screwy videos, photos and commentary. We're not like everyone else, and that's why you love us, right? So, with one last opportunity before year's end, we conjured up another comparo with a hint of fun and irreverence to close out 2007.
Choppers – after several years of seeing them being built on TV, some of the major OEMs are now building their own. The Victory Vegas Jackpot was one of the first out of the gate, offering flamboyant style and a 250mm rear tire that was the fattest available on a large-scale production bike. Then, this past summer, Harley-Davidson debuted its chopper/bob-job Rocker, providing the most daring Softail yet. We knew we had the brewing of a shootout when we saw the Star Motorcycles Raider this fall, as the Yamaha-built cruiser was the first Japanese custom that embraces the chopper phenomenon. They’re the three bikes currently offered from major OEMs which best exemplify the outlaw chopper movement, what we’re terming Mainstream Choppers.
The Raider S, Vegas Jackpot and Rocker C represents each maker's interpretation of a custom bike made affordable for the average Joe. There's plenty of exposed motor, chrome, flashy paint, kicked-back riding posture and enough bottom-end stomp from all three to inspire a "Torque for Dummies" book.
More: Mainstream Choppers Shootout