Finding the best cruiser motorcycle – the ultimate guide

Finding the best cruiser motorcycle - the ultimate guide
The journey starts as soon as you throw a leg over your first two-wheeler and feel that rumbling heartbeat between your legs. This comprehensive guide will walk through everything to find the best cruiser motorcycle.
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    Cruiser motorcycles, sometimes called cruisers, are a popular style of motorcycle known for their comfort, customization options, and laid-back riding position. With so many cruiser models on the market, choosing the best cruiser motorcycle for needs and style can be a challenge. This comprehensive guide will walk through everything to find the best cuiser motorcycle.


    What is a cruiser motorcycle

    A cruiser motorcycle, also known as a cruiser bike, is a motorcycle designed with a low seat height, pulled-back handlebars, forward-set footpegs, and a V-twin engine. Cruisers emphasize comfort and style over speed and aggressive handling like electric off road motorcycle. The low seat and laid-back ergonomics provide a relaxed and comfortable riding position.

    What is a cruiser motorcycle

    Cruiser motorcycles encompass various styles and sizes, from small cruiser motorcycles to large touring cruisers (best touring motorcycle). Some common types of cruisers include traditional or retro cruisers, choppers, bobbers, and metric cruisers. Despite the variety, cruiser motorcycles share defining characteristics like classic styling, a relaxed riding posture, and extensive customization options.

    The main components of a cruiser motorcycle

    While cruiser styles vary, they share some standard components that differentiate them from sports bikes or touring motorcycles. Here are the key elements of a cruiser’s anatomy:

    Engine: Most cruisers use a V-twin engine with a 45-degree or 50-degree V angle between the cylinders. This provides powerful acceleration and the signature cruiser rumble. Engine sizes range from small 600cc engines to large 2,000cc+ motors.

    Frame: Cruisers employ a classic double-cradle steel frame that helps create their iconic look. The motorcycle frame positions the rider low to the ground with feet placed forward.

    Suspension: Cruisers utilize wider, heavier suspension components to support the increased weight. The suspension is designed for stability rather than aggressive handling.

    Seat: The seat is low, usually under 28 inches high, allowing riders to easily plant both feet on the ground when stopped. The seat is wide, padded, and designed for comfort on long rides.

    The main components of a cruiser motorcycle

    Handlebars: Cruisers have pullback handlebars positioned further back and at a height above the seat. This gives an easy reach and upright riding posture.

    Wheels or tires: Large-diameter wheels with wide tires are standard. 16-inch, 17-inch, or even 21-inch front and rear wheels provide ample visual heft and stability.

    Types of cruiser motorcycles

    Cruisers encompass many sub-genres and styles. Here are some of the most popular types of cruiser motorcycles:

    Traditional cruiser: The quintessential cruiser featuring retro styling, V-twin engines, lots of chrome, round headlights, and teardrop gas tanks.

    Metric cruiser: Cruisers with engines less than 900 cc are made by Japanese manufacturers like Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki. Metric cruisers offer affordability and reliability.

    Power cruiser: Cruisers are designed with larger displacement V-twin engines for maximum power. Performance takes priority over classic styling.

    Touring cruiser: Big, comfortable cruisers made for long-distance rides. They have large windshields, saddlebags or storage cases, fairings, and enhanced suspension.

    Trike: A cruiser with three wheels instead of two, arranged with two front wheels and a single rear wheel. Trikes provide added stability for cruising but corner differently than bikes.

    Are cruisers good for long distance

    The comfort-oriented design of cruiser motorcycles makes them exceptional choices for riding long distances. Several key cruiser features contribute to their long-haul capabilities:

    Comfortable seating position: The low seat height and foot-forward positioning are comfortable for extended periods in the saddle. The upright posture and pullback bars help reduce strain.

    Are cruisers good for long distance

    Passenger comfort: Most cruisers have comfortable passenger seating with backrests and footpegs for two-up riding.

    Wind protection: Larger windshields, fairings, and lower handlebars found on touring cruisers provide generous wind and weather protection.

    Cargo capacity: Saddlebags, luggage racks, and storage cases allow packing of clothing, camping gear, tools, and provisions for long trips.

    While cruisers aren’t as nimble or optimized for sport riding as some motorcycles, their road-going comfort and long-haul amenities make them ideal for cross-country cruising.

    How long do cruiser motorcycles last

    With proper maintenance and care, cruiser motorcycles can provide decades of reliable service. The longevity of a cruiser motorcycle depends on these key factors:

    Usage: Cruisers used for occasional recreational riding or moderate mileage last longer than those used for daily transportation or high mileage.

    Maintenance: Well-maintained cruisers with regular service, fluid changes, and component replacement as needed achieve greater longevity.

    Climateand environment: Cruisers ridden in warm/dry climates show slower deterioration than those exposed to harsh winters, coastal humidity, or salted roads.

    Most well-constructed cruisers have engine life expectancies of 70,000 to 100,000 miles before needing major engine work. With regular upkeep, the chassis, transmission, and other components can exceed 200,000+ miles. Owners averaging 5,000 to 10,000 miles per year often get 20-30 years from their cruiser before requiring replacement.

