Cruiser bikes are a part of our cultural DNA, here in America. Dating back to the ’30s, these machines have been the ride of choice for folks hitting the open road in search of adventure. It’s easy to see why they’ve held their appeal: low seats, relaxed footpegs, and engines that rumble with power and promise.

For many of us, cruisers are the epitome of the riding experience—cool, comfortable, and undeniably tough. Ready to ride? Here are 24 sweet cruisers every biker should throw a leg over.

Ducati Diavel V4

Ducati

Don’t let its familiar looks deceive you; the Ducati Diavel has undergone a significant transformation. At its heart now beats a new 1,158 cc V4 engine, producing a whopping 168 horsepower. This new engine isn’t just more powerful—it’s also more compact and demands less maintenance, a stark departure from its L-twin predecessor. Thanks to a lighter engine, Ducati has swapped out the old trellis frame for a sleeker aluminum monocoque, enhancing agility.

The Diavel now combines raw power with the nimble handling of a sports bike, raising the bar for what a cruiser can be. Is it the ultimate cruiser? It just might be.

Kawasaki Eliminator

Kawasaki

For those just starting their motorcycle journey, the 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator is a prime candidate. Powered by a 451cc parallel twin engine, taken from the Ninja 400 but tweaked for cruiser life, this bike promises a smooth ride with its 6-speed gearbox and slipper clutch.

It’s hard to choose between the Kawasaki Eliminator and the Honda Rebel 500 as the top beginner cruiser—both offer stylish looks, approachable performance, and seating that ensures comfort on long rides. Whichever you choose, you’re starting off on the right foot.

Triumph Rocket 3

Triumph

The Triumph Rocket 3 isn’t just massive in size; its performance is equally colossal. With a monstrous 2,458 cc engine pumping out 165 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque, it defies expectations. Contrary to what you might think, the Rocket 3 isn’t a one-trick pony limited to straight-line cruising.

Triumph’s engineering team has pulled off something akin to magic, tweaking the steering geometry to give this behemoth the agility of a much smaller sports bike. It’s a power cruiser that handles corners as effortlessly as it devours straightaways.

Yamaha XV 1700 Road Star Warrior

Mecum

Though production stopped in 2010, the Yamaha Road Star Warrior remains a legendary cruiser that offers comfort and speed in a big package. This bike is a dream for long rides, thanks to its ergonomic design that spares you the day-after chiropractor visit.

Under the hood, the 1,670 cc engine is no slouch, enabling this hefty cruiser to sprint a quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds and hit 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.

Indian Chief Bobber

Indian Motorcycle

Indian Motorcycle nails the blend of nostalgia and new tech with the Chief Bobber. This bike pulls at the heartstrings with its sleek, minimalist design that echoes the golden era of motorcycling, while packing a modern punch where it counts. Underneath the classic all-American cruiser look lies a potent 1,800 cc engine that ensures the ride is as smooth and robust as the aesthetics suggest.

The Chief Bobber isn’t built for city slicking. It’s at its best stretching its legs on open roads where it can really show off its power and comfort.

Yamaha Bolt R-Spec

Yamaha

The Yamaha Bolt R-Spec positions itself as a reliable and dynamic alternative to the classic American cruiser, drawing favorable comparisons to the Harley-Davidson Sportster. This Japanese cruiser excels in stripped-down simplicity, making it ideal for zipping along your favorite roads.

With a 942 cc air-cooled V-twin that delivers 65 horsepower and 60 lb-ft of torque, the Bolt R-Spec is more than capable of holding its own on the highway. It’s not the bike for long tours, but for quick, exciting rides, it’s a top choice.

Moto Guzzi MGX-21

Bring a Trailer

Moto Guzzi often flies under the radar, but if there’s one model that demands a second look, it’s the MGX-21. Dubbed the ‘flying fortress,’ this bike could easily be something Batman would ride through the night.

