Wednesday, 5 March 2014

18 Things You Can Do On A Cruiser But Not On A Sportbike

For a variety of reasons I have not been able to dedicate much time to blogging lately. I’d like to say it was because I was off on some incredible motorcycle adventure to fantastic and awe-inspiring places, but it’s been much more mundane than that, although a trip to Las Vegas for a visit with my money was one of the distractions in there. At any rate it’s times like this I am happy to receive requests to do a guest post so On Two Wheels doesn’t go dark for too long.
This post was suggested and written by Stephen Warde of Extreme Motorcycle Fairings.

A cruiser is a classic model of motorcycle which is quite different from the conventional ones. With a lower seat and higher handle bars, a cruiser looks majestic. It can give the rider a completely different look and is sure to turn heads when it rolls down the road. Cruisers are not sportbikes and don’t belong on a race track. These bikes are purely meant for the joy of riding, and bikers need to stick to that instead of trying to make them satisfy their racing needs. For those who want to take the racetrack by storm, a cruiser is not the option. Over the last few years several improvements have been made in automotive technology which have in turn made cruisers a lot more efficient than before. Nowadays cruisers are used all over the world by avid bikers who want to have a different biking experience. This has led to an expansion in the market for cruisers and buyers nowadays can easily choose from quite a few options. However, there are a few things that you can do on a cruiser but not on a sportbike. These aspects put cruisers well ahead of sportbikes.
1. Go on a long ride.
how_to_be_i1You cannot imagine going on a long ride on a sportbike. In fact, sportbikes are not designed for long rides; they are designed for fast but short rides. If you want to take to the road for a few days on a two wheeler, a cruiser is your best choice. Cruisers are designed to give you optimum comfort throughout your entire ride, which makes it the best option for a long ride. Unlike a sportbike, with a cruiser you can easily recline back on your seat while you firmly hold the handle bars and cruise your way through the long stretches of your journey.
2. Have a majestic feel
Sportbikes are meant to be attractive and cool, but you can’t call them majestic. A cruiser on the other hand makes you feel royal, like you own the road. The high handle bars add to the classic regal look of the cruiser. A sportbike may overtake you, but no eye will leave your cruiser as it glides on majestically with a nonchalant aura. Sportbikes are good for races and cruisers are perfect for the road. 
3. Speed up if you want 
motorcycleEven if you feel that the blend of power and speed is what defines the true character of a bike, do not rule out a cruiser just yet.  While most of the sportbikes have an engine capacity between 600cc and 1000cc, some cruisers have a staggering engine capacity of 2000cc. If you think that that would be too powerful for you, choose one with a 1600cc or 1700cc engine. You will still get more power than any other sportbike on earth. When you are on a long ride and have a straight and empty road ahead speed up as much as you can to see what it feels like to ride a beast.
4. Pack your things
Your cruiser is your backpack. Provisions are made on the bike to allow you store your Harley-Davidson-Motorcycles-Ultra-Classic-Orange-1024x1280belongings safely while you ride from one part of the country to another. All cruiser manufacturers provide at least two boxes of considerable size on either side of the bike so you can take your things with you. Though aftermarket boxes are available for sportbikes, they often fail to serve the purpose of long range riders. On the other hand, the boxes on the cruisers are designed keeping in mind the need of long range riders. You can also make additional arrangements to carry extra load. 
5. Take it off-road
July_16,2009_Day_3_Gravel_Rd_Road_Trip_232Cruisers are perfectly designed as off-road vehicles, so you can take it anywhere you want. Sportbikes are meant for smooth roads and racing tracks and so they are obviously not the best choice to go with if you plan to make a trip to the mountains on a two wheeler. On the other hand, the enormous power of the engine gives you the confidence to push through any terrain. You can take sportbikes off-road, but you will have to make sure there are service centers regularly after a few kilometers. They just aren’t made for dirt roads. In a cruiser, you have nothing to worry about. 
6. Rest your legs
The cruisers are designed to give your body the maximum possible comfort, so you can easily place your feet forward in a comfortable position. As you do not have to fold your mini-bike-framelegs in, it gives you the ability to ride comfortably for a long time without discomfort and you can easily ride considerable distances without feeling the need to flex your legs. In sportbikes, you have to fold in your legs and that can get painful after a couple of hours; so if you decide to go on a long ride on a sportbike you will see cruisers passing by comfortably while you stand and stretch. 
7. Better handling
It is often opined that sportbikes are easier to handle than cruisers. It is true that this idea cannot be refuted as far as city roads are concerned, but since we are talking about long rides here, it needs to be looked at from a different perspective. When you are riding over long stretches, cruisers are easier to handle as you can recline back in your seat and steer the handle bar without making any extra effort. Even if you are exhausted after a long day’s ride, you will not have any difficulty in steering your bike. 
