The ten Greatest Cruisers Ever Made [2023 Edition]

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Cruisers are among the most iconic bikes ever made. They’re immediately recognizable because of their relaxed driving place, huge handlebars, and comfy seats. Initially designed for munching miles on large, open roads, the cruiser is the definitive American motorbike. Now selecting one of the best, yikes, that may be a severely difficult process when attempting to maintain the checklist to only 10.

Whereas most cruisers take their inspiration instantly from the large American-made cruisers from the early to mid-Twentieth century, fashionable interpretations are straying from that path. To ensure that us right here at MBW to slim the checklist to 10, some kind of consensus round what makes a cruiser a cruiser wanted to be solved. It’s 2022 folks, all of us want boundaries, proper? I prefer it easy, I perceive easy, so the easy standards are, low seat, relaxed driving place, large energy, and little to no fairing. Fairings are for touring bikes, yeah I mentioned it! Cruiser riders want additional wind within the face. Lean angle, which means little, cruisers know they may scrape some exhausting bits.

We’ve seen every kind of cruisers hit the streets over the previous 100 years, so we’ve put collectively an inventory of a few of our favorites. Listed here are the ten greatest cruisers ever made…that the typical rider can simply go and purchase.

Indian Chief

2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse


The Indian Chief is arguably one of the vital iconic cruiser bikes ever made. The primary Chief fashions have been made by the Hendee Manufacturing Firm in 1922 earlier than the corporate rebranded itself because the legendary Indian Bike Firm. It was steady manufacturing from ’22 proper as much as the model’s demise in 1953. Nonetheless, Indian was revived in 1999, and as soon as once more in 2006. And right now, the Indian Chief lives on.

Early examples of the unique Chief are exhausting to come back by and extremely collectible. Nonetheless, for individuals who desire a style of that good-old-fashioned American heritage, fashionable interpretations are available, with spectacular specs too.

The fashionable 2022 Indian Chief Bobber makes use of Indian’s Thunderstroke 116 engine. It’s a 1,901 cc behemoth that produces a formidable 120 lb-ft of torque.  Fashionable Indian bikes ship all you’ll count on, so far as experience high quality, from a contemporary bike and handle to superbly incorporate the historic influences within the nuevo-retro styling.

Ducati XDiavel

Ducati XDiavel

Ducati isn’t often the primary identify you consider while you’re requested about cruisers. The marque is often higher related to unique superbikes, desmodromics, and fiery Italian temperaments. Nonetheless, Ducati has launched cruiser fashions previously. This time, we’re not speaking in regards to the rebadged Cagiva Ducati Indiana. We’re speaking in regards to the Diavel. Particularly, we’re speaking in regards to the XDiavel.

The primary Diavel was unveiled on the 2010 EICMA present. It was a right away success. As a mannequin that comfortably toed the road between sports activities bike and cruiser, the Diavel grew to become the world’s first real performance-cruiser, and it wasn’t lengthy till the platform advanced additional.

In 2016, the XDiavel was born. This was Ducati’s first belt-driven motorbike, and because of the low-profile, lengthy wheelbase, and enormous 1,262cc engine, it grew to become Ducati’s quickest accelerating motorbike on the time. At the moment, the XDiavel boasts 152 horsepower, 92 lb-ft of torque, and a high pace in extra of 160 mph.

Honda ValkyrieHonda-Valkyrie-GL1500C.jpeg


The Honda Valkyrie isn’t simply probably the greatest Japanese cruisers ever made, it’s probably the greatest cruisers ever made usually! The Valkyrie had a couple of variations beginning in 1997 based mostly across the 1500 Goldwing engine, then later with the polarizing styling of the Rune and the 1800 Goldwing engine. Lastly ending off with the F6C fashions from 2013-2015 once more utilizing the GL1800 engine. In some ways, the Valkyrie was a bagger earlier than riders knew how cool a bagger might be.

Made solely at Honda’s Marysville plant in Ohio, it appeared a no brainer to take the silky-smooth flat-six Goldwing engine and strip off all of the touring weight. Leaving an engine with tires and a handlebar, the 100+ lb-ft of torque simply moved the Valkyrie down the freeway. With the introduction of the GL1800 Goldwing in 2001, it was only a matter of time earlier than the bigger powerplant made its manner right into a cruiser type. This time it got here packaged because the Valkyrie Rune.

