Cruiser Motorcycles
Consumer Research Solutions, Inc.

Cruiser Motorcycles

Price Range
$4,349-$23,995
Top Models
Honda Rebel 500
Kawasaki Vulcan S
Harley-Davidson Superlow
Engine Size Range
249 cc-1,868 cc

Cruisers are typically lower and longer than standard bikes, with lower seating positions. While their rider posture and leaned-back forks give them a healthy dose of style, they’re best for riders with some experience. The classic examples come from Harley-Davidson, but several manufacturers build bikes that fit into the category. Cruiser designs are available at a wide variety of price points, from just over $4,300 to well over $21,000. The addition of accessories and options to personalize the bikes can push their prices much higher. The $7,600 Harley-Davidson Street 750 and affordable $4,349 Yamaha V Star 250 are examples of cruisers.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/


What Is a Cruiser Motorcycle?

Cruiser motorcycles have a very distinct look. Their styling is reminiscent of American bikes from the 1930s to 1960s, and the vast majority of models are equipped with a V-twin engine. The other telltale sign is a relaxed foot-forward riding position; cruisers typically have a low seat, wide handlebars, and foot pegs pushed toward the front of the bike. This layout emphasizes rider comfort, and it makes the cruiser a great option for commuting or leisure riding.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Cruiser Brands

A number of motorcycle companies offer cruisers. These include European brands like Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and Triumph. All of the Japanese "Big Four" brands sell cruisers: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. The long-dormant Indian motorcycle company has recently returned, and its lineup includes cruiser models as well.

That being said, no brand is more synonymous with this category than Harley-Davidson. Harley was one of the first brands to offer a cruiser motorcycle in the 1970s, and it emerged as a sales juggernaut in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Even today, Harley-Davidson has over a dozen cruiser models to choose from – far more than any other company.

Cruiser History

Today’s cruisers are largely inspired by American motorcycles from the 1930s to 1960s, such as the Harley-Davidson EL, FL, and K Model, as well as the Indian Scout and Chief. These v-twin bikes were popular among riders for their speed and comfort. Over time, they became a blank canvas for customizers, who would upgrade their bikes by swapping parts from other models, like fuel tanks, fenders, handlebars, wheels, and suspension. 

At first, this custom motorcycle scene was small, but movies like 1969’s "Easy Rider" catapulted it into the mainstream. Within a few years, all the major manufacturers began offering their own factory-built customs, using a mixture of existing parts and pieces from their lineup. These came to be known as cruisers.

The 1971 Harley-Davidson FX 1200 Super Glide is widely regarded as the first – it used parts from the FL and XL models. The FX was followed by bikes like the Kawasaki KZ900LTD, Suzuki GS-550 Low Slinger, and Triumph T140D-Special. All-new motorcycles soon arrived with similar styling, like the Yamaha Virago, Honda Shadow, and Harley-Davidson Softail.

The "power cruiser" segment evolved shortly after with the introduction of the Yamaha VMAX and its big four-cylinder engine. These bikes push the boundaries of cruiser acceleration, as well as styling and handling. Today, the power cruiser class also includes the Ducati XDiavel, Harley-Davidson FXDR 114, and Suzuki Boulevard M109R.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Should I Buy a Cruiser Motorcycle?

There are a lot of great options if you’re shopping for a cruiser motorcycle. Ultimately though, your lifestyle will dictate if a cruiser is right for you, or not.

Consider a cruiser if you plan to use a motorcycle for everyday commuting or weekend leisure riding. Cruisers typically have a softer suspension than many other motorcycle styles, and this helps to filter out bumps and dips in the road, yielding a smooth ride. Cruisers also tend to have a low seat, high and wide handlebars, and foot pegs near the front of the bike. This puts the rider in a neutral or slightly reclined position, making it more comfortable to ride long distances. The low seat also makes it easy to walk the bike when stopped or in slow-moving traffic.

On the other hand, you should skip cruisers if you plan to ride very long distances, especially at highway speeds. A touring motorcycle would be a better option, like the Honda Gold Wing or Indian Roadmaster. These bikes have a windshield and large fairings that cut the wind and reduce rider fatigue. Tourers also come standard with saddlebags, which can securely hold cargo and keep it dry.

