How good are cruisers for long-distance traveling? Many people consider that cruiser bikes and touring bikes are the same. And in some sense, they are right in their persecution. However, many touring bikes come with a cruise mode which is the most useful feature on long-distance rides.
But cruiser bikes are different from their touring counterparts, and they both serve other purposes. Touring bikes are for long-distance rides. They come with comfortable seats and an excellent riding posture. You can load a lot of stuff and gear on them. They act like a motorcar on two wheels.
Cruisers, on the other hand, are big and heavy motorcycles that are not for speed. They provide you with ride comfort, but you can’t load them up with stuff. So, this raises the question, “how good are cruisers for long-distance traveling.”
We are going to find everything about it in this post, so keep reading.
What are Cruiser Bikes?
Well then, what are these cruiser bikes? For the freshers, cruisers first hit the scene back in the 1930s, and they continued their dominance till the earlier parts of the 1960s. The most popular manufacturers of these machines were Harley-Davidson, Excelsior, Henderson, and Indian.
These bikes feature a unique riding position that you usually don’t see in other bikes. When riding these bikes, your feet are forward, and your hands are up. In addition, your spine is erect and leaning slightly back.
These bikes are all about comfortable rideability and easy shifting. There is a lot of low-end torque, but there is not much horsepower. Manufacturers used V-twin engines to construct cruiser bikes, but now inline engines are more common.
If you look for better performance with higher horsepower, better suspension, and stronger brakes, a variant called power cruiser is also available on the market.
How Good are Cruisers for Long-Distance Traveling?
You might be thinking, why are cruiser bikes so special? Cruiser bikes come with low seat height, and they also feature an engine rich in torque, particularly the V-twins. They also have a flat tire on the rear end, and some of them feature a lot of chrome on them. These cruisers are pretty comfortable to ride.
A medium or lightweight cruiser bike is a good choice for a beginner because it will be much easier to handle at any speed. But don’t expect to win races with these cruisers. If you are looking for some speed and performance, you need to fit the power cruisers with better horsepower and torque.
Here are some of the features that need to be there in a bike for it to be called a true cruiser.
A cruiser needs to have a low seat height, and its fuel tank needs to be slightly above the seat. This is usually known as a bulldog stance, and it’s typical for a cruiser motorcycle. In addition, the foot controls need to be either in the mid or forward.
You will instantly recognize the cruiser’s bulldog stance as the rider’s seating position is pretty comfortable. The rider shouldn’t be reaching forward towards the handlebars to grab them. You don’t need to be an ape to ride a cruiser, and for that reason, you need to pick the suitable model according to your body features, not the other way around.
Looks and aesthetics
These cruiser bikes are not about speed and agility. But the ride needs to have a soul to be attractive in terms of aesthetics. The vibrations you feel when you are on it, the sound, the look, and the color, it’s all about enjoying every aspect of your ride and not just the RPMs.
Cruisers have a certain nostalgia, and the manufacturers need to understand this, and so are the users. There are some bikes like Honda CTX700, which is a cruiser bike, but it doesn’t have the soul of a cruiser, and it is not going to spark any emotion in many people.
The CTX700 that we are talking about is a completely different kind of cruiser. It doesn’t follow the footsteps of a traditional cruiser bike and looks more like a tourer.
This topic is highly subjective, so you need to choose this bit on your own. You have to go for a cruiser that makes you look at it twice every time you get off it. That’s what it’s all about.
The riding style on a cruiser is pretty relaxed. And so it should be because you are not in an aggressive mood on a cruiser to race past everything that is there on the road. Suspension needs to be top-notch as you are in cruise mode and don’t want to feel everything bump on the road that comes your way.
Even if your cruiser is packed up with horsepower, it still needs to be ramped up so that the rider can handle it comfortably. It’s all about going at steady speeds and enjoying the weather as well as the scenery around both sides.
How good are cruisers for long-distance traveling with add-on features? These cruisers are all about open roads. You should add a few things to your cruiser, like a passenger seat or some luggage compartments. Now, these don’t need to be king and queen seats and saddlebags.
But there should be enough space to add soft bags and pillion pads to make the cruiser more suitable for longer rides. A good example to consider here is the Triumph Bobber, a subgenre, factory-custom cruiser.
Cruiser vs. Touring Bikes
You might be thinking, how good are cruisers for long-distance traveling? Are they better than tourer bikes?
Looking to ride across on the frontiers and cross country? Touring bikes are best suited for long-distance riding. These touring bikes come with fairings, and widescreens and riding on highways become a lot easier.
So, how heavy is the clutch on a cruiser bike? You might also notice that the cruiser has a slightly heavier clutch than the touring bikes. This is primarily because you will not use it much, and the ride will be mostly in cruise mode.
In comparison to cruisers, these tourers come with very advanced features. For example, they come with different infotainment systems and navigation technology.
Some of them even come with airbags, traction control, and even Bluetooth connectivity. Apart from that, tourer bikes have larger fuel tanks to increase your drive range as well.
And to add to all that, these touring bikes also come with a larger storage capacity. These are the unique features that touring bikes come standard with, while you can add some of these features to your cruisers.
But if you are not looking to pile on miles right away, you can begin with a cruiser bike. These cruisers are a lot cheaper than the touring bikes, and they weigh a lot less too. So cruisers are great when it comes to maneuverability and handling.
