What is a Cruiser Bike?
A cruiser bike is a type of motorcycle which falls under the premium motorcycle segment. So, generally, most of the cruisers around the world cost more than regular commuter bikes. Traditionally, cruiser bikes have low seat height with better seat cushions. In addition, the cruisers have a few extended categories, such as the tourers and choppers.
The riding position allows the rider’s feet to stretch up to the front and the hands straighten up in these bikes. Thus, it places the spine in the near upright position or slightly leaning it back. Therefore, it might just give the feeling of sitting on a reclining chair while riding some of the cruisers.
These bikes feature high and wide handlebars, which provide a unique riding posture different from any other motorcycle. Thus, it helps get a better view of the road and more comfort to the rider. The footpegs are placed at the front, near the engine, and away from the rider’s body. Thus, it provides a better sitting position. So, the cruiser offers relaxed and long hours of fatigue-free riding. There is less strain on the rider’s body and muscles with good riding posture.
The cruisers are more comfortable than the commuter bikes at slow to medium speeds. However, riding for long periods at high speeds can cause exhaustion and restlessness. It is because pulling back the handlebars causes resistance by the wind force against the rider’s chest. Besides, it limits the cornering ability in cruisers because of low ground clearance.
Characteristics of a Cruiser Bike:
The cruiser bikes are the ones most people use for long-distance commutes, ranging from 200 km to 500 km or so in a day. So, depending upon the traveling distance, the manufacturers offer different engine capacities for cruisers. Some entry-level cruisers have engine capacities of sub-200cc and power output upto 22 bhp. However, the mid-level cruiser motorcycles offer engine sizes between 200-600cc, offering more power. Finally, some high-end cruisers offer even higher engine capacity, upto 1200cc. These luxury cruisers deliver a power output of upto 80 bhp.
Often, the cruiser bikes have an attractive shape, complex design, and multi-level manufacturing process. So, technically, they are more expensive to manufacture than regular commuter bikes. The cruiser bikes have more comfort but low mileage and high maintenance cost. Primarily, their focus is on ride comfort and handling.
Performance of Cruiser Bikes:
Some of these cruiser bikes have a curb weight of upto 150kg. On the other hand, the mid-range cruisers deliver an average of only upto 20-30 Km/L. They also have numerous expensive spare parts. Hence, they could have many issues to deal with if they break down.
Generally, the premium cruiser bikes have higher power & torque, trendy colors, and attractive design/style. In addition, the cruiser bikes are comfortable to ride a moderate distance. Hence, cruiser bikes are more popular in developed countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia. However, they are not popular in developing countries mainly because of the cost factor. Some premium cruiser bike manufacturers include Harley Davidson, Indian, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, and Triumph.
Nowadays, these bikes are also getting some attention in developing countries as well. There are a few entry-level cruiser bikes in these countries. Some of them are the Royal Enfield models Bullet Classic and Thunderbird. Bajaj Avenger and UM Renegade are also popular cruisers from India and the USA.
In short, the cruiser bikes travel a moderate distance without any hassles. They offer great comfort and convenience. However, they are difficult while negotiating the stop-and-go urban traffic due to their bigger size. So, they are ideal mainly for inter-city travel. Some premium cruiser bikes offer better suspension, safety, and other equipment that suits long-distance travel. Hence, these bikes are pretty expensive.
However, the cruiser bikes are not ideal for urban/city commuting because of their size. At times, it becomes difficult to maneuver these bikes in dense traffic. Therefore, it is best to ride the cruisers on straight roads with smooth tarmac. As a result, they deliver the best performance while cruising at a steady speed of 90-100 Km/h.
Cruisers may not be easy or fun to ride on winding roads with limited cornering ability. Hence, most riders prefer to use them on straight, smooth roads & highways for inter-city commute.
Watch a Cruiser Bike in Action:
Read More: What is a Sports Bike?>>