It’s a similar story if you want a motorcycle with sharp handling. Cruisers are fine for winding around corners, but sport bikes are better at taming those turns. These compact models have an aggressive hunched-over seating position and a near-vertical front suspension, providing riders with more control over the bike. Sportbikes are also designed to lean further into turns.

Cruiser Pros and Cons

    • Relaxed foot-forward seating position

    • Comfortable ride on uneven pavement

    • Easy to keep steady and walk in stop-and-go traffic

    • Strong engines that provide brisk off-the-line acceleration

    • Popular segment with a wide range of models and prices

    • Ideal for customization (lots of aftermarket add-ons like saddlebags, windscreens, lights, and passenger seats)

    • Relatively few options for beginners

    • Not particularly agile compared to standards or sportbikes

    • Fewer high-tech features than other segments (built-in navigation and infotainment systems are uncommon)

Cruiser Motorcycle Prices

Buying a new cruiser motorcycle can cost anywhere from $4,400 to $24,000. The average price is about $12,100, according to our analysis. Bikes at the low end of this spectrum typically have smaller engines, and they often hail from Japanese brands like Honda and Yamaha. Paying more can get you a motorcycle with a larger engine and stronger acceleration. In some cases, this is a difference of just $2,000 to $3,000. In others, it can be two or three times that. For instance, the Triumph and Moto Guzzi brands don’t offer any cruisers for less than $11,000.

Key Cruiser Specs

There are dozens of cruiser models to choose from. Most follow a similar recipe though. Almost all cruisers are equipped with a V-twin engine, ranging in displacement from around 500 cc all the way up to 1800 cc. Today’s cruisers typically weigh between 500 and 700 pounds. Most have a seat height of between 26 and 30 inches as well, which is lower than other motorcycle styles.

The Top 10 Cruiser Motorcycles

1) Honda Rebel 500

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2019 Honda Rebel 500

MSRP
$6,199
Engine Size/Displacement
471 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

Compared to the Rebel 300, stepping up to the Rebel 500 gets you a larger 471cc parallel-twin engine. Both of these models come standard with a six-speed transmission, a 2.9-gallon fuel tank, electric start, a digital gauge cluster, disc brakes, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Optional accessories include a rear passenger seat, saddlebags, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Curb Weight
408 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3 gal
Engine Type
Parallel Twin
Seat Height
27.2 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

2) Kawasaki Vulcan S

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2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S

MSRP
$7,099
Engine Size/Displacement
649 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Vulcan S line makes up Kawasaki’s sport cruiser option, and is powered by a liquid-cooled 649 cubic centimeters (cc) parallel-twin engine borrowed from the Ninja lineup that makes 46.3 pound-feet of torque. This bike also features a six-speed transmission, twin-piston front brakes and single-piston rear brakes, an 18-inch front and 17-inch rear tire, and a 3.7-gallon fuel tank.

Curb Weight
491.7 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.7 gal
Engine Type
Parallel Twin
Seat Height
27.8 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

3) Harley-Davidson Superlow

The Superlow Sportster has the classic Harley-Davidson look that many riders have adored for decades – a touch of chrome, a big air-cooled V-twin, and a low-slung silhouette. If that sounds like what you want in a cruiser, take this Harley for a test ride.

The Harley-Davidson Superlow (MSRP: $8,699) packs an 883 cc V-twin with 55 pound-feet of torque at a very-usable 3,750 rpm. Despite that muscle, the Superlow can still return a high 51 mpg. Standard equipment includes a five-speed transmission, a 4.5-gallon fuel tank, electric start, analog gauges, disc brakes, and staggered 18- and 17-inch alloy wheels. ABS is optional for $795.

4) Indian Scout Sixty

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2019 Indian Scout Sixty

MSRP
$9,499
Engine Size/Displacement
1000 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Indian Scout Sixty is outfitted with a liquid-cooled 1,000 cubic centimeters V-twin engine – that’s 60 cubic inches – and it produces 78 horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque. Standard equipment includes a five-speed transmission, a 3.3-gallon fuel tank, two-piston front brakes, single-piston rear brakes, 16-inch wheels, and a single gauge. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is available.

