Connect With Us!

Cruiser + Touring Motorcycles

Cruiser + Touring Motorcycles includes two of the most popular motorcycle categories, accounting for nearly three out of every four on-highway motorcycles sold in the United States. According to sales data from the Motorcycle Industry Council for 2012, motorcycles classified as “Cruiser” accounted for 32.3% and those classified as “Touring” accounted for 41.9% of total on-highway units sold. As discussed in Cruiser motorcycle guides, most cruisers are classically styled motorcycles that highlight the exposed engine–usually an air-cooled V–twin–and metalwork such as chrome exhaust pipes or heavy fenders. They typically offer a relaxed, feet-forward riding position favored by riders who, as the name implies, enjoy cruising down Main Street or their favorite back road. Touring motorcycles, which includes some cruisers as well as other types of bikes, are designed for long-distance travel. Touring motorcycle reviews look for typical details like a windshield (and sometimes a fairing) to protect the rider from wind, a comfortable seat and attached luggage, such as hard or soft saddlebags and possibly a trunk. Baggers, a nickname for motorcycles equipped with saddlebags, straddle the cruiser and touring categories and they’re very popular today.

All New V Star 1300 Deluxe Headlines the Most Diverse Star Motorcycles Lineup Ever

2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe

Press Release
September 28, 2012

Star Motorcycles introduced the all new V Star 1300 Deluxe. Built around a 1304cc (80 cubic inch) V-Twin engine with a 9.5:1 compression ratio, aggressive cam timing and fuel injection, the V Star 1300 Deluxe with its 2 into 1 exhaust has the sound and power you need to get up and go. With the V Star... Read more »

2012 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Custom Road Test

cvolead2new2

Greg Drevenstedt
August 9, 2012

From the menacing, brushed-nickel skulls on its prow and tank, to the smoky graphics swirling around its sharknose fairing, Harley-Davidson’s 2012 FLTRXSE CVO Road Glide Custom means business. Even the names of its high-end accessories—Agitator wheels, Rumble Collection components and Heavy Breather... Read more »

2012 Triumph Speedmaster vs. Triumph Thruxton

Triumph’s Speedmaster cruiser and Thruxton café racer are two distinctly different retro motorcycles based upon the same engine.

Mark Tuttle
August 8, 2012

Retro is in; retro is cool. If a motorcycle looks old and works like a modern one, you can have the best of both worlds. A nostalgic appearance is pleasing to young and old, and the rider enjoys classic style, sound and feel, with brakes that stop and no oil puddles on the ground. Among the U.S. manufacturers,... Read more »

Ridden & Rated: 2012 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

The Slim is trim, with bobbed fenders, a solo saddle and no windscreen, saddlebags or unnecessary adornments.

Greg Drevenstedt
August 7, 2012

By Greg Drevenstedt * Photography by Kevin Wing Whereas the CVO Road Glide Custom is freighted with extras (see page 30), the new-for-2012 Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim is stripped down to the bare essentials, like bobbers built in the ’50s by former servicemen. It’s no surprise, then, that Captain... Read more »

Ridden & Rated: 2013 Victory Boardwalk

Long on style and long between the axles, the Boardwalk provides a relaxed ride.

Greg Drevenstedt
July 31, 2012

Victory has done an impressive job competing with Harley-Davidson in terms of engineering and styling, but the young brand, launched by Polaris in 1998, has stood in the long shadow of Harley’s 110 years of heritage. Polaris’ recent acquisition of Indian Motorcycle, the only American marque whose... Read more »

Indian Motorcycle Introduces 2013 Chief Vintage Limited Edition

Credit Jim Gallop

Press Release
July 31, 2012

Indian Motorcycle is proud to debut for 2013 the elegant and powerful Chief Vintage Limited Edition. Featuring a pearl white and thunder black two-tone paint scheme, this bike is sure to turn heads on the open road. The LE also features stylish chrome accents, including chrome highway pegs and a chrome... Read more »

Rider Magazine’s 2012 Motorcycle of the Year

BMW K 1600 GTL

Rider Magazine Staff
July 3, 2012

Our 23rd Annual Award! The chilly “New Economy” seems to be thawing slightly at this writing, but it’s been a challenging 12 months since Rider last presented its Motorcycle of the Year award. Any new bike introduced into this fiercely competitive environment has got to be a solid hit, drawing... Read more »

2012 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob vs. 2013 Victory Judge Review

These big-inch power cruisers blend performance with varying degrees of comfort.