These cruiser bikes are pretty good in terms of handling and maneuverability. So, cruiser bikes have their positives when it comes to riding long miles.
The Good Things About a Cruiser Motorcycle
Cruisers are pretty close to the touring bikes, so that they will be comfortable for long-distance riding. Here are some of the aspects they cover if you are looking to use them for long-distance riding.
Where will your feet and arms rest during the ride? These cruisers are pretty comfortable to ride for a long time. However, if you are thinking about going on long-distance journeys, these bikes come very close to those tourers. This is because you are sitting with your feet forward and your back leaned slightly backward.
Your hands are high and right in front of you. This is a very comfortable riding position, and you can continue to ride this way for many miles. So, cruiser bikes are a go-to choice for ride comfort.
Speed and agility
Is a throttle twist on a cruiser bike going to put a smile on your face? No, speed and agility are not the top features of a cruiser bike. So, if you think that its throttle twist will smile at you, then that’s not the case.
You are not going to get much out of your bike when you twist the throttle. However, if you are looking for speed and agility, you need to go for power cruisers equipped with bigger engines and better horsepower. If you don’t need velocity, you can go for a traditional cruiser.
The sound of the engine
So, which engine sounds better: cruiser or touring bikes? They produce a rumbling sound of the engine. The engine revving up will give you a nice feeling.
There are some cruisers available on the market that don’t come with a particular sound of their engine, and you can go for them as well. It’s all about how much of a character do you want your bike to have.
One thing that makes a cruiser a good option for long-distance rides is that you can customize it according to your requirements. For example, you can add saddlebags to it and can also go for a much more comfortable seat if you want.
Some models even allow you to install a bigger windshield as well. If you’re going to make long trips more frequently, you need to consider adding these features. These cruisers beat even the standard motorcycles when it comes to personalization and adding accessories.
You can conveniently modify them according to your needs and requirements. You can add radios and fairings as well. Moreover, you can add a pillion backrest because there is a space available there.
The Bad Things About a Cruiser Motorcycle
But the cruisers are not touring bikes, so they are not 100% when it comes to riding long distances. So, here is what you need to be careful about when going for cruisers.
Not much storage space
These cruisers allow you to add shoe storage space to your bike, but it will not be that much, especially if you compare it with the tourers. But tourers are more specialized for long distances, so they are bound to come with more storage space.
Not much infotainment and navigation technology
These cruisers will not come equipped with navigation in information technology and systems that you see in those touring bikes. So, in most cases, you will have to rely on your GPS or smartphone for that. But in a sense, that is a good thing because these systems are pretty expensive and tend to ramp up the prices of tourers.
Fewer safety features
Touring bikes are equipped with more safety features like traction control and high-powered suspension. Of course, cruisers come with these features, but they are second fiddle to tourers in comparison.
Maneuverability on tight corners
Maneuverability on tight corners is somewhat of an issue on a cruiser bike because of its massive size. It is not as big as a tourer bike, but still, it is quite big. Going for a lightweight or a midsize cruiser would be a better option if you are starting.
Which is a better bike for long rides, a sports tourer or a cruiser bike?
Both the machines are pretty good for long rides, and they cater to different markets. A sports tourer bike comes with more horsepower and torque due to its bigger engine. It also has separate compartments for storing your gear and stuff.
On the other hand, a cruiser bike is geared more towards a comfortable riding experience. Therefore, there are more customizable features available here, and you can add storage compartments to it if you want.
If you do a bit of long-distance riding, then a sports tourer is a better choice. On the other hand, if you are starting as a long-distance rider, going for a cruiser bike is a feasible option.
What are the pros and cons of driving a cruiser motorcycle?
Cruiser bikes are great when it comes to riding comfort. With a bulldog stance, you will be pretty comfortable in your ride. These bikes are designed for stability, and there are many styles and plenty of customizable options available.
But these bikes are not great for racing because they don’t have a lot of horsepower and torque. So, instead, these bikes are all about style and persona, and you also get to customize your ride according to your preferences.
How good are cruisers for long-distance traveling and general rides?
Cruiser bikes are pretty good for long rides. The primary reason for that is they ensure rider comfort with a feet-front, lean-back seating position. But, of course, you can always accessorize your cruiser by adding saddlebags and windshields and make it a touring bike that is not extremely heavy and has plenty of good looks.
Which engine size is best for a cruiser motorcycle?
If you are going for speed, then you can always go for a power cruiser. This variant comes with good horsepower and features a bigger engine. But with a bigger engine, the bike becomes heavier too.
It means that such a bike will be difficult to handle and maneuver, just like a touring bike. If you don’t want to compromise on handling and give up on horsepower, consider going for a traditional cruiser.
Such a bike can come with engine displacement ranging between 400cc to 800cc. Of course, you can go for 1000cc+ power cruisers, but they will become heftier to handle. On the other hand, smaller engines are lighter, and these bikes are easier to maneuver.
Now you know how good are cruisers for long-distance traveling. They come equipped with most of the features that a bike needs to have for a long ride. The features you need in your cruiser will depend upon how you plan to ride your cruiser.
If you are looking for speed, then a power cruiser is a good choice. However, if you want to add more gear, you need to have storage compartments on your bike. Of course, you can customize your bike according to your preferences and riding comfort. The best part about cruisers is, they are very customizable.