There is something oddly comforting about a cruiser. As opposed to the mind-numbing speeds superbikes are associated with, cruisers are made for a more relaxed, laidback adventure. And it’s not that a cruiser can’t rip through the streets either, they simply choose not to. The handlebars of a cruiser are higher than the average street bikes, the legs are placed toward the front, and the riding position is relaxed. They’re all amazing, and all unique. And filmmakers both in Hollywood or Bollywood (and of course, Tollywood) make sure to use these beautiful monsters to make stints more glamorous. Be it Ajay Devgn’s Royal Enfield Bullet in Singham, or Jay Chou’s custom Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle in The Green Hornet, if there’s a movie with a cruiser in it, that’s where a lot of the attention is going to go. Here we take a look at the different types of cruisers. How many of these do you know?
1. Café Racer: A café racer is a street bike with all the extra, obstructing weight stripped off. It is identified by a distinctive line running under the fuel tank, along with the base of the seat, parallel to the ground. In the ‘50’s bike owners would strip down their street bikes and customize them to look like the MotoGP Bikes. Long before Harley Davidson arrived in India, Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt was already racing his Fat Boy on cruise control. If you don’t remember the Fat boy, think Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ride in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
2. Brat: A Brat is Japan’s take on a café racer. The idea originated in one specific shop in Tokyo, Japan, called Brat Style. It boasts of a very distinct banana or Subway sandwich- shaped seat. Unlike the café racer where the mechanisms are exposed, the pipes of a brat are wrapped and the chrome parts are blacked out or given a matte finish, or both.
3. Tracker: The design of a Tracker has its roots in American dirt bike racing, and uses lightweight parts, like alloy tanks and plastic ABS. Trackers resemble dirt bikes the way a café racer resembles a MotoGP bike of the 50’s. They are mostly single seaters and force the rider into an upright position while riding. Why ride a dirt bike in the first place you ask? James Bond on a Montesa Cora 4RT in Quantum of Solace is your answer.
4. Scrambler: A Scrambler is very similar to a Tracker, except that the pipes tend to be upswept to avoid any off-road hazards. Key features of a scrambler include knobby tyres and fenders to go off-roading.
5. Chopper: Choppers have rigid frames and are customized (“chopped”) to extend the forks and add only essential body parts, including a shrunken gas tank, to ride faster. A chopper is harder to turn than a regular bike with the fork being at a 45o angle, but then they aren’t meant to turn all that often. Choppers are almost 100% customized, from the paint job to the frame, according to the need of the rider. Any bike can be made into a chopper, similar to the way limousines work. And although customization does include going to the extreme, Nicholas Cage went a wee bit overboard in Ghost Rider, no?
6. Bobber: A bobber is similar to a chopper; the fenders and subframe are chopped or “bobbed”). The difference is the handlebars of a bobber are straight and it is essentially a single seater. If you’ve seen the Harley-Davidson Street Bob in “My Sweet Summer” by The Dirty Heads, you know what we’re talking about.
One More Thing:
What is your bike of choice? Is it on this list? Share with us the stories and trails you and your bike have seen together, on www.trailsofindia.com
“Four Wheels Move The Body. Two Wheels Move The Soul.”