Beyond its menacing looks, the MGX-21 boasts a robust 1,380 cc V-twin engine that pumps out 95 horsepower. It delivers performance that can stand toe-to-toe with the best, shattering any misconceptions about Italian bikes being just pretty pieces of machinery.

Harley-Davidson Breakout

Harley-Davidson

The Harley-Davidson Breakout made a roaring comeback in 2023 after being discontinued in the American market. The latest iteration leaves its predecessors in the dust with a beefed-up 117 cubic inch engine that delivers 101 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque, complete with that signature Harley V-twin rumble. Decked out in chrome, the Breakout is a rolling piece of art designed to capture eyes and hearts.

Victory Octane

Kdavis34448CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Victory Octane shares a family tree with the Indian Scout, thanks to Polaris’ stewardship over both brands, sharing a few parts to boot. But the Octane stands out with its own flair—boasting a 1,179 cc V-twin engine that delivers a solid 104 horsepower. This bike has a top speed of 130 mph with an aggressive design that’s sure to turn heads on any street.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight

Harley-Davidson

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight could be considered the epitome of cool in the Sportster lineup, merging retro elements like the peanut-style tank with a raw, aggressive posture. It might sport a 1,200 cc V-twin engine, but it punches above its weight, embodying the essence of a muscle bike. Ideal for those looking to channel their inner rebel, the Forty-Eight is all about fun, short rides.

Just don’t plan on going too far—its small gas tank is a reminder that this beast is built for bursts of freedom, not long hauls.

Honda Shadow Phantom

Honda

The Honda Shadow Phantom stands out with its understated, bobber-inspired styling, making it a top choice for those seeking a solid cruiser on a budget. While it may not boast the highest power or the best touring capabilities on this list, it excels as an everyday ride.

The 745 cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine outputs a respectable 45 horsepower and 48 lb-ft of torque, offering a balance of performance and practicality that’s hard to beat for the price.

Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s Street Bob 114 epitomizes the essence of cruiser bikes—simple, raw, and ready for customization. This bike meshes timeless styling with a touch of retro flair, highlighted by the distinctive “Number One” graphic on the tank.

Underneath its vintage appearance lies a modern 114 cubic-inch V-twin engine equipped with contemporary features like rear cylinder deactivation to manage heat. Delivering 94 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque, it’s powerful enough for a little mischief while still maintaining an impressive 47 mpg, making it both thrilling and efficient.

Harley-Davidson Night Rod

Mecum

The Harley-Davidson Night Rod marked a radical shift for the brand in the early 2000s, famously teaming up with Porsche to design the game-changing liquid-cooled V-twin Revolution engine. With a stout 1,247cc heart pumping out over 120 horsepower, the Night Rod not only shattered Harley’s traditional image but set the stage for the modern power cruiser.

Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.

Suzuki

The Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S. truly embodies its moniker—Blacked-Out Special Suzuki—making a bold statement with its all-dark exhaust and trim, coupled with sleek, muscular bodywork. This beast is powered by a 109 cubic-inch (1,783 cc) V-twin engine, unleashing 128 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque to its massive 240 rear tire.

Harley-Davidson Nightster Special

Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s Nightster Special steps up as the rightful heir to the iconic Sportster, blending classic vibes with modern tech. While it retains the soul of the Sportster, the Nightster elevates the experience with Harley’s latest liquid-cooled 975 Revolution Max V-twin engine.

This upgrade means the Nightster not only mimics the vintage style of its predecessor but also delivers a robust 90 horsepower and 70 lb-ft of torque—surpassing the old model in raw power.

Victory Hammer S

By Thesupermat – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Although Victory Motorcycles has ridden off into the sunset, their legacy of powerful bikes lives on with models like the Hammer S. This sportier take on the original Hammer was a crowd-pleaser with its aggressive performance and standout design.

The Hammer S comes equipped with a hefty 1,731 cc V-twin engine, pushing out 97 horsepower. Its notable 250-section rear tire is built to handle all the power you can throw at it, ensuring a solid grip and thrilling ride.