Curb Weight
542 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.3 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
25.8 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

5) Suzuki Boulevard S40

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2019 Suzuki Boulevard S40

MSRP
$5,799
Engine Size/Displacement
652 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Suzuki Boulevard S40 is an outstanding value in the cruiser segment, and a great option for smaller and lighter riders. The S40 starts at just $5,799, making it one of the cheapest cruisers on sale. That low price doesn’t come at the expense of performance either. The S40 has an air-cooled 652 cc single-cylinder engine with plenty of power for hustling down the road. It weighs in at a manageable 381 pounds with a full tank of fuel as well. The S40’s vintage appearance is bound to turn heads. It’s a mix of black paint, chrome, and stainless steel – and the overall look is very clean. Standard features include a five-speed transmission, a 2.8-gallon fuel tank, electric start, a long two-up seat, front disc and rear drum brakes, and staggered 19- and 15-inch wire wheels.

Curb Weight
381 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
2.8 gal
Engine Type
Single-Cylinder
Seat Height
27.6 in
Carburetion
Carburetor

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

6) Yamaha Bolt

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2019 Yamaha Bolt

MSRP
$7,999
Engine Size/Displacement
942 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Bolt has a 942 cc air-cooled V-twin and a five-speed transmission. It also wears short “bobbed” fenders and a blacked-out paint scheme, giving it an aggressive and custom-built look. Standard features include a 3.4-gallon fuel tank, electric start, a digital gauge, front and rear disc brakes, and staggered 19- and 16-inch wire wheels.

Curb Weight
542 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.4 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
27.2 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

7) Honda Shadow Phantom

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2019 Honda Shadow Phantom

MSRP
$7,899
Engine Size/Displacement
745 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Honda Shadow Phantom is an interpretation of the classic American cruiser. While the Rebel looks minimalist and modern, the Shadow has a vintage look with a lot more chrome and a bigger 745 cc V-twin engine. Standard equipment includes a five-speed transmission, a 3.7-gallon fuel tank, an analog gauge, front disc and rear drum brakes, and staggered 17- and 15-inch wire wheels. The Shadow Aero ($7,599) is mechanically the same, but has different styling like longer fenders. Optional accessories for the Shadow models include a windscreen, an audio system, saddlebags, and ABS.

Curb Weight
549 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.7 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
25.8 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

8) Harley-Davidson Street Bob

Harley-Davidson

2019 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

MSRP
$14,549
Engine Size/Displacement
1746 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The lightest and most affordable Softail cruiser from Harley-Davidson, the Street Bob has a 1,746 cc V-twin engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission. A low seat height helps accommodate a variety of riders, and mid-rise bars provide an upright seating position. Standard features include digital instrumentation and keyless ignition. Four-piston front and two-piston rear brakes are standard, along with a security system. ABS is optional.

Curb Weight
653 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.5 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
26.8 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details.

9) Indian Chief Dark Horse

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2019 Indian Chief Dark Horse

MSRP
$18,499
Engine Size/Displacement
1,811 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The base model Indian Chief Dark Horse has a six-speed transmission, a 5.5-gallon fuel tank, 16-inch alloy wheels, ABS, four-piston front brakes, two-piston rear brakes, cruise control, and keyless ignition. Unlike the Scout, the Chief’s gauge is mounted to the fuel tank. The "Dark Horse" moniker refers to the bike’s styling. It sports a matte-black paint scheme for a modern, aggressive look.

Curb Weight
764 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
5.5 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
26 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

10) Honda Fury

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2019 Honda Fury

MSRP
$10,599
Engine Size/Displacement
1,312 cc
Bike Type
Chopper

The Honda Fury is unmistakably a chopper. Its raked front fork stretches forward, its handle bars are set high, and its seat is about as close to the wide rear wheel as it can get. All in all, it’s a real mean-looking machine. The Fury packs a 1312 cc V-twin and a five-speed transmission, as well as a 3.4-gallon fuel tank, digital gauges, an adjustable rear shock, disc brakes, and staggered 21- and 18-inch alloy wheels. A windscreen and ABS are optional.

Curb Weight
663 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.4 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
26.9 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Best Cruiser Motorcycle for Beginners

Honda Rebel 300

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2019 Honda Rebel 300

MSRP
$4,499
Engine Size/Displacement
286 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The Rebel 300 is the least-expensive cruising motorcycle sold by Honda, and it’s also the best choice for novice riders. Its 286 cc single-cylinder engine should plenty of punch for day-to-day commuting, but its power and throttle response likely won’t be overwhelming for new riders like some larger engines can be. The Rebel also weighs a fairly light 364 pounds, so it’s easy to keep steady when stopped or in slow traffic.

