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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.
- 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:
- BMW R18
- Harley-Davidson Sportster
- Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
- Honda Valkyrie
- Honda Shadow
- Indian Chief
- Indian Scout
- Kawasaki Vulcan
- Moto Guzzi California 1400
- Suzuki Boulevard M109R
- Triumph Rocket III Roadster
- 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:
- Harley-Davidson Iron 883
- Harley-Davidson Street 750
- Honda Rebel
- Suzuki Boulevard S40
- Yamaha Bolt
- Yamaha V-Star 250