    What is a cruiser motorcycle best for

    Here are some of the riding purposes that a cruiser motorcycle excels at:

    Leisurely riding: The cruiser’s low seat, feet-forward position, and intuitive controls make it ideal for casual riding.

    What is a cruiser motorcycle best for

    Short jaunts: Running errands around town or sightseeing are perfect roles for an easy-handling cruiser.

    Two-up touring: The plush passenger seating makes cruisers great for riding with a companion.

    Commuting: Low cost, high economy, and nimble maneuvering make certain cruisers good commuter vehicles.

    While cruisers lack the all-out performance of sport bikes or the off-road agility of dirt bikes, they shine when the priority is laid-back riding, comfort, style, and touring capability. For riders not concerned with utmost speed or aggression, a cruiser is often the most suitable motorcycle.

    What are the pros and cons of the cruiser motorcycle

    Every motorcycle style involves trade-offs. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of cruiser motorcycles compared to other electric motorcycles:


    • Comfortable riding position and ergonomics
    • Extensive options for customization
    • Confidence-inspiring stability and low center of gravity
    • Powerful acceleration and cruising speed


    • Less nimble handling than standard or sport bikes
    • Heavier and slower steering response
    • Limited ground clearance and lean angle through corners
    • Not ideal for off-road riding or dirt use
    • Large size and weight can hinder ease of use

    While cruiser motorcycles make trade-offs to achieve their signature look, feel, and riding experience, their strengths align perfectly with the desires of millions of motorcycle enthusiasts across the world.

    How to choose the best cruiser motorcycle

    With so many cruiser models available, choosing the one that best fits your needs requires consideration of these key factors:

    • Intended use

    If it is plan to use the cruiser primarily for laid-back weekend rides, a smaller, more affordable model may suffice. Longer touring trips call for a large-displacement touring cruiser with premium comfort and cargo capacity.

    How to choose the best cruiser motorcycle

    • Engine size

    The engine size need depends on weight, passenger accommodations, and desired power. 600-1200cc engines offer brisk performance for solo riders while 1400cc+ engines deliver muscular power for two-up riding or pulling a trailer.

    • Riding position

    Testing the reach to the bars, the position of the footpegs, and seat height/shape on any bike you’re considering will help assess comfort. Ride different cruiser styles to determine the riding posture that most relax.

    • Handling and capability

    While cruisers deliver exceptional straight-line stability, test the steering and cornering clearance to ensure adequate agility for riding style. Also, check suspension adjustment and travel range.

    Test-riding multiple cruiser styles and brands is the best way to weigh all these factors and find the ideal match.

    Customize your best cruiser motorcycle

    One of the best cruiser motorcycle’s biggest attractions is its versatility for personalization. With the parts and custom work, you can modify your cruiser to perfectly satisfy the requirement. Here are some popular customization options:

    Performance upgrades: Boost power with a higher-output exhaust, air intake, fuel management system, or engine rebuild. Enhance handling with stiffer suspension components, lighter wheels, and stickier tires.

    Comfort upgrades: Improve comfort for long days on the road with a reshaped saddle, adjustable handlebars, forward controls, and upgraded saddlebags or luggage.

    Aesthetic upgrades: Give the best cruiser motorcycle one-of-a-kind style with custom paint, pinstriping, powder coating, polished or blacked-out finishes, upgraded lighting, and badging.

    By customizing your best cruiser motorcycle to match your personality as a rider, you can own a motorcycle as unique as you are. Also consider the electric motorcycle conversion kit. The process of building your dream cruiser is an enjoyable journey in itself.

    FAQs about the best cruiser motorcycle

    Cruisers are among the easiest motorcycles to learn to ride. Their low seat height allows planting feet firmly on the ground, and wide handlebars provide great leverage for maneuvering.

    Many riding schools and motorcycle license tests use small cruiser bikes for new riders. The lightweight and intuitive controls make cruisers very accessible even for beginners.

    A beginner-friendly cruiser model is an excellent choice as a first bike. Low seat heights allow confidence at stops, and cruisers have gentle power delivery and handling ideal for novices.

    Cruisers are also very forgiving, with their heft and wide tires smoothing out rider errors. The upright seating position also allows great visibility of the road. Just avoid large-displacement cruisers, which may have too much power.

    The stability, ease of handling, and confidence-inspiring feel of cruisers can promote safety for less experienced riders. The low center of gravity and wide stance prevent tip-overs, and the relaxed ergonomics reduce fatigue on long rides when vigilance matters most.

    For new or returning riders, cruisers definitely build skills in a safe environment. But remember to always ride within your abilities and respect the size and weight of a cruiser.


    For motorcyclists seeking the romantic allure of the open road, the best cruiser motorcycles that ideal combination of style, comfort, reliability, and unfettered freedom.

    By understanding the many factors that determine which cruiser is suitable for you, researching the top-rated brands and models, becoming familiar with customization options, and addressing any knowledge gaps and the best cuiser motorcycle will be found.

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