The Rune gave the impression to be going for Japanese Anime styling, and it gave the impression to be an both adore it or hate it look. The Rune is now a particularly uncommon experience, having been such a restricted run throughout 2003.

Lastly, the final use of the Valkyrie identify was on the 2014-2015 fashions. As soon as once more profiting from the wonderful Goldwing engine, the bike was reworked for a 50/50 weight distribution, however clad with styling parts that not wanted any chrome to point out off.

The Valkyrie proved a V-Twin wasn’t a requirement to be a wonderful cruiser. The selection was consolation and efficiency over exhaust notes and earth-shaking vibrations. The Valkyrie left an enduring impression, and that’s why we rank it as probably the greatest cruisers of all time.

Honda Shadow

2021 Honda Shadow Phantom Side View On A White Background

For a lot of cruiser purists, issues just like the Honda Valkyrie and Gold Wing aren’t conventional cruisers. As an alternative, some take into account them to be touring bikes solely. So, we determined so as to add an indeniable Honda cruiser into the combination: that is the Honda Shadow.

The primary Shadows first rolled onto the scene in 1983, and since then the road has advanced to accommodate a variety of engine sizes and variations, from 125cc learner bikes to bigger mile-munching 1,100 cc steeds, with Spirit, Aero, Phantom, and RS trims obtainable traditionally.

If we had to decide on a Honda Shadow mannequin that basically showcased one of the best that the vary has to supply, we’d select the newest version: the Honda Shadow Phantom. The most recent Shadow Phantom is a {smooth} rider, with loads of grunt for freeway cruising, however in a gradual and confidence-inspiring bundle. That includes a blacked-out 745cc V-twin, 44.9 horsepower, 47.9 lb-ft of torque, the Shadow has the correct mix of angle, reliability, and enjoyable to offer thrills to rookies and skilled fingers alike.

Harley-Davidson Twin Cam

2009 Harley Davidson CVO Dyna Fat Bob

There is no such thing as a manner that you may write an inventory of one of the best cruisers with out together with Harley-Davidson. The problem for this author is, how do you select a single mannequin? One of many key facets of Harley Davidson possession is making the bike you set a leg over, your bike. Have you ever ever seen a bone inventory, Harley Davidson? Possibly as soon as on the dealership earlier than it was offered.

I feel it makes extra sense to deal with the center of the Harley, the engine. The Twin Cam 88 and 96 cu in engines are offering numerous hours of pleasure and frustration to 1000’s, however I’m sure when the point out of cruiser bikes comes up, the distinctive sound of a Twin Cam HD engine is the soundtrack most of us hear.

The 88’s got here out within the 1999 mannequin yr, and the 96 arrived in 2007 and have been discovered within the frames of each Dyna and Softail(FL). In restricted fashions, the displacement ultimately hit 103 and 110 cu inches, good for about 115 lb-ft of torque. These are the machines riders can discover the true HD expertise on, at a value far lower than the newest fashions, and get manner deep within the rabbit gap of customized components. When you make it yours, all that’s left to do is get out and cruise.

Kawasaki Vulcan 900

Kawasaki Vulcan 900

Subsequent up, we now have one other metric cruiser. This time it’s the Kawasaki Vulcan. The Vulcan collection isn’t in any respect new. In reality, it has been round since 1984! The primary Vulcan, generally known as the VN700A, was fairly the factor when it rolled onto the scene. It had a beefy Japanese V-twin engine, and an uncommon shaft drive! It’s thought-about one of many greatest newbie cruisers ever made.

Over time, the Vulcan has been obtainable in quite a few displacements, types, and occasions, starting from little 125cc run-arounds to heavy-duty 2,000cc goliaths. At the moment, the Vulcan aficionados can select from the futuristic Vulcan S, bagger-esque 1700 Vaquero, and touring-friendly 1700 Voyager. However our favourite mannequin must be the Vulcan 900, and its superior Customized variant.

Boasting a potent 903cc 54-degree V-twin engine that shoots out a hearty 50 horsepower and 58 lb-ft of torque, the Vulcan provides sufficient grunt to fulfill most riders. Nonetheless, it’s the appears to be like that give the Vulcan the true edge. It’s obtained huge drag bars, parallel slash-cut exhaust pipes, a low-slung saddle, and a really cool retro vibe. It’s an superior cruiser that takes parts of conventional design and manages to fuse it with fashionable options with out jarring the attention.