BMW R18

BMW

The BMW R18 might split opinions with its design, but there’s no denying it turns heads. For those looking to personalize, BMW offers a treasure trove of parts and accessories to make this bike your own. Unlike its American rivals, the R18 stays true to BMW’s heritage with a massive 1,802 cc boxer engine, delivering a solid 91 horsepower and 116.5 lb-ft of torque.

Yamaha VMax

Okonomiyaki-kimichanCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yamaha’s VMax has evolved from its radical 1985 debut, yet it continues to be the poster child for muscle cruisers. The latest iteration no longer sports a hyphen but packs even more punch with a 1,700cc DOHC V4 engine, cranking out an eye-watering 200 horsepower.

Not just a powerhouse, the new VMax also features enhanced brakes and handling to tame its incredible thrust. Ideal for skilled riders who thrive on adrenaline, the VMax remains a top choice for anyone seeking a bike that embodies raw power and daring spirit.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Triumph

The Triumph Bonneville Bobber throws convention out the window with its blend of sleek curves and raw muscular aesthetics. It’s not all about looks though; this machine comes equipped with a 1200cc parallel-twin engine churning out 77 horsepower.

Unlike many parallel-twins that hum modestly, the Bonneville Bobber asserts itself with a distinct roar, thanks to its 270° crank angle and peashooter-style exhaust.

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

Kawasaki

Kawasaki steps out of its sports bike shadow to deliver the Vulcan 1700 Vaquero, a cruiser that melds aggression with comfort. True to its name, the Vulcan packs a hefty 1,700cc V-twin engine, boasting 82 horsepower and 107.6 lb-ft of torque.

This power lets the Vaquero cruise at speeds up to 115 mph, placing it neck and neck with the finest American cruisers.

Indian Scout Rogue

Indian Motorcycle

The Indian Scout Rogue is where style meets raw power, upping the ante from its 2015 predecessor. Sporting a beefy 100-horsepower, 1,133cc liquid-cooled engine within its sleek twin-shock chassis, this bike was a hit right out of the gate.

The Rogue variant, however, turns heads with its club-style vibes, featuring mini-ape bars, a neat front fairing, a bold 19-inch front wheel, and all-black components for a seriously aggressive look. Though the stock rear suspension could use a tweak, Indian conveniently offers an upgrade to perfect your ride.

Honda Gold Wing

Honda

Forget the stereotypes—the Honda Gold Wing is a marvel of motorcycle engineering. This bike isn’t just about comfort; it’s packed with advanced features like a protective fairing, a potent six-cylinder engine, and a smooth dual-clutch automatic transmission.

With 125 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, the Gold Wing’s 1.8-liter engine can effortlessly carry you across continents at speeds up to 112 mph.

Honda Rebel 1100

Honda

If you’re looking to graduate from beginner to boss in the biking world, the Honda Rebel 1100 is your ride. Honda has seriously upped their game with the Rebel 1100, transforming the humble beginner’s choice into a loyal companion for seasoned riders.

With 86 horsepower, this beast isn’t just about looks; it packs a punch on the road too. It’s versatile enough to morph from a long-distance cruiser to an everyday road warrior, thanks to a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST

Harley-Davidson

Step up to the Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and experience near-flagship luxury without completely breaking the bank. Nestled just below Harley’s elite CVO range, the Road Glide ST marries classic touring comfort with formidable power, courtesy of the Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin engine—a powerhouse also found in the premium CVO models.

With a 1,900 cc engine delivering 106 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque, this bike can cruise up to 110 mph, making it a top pick for those who cover serious mileage with style and speed.

Ducati XDiavel

Ducati

Ducati, renowned for its cutting-edge sportbikes, steps confidently into the cruiser arena with the XDiavel. This machine is a showstopper, melding Ducati’s sportbike flair with classic cruiser lines for a look that’s undeniably cool.

But the XDiavel isn’t just about good looks—it’s built to perform. With a 1,262cc engine pumping out 152 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque, this Ducati can soar up to 160 mph.

Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs

Bio:

Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.