Curb Weight
364 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3 gal
Engine Type
Single-Cylinder
Seat Height
27.2 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Yamaha V Star 250

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2019 Yamaha V Star 250

MSRP
$4,349
Engine Size/Displacement
249 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

Starting at just $4,349, the V Star 250 is one of the least-expensive models in the 2019 Yamaha lineup. It’s also one of the best options for beginners. The V Star has a 249 cc air-cooled V-twin engine, which provides enough muscle for everyday riding, but delivers that power in a way that isn’t overwhelming for new riders. Yamaha rates the bike’s gas mileage at a very efficient 78 mpg. The V Star is fairly lightweight at 326 pounds as well, making it easy to keep steady when stopped or in slow traffic. Standard equipment includes a five-speed transmission, a 2.5-gallon fuel tank, analog gauges, an electric starter, front disc and rear drum brakes, and staggered 18- and 15-inch wire wheels. The V Star’s appearance is very retro-inspired, and it’s capped off with a sleek silver-and-blue paint scheme and lots of chrome accents.

Curb Weight
326 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
2.5 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
27 in
Carburetion
Carburetor

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

Harley-Davidson Street 500

Harley-Davidson

2019 Harley-Davidson Street 500

MSRP
$6,899
Engine Size/Displacement
494 cc
Bike Type
Cruiser

The lightest and most affordable motorcycle in the Harley-Davidson lineup, the Street 500 is the closest you’ll find to an entry-level model from the brand. It features a narrow frame and a low seat height for an easy reach, and blacked-out styling for an aggressive look. Powered by a 494 cc liquid cooled two-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission, the Street 500 has two-piston disc brakes in the front and rear. Options include ABS and a security system.

Curb Weight
514 lbs
Transmission Type
Manual
Gas Tank Capacity
3.5 gal
Engine Type
V Twin
Seat Height
28.3 in
Carburetion
Fuel Injected

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details.

Cruiser vs. Sport Bikes

Sport bikes are about as different from cruisers as it gets. These high-performance motorcycles are built for straight line speed and carving along switchback roads, and their appearance is inspired by road racing bikes. You can easily spot one thanks to its aerodynamic bodywork and hunched-over riding position. These aren’t exactly comfortable bikes to ride long distance.

Sport bike engines tend to differ as well. It’s common to see models with inline two-, three-, and four-cylinder engines that develop peak power high in the rev range. By comparison, the V-twin engine is a cruiser staple and these motors typically favor low-end torque. The one commonality is pricing. Both segments have a similar $4,500 to $25,000 price range.

All in all, take your needs into consideration when choosing between these motorcycles. If you want a bike for commuting or laid-back weekend riding, a cruiser is a better and comfier fit. If you want a motorcycle with razor-sharp handling that won’t see daily use or long road trips, a sport bike may be for you.

Cruiser vs. Standard Motorcycles

Standard motorcycles are good do-it-all bikes, and they offer some of the best qualities of the cruiser and sportbike categories. Generally speaking, standards have an upright riding position that is comfortable for commuting and longer trips, yet they provide nimbler handling than a lot of cruisers. You can find practically any size and type of engine fitted to a standard bike – from small single cylinders, to torquey V-twins, to high-revving three cylinders. There are also more brands and styles to choose from. Pricing for both segments is pretty similar.

Before settling on a cruiser, take a few standards for a test ride. There’s something for everyone in this diverse segment.

Cruiser vs. Touring Motorcycles

If you’re looking for a motorcycle to ride cross country, or just across the state, a tourer is the bike for you. Touring motorcycles have windscreens and fairings that make highway travel more comfortable. These bikes typically offer more-advanced features than cruisers, like navigation and infotainment systems, Bluetooth connectivity, traction control, and even air bags. Touring motorcycles also have larger fuel tanks to maximize driving range.

One of the most obvious differences is cargo-carrying ability. You can equip many cruisers with soft saddlebags (these bikes are often referred to as "baggers"). Touring bikes come standard with saddlebags though, which are typically hard-sided, lockable, and waterproof. Tourers are often optional with large trunk cases as well.

On the other hand, a cruiser is a better starting point if you don’t plan on piling on the miles. Cruisers tend to cost a lot less than comparable touring motorcycles. They usually weigh less too, making them easier to maneuver in city traffic.