8. Riding far
ibalogo2On a cruiser, you can ride 400 kilometers in a day and sometimes even more without feeling exceptionally exhausted. Riding such a distance on a sportbike in a single day is close to a nightmare; your body will definitely come apart if you attempt such a thing. But with a cruiser, you can plan  a cross country road trip with your friends, covering long distances each day. 
9. Riding through mud and water
Take your cruiser wherever you want. Its powerful engine provides enough power to push even through mud and water. Sportbikes are not dirt bikes! So accumulation of mud and water in their engine can completely mess it up and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. With a cruiser, you can be rest assured that you can push through slushy mud and water if the situation demands so. 
10. Having a bigger fuel tank
Cruisers generally have a fuel tank bigger than sportbikes and so you can ride for a longer distances without refueling. When you are in the countryside, pushing your sports bike and you see a cruiser glide by, you will definitely appreciate why having a large fuel tank is essential. Fill the tank of the cruiser once and take to the road without any hassle. Just keep an eye on the fuel gauge to keep track of when to refuel. In spite of being larger in size the fuel efficiency of cruisers is at par with that of sportbikes.  
11. Riding safely
It has been reported that most bike accidents on the road crashstoppieinvolve sportbikes with rough drivers. This is largely because, as soon as a person rides on a sportbike he sees the road ahead as a racetrack and thrusts forward. On the other hand, cruisers are not meant for racing, they are meant for, as the name itself suggests, cruising. As a result, riding on a 1600 cc cruiser is a lot safer than a 1000cc sportbike. It is true that the driving habit largely depends on the driver himself, but on a sportbike you can hardly resist the temptation to push the gas pedal. With a cruiser, you can just enjoy the ride.
12. Carrying a load
sportsbikeCruisers are hardy machines, which means that you can carry as much load as you want on your vehicle. Sportbikes are not meant for carrying any load so if you force them to do that, they will definitely disappoint you, refusing to obey your order to load up when you need it most. Strap on your bags, sleeping tent, food stuff and anything else you need on your cruiser and take to the road. It will perform just fine. You can rely on your cruiser whether you just want to loiter in the city or take to the highway.   
13. Driving on the beach
The ability to drive your cruiser on the beach is another factor that keeps it well ahead of sportbikes. Sportbikes are meant for smooth roads and certainly not for sand. You can take a sportbike to the sand but you are going to have a tough time getting it to behave and stay steady on the sand. A cruiser is a perfect choice for this. You can as easily drive it on sand as on the road. So the next time you plan a vacation at a seaside resort, take a cruiser with you and enjoy the feel of riding by the sea. 
14. Spending the night
Sleeping-on-a-Motorcycle-06The sitting arrangement of a cruiser is so comfortable that you can easily spend your night on it. Just make a few adjustments to provide a proper support to your body and you will be absolutely fine. On a sportbike you can never imagine spending the whole night, even if you have no other option. A cruiser is your perfect friend if you are that kind of person who prefers to take a ride far away from home with the wind on your back. When it comes to a cross country trip, cruisers are always the best choice.
15. Take your bicycle with you
bicycle rackIf you have a cruiser, you can also take your bicycle with you when you are going for a cross country trip. Cruisers are known for their load bearing capacity and you can easily strap your bicycle with your cruiser and take to the road. This is something you can never do with a sportbike. No matter how powerful a sportbike is, it can never carry the load that a cruiser is capable of. So next time you plan a tour to the countryside or a hike in the hills, take a cruiser and your bicycle along with it. 
16. Make your presence felt
RickFairlessIt is true that you can grab the attention of onlookers even if you are on a modern sportbike, but that attention is more due to wonder than due to respect. A cruiser commands respect and awe. Cruising along the roads on a cruiser is enough to grab the attention of every onlooker; you will be the object of envy for sure.  Be rest assured that when you are on a cruiser and your buddy is on a sportbike, it will be you who will to steal the show. 
17. Ride in and out of city
Sportbikes are meant for city roads and race tracks, so taking them out of the city on long rides is useless. On the other hand, cruisers are meant both for long and short rides and so you can ride it inside the city as well as take to the freeway on it. This two wheeler is the ideal choice For all terrains, all occasions and all seasons.
18. Stay evergreen
Sportbikes change in style almost every year and you can change the style and look of your fairings with an aftermarket fairing kit from Extreme Motorcycle Fairings. So if you buy a sportbike, you will most likely feel outdated within a couple of years or so. A cruiser on the other hand has a classic style that is evergreen and ever classy. No danger of you feeling outdated no matter how old your cruiser is.
There are different types of cruisers available in the market, so make a careful choice taking into account your budget and need. If only speed matters to you, go for a sportbike by all means; but if you think that a bike is a lot more than speed, get a classy and cruisin’ cruiser.  


  1. Definitely written from a cruiser point of view, but entertaining all the same.

    We have a friend that will do 1000 mile days on his Daytona 675 so it just depends on the rider whether cruisers trump sport bikes.

    1. Trobairitz - True. Perhaps we're just getting lazy. Back in the day when we just had 'motorcycles' and not all these various sub-categories I think riders were of hardier stock, and some of them still exist today. :-)

    2. Wow, 1,000 miles a day on a Daytona...most people can't even do that in a car.


  2. Canajun, this was an excellent and entertaining post!!!.... I needed a good laugh in the middle of this winter down time. I'm suffering from PMS! (parked motorcycle syndrome)

    All in good fun!

    Oh, Stephen Warde, where to begin?

    There are so many points I'd have to disagree with, starting with...

    #1. Go for a Long Ride?.... Really? Every year I take a 5000+ mile trip out west. I ride it out and back, never trailer it. My big sport bike is 5 years old and has 50,000 miles on it, 700 mile days are not unusual.
    #3 Speed up if You Want? ....I say, try and keep up!...
    #4 Pack Things? I bring clothes and camping gear with no problem... My aftermarket GIVI side bags and a tank bag work perfectly! I bring too much stuff.
    #7 Better Handling? If by better handling Mr Warde thinks straight line stability = handling... I still don't get it. I can ride for miles with no hands on the bars...
    #9 Doesn't even make sense. If any motorcycle gets any water or mud "in" the engine, there's going to be problems! So if you cake up the outside of the cylinders of your big air cooled engine with mud, things will still be OK???
    #10 Bigger Fuel Tank? My bike has 5.8 gallon tank and I can easily get 200 miles between fuel stops! Yes, a 78 hp V-twin will get better mileage, but it takes fuel to feed a 190+ hp engine...
    #11 Ride Safely?... A quick check of crash statistics will show that most crashes are inexperienced riders and most of them are older, first time, helmet-less riders on cruisers, that straightened out a simple curve! Often there's alcohal involved... Yes, there are some immature, young idiots out there on sport bikes, YouTube is full of them! There are idiots on every style of bike
    #12 Is just a restatement of #4!
    #14 Really? If you want to sleep on your bike, go ahead... I'll sleep next to mine on the picnic table!
    #16..... don't get me going on the whole loud pipes thing!!!! Mr. Warde, ever see the South Park episode about that? hehehehe
    #18... Let me see if I get this? You're saying that a bike that never changes never goes out of style? I guess if I wanted to ride a copy of the 1903 H-D the 2014's will still look like the 111 year old first editions?

    I'll give you numbers 5 and 13! I don't do much 4 wheeling or sand dune riding with my Zx-14... I have better tools for that job.

    The entertainment goes on and on... I'd have to say, Mr Warde needs to try a large sport bike, he'd be amazed at the room, smoothness, and capability of it. And, yes, before he tells me to do the same, there was a time in my life when I rode a H-D..... I won't be going back to one any time soon!

    Interesting how the links lead back to a sport bike fairing business...LOL

    1. Erik:
      This could be the start of a new Mac-PC type war. :-)

    2. It's all in good natured fun... I have friends that ride cruisers, some on H-D's, some on Japanese clones. There's plenty of jokes cracked between us. As long as they continue to ride, and leave the trailer at home where it belongs, we get along fine. My best riding buddy has both a H-D and a sport-touring bike... He's very conflicted!

    3. Eris:
      I think that's one of the best things about most motorcyclists - at least in my experience - is that it doesn't matter what you ride as long as you ride. And the joshing is usually pointed, but in good fun like you say. (And I won't mention my trailer.)

    4. What he might have meant (and if so, I have to agree) is that cruisers are more stable in a straight line due to their longer wheelbase, and the lower centre of gravity. And regarding speed, if he meant that on many cruisers you can accelerate in any gear with just a twist of the throttle, without having to kick down, I would agree with that as well.

  3. very informative post.... thank you sir for such valuable tips...i will try to follow them....

    South Coast Tours

  4. Who wants to race anyhow? Great idea to just chill on a cruiser and watch the scenery go by with not a care in the world. If only every day could be like that!

  5. I lost it at "take your bicycle with you" LOL.

  6. Just checked the specs of my sport-touring FZ1 and it has a greater carrying capacity than an Electra Glide. Faster too in a straight line and definitely around curves. Checking the specs my bike gets the same gas mileage as the HD but comes with a slightly bigger tank. Almost as comfortable to ride too, once I tweaked the ergonomics a bit. 400kms a day? That is just over a tank of gas for me. 700kms a day is normal, without getting tired. The Harley wins though, I guess, because it comes with a stereo. :-)

  7. Obviously written as entertainment, and not as a serious attempt at accurate information. But I have to wonder I the writer has ever actually ridden a sport bike.... They don't have gas pedals.

  8. Id have to say it even depends on one's spirit. Even back in the days people loved to race each other all the time. The need for speed will never get old and if you wanna talk about racking up miles. The dual sports are taking over that category and I mean serious mileage like going around the world one road and off road. This article is just one sided which I dont even agrew with most of it. I mean who doesnt love the sound of a high revving engine ;) my buddies who have harleys love my 600rr and I love their harley sometimes we even swap bikes for a day.

  9. I have ridden cruisers and now ride a sport touring bike. The sport touring wins, hands down. I do 200 miles on my daily commute, and 500 for fun on weekends and I feel no pain, but my old cruisers, I got low back pain due to poor riding posture. My 5.5 gallon tank gets me about 175 miles, and I get to enjoy the exact same scenery as one would with a cruiser. Sure, dirt/mud sucks, but also sucked when on my old cruiser so I see no difference, except my sport bike gets better performance, better handling, and I have never needed to stop and stretch my legs. My touring kit is a very nice thing to have too. Carries everything I need, and then some. Every tool needed to road service my bike, rain suit, soda, food, my leather, hard hat for work, along with other stuff my paranoia makes me bring that I may never need, but just incase.... I have it.

    Funny story though.


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