The 5 Best Cruiser Motorcycles For Beginners

June 14, 2022
by Jack Lyons

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The time has finally come. You've finally got your motorcycle license, and you're ready to get your first bike and drive on the road. But now that the time's finally here, you're probably thinking about how you can decide on your first motorcycle. 

What would be the best one for you? Where would you be driving it? Is this really the right bike for you? The biggest question when it comes to picking your first motorcycle is if you want a cruiser, a sportbike, or a touring bike.

You've no doubt already been looking at the varieties of motorcycles available, but how can you narrow it down to find your perfect bike?

Cruiser motorcycles are designed for longer and more comfortable rides on paved roads. So, if you're thinking of going on any long road trips on the freeway, then you might want to check out your options.

Their steering is easy to control, and you won't have to worry too much about your height. So, if you want to get a cruiser, let's take a look at some of the 5 best cruiser motorcycles for beginners.  

Honda Rebel 500

Honda Rebel 500

The Honda Rebel has been used by beginners since 1985. With a low seat that improves your center of gravity, the Honda Rebel makes for a comfortable ride.

You're able to reach the bars naturally, without too much strain on your back.

However, your right leg will probably be close to the clutch cover. It's a narrow and easy ride, but it might not be suitable for larger riders. 

If you're thinking of customizing your Honda Rebel, there aren't actually many parts available in the Honda catalog.

However, the Honda Rebel has a great blacked-out design with fat tires.

As part of the accessories, you can even get another passenger seat and footpegs to allow for any passengers.

The Honda Rebel 500 is a great bike to ride in the city, and they've improved the LED headlights that they've had on previous models.

Honda has revised their fork for the Rebel 500 to make it easier to clear corners, and it has some amazing brakes.

It even offers an optional ABS system. It can easily ride 130 km/h on the highway and goes up to speeds of 160 km/h. 


  • Low seat – Improves your center of gravity, and also makes it easier to reach down and stop your bike.
  • Good brakes – The brakes work well and include an optional ABS system, which uses sensors on both wheels to determine the speed and when your wheel is about to lock.
  • Handlebars – Easy to reach, so you shouldn't have to worry about hurting your back on longer journeys.


  • Not great for larger riders – There have been complaints that the suspension is too soft for heavier riders, and the pegs can be somewhat compact for taller riders.
  • Rear suspension – It's harsher when going over bumps, even in the city, which can make for an uncomfortable ride.

Kawasaki Vulcan S

Kawasaki Vulcan S

The Kawasaki Vulcan is one of those bikes that can easily be confused with a sports bike.

It has a sleek and stylish design, and many riders have said that it feels more like a lighter middle-weight than a cruiser.

There are three different models, the Kawasaki Vulcan S, the Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS, and the Vulcan S ABS Café.

The Vulcan S is the base model, with the Vulcan S ABS coming with an ABS system, and the Café having both a sleeker style and the ABS included.

Along with being a beautiful bike, it doesn't sacrifice any of its quality just to look good.

It's been designed to be adjustable to a variety of riders, with an ERGO-FIT system included, so an ERGO-FIT authorized dealership can modify the seats, footpegs, and handlebars for free.

However, you may have to pay if you go to a dealership that isn't ERGO-FIT authorized. 

While the fuel tank is rather small, this won't affect you if you're just using it for your daily ride.

It's better to use it in the city, but while the handlebars are light, they're also rather wide, so going through dense traffic can be cumbersome.

Despite having seven settings on the rear suspension, you can still feel every bump on the road, so it might not make for the most comfortable on longer journeys. 


  • ERGO-FIT – You can take it to an ERGO-FIT authorized dealership and modify the seat, footpegs, and handlebars to make it more comfortable to ride.
  • Sleek and stylish – There's a reason it's been confused for a sports bike. The Vulcan S has a great design that makes it look good as well as ride well.
  • Handlebars – Despite their width, they're lightweight and easy to use. This makes for an easy ride and also makes it pretty easy to steer corners.


  • Rear suspension – Despite having seven settings, riders have reported how they can still feel every bump on the road. So, it might not always be the most comfortable journey.
  • Footpegs – They're positioned quite low, and you can feel the vibration from the twin engine. You'll be able to feel it after your journey, and if you go too low at a corner, they can scrape against the floor.

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

When most people think of motorcycles, they tend to think of Harley-Davidson.

As a brand, they've made its mark on the motorcycle world, and some beginners might already be a fan of the Harley's look already.

If you're a beginner, this isn't highly recommended unless you've got your heart set on having your own Harley-Davidson.

