Deciding which bike is the best cruiser motorcycle on the market is a tough job. While there have certainly been some lemons throughout motorcycle history, once you’ve narrowed down a list to only quality bikes it can be hard to sort them. Each cruiser has it’s own set of advantages. One bike certainly doesn’t fit all. That’s why it’s most useful to look at each one individually. There’s no reason a biker can’t admire a number of different attractive motorcycles.
Honda produces two different cruisers under the Shadow name, and they’re both two of the better bikes in their class. The Shadow Spirit is among the smallest cruisers in the category today. Inexperienced bikers love it for the fact that it handles so well. Those who are a little more seasoned love the fact that it can stop on a dime.
Motorcycles sold under the Shadow Aero name are slightly larger, and they feature some aesthetic differences as well as an upgraded transmission. Most Aero bikes feature a number of different customization options for those who are interested in really making their ride a work of art. The large collection of aftermarket Honda parts makes the Shadow series attractive to those who want to tinker with their ride.
Engineers from Honda recently released a cruiser version of the Shadow Phantom, which comes with a full 745cc V-twin engine coupled with a PGM-FI start system. It’s almost in a class of it’s own, though it’s worth mentioning as Honda does market it as a cruiser bike. They downplayed the chrome so much that official advertising for the bike claims that it’s gone to the dark side. Honda even claims that the minimalist styling and almost total lack of chrome is a great way to turn heads. Phantom bikes certainly don’t look like anything else on the market today.
Several fine cruisers are to be found in the Harley-Davidson X collection. The FXDX created the sport cruiser category that’s so popular today. Harley-Davidson’s engineers gave it a classic look in spite of the fact that it features all of the modern conveniences that anyone would expect from a current motorcycle. The FXDX is a rare example of a bike that rides every bit as good as it looks.
Riders looking for an even more traditional cruiser should look at the Sportster XL 883. While the body is designed after the original motorcycle that made Harley-Davidson a household name, the Sportster XL carries a powerful motor that can beat antique Harleys off the line. No one should ever try to belittle the classic cruiser bikes, though. They’re the only reason that the modern bikes were ever built.
Suzuki clearly had their sights on riders who use their motorcycles as their sole means of transportation when they put the Intruder on market. This is one of the best cruisers for those who have nothing but their bike in the garage. It performs equally as well in any environment, which has also made it popular with those who live in extreme climates. Some cruisers are gems that are polished inside of climate-controlled garages. The Intruder rips through humidity, snow and rain.
Suzuki actually makes an entry-level version of their cruiser offering too. The Boulevard M50 is so affordable that some magazines have been calling it one of the best bargains available in the cruiser motorcycle market. It’s known for being extremely reliable, which translates into far less spent on maintenance. Handling was also a major concern when they put the Boulevard on the market. Armchair mechanics might like the styling, but those who like to tinker with their bikes might actually be a bit disappointed.
The Vulcan is one of the more powerful cruisers still in production today. Most of the other powerful cruiser bikes have fallen out of favor with manufacturers. Drag strip aficionados have recently started to use the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom, and have found that few other bikes can stop it without some serious modifications. Vulcan riders come from both the novice and experienced sectors. You’ll never outgrow this bike, which means that you can probably look at purchasing a Vulcan as an investment.