cruiser motorcycles

Cruisers Vs Touring Motorcycles

Cruisers Vs Touring Motorcycles

Motorcycles come in a variety of styles, each with its own unique features. Two popular types of motorcycles are cruisers and touring bikes. This article will explore the similarities and differences between cruisers and touring bikes to help you determine which one is best for you.

Motorcycle Type Cruisers Touring Motorcycles
Riding Position Laid-back, relaxed Upright, comfortable
Engine Size Smaller engines Larger engines
Storage Capacity Limited storage Large hard saddlebags or luggage compartments
Comfort Less comfortable at long distances Maximum comfort and convenience
Fuel Efficiency More fuel efficient Less fuel efficient
Style Classic and bold design Practical and functional design
Customization More customization options Less customization options
Price Depends on the model Depends on the model
Specialty Short rides and city cruising Long-distance trips and highway cruising

1. What are Cruisers?

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What are Cruisers?

Cruisers are designed for short rides or city cruising, offering a comfortable riding position and a low seat height. Cruisers are versatile motorcycles with responsive braking and easy handling. Cruisers have a lot more style but are bulkier than standard bikes.

Cruisers are popular motorcycles often associated with the classic American motorcycle. Cruisers typically have a V-twin engine that produces a distinct sound and produces low-end torque. This makes them ideal for cruising around town or on the open road.

Cruisers can be customized to reflect an owner’s riding style. They come in a variety of sizes, from small 250 cc bikes to large 1800 cc models. They are also available in several styles, from classic retro looks to modern, sporty designs. Examples of popular cruisers include the Harley Davidson Softail, Yamaha Star Bolt, and Honda Rebel.

2. What are Touring Motorcycles?

What are Touring Motorcycles?

A touring motorcycle is designed for tours or long-distance riding. Touring motorcycles are not as stylish as cruisers. However, they offer more comfort, more power, bigger engines, bigger fuel tanks, and additional storage capacity.

Touring motorcycles are often referred to as “baggers” because of the large saddlebags or luggage compartments attached. They are designed to offer maximum comfort and convenience for the rider and passenger over long distances. Touring bikes have a more upright riding position than cruisers, which offers better visibility and reduces fatigue.

Touring bikes are often large and heavy vehicles that offer better stability on the road. Popular touring models include the Harley Davidson Electra Glide, Honda Gold Wing, and BMW K1600GT.

3. Cruiser Vs Touring Motorcycle

3.1 Engine Size

Cruisers usually have smaller engines that produce less power, while touring bikes have larger engines that provide more power and torque.

3.2 Travel Options

Cruisers are suited for leisurely short to mid-length trips across the city. They are beginner-friendly bikes best suited for casual riders.

Meanwhile, touring motorcycles are ideal for cross-country trips, long-distance rides, and daily commutes. They are also called “adventure motorcycles” because they are capable of covering long distances.

3.3 Handling

Cruisers offer better handling. Their revved-up cornering capability, relaxed riding position, and smooth gear shifts make them ideal for traveling at high speeds.

Meanwhile, touring motorcycles do not handle as well due to their heavy weight. Their stronger but heavier frames and tires increase weight, affecting how a motorbike handles.

3.4 Riding Position

Cruisers typically have a laid-back, relaxed riding position that positions the rider’s feet toward the front of the bike. This position is comfortable on short rides and city cruises but can cause you to become fatigued on longer trips.

Meanwhile, touring bikes have an upright riding position that offers better visibility and reduces fatigue on long rides.

3.5 Maintenance

Cruisers and touring motorcycles require regular maintenance checks to clean and check their parts. The fairings are the parts that often become corroded or covered in dirt if not cleaned and maintained properly.

Touring motorcycles require a bit more maintenance than cruisers due to being continuously exposed to sand, dust, road salt, and other pollutants for lengthy periods of time.

3.6 Customization

Cruisers and touring motorcycles can be fitted with aftermarket parts, gadgetry, performance boosters, etc. But a cruiser’s frame offers more space to add custom parts. Their wide frames allow you to add multiple features, including LED lights and adjustable backrests. You have more freedom to modify your motorcycle to your preferred style, height, and more.

Meanwhile, touring motorcycles have fewer customization options due to their heavy weight. Adding more features will increase their weight further and make handling harder. Also, touring motorcycles have pre-installed storage compartments that take up most of the space, leaving little room to add custom parts.

3.7 Storage

Cruisers have limited storage capacity, usually only having a small leather bag or a sissy bar bag for short trips.

Meanwhile, touring bikes have large storage compartments to carry belongings across long distances. Their hard saddlebags have internal and external pockets to carry clothing, gear, and other essentials. The engine is powerful enough that it can carry the weight of the cargo without affecting a touring motorcycle’s performance.

3.8 Power

Cruisers can accelerate quickly thanks to their V-twin engines. V-twin engines are high-performance engines with an ideal weight-to-power ratio. Cruisers with larger V-twin engines or power cruisers are capable of high horsepower and torque.

Meanwhile, touring motorcycles produce a low-end power output, but their large frames and heavy builds cause them to travel slowly.

3.9 Riding Conditions

Cruisers and touring motorcycles are not suited for icy and wet weather conditions despite their huge sizes and powerful engines. Riders can still ride their motorbikes in such weather conditions but they must be extra cautious.

3.10 Comfort

Because cruisers are built for style and performance, they are usually less comfortable on longer trips. You will start feeling fatigued and discomfort if you ride a cruiser for a long time.

