Is A Touring Motorcycle Right For You?

Say that you’re looking for a bike that you can lean back in while you ride, taking in the vistas and going at your own pace. Then you’re most likely looking for a cruiser. Cruisers come in all shapes and sizes, and can fit the mold of practically anyone.

When purchasing a bike is closing in on your horizon, it is important to ask yourself, “What will I be doing with this bike?” Will you be using it to commute to work every day? Will you be using it to escape from the suburbs every Sunday? Will you be using it to gain access to a biker club? Cruisers are applicable to many situations, and are extremely versatile to the average rider. You don’t have to be on The World’s Faster Indian, like Anthony Hopkins, in order to enjoy your time on your new motorcycle.

The next thing you should consider is ergonomics. Cruisers typically allow the rider to lean back, and are designed to be the most comfortable when riding this way. The issue to think about is, you will be top heavy as you sit on your bike. This will cause muscles in your lower back and abdomen to be activated that you may not use in every day life. Even though it’s a leisurely cruiser, there is still some physical demand. When you first sit on the bike, try to see yourself riding on it for 500 miles. If it sounds physically exhausting and feels bad for your posture, try a new one!

For the beginner, we recommend starting with a smaller bike. It’s easier to control and less responsibility. There’s nothing wrong with putting 5,000 miles on a beginner level motorcycle and then graduating to that dream cruiser you’ve been wishing for. The market for used bikes is alive and well. It shouldn’t be a hassle to buy, learn how to ride, and then sell your first bike in a year’s time. A true beginner bike will sport an engine no larger than 500cc. That is important to remember, as Harley Davidson salesmen like to pretend that their Sportster 883 is great for beginners. It’s not.

If you were a rider once upon a time, but life and kids got in the way, then consider yourself a beginner again when you decide to return to the road. Starting small, getting proper training, and practicing is vital to being safe and ultimately enjoying your ride. With advanced age usually comes reduced agility. Don’t be ashamed to admit that you can’t pick up a 750 lbs. bike all by yourself if you drop it. Do some reading, get some exercise, and be prepared for many challenges, as riding may have changed quite a bit since your were last on the road.

Do you plan to ride several thousand miles per year? Then you should probably avoid a hard-tail bike. Hard-tails lack rear suspension and are therefore much harder on your tailbone and make riding long distances a bit more strenuous. Another thing to consider is price. Practical bikes start around $5,000 but can go as steep as $55,000. You should understand your price range and what kinds of modifications you would like to add after your purchase your new bike. Don’t be pressured by any salesperson, and don’t feel obligated to make a purchase based on convenience. It’s better to take your time now than rush to sell something that just wasn’t the right fit.

Whether you’re looking for a modern cruiser with all the bells and whistles, or a reliable old classic, there are plenty of options between. You can even get a bike that was manufactured this year, but sports a retro look. Either way, we hope this guide brings to light some issues you’ll be taking into consideration as you look to get back on the road. Good luck and enjoy the journey.