Cruiser vs. Dual-Sport Motorcycles

Dual-sport motorcycles are kind of like street-legal dirt bikes. These motorcycles comply with road safety regulations – they have turn signals, brake lights, mirrors, et cetera – but they are really designed for tackling off-road terrain. You get skid plates, tires with aggressive tread, and long-travel suspension for soaking up big bumps, but not much else.

As a result, these motorcycles tend to be very lightweight and inexpensive. You can find a dozen dual-sport models for sale in the $4,500 to $7,000 price range, like the Honda CRF250L and Suzuki DR200S. Dual-sport bikes typically have smaller engine sizes as well, anywhere from 200 cc to 650 cc. This mix of low price, light weight, and relatively low power make the dual-sport an ideal option for beginners.

Dual-sport bikes aren’t for everyone though. They tend to be underpowered for highway riding. They can also feel tippy due to their higher seat height, especially for riders with short legs. If you have no interest in venturing off road – stick with a cruiser.

Motorcycle Brands

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Known for
Cruisers
Top Models
Harley-Davidson Iron 883
Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114
Founded
1903

William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson started Harley-Davidson in a Milwaukee, Wis. garage. The year was 1903, and their first design essentially fit a small engine onto a bicycle frame. The company grew quickly into the 1920s, with innovations such as the now-iconic V-Twin engine design driving the company’s growth. Through the years, the company has seen a series of ups and downs, with several bouts of financial hardship. It was sold by conglomerate AMF to company executives in 1981 and remains independent of other companies. Harley is still Milwaukee-based, though the king of American motorcycles also builds bikes in York, Penn., India, Brazil, and Thailand. Bikes for sales in the American market are still manufactured in America. The company is known for its big, brash cruiser and touring models, with plenty of flash, distinctive exhaust notes, and big price tags. Limited edition models are priced as high as $44,000. Traditionally aimed at experienced motorcycle enthusiasts, the company is evolving with new motorcycles, such as the Street 500, with prices and performance that can be managed by customers getting their first two-wheelers. Prices of Harley-Davidson bikes start at $6,899 for the Street 500 and climb to almost $44,000 for a CVO Limited touring bike. The average base price of a new Harley is $20,338. Harley owners frequently add thousands of dollars’ worth of add-ons to their bikes.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details.

 

Honda Motorcycles
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Honda Motorcycles

Known for
Cruisers, Dirt Bikes, Sport Bikes, Standard
Top Models
Honda Shadow
Honda Gold Wing
Honda Rebel 500
Founded
1949

Based in Japan, Honda is a multinational manufacturer of everything from lawnmowers to business jets. Now known for its high-quality cars and award-winning SUVs, it was founded as a motorcycle manufacturer in the period following World War II. Today Honda sells a vast array of new motorcycle models. If there’s a category of motorcycle, Honda likely has a product that actively competes in it, from urban scooters to powerful, luxurious touring bikes. Honda motorcycle prices range from around $1,500 for small air-cooled dirt bikes to $31,800 for a loaded 2019 Honda Gold Wing Tour with an airbag and automatic transmission. The average price for a Honda motorcycle is about $9,700. That’s the lowest average base price among major motorcycle companies. Shoppers looking for their first motorcycle have plenty to choose from in the Honda motorcycle lineup. The Honda CB300F has a low starting price of $4,349, a simple “naked bike” design, reliable fuel injection, and a small enough engine to qualify for low insurance rates.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Indian Motorcycles
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Indian Motorcycles

Known for
Cruisers
Top Models
Indian Scout
Indian Scout Bobber
Indian Scout Sixty
Founded
1901

Though it has not been in constant operation, the Indian Motorcycle Company name has been around since 1901, with its iconic Scout and Chief models coming to the market in the 1920s. After several aborted restarts following its 1953 closure, the company was reborn in 2013. It now operates as part of Polaris, a company that builds vehicles ranging from snowmobiles to all-terrain vehicles and boats. Indian builds six basic models, including the Scout and Chief cruisers, the Chieftain, and Roadmaster touring bikes, and the flat-track racing-inspired FTR 1200 (which fits in the standard bike category). Indian Motorcycle prices range from about $9,000 to $37,000. The average cost for an Indian bike is about $20,800, which is the highest average price among major motorcycle companies. Most Indian models will appeal to experienced riders, rather than novices, due to their price, weight, and power. Other bike makers have more extensive lineups than Indian.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Kawasaki Motorcycles
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Kawasaki Motorcycles