Meanwhile, touring bikes offer maximum comfort and convenience across long distances. They have an upright riding position, wider seats, and adjustable windshields to reduce wind noise and turbulence. Their high-quality suspension systems and rubber gaskets mounted to the engines reduce frame vibrations which help minimize sore joints and muscle cramping during long-distance rides. Moreover, the straight and relaxed riding position supports your back and posture and reduces bodily pains.

3.11 Style

Cruisers and touring bikes have different styles that appeal to riders with various tastes. Cruisers are often associated with classic American motorcycles, featuring bold designs, flashy paint jobs, and plenty of chrome. You can customize your cruiser’s frame to make it stand out by installing higher footpegs and high handlebars. Cruisers in different styles also have different handlebars, such as mustache-style and ape hanger-style handlebars.

Meanwhile, touring bikes have a more practical and functional design that emphasizes comfort and convenience. You can also modify touring motorcycles to improve their looks, but you have minimal options.

3.12 Passengers

Cruisers feature a passenger seat, but it is uncomfortable for the passenger on long rides. Cruisers cannot support heavier individuals since too much additional weight could affect a cruiser’s speed, handling, and responsiveness when braking or making turns.

Meanwhile, touring motorcycles have durable frames that can support weight and have plenty of space to seat a passenger. They also include systems that allow the rider to communicate with the passenger, such as headsets and Bluetooth.

3.13 Price

The price range of cruisers and touring motorcycles depends on the model, style, and customer demand.

Cruisers are generally believed to be more expensive than touring motorcycles. Entry-level cruisers can be purchased for as little as $5,000, while a beginner touring motorcycle can be around $2,500.

Both types of motorcycles can be cheap or expensive depending on their features. Cruisers can be expensive due to their performance-boosting features and more stylish look. Likewise, touring motorcycles can be expensive due to having more features and amenities, such as navigation systems, heated seats, and advanced suspension systems.

3.14 Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency often depends on the weight of the motorcycle. Heavyweight motorcycles have a lower power-to-weight ratio, which reduces their fuel efficiency. Thus, neither cruisers nor touring motorcycles have impressive fuel efficiency. Cruisers have an estimated average fuel mileage of 3.8-7 L/100 km, while touring motorcycles have an estimated average fuel mileage of 3.5-4.3 L/100 km.

A motorcycle’s fuel efficiency can be affected by the following factors:

Rider’s Weight

Extra weight can reduce a motorcycle’s fuel efficiency. This is because the engine has to work harder to support the weight of the rider and the motorcycle. Riding solo or removing excess weight can help improve fuel mileage.

Tire Pressure

The tires being filled to the appropriate pressure can improve fuel mileage and traction. The U.S. Energy Department has proven that deflated tires reduce fuel economy, increase tire wear, and affect handling.

4. Pros and Cons of Cruisers

4.1 Pros of Cruisers

  • Better Fuel Economy: Cruisers being lightweight makes them more fuel efficient.
  • Style: Cruisers are more stylish than any other motorbikes. The minimum siding and the extended front end give them an iconic appearance that helps cruisers stand out.
  • Beginner-Friendly: Most cruisers are beginner-friendly due to their low center of gravity and seat height.
  • Accessories and Audio: Cruisers come with built-in accessories, such as fairings, radios, and chrome upgrades.
  • More Customization Options: Cruisers can be customized with multiple options to personalize your motorcycle’s look. You can also provide more space to store gear, and add adjustable backrests and LED lights.
  • Multiple Features: Cruisers are versatile motorcycles with user-friendly features.

4.2 Cons of Cruisers

  • Shorter Rides: Cruisers are only designed for short rides or city cruising. If you ride a cruiser on a long ride, it will result in the engine becoming worn down.
  • Less Comfort: Cruisers are uncomfortable on long-distance rides and cause you to become fatigued. You can replace the stock cushion with an aftermarket seat to ensure better comfort.
  • Vibrations: The V-twin engine produces constant vibrations which can be a cause of annoyance and discomfort.
  • Low Ground Clearance: Cruisers have low ground clearance and low seat height, which make them unsuitable for bumpy roads and off-roading.

5. Pros and Cons of Touring Motorcycles

5.1 Pros of Touring Motorcycles

  • Comfort: Touring motorcycles provide more comfort due to the height of their handlebars height, soft seats, and relaxed riding positions.
  • Extra Storage: Touring motorcycles come with hardshell compartments to carry your luggage and other essential tools during long-distance rides.
  • Bigger Fuel Tank: Touring motorcycles have bigger fuel tanks that do not need to be refilled often.

5.2 Cons of Touring Motorcycles

  • Handling: Touring motorcycles are difficult to handle due to their large frame and heavyweight. Some riders lose control when making turns or braking.
  • Poor Fuel Efficiency: Touring motorcycles have larger frames and fuel tanks, adding extra weight that lowers fuel economy.

6. Conclusion - Which One is Best for You: Cruiser or Touring Motorcycle?

When it comes to choosing between a cruiser and a touring motorcycle, it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and riding style. Pick a cruiser if you’re looking for a motorcycle suited for cruising around town or going on short rides. They are also a good option for riders who enjoy customizing and want a motorcycle that reflects their personality.

If you plan to go on long trips or tours, a touring bike may be the better choice. They offer maximum comfort and convenience over long distances, and their larger engines and storage capacity make them ideal for highway cruising. They also have a more upright riding position, which improves visibility and reduces fatigue on long rides.

Take the time to research different models and try to find the motorcycle that’s right for you.

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