If you're adamant about having a Harley as your first motorcycle, it's best to start with the Iron 883. 

While cruisers are usually light, the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 is rather heavy, which in some ways gives it more stability on the highway.

But, this does mean that it can make for some more challenging riding. It also means that with its weight, it doesn't pick up speed easily, and you need to shift to a lower gear to do so.

In one way, it's a great way to get used to the five gears in your gearbox, but it's rather clunky and could do with some improvement. 

The good news is that it does have a low seat, and the brakes are all right. If you want some added security, they have optional ABS for that added bit of security.

However, it's not suited for long journeys, with the rear cylinder typically getting hot if you're in traffic or if it's just a hot day.

At least this means if you go on a short journey, then you can show off your Harley and impress others with it. As an added bonus, they're great to customize, with so many options available to add on to your bike.


  • Low seat – Great for stopping and going at slow speeds and makes it easy to reach the handlebars.
  • Optional ABS – It's a great way to determine your speed and does help with stopping the wheels from locking.
  • Great Customization – If you want to customize your bike, then Harleys are a great choice. They have so many options if you want to add to your bike.


  • Clunky Gearbox – There are five gears that your Harley can go for, but it's clunky and can be more irritating, especially as you need a lower gear to pick up speed.
  • Heavy – This isn't a light and easy to steer bike, Harleys are heavy, and the Iron 883 is definitely one of them. If you're looking for something lighter, you might not want this one.

Yamaha Bolt 

Yamaha Bolt 

The Yamaha Bolt, and its slightly upgraded model, the R-Spec, is a great cruiser for beginners.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that it isn't a sportbike, especially as you cruise around the city.

The R-Spec has a slightly upgraded seat to make your journeys more comfortable. It's got a natural riding position, with the feet up in front of your torso and the footpegs in the center of the bike.

With its low seat and footpegs in the center, it's easy to stop your bike and stand to keep your balance.

It's got a great stripped-back aesthetic, which makes it easy to customize, with Yamaha having numerous accessories available for the motorcycle.

The clutch is light, making it easier to change gears as you move around the city.

Yet longer journeys might not be on the table, as it does have a small fuel tank, and the suspension isn't forgiving of potholes as you drive.


  • Low seat – Makes it easier for shorter riders and beginner riders to handle the bike.
  • Light clutch – Makes it easier to change gears when you're driving around the city.
  • Customizable – If you want to customize your ride, Yamaha has numerous accessories that you can add to your bike.


  • Suspension – Even with the upgraded R-Spec, it does cause some discomfort when on the highway and when you hit a pothole.
  • Small fuel tank – You'll have to fuel up quite regularly, which makes it not too great for longer journeys. 

Indian Scout Bobber Sixty

Indian Scout Bobber Sixty

Despite its bulky appearance, the Indian Scout Bobber Sixty is a lot smaller and lower than it looks.

It's a solo bike, but you can add an extra pillion and some passenger footpegs when you customize it. With its stripped-down model, the Bobber Sixty is easy to add to.

Despite the look of it, it's a good balanced weight, with a decent amount of power in its 999cc engine.

It even has a six-speed gearbox, which makes it a rather fun drive. It even encourages you to lean as you turn, and handles incredibly well.

This is designed for urban use, so you probably shouldn't take it for any long journeys.

After all, the suspension isn't too great on it, and you don't want to get too uncomfortable.

With the absence of a windshield, you'll be regretting long journeys in bad weather. 


  • Low seat – You can sit comfortably, and when you stop, you can place your feet flat on the ground for some added confidence.
  • Good handling – With the wide handlebars, the Bobber Sixty encourages you to lean as you turn corners.
  • Customizable – The Bobber Sixty has a stripped-down model, which makes it easier to customize. If you want to, then this is one of the easiest bikes to customize. 


  • Wind resistance – There's no windshield on the base model, so you need to keep this in mind if you're driving in windy conditions, or just make sure your helmet has a good visor.
  • Suspension – You can feel every shock in the road, so might not be the most comfortable when you hit a pothole.

Best Cruiser Motorcycles - Buyers' Guide

When ranking these products, it's better to look at rideability first and foremost. If this is your first bike, then you want to know how easy it is to handle.

Generally, cruisers are better for short journeys, so comfort is a key feature. There's nothing worse than driving and knowing that you're going to regret it afterward.

You need to keep an eye on the size of the cruisers. Mostly, most large bikes are pretty intimidating, and you'll want to know you can keep your balance.

Low seats make it easier for beginners to steer; it also means you can put your feet down when you stop.