Known for
Sport Bikes
Top Models
Kawasaki Ninja H2
Kawasaki Vulcan S
Kawasakin Ninja 400
Founded
1969

Kawasaki’s history dates to 1878 when the Japanese company began building ships in Tokyo. The company has grown to be one of Japan's largest conglomerates, producing everything from aircraft and ships to bridges. In 1969, Kawasaki began manufacturing motorcycles. Today, the company builds several lines of leisure vehicles, including Jet Skis, all-terrain vehicles, and motorcycles. Their bike range spans all types, from youth dirt bikes to well-equipped touring motorcycles. Included in the lineup are specialized models, such as the $9,799 retro classic W800, which is one of several Kawasaki bikes styled after café racers. The KLR 650 is a popular dual-sport model, with a price tag of $6,699. Though there are many models in Kawasaki’s lineup that perform well as beginner motorcycles, the brand has built a reputation for their sport, supersport, and hypersport Ninja lineup. They currently offer more than 30 road-legal Ninja models with prices ranging from $4,999 to $32,500. The average price of all models marketed by Kawasaki is a little over $12,000.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Triumph Motorcycles
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Triumph Motorcycles

Known for
Standard
Top Models
Triumph Bonneville
Triumph Rocket 3
Triumph Street Scrambler
Founded
1902

The roots of Triumph motorcycles date back to 1883 when a predecessor to the current company began building bicycles. In 1902, the company built its first Triumph motorcycle. It survived two world wars and emerged as a major exporter of motorcycles to the United States. Facing stiff competition from more reliable Japanese-made bikes, Triumph struggled to stay in business, eventually going into receivership in 1983. It emerged under new ownership, with new models arriving by 1991. The current Triumph lineup includes sport, standard, dual-sport, and cruiser motorcycles. One of their most popular model families is the dual-sport Tiger 800, which starts at $12,000 and blends the company's inline-three-cylinder engine with a host of technologies including multiple electronic riding mode setups and LED lighting. At the pinnacle of the Triumph lineup is the factory custom Rocket 3 TFC, of which only 750 will be made. It has a price tag starting at $29,000. In the core of the Triumph lineup, the least expensive bike is the $9,300 Triumph Street Twin. Looking at all of the bikes available from Triumph – except for the pricey limited-edition models – the average base price is about $14,350.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Yamaha Motorcycles
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Yamaha Motorcycles

Known for
Sport Bikes, Dirt Bikes
Top Models
Yamaha YZF-R1
Yamaha YZF-R6
Yamaha YZF-R3
Founded
1955

The Yamaha Corporation was formed in 1887 as a producer of reed organs and pianos. Following World War II, the company's surviving wartime industrial machinery was repurposed to produce motorcycles, and the Yamaha Motor Company was split off from the piano maker in 1955. Today, the Yamaha Motor Company builds everything from snow blowers to personal watercraft and, of course, a wide array of motorcycles. Yamaha’s inventory of two-wheeled vehicles ranges from the $2,599 Zuma 50F scooter to the high-tech $24,999 Star Venture touring bike. The Star Venture includes features such as a reverse gear, throttle-by-wire, and an integrated infotainment and communications system. The average base price for Yamaha models is $11,264. One of the brand’s most popular models is the Yamaha YZF-R6, a supersport bike styled after the company’s MotoGP racing bikes. It has a starting price of $12,199.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/


Other Types of Motorcycles

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Dirt Bikes

Price Range
$899-$11,999
Top Models
Yamaha YZ125
Honda CRF250R
Yamaha YZ250
Engine Size Range
79 cc-510 cc

A true dirt bike has aggressive tires, an upright ride, a tall seat, and plenty of suspension travel to soak up bumps and ruts. They’re typically not street legal, as they don’t have lights or other mandatory road-going equipment. Dirt bikes are available from tiny models suitable for kids to powerful competition models. The $6,699 2020 Yamaha YZ125X is an example of a lightweight, maneuverable dirt bike with a simple two-stroke engine. Riding on dirt is an excellent way to learn how to handle a motorcycle, according to many experts. However, the tall seats of many dirt bikes make them ill-suited for shorter riders.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

