The holiday seasons are just around the corner, which means you and your ride-along are about to head off on a long road trip. Forget riding around in a gas-guzzling SUV. You and your partner prefer to feel the wind in your hair.
Yet top-of-the-line cruisers come with a high price tag these days (like all of these cruisers for over $100,000). And you’re looking for something with more value.
At Biker Report, we don’t think you have to sacrifice style and power for an affordable cruiser. That’s why we’re bringing you this list of the best cruiser motorcycles on the market for under $10,000.
Yep, you heard us right. We scoured the web for the best and cheapest cruisers out there. So, keep reading to discover the best cruiser motorcycle for the money.
Our Criteria for Cruiser Motorcycles
We don’t consider just any bike that looks like a Harley a cruiser. Nor do we think it’s just any bike with forward controls. For the sake of clarity, here are the criteria we use to decide if a bike is a cruiser or not.
An excellent cruiser bike is in it for the long haul. No, not every cruiser comes with a high-end passenger seat and luggage storage space. But any bike that calls itself a cruiser should at least offer the option to add on soft bags and/or a pillion pad.
Cruisers are meant for the open road, which means they need to offer comfort over every bump and pothole. The cornering suspension shouldn’t be too stiff. And if you’re looking for power, make sure you aren’t exchanging comfort for the uptick in speed.
The Cruiser Look
Seat height: low. Stance: a little bit relaxed. Foot controls: mid or forward.
These are three of the most recognizable characteristics of a cruiser. But a cruiser shouldn’t just look right; it should feel right, too.
Here’s what we mean: the best cruisers should bring up a sense of nostalgia. The sounds and the smells and the vibrations are the same as they were 50 years ago. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Best Cruiser Motorcycles of 2019
Now that you know our criteria, it’s time to reveal our list of the best cruiser motorcycles out there right now. These bikes are mean, stylish, and only a little bit practical. Perfect for your upcoming holiday road trip.
And the best part? They’re all under $10k. So without further ado, let’s check ’em out.
Suzuki Boulevard M50
This is one of those bikes that trades power for a way more comfortable ride. The engine comes in at only 805cc, but the commanding look and style of the bike won’t give you away. With 130mm tires and high-quality suspension, say goodbye to a bumpy ride for good with your new Boulevard M50.
A 2019 Boulevard M50 will cost you about $8699. But for its aggressive styling and incomparable ride feel, we think the price is right.
Harley-Davidson Iron 1200
If you’re looking for an AMF-era look with an undeniable cruiser feel, the Iron 1200 is your guy. This Harley has the same chassis as its Iron 883 sibling (see below). Yet its predictable handling and larger motor more than make up for its higher price tag at $9999.
The Honda Fury
Honda hits it in big time with this uber-stylized bike. Its high-neck chopper alone will turn heads. But add that on to a 21-inch front wheel, 32-degree rake, and hardtail, and you’ve got yourself a real showstopper.
Yet despite its rough-riding look, the Fury has all the finesse you’ve come to expect from Honda motorcycles. For those who want to look furious even during a relaxing ride, you can’t go wrong with the $9999 Honda Fury.
Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer
A true classic, the V9 Roamer deserves a spot on our list despite Moto Guzzi categorizing this bike as a standard. Here are the stats that make us think of the Roamer as more like a cruiser:
- Forward foot controls
- Transversely-mounted V twin engine
- 19-inch back tires
- 16-inch front tires
- 31-inch seat height
If that’s not enough to convince you this bike is a cruiser, then maybe the 3000 rpm max torque and 6250 rpm horsepower will change your mind. Coming in at $9990, a V9 Roamer is perfect for cruising in classic style.
Kawasaki Vulcan S
Want a bike that’s as customizable as it is aggressive-looking? Search no further than the Vulcan S from Kawasaki. This bike looks seriously mean and offers three different seating positions, three different footage positions, and two adjustable handlebar positions.
And get this: all these adjustments can be made upon order at no extra cost. That means the $7099 price tag is all you’ll pay for a custom cruiser that fits you as well as it does the open road.
Star V Star 250
Want a high performance 250 class cruiser with a look more authentic than most of the other bikes on our list? Star’s V Star 250 is an oft-overlooked option for people who prefer smaller cruisers.
The engine is a 250cc V-twin, but don’t let that fool you. The bike’s incredible torque, smooth handling, and surprising suspension make it perfect for both in-town and off-road adventures.
What’s more, this bike is a serious bargain at only $4340. Coming in at just over 300 pounds and turning out nearly 80 miles to the gallon, the V Star might just be the best bargain cruiser out there.
Harley Davidson Iron 883
This motorcycle is another true classic. Fun to ride and steeped in nostalgic styling, the Iron 883 is all about showing off its Evolution motor. And considering the abundant torque and the motor’s energetic vibrations, though, this $8999 cruiser is better for short rides than longer ones.
Indian Scout Sixty
The Scout Sixty may be a smaller (and less expensive) option to Indian’s standard Scout cruiser. Differences come from its smaller displacement and the fact that it has one less gear than the Scout. Yet the $9499 price tag doesn’t mean the Sixty’s 60ci motor is any less aggressive than its pricier Indian siblings.
Sporty. Customizable. Smooth as a dream.
If that sounds like the ideal roadster for you, it’s about time you check out the Yamaha Bolt. This bike showcases its small fuel tank, short fenders, and minimalist features in style. With a 942cc motor and a $7999 price tag, the only thing this cruiser is missing is another one for your ride-along.
Suzuki Boulevard S40
The Boulevard is one of the best-selling bikes for over 30 years for a reason. A classic look, powerful engines, and smooth-riding are only a few of the incredible features this line of cruisers have to offer. And the newest version– the S40– is no exception.
The Boulevard S40 features:
- 652cc single-cylinder motor
- 15-inch rear tires
- 19-inch front tires
- 28-inch seats
The rear drum brake, teardrop-shaped gas tank, and wire-spoked wheels also go a long way to give this bike its 50s feel. And with the 2019 version selling for under $5799, we think this cruiser is the perfect choice for new riders.
Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic
The Vulcan 900 Classic features an updated all-black style that looks just right with its liquid-cooled 903cc motor. The tires are meaty, wire-spoked, and white-walled for a ride that feels as impressive as it appears.
The Vulcan 900 Classic showcases floorboards and long-travel suspension, too. Along with its 5.3-gallon tank, these stats mean the 900 Classic is ready for long rides. Impressively, you can get all this for under $8000.
Honda Shadow Phantom
The Shadow has been around since the 1980s for a reason. And the Shadow Phantom’s beginner-friendly specs (26-inch seat height, 500-pound frame, and 745cc engine) are reminding newbies and old heads alike why the Shadow is so well-loved. Rear drum breaks and wire-spoked wheels round out this $7899 beast in classic cruiser style.
Last but certainly not least is the Star Bolt. Another customizable cruiser for picky riders, this bike perfectly combines a retro look with modern capabilities.
Round head- and taillights with bobbed fenders might have you confusing this new bike with something more classic. Yet the petal discs, carbon spoked wheels, and matte paint options offer an obviously new design.
If you want an agile cruiser with options to grow, you should know the Star Bolt comes in the R-Spec and C-Spec versions, too. The C-Spec comes in at just under $8700 while the R-Spec ($8390) and the original Star Bolt ($7990) will cost you a bit less.
More Best Cruisers and Motorcycles
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To always get the latest news from us, make sure you check out our New Models. And be on the lookout for our reports about the best cruisers and bikes of 2020.