Top 10 Cruisers

Cruisers tend to have a very relaxed feet forward riding position, a very low seat, large rear tyre, raked out fork and an engine focused on low down torque rather than top end power. What is a cruiser?

The Best Cruisers:

★ Cruiser of the Year ★

Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black

Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black For Sale

For 2018 Triumph released the black version of their groundbreaking 2017 Bobber. The "blacked out" version usually appears shortly after a model achieves a huge sales success and the Bobber was the fastest selling model in Triumph history. It's almost all about the retro looks but obviously isn't very pillion friendly. For that sort of thing they have the very similar Speedmaster.

  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,200 cc
  • Power: 76 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 690 mm
  • Dry Weight: 238 kg

Triumph Rocket III TFC

Triumph Rocket III TFC For Sale

This is an all new Rocket III for 2019 with a larger engine, more power, new lighter frame and all the modern equipment you would expect for £25,000. However it's a limited edition of 750 units worldwide and it has already sold out in the UK.

  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 2,458 cc
  • Power: 180 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 773 mm
  • Dry Weight: 290 kg

Kawasaki Vulcan S EN650

Kawasaki Vulcan S For Sale

At the entry level is Kawasaki's incredibly popular chain driven 2015 Vulcan S. It doesn't have much equipment to talk about but it looks great and can be restricted for A2 licence compatibility. Several flavours are available with additions such as a cafe racer style screen, Arrow performance exhaust, touring screen, panniers and pillion backrest. Read the review.

  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 649 cc
  • Power: 60 bhp
  • Licence: A2 (Restricted)
  • Seat Height: 705 mm
  • Wet Weight: 229 kg

Honda CMX500 Rebel

Honda CMX500 Rebel For Sale

The chain driven 2017 Rebel is a popular little bike and with good reason. It's incredibly learner friendly with a really low seat and low weight, it looks great and the pillion seat / pegs can be easily unbolted to create an instant Bobber look. Equipment is basic but that's a lot of cruiser for £1,000 cheaper than the Harley Street Rod and many view it as a great base to create their own custom Rebel. Read the review.

  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 471 cc
  • Power: 45 bhp
  • Licence: A2
  • Seat Height: 690 mm
  • Wet Weight: 190 kg

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster For Sale

If you are in the market for a mid-price cruiser then Triumph's new for 2018 Speedmaster and Bobber Black should both be on your test ride list. They are essentially the same chain driven modern bike, cunningly designed to look retro, but where the Speedmaster is very pillion friendly the Bobber opts for a solo seat and a very clean back end.

Both are powered by the high torque version of Triumph's 1,200cc engine, feature full LED lighting, traction control, ride modes and huge potential for customisation using Triumph's accessories catalogue. Read the review.

  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,200 cc
  • Power: 76 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 705 mm
  • Dry Weight: 246 kg

Ducati XDiavel S

Ducati XDiavel S For Sale

Launched in 2016 it's a unique concept in motorbikes right now. The XDiavel S is a belt driven cruiser with cutting edge modern styling, sports bike power and sports bike handling although any machine where the name translates to Devil was never going to be cheap.

We love the single sided swingarm, machined back wheel, integrated exhaust so you can see said back wheel in all its splendour and the colour TFT dash. All of the most advanced tech is there as well like ride modes, cornering ABS, launch control, Brembo brakes, keyless start and full LED lighting.

There is also a standard model in the £17,000 XDiavel which costs £3,200 less but does without the fancy wheels, top-spec Brembos, LED headlight, entertainment system and fancy seat.

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1,262 cc
  • Power: 154 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 755 mm
  • Wet Weight: 247 kg

Ducati Diavel 1260 S

Ducati Diavel 1260 S For Sale

New for 2019 the Diavel is now based on the VVT engine from the XDiavel, including the chassis and colour TFT dash. It gains cornering ABS, a cool mini exhaust to frame the ridiculously large rear tyre, backlit switches and is now available as a fully pimped S version with Ohlins suspension, Brembo M50 brakes, a quickshifter, LED running light and machined wheels. The base model costs a touch over £3,000 less.

While it may look similar to the XDiavel it has a chain drive and standard naked riding position whereas the XDiavel has a feet forward cruiser riding position and belt final drive.

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1,262 cc
  • Power: 157 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 780 mm
  • Wet Weight: 244 kg

Yamaha XV950R

Yamaha XV950R For Sale

Moving down into the lower capacity cruisers we have the 2014 XV950R. Equipment is pretty basic with no gear position indicator or rev counter but you do get KYB piggyback shocks and a big V-Twin soundtrack. It's called the Star Bolt R in the USA and final drive is via belt.

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 942 cc
  • Power: 51 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 690 mm
  • Wet Weight: 251 kg

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 Flying Fortress

Moto Guzzi Flying Fortress For Sale

You could argue that the 2017 Flying Fortress is a touring bike but the styling, riding position, power and weight all clearly shout cruiser to us. It's both very expensive and very unique, from the 90° engine to the Carbon detailing on the front wheel and the shaft drive sending power to the rear wheel.

All the niceties you would expect are there from the LED headlight and full dash, to the ride modes and 50W sound system with four speakers. Just remember to pack the forklift in case you drop it!

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1,380 cc
  • Power: 95 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 740 mm
  • Wet Weight: 356 kg

Harley Davidson XG750a Street Rod

Davidson Street Rod For Sale

To create the 2017 Street Rod Harley took the 2015 Street, their first new platform in years, then added an upside down fork, beefier rear shocks, dual discs and a performance air intake to boost power a few bhp. It's a proper traditional cruiser with a V-Twin engine and belt final drive which can also be A2 Restricted.

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 749 cc
  • Power: 63 bhp
  • Licence: A2 (Restricted)
  • Seat Height: 765 mm
  • Wet Weight: 238 kg

How Did We Rank Our Top Ten?

We looked at all the best cruisers you can buy new at a variety of price points and picked the top contenders, taking into account style, power, technology and value for money.

What Is A Cruiser Motorbike?

What is a cruiser motorbike?

Cruisers tend to have a very relaxed feet forward riding position with the body upright or leaning slightly back, a very low seat, large rear tyre, raked out fork and engine focused on low down torque rather than top end power however they tend to be really heavy. As such the power figure will often look at odds with the size of the engine, for instance "only" getting 150bhp out of a 2.3 litre engine in the Triumph Rocket III.

They are more about looking and sounding good at low speeds than getting from A to B as fast as possible and getting your knee down in the corners although they will also munch motorway miles with ease.

Power is often sent to the rear wheel via a belt drive system, rather than the traditional chain and the plentiful low down torque also allows a more relaxed approached to gear changes. They will also often have most of the dash on top of the tank rather than mounted behind the handlebars although some models go for both options with a split dash.

In the USA cruisers are the most popular style of motorbike by some margin with Harley Davidson being a main player. Other names for them include choppers and power cruisers.

Bobbers (short for bob jobs) are a style of bike within the more general concept of cruisers. They tend to have a fixed rear frame with no suspension and a single seat attached to the frame via 1-2 shocks. It keeps the rear of the bike really clean but is obviously not very luggage or pillion friendly. Recently Triumph have cunningly bought back the bobber look with the Bonneville Bobber Black by hiding the usual rear suspension under the seat.

Ducati, on the other hand, have worked out how to make a bike with cruiser styling and performance like an outright sports bike with the XDiavel.

Check out the other types of motorbikes.