If you have anxiety about stopping and keeping balance, then it's better to know that you will be able to put your feet down if you have to stop for any reason.

If you still want to have fun, it's good to know how well the bike handles when it comes to steering.

Each bike has a different feel to it, so it's important that you consider how much effort you want to put into turning corners and how comfortable you are with leaning.

Sometimes it can be intimidating to be so close to the ground, but other riders may find it more comfortable to know they have that sort of control over their journeys.

The best thing to remember here is that cruisers aren't made for racing and are actually made for longer and more relaxed riding. 

Customizability was included so that you can see how you can upgrade your bike and make it individual to you.

If it's your first bike, there's no doubt that you'll want to make it your own without doing any harm to it.

It's also better to know whether it's easy to do and whether there are any materials accessible from the official manufacturer.

It's also good to include customization options if, for any reason, your motorcycle is uncomfortable for you, which is why it's better to know if you can change your seat or your footpegs in any way. 

When riding, you'll want to know how the suspension is.

Not everyone lives in the city, so if you're in a more rural area, it's important to know just how much you'll feel on the road.

If there are potholes around, this might end up putting you off riding because it will just be an uncomfortable experience for you. 

Optional ABS was also included, as it can be an added confidence booster for your driving.

Sometimes, it's better to have a sensor there to monitor your speed, especially if you're still gaining confidence in your riding experience.

The knowledge that your bike will be able to stop your wheels locking is a reassurance, especially when you're new to motorcycles.

Not all bikes include this, but if you're looking for that added comfort, it's better to know that it's there.

Then, there's the style. Typically, you want your motorcycle to look good, and you don't want to worry about anyone's opinions.

When it comes to appearance, sometimes it's better to have a more retro-inspired look, which many of these bobber-style bikes do have.

This is due to cruisers being designed with the retro aesthetic in mind.

All cruisers are designed to look like old American bikes from the 30s to the 60s.

This can make it more enjoyable because driving around; you'll want to look cool when doing so.

If you get a cruiser, you want to make sure that it's a cruiser worth showing off.

Last but not least, you'll want to think about how much you'll be riding.

If you want to go on multi-day road trips or long journeys, will this really be the right option for you? Then there are passengers. Not all bikes have pillion seats, and some can't be easily added to.

If you're only interested in an easy commute to work, you're more likely to find something on this list.

However, not all will have the same fuel capacity, and if you're interested in long journeys, you'll need to think about how often you'll be stopping for fuel.

These are only a few things to look out for, but if you really want to know what the best motorcycle for you is go out and try one.

It's always better to go for a test drive of a motorcycle you like at a dealership.

The last thing a beginner, or anyone, wants is to realize that the motorcycle they've been looking for doesn't feel right for them.

Truthfully, no one can decide whether a motorcycle is right for you unless you try it out first.

Everyone has a different riding style and preference for how they ride, so only you can know for sure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few FAQs when it comes to cruiser motorcycles.

Why Choose A Cruiser As Your First Motorcycle?

Cruiser bikes are a great way of learning how to ride a bike, they're easy to handle, and you can get used to the weight distribution without having to worry about handling like a sportbike.

Cruisers also have a lower center of gravity than other types of bikes, so it makes them more stable at speed.

They don't require much skill or training to master and are ideal for beginners.

What Is The Difference Between A Cruiser And A Sportbike?

A sportbike has a higher top speed than a cruiser, but cruisers tend to be lighter and cheaper.

The motor in a sportbike will usually be smaller and less powerful than that of a cruiser.

How Much Should I Spend On My First Motorcycle?

You don't have to spend a lot to get started.

How Long Does It Take To Become Proficient On A Motorcycle?

That depends on your skill level, but after about two months of practice, you'll feel comfortable enough to ride around town without getting nervous.

How Do I Choose From Among Different Types Of Motorcycles?

There are three types of motorcycles: Sportbikes, cruisers, and touring bikes.

Sportbikes are generally faster than cruisers, though they're often heavier.

They tend to have higher handlebars and longer suspension travel, making them ideal for aggressive riding.

Cruiser motorcycles are typically lighter than sportbikes, and their suspensions are typically softer, making them great for cruising.

Cruisers are mainly slower than sportbikes, but they offer more passenger room and cargo capacity.

Touring bikes are mainly larger than cruisers, and they're designed for long-distance riding.

Touring bikes are largely heavier than cruisers, and their suspension is stiffer, making them ideal for rough terrain.

They're also usually equipped with panniers and luggage racks, making them good choices for camping.

Related: The 6 Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Under $2,000

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