cruiser motorcycles

How to Take Your Cruiser Motorcycle Off-Road

How to Take Your Cruiser Motorcycle Off-Road

Cruisers are designed to travel around town and have low seat heights that allow riders to plant their feet on the ground. But you can also take your cruiser off-road. A cruiser often makes riders feel safer and more comfortable on gravel, dirt, and muddy roads.


This article will discuss how to take your cruiser off-road, tips on how to do it safely, and the advantages and disadvantages of taking your cruiser off-road.

1. How to Take Your Cruiser Off-Road

1.1 Selecting Off-Road Tires

Standard cruiser tires to perform poorly on off-road terrain. When taking your motorcycle off-road, you may have to ride on roads with loose gravel or covered in wet leaves. For off-road terrain, your cruiser’s tires need to have strong traction to ensure they do not slip or skid easily.

1.2 Replacing the Tires

Before choosing tires, consider how much of your riding will be off-road. Look at adventure motorbike tires if you intend to travel off-road on dirt and gravel routes. Compared to street tires, adventure tires look more like dirt bike tires.


For a light off-road trip, you should consider tires made 90% for paved surfaces and 10% for off-roading. These tires will bear a resemblance to street tires.


For an aggressive off-road cruiser, you should get tires made 70% for paved surfaces and 30% for off-roading.


Be sure to consider all the trade-offs before installing adventure tires on your cruiser as these tires are noisier than street tires.

1.3 Adjusting Tire Pressure

Make sure to make proper adjustments to the tire pressure if you plan to go off-roading. The tire pressure can be your enemy or best friend.

Why Do You Need to Make Changes to Tire Pressure?

When on the road, your motorcycle may get a flat tire due to the tire walls weakening or a small puncture causing air to leak out. Remember it from the time you first saw the tire. You noticed that a specific part of the tire is substantially broader on the ground than the rest of it. Actually, there is more tire in contact with the ground.


Depending on the type of off-road terrain you plan to travel on, you may need to adjust the tire pressure. for off-road riding. A larger contact patch between your tire and the riding surface is produced by reducing the tire pressure. You just need to lower the tire’s pressure, don’t completely deflate it.


Here’s a table listing the tire pressure ranges for different surfaces.


Riding Surface PSI
Gravel 10% lower than normal
Snow 8 to 14 PSI
Mud 10%-20% lower than normal
Sand 8-14 PSI
Pavement Manufacturer Recommendation

2. Tips to Take Your Cruiser Off-Road

2.1 Attack Position

The attack position is the major factor of the cruiser motorcycle to prevent it from venturing off-road. In this position, you stand on the pegs with the knees and elbows bent. You need to practice the attack position before taking your cruiser for off-roading. This position will help better absorb the impacts of bumps and allow you to turn corners.

2.2 Breathe

Tyr to practice taking deep breaths, loosening your grasp on the handlebars, and relaxing your shoulders. If you are more relaxed, you are less likely to overreact to any sudden movements your bike makes.

2.3 Be Smooth

When accelerating, shifting gears, braking, and steering, try to operate your motorcycle as smoothly as possible. Sudden and sharp movements can cause your cruiser to slide and lose traction on slippery surfaces. Smoother movements will reduce the likelihood of slipping on off-road trails.

2.4 Leave a Gap

Do not tailgate if you following a line of motorcycles while off-roading. Give the riders ahead and behind you, enough space, check to see if they are following you closely, and communicate if you need to put a little more distance.

2.5 Don’t Paddle

To ensure better control of your bike, keep your feet on the footpegs. Paddling with your feet will cause you to slow down. However, you can paddle if you need to balance.

2.6 Look Ahead

Always keep your eyes pointed in the direction your cruiser is going. This will help you spot and avoid any obstacles such as potholes, ruts, etc. Watch the road in front of you but also make sure to be mindful of your surroundings when sharing the road.

2.7 Be Careful Braking

Only apply the brakes when necessary. Try using the rear brakes when off-roading on your cruiser. If your cruiser has ABS, it will be best suited for riding on dirt trails.

2.8 Accelerate

When traveling on off-road terrain, apply a bit of throttle and keep pressure off the front while accelerating with the rear wheel. You may require light front-end acceleration if traveling on a sandy road.

2.9 Don’t Stop

When the riders stop their bikes suddenly on loose or uneven terrain, it often ends with them dropping their cruisers. Always try to keep your motorcycle moving, even at a slow speed.

2.10 Go Slowly

Slow down when riding on dirt or gravel roads since they reduce traction. When you enter a gravel roadway, you need to gradually increase your cruiser’s speed.

3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Cruisers Off-Road

3.1 Advantages

  • Low Center of Gravity: Cruisers have a low center of gravity that helps you turn faster on dirt and gravel roads.
  • Stability: Large cruiser flywheels provide more stability on bumpy, uneven roads.
  • Wide Handlebars: Cruiser motorcycles have wide handlebars which offer better control, as you can easily push it around a soft surface and stones.
  • Front Wheel: Cruisers have a large, slim afront wheel that can help you travel through dirt, stone, and gravel roads without kicking up debris.
  • Low Seat Height: The low seat height of the cruiser allows you to place your feet flat against the ground.

3.2 Disadvantages

  • Weight: Cruisers are larger and weigh more than street bikes. You may get stuck in loose debris or have difficulty handling and maneuvering your motorcycle while off-roading.
  • Balance: Due to cruisers being large and heavy, it can be hard to keep your balance and can easily fall over.
  • Difficult to Pick Up: There are more chances of your motorcycle falling when riding on rough and bumpy paths. If you accidentally drop your cruiser while riding, it will become difficult for you to pick it up.
  • Tires: Cruisers lack knobby tires necessary for off-roading. You will need to replace your cruiser tires with tires that offer better traction.

4. Last Words

Cruiser motorcycles are not designed for off-roading, but you can do so by following the guideline and tips discussed in this article. To prepare your cruiser for an off-road trip, you need to replace the tires and adjust the tire pressure for better traction. Other ways you can ensure a safer off-road cruiser experience include traveling slowly, avoiding suddenly braking, looking ahead, leaving a gap, making smooth transitions, and remaining vigilant. There are a variety of aftermarket parts available at Viking Bags, including sissy bars, crash bars, fairings, seats, luggage racks, and luggage options containing saddlebags, sissy bar bags, swing arm bags, tank bags, and backpacks.

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