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 the regular commuter bikes. Traditionally, the cruiser bikes have low seat-height with better seat cushions. The cruisers have few extended categories such as the tourers and choppers.
In these bikes, the riding position allows the rider's feet to stretch till the front and the hands straightening up. Thus, it places the spine in the near upright position or slightly leaning it back. Thus, it might just give the feeling of sitting on a reclining chair while riding some of the cruisers.
Design of a Cruiser Bike:
These bikes feature high and wide handlebars which provide a unique riding posture that is different from any other motorcycle. This helps in getting a better view of the road and more comfort to the rider. Additionally, the foot pegs 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. With good riding posture, there is less strain on the rider’s body and muscles.
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. Pulling back the handlebars causes resistance by the wind-force against the rider's chest. Besides, the cornering ability in cruisers is limited because of low ground clearance.
Characteristics of a Cruiser Bike:
The cruiser bikes are the ones which most people use for the long-distance commute 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. Thus, some of the entry-level cruisers are those with engine capacities of sub-200cc and power output upto 20 bhp. However, the mid-level cruiser motorcycles offer engine sizes between 200-600cc which offer more power. Some high-end cruisers offer even higher engine capacity upto 1200cc. These luxury cruisers deliver a power output upto 80 bhp.
Often, the cruiser bikes have an attractive shape, complex design, and multi-level manufacturing process. So, technically, they are expensive to manufacture than the regular commuter bikes. The cruiser bikes have more comfort but low mileage and high maintenance cost. Primarily, their focus is on the ride comfort and handling.
Performance of Cruiser Bikes:
Some of these cruiser bikes have a curb weight upto 150kg. 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.
Advantages of a Cruiser Bike:
Generally, the premium cruiser bikes have higher power & torque, trendy colors, and attractive design/style. The cruiser bikes are comfortable to ride a moderate distance. Hence, the cruiser bikes are more popular in the developed countries such as the USA, Canada, and Australia. However, they are not much popular in the developing countries mainly because of the cost factor. Some of the premium cruiser bike manufacturers include the Harley Davidson, Indian, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, and Triumph.
Nowadays, these bikes are also getting some attention in the developing countries as well. There are a few entry-level cruise 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 USA respectively.
In short, the cruiser bikes travel the 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 the inter-city travel. Some premium cruiser bikes offer better suspension, safety and other equipment that suits long-distance travel. Hence, these bikes are quite expensive.
Disadvantages of a Cruiser Bike:
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 the dense traffic. The cruisers are best ridden on the straight roads with smooth tarmac. They deliver the best performance while cruising at a steady speed of 90-100 Km/h.
With limited cornering ability, cruisers may not be easy or fun to ride on the winding roads. Hence, most riders prefer to use them on the straight, smooth roads & highways for inter-city commute.
Watch a Cruiser Bike in Action:
Read More: What is a Sports Bike?>>