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Dual-Sport Motorcycles

Price Range
$4,499-$24,395
Top Models
Honda Africa Twin
Royal Enfield Himalayan
Yamaha TW200
Engine Size Range
125 cc-1,301 cc

A dual-sport (or on-off road) bike blends the features of a dirt bike with the equipment necessary to be ridden on the highway, such as lights. They’re motorcycles that you can ride to work Monday through Friday, then carve through trails on the weekend. They tend to be lightweight and easy to handle, while also being extremely tough. The $5,499 2019 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 is an example of a dual-sport bike with a versatile design and optional anti-lock brakes for an additional layer of safety. A subset of the dual-sport class are Supermoto bikes, which are a bit more tuned for the street, but still have substantial off-road credibility.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Sport Bikes
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Sport Bikes

Price Range
$4,599-$40,000
Top Models
Suzuki Hayabusa
Honda CBR600RR
Kawasaki Ninja 650
Engine Size Range
248 cc-1,441 cc

Looking for the ultimate in two-wheeled performance? You’ll want to be shopping for a sport bike. With potent engines, nimble handling, and high-performance tires, sport bikes are designed to move. They typically feature sleek designs with plenty of aerodynamic sculpting to cut through the wind. If a dirt bike is a Jeep Wrangler, a sport bike is a Porsche 911. With top-end performance that rivals the acceleration of supercars, sport bikes aren’t for everyone. The typical riding position is hunched far forward, making the bikes uncomfortable for long road trips. The extreme performance of high-end models leads to some of the highest motorcycle insurance rates you’ll find. The sport bike is best exemplified by lineups such as the Kawasaki Ninja range and Honda CBR models. Prices range from about $4,700 for a basic Honda CBR300R to more than $32,000 for a Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon with a supercharged four-cylinder engine.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Standard Motorcycles

Price Range
$2,099-$45,998
Top Models
Honda Grom
Honda Monkey
Suzuki SV650
Engine Size Range
125 cc-1,679 cc

Standard motorcycles are basic, stripped-down models without a lot of extras from the factory. They're kind of like the compact economy cars of the motorcycle world, with enough utility for a variety of riding conditions, but reasonable price tags. Standard motorcycles, which are sometimes called naked motorcycles, are great for beginners and those riders who are looking for basic transportation without wanting to break the bank on more specialized models. You can add accessories like saddlebags and backrests, but most standard bikes won’t include them. Prices for standard bikes range from about $4,300 to around $15,500. At the top end of the class are sporty models from Indian, including the FTR 1200 S with a designed inspired by racing bikes. Riders can expect an upright riding position, small to medium-sized engines, and a variety of models with varying levels of tech hardware. Top-end models include features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), LED lighting, and digital instrument panels. Examples of standard bikes include the one-cylinder Honda CB300F, which has a base price of $4,349, and the Triumph Street Twin, with a base price of $9,300.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

Consumer Research Solutions, Inc

Touring Motorcycles

Price Range
$8,999-$43,889
Top Models
Indian Chieftain
Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Harley-Davidson Road King
Engine Size Range
645 cc-1,923 cc

Touring motorcycles are designed for long-distance road trips. Like the luxury cars of the motorcycle market, touring bikes are offered with weather-protected room for luggage, security alarms, comfortable seats, navigation systems, and large windscreens to help shield you from the elements. Large and heavy, touring bikes are best enjoyed by experienced riders. Prices on touring motorcycles range from about $8,400 to nearly $44,000 for limited-edition Harley-Davidson models. Two classic examples of touring bikes are the Honda Gold Wing and Harley-Davidson Road King. The Honda Gold Wing lineup starts at $23,800 and can be equipped with features including Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, an automatic transmission, and cruise control. The chrome-laden Harley Road King pricing starts at $19,499. It offers an optional package of advanced electronic rider assistance aids to help you maintain control when you have to react quickly.

This information was pulled from the manufacturer's website as well as from our partner Rollick and was accurate at the time of writing. Check with your local dealership for the latest details. Image copyright: 2004 – 2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS): http://crs-corp.com/

 

 

Motorcycle shoppers have hundreds of options to choose from. Use our Motorcycle Guide to find the right bike for you.

Image Copyright: 2004-2019 Consumer Research Solutions, Inc (CRS)