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Many automotive enthusiasts aren’t drawn to four-wheeled machines. Instead, they opt for two-wheeled alternatives, such as cruiser motorcycles. Perhaps they consider them attractive pieces of engineering art, especially the modern motorcycle models, or they love their handling performance when cruising on the highway. 

Harley Davidson cruisers have been an American staple for years and have featured in popular box-office productions, such as The Wild One and Easy Rider. While these two-wheelers continue to ply on roads, some have serious problems that one ought to be aware of before taking them on a short ride or a cross-country cruise. 

What’s a cruiser motorcycle and the benefits of owning one?

A man having problems driving his motorcycle through a flood after flooding in Malaysia
A man driving his motorcycle through a flood | NAZRULHAD HASHIM/AFP via Getty Images

There are many types of motorcycles, from sport bikes and choppers to dirt and adventure bikes. However, what sets cruisers apart from the other genres? Typically, a cruiser motorcycle is a bike designed to offer a rider the thrill of riding down the road at one’s pace. Instead of racing from point A to B, riding a cruiser is all about the vibe of experiencing the highway on two wheels. 

Relaxation and enjoyment are the goals of cruising. The motorcycle must have excellent suspension to deliver a quality ride and easy shifts for hassle-free cornering. Stiffness in steering hurts a laid-back, pleasant ride down the open highway and ruins the whole essence of being on a cruise. In a nutshell, any motorcycle engineered to cruise is a cruiser. 

One benefit of owning a cruiser is that you have a V-twin engine to crank up the power you need to tear the road whenever you feel like it. With over 1000 cc and low torque, you won’t need so much effort to shift to achieve the desired accelerating power. Additionally, cruisers’ chrome-and-black color blends are aesthetic, and you can customize them to suit your character and personality. 

10 shortcomings of cruiser motorcycles

Poor build quality plagues some cruiser motorcycles, such as the 2017 Street Glide, which had clutch, oil pump, and brake issues. Additionally, V-twin engines are synonymous with cruisers, but some V2s don’t start or break down frequently, as highlighted on HotCars. Design issues are another problem. For instance, Harleys Road Glide Ultra made owners a laughing stock with its ridiculous police-motorcycle-like appearance. 

Electrical issues are another flaw that cruiser fans have grappled with. It’s best to do some homework before purchasing an expensive bike. Further, clutch issues, such as free play in the clutch box, can put you at risk when cruising down the highway alongside speeding vehicles. Poor engine build also results in underpowered bikes, which can be a problem for an experienced speed junky. 

Cruisers are also very heavy, resulting in low power and difficulty riding uphill. The Victory Vision is an excellent example of such a cruiser. Being classic bikes, cruisers are steeped in outdated concepts. Despite their appearance, there aren’t any bell-n-jingles about them as sportbikes. These motorcycles can also be uncomfortable, especially when sitting upright for too long, not to mention their unsuitability for city streets.

The pros of cruisers (for some)

RX Riders Place noted that cruiser motorcycles come with added comfortability. Their comfy seats and a design that lets riders stick their legs in the front offer maximum comfort. They are also perfect for beginners. Cruisers aren’t built for speed like sports motorcycles. They offer the novice rider a peaceful means of mastering riding skills as some V2 engines have a low torque and speed rating. 

Other riding buffs love cruisers’ old design styling. They may lack modern technology, but some riders relish the nostalgic experience of cruising on a bike reminiscent of the cruiser dark ages as discussed on Motorcycle Cruiser. Beginners may find cruisers with low torque, but some feature massive 2000cc V-twin engines with lots of torque, suitable for the seasoned rider. 

Generally, cruiser motorcycles have excellent handling on highways. They have smooth gear shifts, revved-up cornering ability, and their relaxed seating makes them perfect for fast roads. Built for long rides, cruisers also come with saddlebags that enable riders to pack all sorts of items. So, they can be an ideal choice for someone running a food delivery business. 


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