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Ultimate Guide to the Best Cruiser Motorcycles


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The cruiser is an iconic type of motorcycle that has become a favorite or new and seasoned riders alike – and even admired by people who don’t ride at all.

Cruiser motorcycles are often a symbol or freedom or rebellion, and while not the most popular class of bike, are still being developed and innovated today.

If you’re an experienced rider looking for a great cruiser or a beginner who has their heart set on a cruiser as their first motorcycle, this page will serve as a guide to get you started.

Whether you’re looking for a motorcycle to see the country on long-distance rides or need something for the weekends in the mountains, there’s a cruiser for you.

What is a Cruiser Motorcycle?

Within the cruiser segment there’s actually a lot of variety in terms of:

  • Engine displacement.
  • Engine design.
  • Ergonomics.
  • Overall size and styling.

However, cruiser motorcycles are generally defined as:

  • Low clearance.
  • Relaxed seating position.
  • Wider handlebars.
  • Easy to ride and shift.
  • Low-end torque engines that run at lower RPMs.
  • Heavier construction.
  • Traditionally having a V-twin engine.

Originally, the cruiser was a predominately American motorcycle. Today, however, you can find some sort of cruiser offering from almost every motorcycle manufacturer.

What Makes a Good Cruiser?

What makes a good cruiser depends on how you’re going to be riding it, but some things to look for include:

  • Comfortable seating position and ergonomics.
  • Can travel long distances with ease, but ability to handle the twisties too.
  • Low-end torque that doesn’t require too much shifting.
  • Classic cruiser styling.

Best Cruiser Motorcycles

Whether you’re looking for something classic or one of the best modern cruisers, there’s going to be something for you in this list:

  1. BMW R18
  2. Harley-Davidson Sportster
  3. Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
  4. Honda Valkyrie
  5. Honda Shadow
  6. Indian Chief
  7. Indian Scout
  8. Kawasaki Vulcan
  9. Moto Guzzi California 1400
  10. Suzuki Boulevard M109R
  11. Triumph Rocket III Roadster
  12. Yamaha VMAX

Best Beginner Cruisers

Some riders get into motorcycles for the first time because they fall in love with a particular bike. The segment that tends to capture some of the most hearts is the cruiser motorcycle.

However, many new riders may find themselves over-biked with the size, weight, and power of many of the popular cruiser motorcycles.

If you’re learning how to ride, a heavy cruiser is probably not going to be the best beginner motorcycle. That said, you’ve got some options when it comes to entry level and small to mid-sized beginner cruisers.

Some of the best cruisers for new riders include:

  1. Harley-Davidson Iron 883
  2. Harley-Davidson Street 750
  3. Honda Rebel
  4. Suzuki Boulevard S40
  5. Yamaha Bolt
  6. Yamaha V-Star 250

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