Yamaha VMAX

2021 Yamah VMAX Studio Shot - Side View

Muscular, highly effective, and fearsome are three adjectives that might describe Yamaha’s legendary cruiser. Ever because it rolled onto the scene in 1985, the VMAX has been inflicting a scene. It bucks the same old cruiser V-twin development by enlisting a V4 as its energy plant, and it does away with a series drive in favor of a shaft. It’s unorthodox. And what’s extra, it’s blisteringly quick.

Over time, the VMAX has been obtainable in quite a few configurations. Nonetheless, it’s the post-2009 model that we love one of the best. That includes a beefy 1,679 cc V4 engine that produces an ungodly 170 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque, the VMAX is not any slouch. However what makes it a lot enjoyable is the truth that it doesn’t have a lot in the way in which of superior driving aids, like different fashionable efficiency cruisers.

The Yamaha VMAX is all the time on these lists. It’s highly effective, quick, and a feast for the eyes—nevertheless it’s not truly your best option for those who’re in search of a sensible cruiser. The mileage isn’t nice and if lengthy distancing cruising is your factor, you’re going to need one thing with a greater financial system and an all-important sixth gear. Nonetheless, if you would like brief bursts of pace, and need to cruise the streets on a imply lookin’ machine, then the VMAX is difficult to beat.

Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster

2020 Triumph Rocket 3 Side View Studio Shot

The Triumph Rocket 3 is a really uncommon cruiser. This British behemoth is Triumph’s flagship cruising machine: a burly 2,458cc triple-cylinder motorbike with unbelievable efficiency specs. The utmost energy output is an eye-watering 165 horses and the torque output caps at 163 lb-ft.  It’s the very definition of a muscle cruiser.

As a efficiency cruiser, the Rocket 3 is a direct competitor to the likes of the Ducati Diavel or Yamaha VMAX, however not like the Diavel’s smaller stature or the VMAX’s no-frills method, the Rocket 3 is all about high finish luxuries. For instance, the present Rocket options fully-adjustable Showa suspension, Brembo Stylema brakes, superior traction management, cornering ABS, a number of experience modes, cruise management, and extra.

It’s a formidable cruiser, however why makes it one of many biggest cruisers ever constructed? Effectively, it’s all about that engine. It’s larger than quite a bit of automotive engines. In reality, it’s so massive that the newest model of the Rocket 3 has the biggest engine out of all obtainable manufacturing bikes. That’s official!

Suzuki Boulevard M109R2022 Suzuki Boulevard M109R


For a lot of the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, Suzuki was constructing the Savage, Intruder, and Marauder group of cruisers, then alongside got here the Boulevard lineup. Now all these bikes have been “wonderful,” however for me, it was merely attempting to duplicate what was popping out of Milwaukee. Good luck with that. Making an attempt to successfully present the same-same for a lower cost didn’t actually catch on.

In 2006 Suzuki modified the script with the M109R.

Taking racing information and daring distinctive styling, wrapping it round a stout 109 cu/in V-Twin with a fats rear tire, introduced consideration and helped create a brand new class of energy cruisers. Suzuki additionally injected this bike with true firm heritage. 120 hp and greater than 100 ft-lbs of torque, brakes from the GSX-R components bin, a chassis and fork with sporting intentions, made this a game-changing bundle. This bike has been Suzuki’s flagship cruiser bike for 16 years! That’s tips on how to supply a real various to American iron.

Yamaha Virago

1986 Yamaha XV 1100 Virago

The primary cruiser motorbike for Yamaha, the Virago identify is a legend. I 100% admit to being biased because of a fond reminiscence of sitting behind my father as a 13-year-old and watching the speedo, over his shoulder, climb previous 100 mph.

Via the 80s and 90s the Virago might be had with something from a 125cc to 1100cc engine. The 750, 1000, and 1100 fashions had the precise look and a heavy dose of chrome, blended with a stage of efficiency that was to not be present in an American V-Twin. The 1100 Virago was good for greater than 60hp and solely about 540lbs to maneuver. Utilizing a shaft drive to ship the facility to the again tire, the Virago was more than pleased to stretch your arms with a full twist of the throttle.

Due to Yamaha’s construct high quality, many Virago’s can nonetheless be discovered cruising the streets.