If Americans were asked to choose one type of motorcycle to ride forever, most would probably choose a cruiser. Cruisers have been America’s favorite motorcycles since as early as the 1930s when young riders used to go around the country in search of adventure. People love cruisers for their low seats, loud and torquey engines, and relaxed riding position.
Cruisers aren’t typically associated with speed, which is why beginners prefer them over other types of motorcycles. Not all of them, though. Over the last few decades, manufacturers have produced cruisers that pack enough punch to obliterate some of the fastest superbikes. Let’s explore ten powerful cruisers that beginners should steer clear of.
Yamaha makes all kinds of motorcycles, from the best adventure bikes to sportbikes, café racers, and more. In 1985, Yamaha introduced the VMAX, proving that it could make a cruiser that could compete with the very best from their American rivals.
Everyone loves the VMAX’s distinctive design, shaft drive, and powerful 70-degree V4 engine. With a 170-hp 1,679cc V4 engine, the VMAX is the most powerful bike on this list.
Triumph Rocket 3 R
If there’s one British manufacturer you can always count on to build a proper cruiser bike, it’s Triumph. The Rocket 3 R is a perfect example of why Triumph has been on top for decades. For starters, the Rocket 3 R is arguably the best-looking bike on this list.
It also has the largest engine ever fitted in a motorcycle — a huge 2,458cc triple generating 165 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to a new lightweight all-aluminum frame, the Rocket 3 R can go from 0 to 60 in just 2.8 seconds, beating some of the fastest supercars.
Moto Guzzi Audace Carbon
“Audace” loosely translates to audacious, bold, or daring — everything this bike is about. Although it’s an Italian bike, the Audace Carbon has the classic American cruiser aesthetic we all love, and it’s blacked out to make it look more aggressive.
The Audace Carbon is powered by a 1,380cc V-Twin engine, producing 96 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. As the name suggests, it’s mostly made of carbon fiber to reduce weight, which means it’s extremely quick.
Ducati Diavel 1260
Ducati is mostly known for producing incredibly fast sportbikes like the Panigale V4, Streetfighter, and more. When the Italian manufacturer decided to join the cruiser market, it did so with a worthy competitor — the Diavel 1260. The Diavel 1260 is sleek, comfortable, and, best of all, insanely fast.
Powered by a 1,198cc engine with 162 hp on tap, the Diavel 1260 can accelerate to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, thanks to a weight of just 480 lbs.
Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.
Just like Ducati, Suzuki is known for its high-performance sportbikes. This is the company that gave us the Katana, Gixxer, and the iconic Hayabusa that held the production motorcycle speed record in the ’90s. However, Suzuki also produces reliable, comfortable, and beautifully designed cruisers — the Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S is the best of them all.
The M109R is powered by a 1,783cc V-Twin with dual overhead camshafts, lightweight slipper-type pistons, and four valves per cylinder. It produces 125 hp, enough to make the M109R superfast.
Honda Gold Wing
To many motorcycle enthusiasts, the Honda Gold Wing is the most utilitarian cruiser motorcycle available today. Since Honda introduced the Gold Wing, it has become so popular that it’s now available in five different trims.
Although the Gold Wing is one of the heaviest cruisers, it comes with a 1,833cc water-cooled flat-six engine generating 125 hp, ensuring it can keep up with smaller cruisers. This is paired with Honda’s patented double-wishbone front end, a neutral riding position, and a deeper lean angle to make it fun on twists and turns.
In 2011, renowned actor Keanu Reeves established Arch Motorcycles, aiming to take on the likes of Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles in the American cruiser motorcycles market. Less than a decade later, the company unveiled its flagship motorcycle — the KRGT-1.
Everything about this bike is top-class, starting with the massive 2.0-liter V-Twin that produces 122 hp and an equal amount of torque. The KRGT-1 also has a race-derived swing arm, ISR monoblocks, lightweight carbon fiber wheels, and a Yoshimura exhaust.
Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
No cruiser motorcycles list would be complete without a Harley-Davidson. For the last century, Harley-Davidson has made its name as one of the top cruiser motorcycle producers, and the CVO Road Glide is one of the most powerful bikes from the American marque.
The CVO Road Glide is equipped with Harley’s most powerful V-Twin ever — a 1,923cc monster generating 105 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque. At around $42,000, the CVO Road Glide is one of the most expensive motorcycles you can buy.
Indian Motorcycles is one of the oldest manufacturers in the world, having been around for more than a century. The company uses its decades of experience to build amazing bikes, one of which is the Scout.
The Scout draws its power from a 1,130cc V-Twin mill, pumping out 100 hp and 72 lb-ft of torque. Since it weighs just over 500 lbs, it takes 3.8 seconds to get to 60 mph and will go on to reach a top speed of 125 mph.
Moto Guzzi MGX-21
Another fantastic cruiser by Moto Guzzi, the MGX-21 is the kind of bike we imagine Batman would ride. This bike looks cool with its cyclops headlight, curved windscreen, and transverse engine with protruding heads on both sides.
The MGX-21 also has the power to match its looks, thanks to a 1,380cc V-Twin blurting out 95 hp. Buyers also get clever technologies like cruise control and traction control to make long rides safer and more enjoyable.
While some people modify their sportbikes to be more aesthetically pleasing rather than faster, we would still take them to the track or drag strip!
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