Bill Stermer
June 1, 2012

(This Retro Cruiser Shootout was published in the June 2012 issue of Rider Magazine.) Aggressive, big-inch, V-twin cruisers with style and muscle have always been a favorite on the American road, and two of the latest are the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob (updated for 2012), and the Victory Judge (just released... Read more »

2012 BMW K 1600 GTL vs. Honda Gold Wing GL1800 ABS Comparison

You can rack up miles smoothly, swiftly and comfortably on both, but you’ll come away with different impressions. The K 1600 GTL will thrill you; the Gold Wing will pamper you.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 1, 2012

by Greg Drevenstedt When BMW unveiled the all-new 2012 K 1600 GTL, a high-tech, high-performance replacement for the long-running K 1200 LT, the company declared that it had built “a shark, not a whale,” a thinly veiled jab at the Honda Gold Wing GL1800. Around the same time we got our first ride... Read more »

2012 Star Raider SCL First Ride Review

Star Raider SCL: The large chrome headlight nacelle gleams in the sunlight.

Greg Drevenstedt
April 26, 2012

(This article was published in the July 2012 issue of Rider magazine.) Story by Greg Drevenstedt, Photos by Nelson and Riles Starting in the late ’70s, metric cruisers, such as Yamaha’s 650 Special and Virago 750, Honda’s CB650 Custom and Nighthawk, among others, offered an alternative to American... Read more »

« Previous PageNext Page »

Cruiser + Touring Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Because America is renowned for its wide-open spaces and we love the open road, Cruiser + Touring Motorcycles are very popular in road tests. The cruiser style was invented in the U.S. in the early 1900s by companies such as Harley-Davidson, Indian and many others. Even today, the three major U.S. motorcycle manufacturers–Harley-Davidson, Victory and Indian–build cruisers and touring motorcycles exclusively. In an attempt to capture some of the American cruiser market, all four major Japanese manufacturers–Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha–as well as European manufacturers such as Triumph and Moto Guzzi, build cruisers. Most motorcycle guides suggest that Cruisers appeal to motorcyclists who place a lot of importance on style and, due to their limited cornering clearance and laidback riding position, less importance on performance. Cruisers often have low seat heights, allowing riders of all sizes to put both feet firmly on the ground when stopped. According to the reviews and road tests, Touring motorcycles appeal to anyone who wants to ride comfortably all day or for days on end.


Cruiser + Touring Motorcycle Standouts

The brand most associated with cruisers is Harley-Davidson, a company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that has been building motorcycles since 1903. Harley-Davidson has several model families, including Sportster, Dyna, Softail, V-Rod, CVO and Touring. Victory Motorcycles and Indian Motorcycle, the other two major American motorcycle manufacturers, are both owned by Minnesota-based Polaris Industries. Victory builds cruisers (Boardwalk, Judge), baggers (Cross Roads) and touring bikes (Cross Country Tour, Vision), and Indian builds very classically styled cruisers (Chief Classic) and touring bikes (Chief Vintage). Cruisers are also manufactured by Honda (Fury, Shadow), Ducati (Diavel), Kawasaki (Vulcan), Moto Guzzi (California), Suzuki (Boulevard), Triumph (Speedmaster, Thunderbird) and Yamaha/Star (V Star, Raider). Road tests can be found for most Touring motorcycles, including variations on the models listed above with windshields and saddlebags, as well as more performance-oriented models like the Honda Gold Wing GL1800 and BMW K 1600 GTL.

Name:

Address:

City:

State:

ZIP: