Although cruisers aren’t exactly as popular as sportbikes, naked bikes, and adventure bikes, particularly in the Philippine market, these highway-munchers undoubtedly have quite a few things going for them. For starters, cruisers are extremely laid-back which deliver a very comfortable riding ergonomic as well as the ability to cover a great distance. Furthermore, cruisers boast an aesthetic which hearkens back to the very roots of motorcycling.
Those of you who are experienced big bike riders who want to, perhaps make the shift to the cruiser platform, or better yet, add another motorcycle to your collection may want to consider any one of the bikes listed below. Ideal for the intermediate rider, these cruisers are adequately powerful, highway-legal machines which have the potential to unlock more experiences for experienced riders.
Honda Rebel 500
Starting off our list is the most beginner-friendly cruiser of the bunch. The Honda Rebel 500 may be the smallest bike here in terms of displacement, however, its 471cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 180-degree parallel twin churns out a decent amount of power. With 47 horsepower on tap, the Rebel 500 is well and truly a big bike capable of long distance rides.
As is the case with all Honda products, you’re assured of top-notch quality, beautiful fit and finish, and dependable performance. In terms of styling, the Rebel 500 boasts unmistakable cruiser aesthetics accentuated by aggressive lines, a retro-inspired round LED headlight, and meaty tires front and rear. The Rebel 500 just so happens to be the most affordable bike on this list, too, at just P385,000.
Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
The next bike on our list is a true, blue, American icon. The Harley-Davidson Low Rider S delivers nothing but uncompromising freedom of the open road. With classic Harley-Davidson styling, this bike is sure to be the center of attention, and a head-turner no matter where you go. Equipped with a massive 1,868cc V-twin motor, the Low Rider S produces waves of torque, making it a confidence-inspiring ride, particularly on the highway.
Starting at P1,200,000 the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S is by no means a budget-friendly machine. It occupies the premium segment, and rightfully so, as it carries tons of heritage from the MoCo, and comes chock full of upmarket features. The Low Rider S boasts a sharp yet comfortable frame derived from the Softail range of bikes, as well as premium suspension and braking components to provide a safe and exhilarating ride.
Yamaha Bolt 950R
The Yamaha Bolt 950R can be considered the Japanese’s evocation of the American cruiser. Out of all the cruisers made in Japan, the Bolt 950R most closely resembles a traditional V-twin equipped American cruiser. Powered by a 942cc air-cooled, SOHC, V-twin motor, the Bolt produces a rather lazy 51 horsepower, making it a very laid back machine.
Unlike other bikes in Yamaha’s roster, the bolt prefers to keep things cool and collected—cruising around town and the open road, rather than setting the road on fire with neck-breaking performance. The Bolt 950R is priced at P569,000–making for a viable alternative, especially for someone who wants a retro styled machine, but is intimidated by the power of the XSR range of neo-retro bikes.
Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Triumph Bonneville Bobber is, by all accounts, one of the most beautiful retro-modern motorcycles currently available in the market. The product of years of design innovation by one of the world’s most iconic motorcycle makers, the Bonneville Bobber gives Triumph’s tried and tested Bonny platform a rugged twist and a laid back demeanor.
Powering the Bobber is Triumph’s iconic T120 motor, a 1,200cc 270-degree parallel-twin which delivers similar characteristics as that of a 90-degree V-twin. It produces 77 horsepower and 106 Nm of torque accessible down low in the rev range. This gives the Bonneville Bobber a surprisingly peppy nature, making it eager to launch off the line, and strong and steady on the highway. The Triumph Bonneville Bobber is available in the local market for P1,015,000.
Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200
The last bike on our list is arguably the most legendary bike, as well. The Harley-Davidson Sportster is a nameplate that has been around for more than half a century. Since its birth in 1957, the Sportster has been credited for the dawn of the superbike segment. These days, however, the idea of a superbike has departed far from what the Sportster was, and would ever become. Instead, the Sportster is now a hallmark in the cruiser world, and is loved for being one of the most versatile cruisers out there.
The Sportster Iron 1200 is the bigger brother of the Iron 883, and is equipped with H-D’s tried and tested 1,202cc V-twin engine. Pumping out 97 Nm of torque, it sends this grunt to the back wheel via a standard five-speed transmission. Available in the local market for P800,000, the Sportster 1200 is an amazing bang-for-buck big time cruiser loaded with character and performance.