Cruisers and tourers are both types of motorcycles that prioritize comfort and are ideal for extended rides covering long distances. Nevertheless, they diverge significantly in terms of their configuration and performance characteristics. Nowadays, there are numerous cruiser and tourer models designed to cater to beginners, granting novice riders the opportunity to experience the capabilities of these long-distance motorcycles.
To assess which of these two motorcycle types aligns better with your lifestyle, it is necessary to compare and contrast their features. Cruisers are known for their low-slung designs, relaxed riding positions, and iconic American style. They often boast V-twin engines, emphasizing torque over high-speed performance. On the other hand, tourers, as the name suggests, are tailored for long distance touring, equipped with larger fairings, windshields, and comfortable seats. They provide ample storage options and focus on rider and passenger comfort, making them ideal for extended journeys.
Do you want a laid-back, relaxed ride? Get a cruiser
Indeed, cruisers are aptly named for their emphasis on the joy of cruising and the freedom of the open road. Unlike sportbikes or high-performance motorcycles, cruisers are not primarily designed for speed or aggressive performance. Instead, they prioritize a laid-back and leisurely riding experience, allowing riders to savor the journey and take in the scenery.
The design philosophy of cruisers revolves around comfort and a relaxed ergonomics package. This often includes tall handlebars, a low seat height, and forward foot controls. The tall handlebars provide an upright riding position, reducing strain on the rider’s back and shoulders. The low seat height ensures easy access to the ground, making stops and maneuvering more convenient. Additionally, the forward foot controls extend the rider’s legs in front, creating a laid-back and stretched-out riding stance.
The combination of these ergonomic features not only enhances rider comfort but also encourages a more casual and unhurried style of riding. Cruisers are well-suited for leisurely rides, scenic routes, and enjoying the sheer pleasure of being on two wheels without the pressure of high-speed performance.
Is performance important to you? Consider a sport-tourer
Sport-tourers represent a unique blend of comfort and performance, combining elements from both touring and sportbike categories. These motorcycles are designed to provide a thrilling riding experience while maintaining the practicality and comfort required for long-distance journeys. Sport-tourers often share the underlying platform with their sportbike counterparts, such as the BMW S 1000 XR, which shares similarities with the race-focused S 1000 RR. This means they inherit some of the high-performance features and cutting-edge technology from sportbikes, offering powerful engines, agile handling, and advanced suspension systems.
However, what sets sport-tourers apart is their focus on rider comfort and long-distance capabilities. They typically feature more upright and relaxed riding positions compared to pure sportbikes. The handlebars are positioned higher, the footpegs are slightly lower and further forward, and the seats are designed to accommodate extended hours of riding without causing fatigue.
Are you a shorter rider, or intimidated by a tall seat? A cruiser might be right for you.
Cruisers are well-known for their exceptionally low seat heights, making them some of the shortest motorcycles available, even lower than many scooters. For instance, the Honda Rebel 500 boasts a seat height of merely 690 millimeters, while a Vespa S 125 stands at 785 millimeters. This attribute makes cruisers particularly well-suited for shorter riders and lady riders, offering them a comfortable and confidence-inspiring riding experience both on open roads and highways. Despite their low profile, cruisers retain the ability to venture on extended journeys, providing a perfect balance of accessibility and adventure for riders of all statures.
What are good tourers for beginner riders?
For beginner riders looking to explore the world of touring motorcycles, several great options warrant consideration. Among them is the CFMOTO 400 GT, sharing its platform with the dependable CFMOTO 400NK. This touring bike offers a manageable engine size and comfortable ergonomics, making it an excellent choice for those eager to embark on long-distance adventures.
Another noteworthy option is the BMW G 310 GS, which leans more towards the adventure-tourer segment. With its blend of adventure and practicality, this bike proves ideal for daily commuting while offering the occasional thrill of off-road escapades.
For those seeking a more robust platform to learn on, the Kawasaki Versys 650 presents an appealing choice. While it boasts a heavier weight and a taller seat height, it compensates with its excellent rideability, making it an exceptional touring motorcycle to master, provided you are comfortable with its size.
What are some cruisers worth considering for newbies?
As mentioned earlier, cruisers are popular among beginners due to their lower seat height, making them more accessible and manageable for new riders. Notably, many novices find it easier to handle larger cruisers. For instance, the Harley-Davidson Nightster and Indian Scout stand out as excellent choices with their powerful American V-twin engines, offering both style and performance.
For riders seeking a premium model that they can grow into, the Triumph Bonneville Bobber is a top contender. This bike not only embodies British heritage and engineering but also provides an engaging riding experience that riders can easily develop their skills with over time.
Additionally, for those who want tried-and-true options, the Honda Rebel 500 and Kawasaki Vulcan S are popular choices among beginners, offering reliability, comfort, and versatility. For city riders, bikes like the Royal Enfield Meteor or Classic 350 are highly recommended. These models excel in maneuverability, making them well-suited for navigating through urban environments while still delivering a classic and stylish riding experience.