Top 10 Best Cruisers (2021)

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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:

1st

BMW R 18

BMW R 18

What Is It?

The R 18 is a brand new cruiser for 2020, taking aim at both Triumph and Harley. It looks pretty sweet but can be easily customised as a bobber, a bagger, with high ape hanger bars and a wide variety of screens / wheels.

We love the enormous Boxer centrepiece, the fishtail exhausts and the Nickel plated open shaft drive.

For 2021 BMW added the £20,980 R 18 Classic with the two up seat, pannier bags, tall screen, additional LED lights, cruise control and 16" front wheel with fat tyre.

If you like fully dressed Harleys you might also like the £21,500 R 18 Bagger with full batwing fairing, large tank and clever mobile charging pocket.

Building on the R 18 Bagger the £23,300 R 18 Transcontinental has a topbox / pillion backrest, taller screen, footboards and additional lights.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £18,995
  • Engine: Boxer
  • Capacity: 1,802 cc
  • Power: 90 bhp / 67 kW
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h
  • Economy: 50 mpg / 5.6 L/100km
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km
  • Seat Height: 690 mm / 27.2 inches
  • Wet Weight: 345 kg / 761 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.261 bhp/kg

Triumph Rocket 3 R

What Is It?

This is an all new Rocket 3 for 2020 with a larger engine, more power, new lighter frame and all the modern equipment you would expect.

There's also a GT version available with forward foot controls, swept back bars, a lower seat, taller screen and a pillion backrest.

For 2021 Triumph added the Black 1,000 unit limited edition versions with a Carbon front mudguard, premium round bar end mirrors and a blacked out colour scheme (three shades on the GT).

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £20,000
  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 2,458 cc
  • Power: 165 bhp / 123 kW
  • Top Speed: 145 mph / 233 km/h
  • Economy: 35 mpg / 8.1 L/100km
  • Range: 140 miles / 225 km
  • Seat Height: 773 mm / 30.4 inches
  • Dry Weight: 291 kg / 642 pounds

Ducati XDiavel S

What Is It?

The XDiavel is a belt driven cruiser with cutting edge modern styling, sports bike power and sports bike handling. We love the TFT dash, single sided swingarm and compact exhaust, which showcases the huge back wheel.

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.

For 2021 Ducati have launched the XDiavel Black Star, which builds on the previous range topping XDiavel S with a fancy paint job, forged wheels, a Suede seat and plenty of black detailing.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £21,505
  • Engine: V-Twin VVT
  • Capacity: 1,262 cc
  • Power: 158 bhp / 118 kW
  • Top Speed: 150 mph / 241 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km
  • Seat Height: 755 mm / 29.7 inches
  • Wet Weight: 247 kg / 545 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.640 bhp/kg

Yamaha XV950R

What Is It?

New for 2019 the Diavel 1260 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.

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.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £20,405
  • Engine: V-Twin VVT
  • Capacity: 1,262 cc
  • Power: 157 bhp / 117 kW
  • Top Speed: 150 mph / 241 km/h
  • Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km
  • Range: 150 miles / 241 km
  • Seat Height: 780 mm / 30.7 inches
  • Wet Weight: 244 kg / 538 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.643 bhp/kg

Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black

What Is It?

The second generation Triumph Bobber is effectively the old Bobber Black with some Euro 5 tweaks, lighter engine internals and a new 12 litre fuel tank for 33% more range.

It not only looks cool but manages to hide all the essential modern tech you need in a convincingly retro package.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £12,200
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,200 cc
  • Power: 77 bhp / 57 kW
  • Top Speed: 115 mph / 185 km/h
  • Economy: 65 mpg / 4.3 L/100km
  • Range: 170 miles / 274 km
  • Seat Height: 690 mm / 27.2 inches
  • Wet Weight: 251 kg / 553 pounds

Gear

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

What Is It?

If you are in the market for a mid-price cruiser suitable for two then Triumph's new for 2018 Speedmaster should both be on your test ride list. It's essentially the same bike as the Bobber with a pillion seat.

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.

For 2021 it gets lighter engine internals, a beefier 47 mm Showa fork and improved rider / pillion seat comfort.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £12,200
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,200 cc
  • Power: 76 bhp / 57 kW
  • Top Speed: 115 mph / 185 km/h
  • Economy: 50 mpg / 5.6 L/100km
  • Range: 130 miles / 209 km
  • Seat Height: 705 mm / 27.8 inches
  • Dry Weight: 246 kg / 542 pounds

Honda Rebel 1100

What Is It?

For 2021 Honda have launched the perfect upgrade for owners of the super popular Rebel 500, mostly by shoehorning a de-tuned Africa Twin 1100 engine into the package.

The Rebel 500 works so well because it's great value, easy to customise and pretty beginner friendly due to the low seat so the big brother should be an instant hit. Perfect for a cruiser market that is being completely shaken up right now.

The key option will be the clever Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), making it an effortless bike to cruise on and again even more beginner friendly.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £9,000
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 1,084 cc
  • Power: 86 bhp / 64 kW
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km
  • Range: 130 miles / 209 km
  • Seat Height: 700 mm / 27.6 inches
  • Wet Weight: 223 kg / 492 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.386 bhp/kg

Kawasaki Vulcan S EN650

What Is It?

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.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £6,700
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 649 cc
  • Power: 60 bhp / 45 kW
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h
  • Economy: 50 mpg / 5.6 L/100km
  • Range: 150 miles / 241 km
  • Seat Height: 705 mm / 27.8 inches
  • Wet Weight: 229 kg / 505 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.262 bhp/kg

Honda CMX500 Rebel

What Is It?

The chain driven 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 pretty basic but it's a lot of cruiser for the money and many view it as a great base to create their own custom Rebel. For 2020 it gets a more comfy seat, a slipper clutch, a handy gear position indicator, improved rear shocks and a cool LED headlight.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £5,800
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 471 cc
  • Power: 46 bhp / 34 kW
  • Top Speed: 100 mph / 161 km/h
  • Economy: 65 mpg / 4.3 L/100km
  • Range: 160 miles / 257 km
  • Seat Height: 690 mm / 27.2 inches
  • Wet Weight: 191 kg / 421 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.241 bhp/kg

Lexmoto Michigan

What Is It?

If you are looking for an A1 licence cruiser the Michigan is a great starting point. It features combined braking, a super low seat height, gear position indicator and all for a surprisingly low price.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £2,100
  • Engine: Single Cylinder
  • Capacity: 125 cc
  • Power: 10 bhp / 7 kW
  • Top Speed: 65 mph / 105 km/h
  • Economy: 80 mpg / 3.5 L/100km
  • Range: 240 miles / 386 km
  • Seat Height: 680 mm / 26.8 inches
  • Wet Weight: 142 kg / 313 pounds
  • Power to Weight: 0.070 bhp/kg

Want To See More Bikes Like This?

Head over to the Choose & Compare Tool to see them all.

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 90 bhp out of a 1.8 litre engine in the BMW R 18.

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 the 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 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.