Best Cruiser Motorcycles for Beginners

Designed to be comfortable, cruiser motorcycles are a great choice for beginners.

Cruiser motorcycles are a great option for beginners because of their relaxed seating position and low seat height. Cruisers come in a wide variety of engine and chassis sizes as well, meaning that no matter what your level of riding expertise, there is a bike out there for you.


Even if you’re not a beginner rider, our cruiser buyer's guide has some great options as well.

Honda Rebel 500

Honda Rebel 500 in Candy Orange.

The Honda Rebel 500 ABS is a good option for beginners and easy to customize if you plan on keeping it beyond the “beginner” phase.


The Honda Rebel 500 is affordable, approachable, and versatile. When it comes to an ideal cruiser motorcycle for beginners, it’s hard to find a new bike better than the Honda Rebel. The two-cylinder engine puts out great power but isn’t too intimidating, allowing newer riders to grow into it, riding harder as their skills increase. The bike’s low seat height allows smaller riders to easily touch the ground as well. Check out our comparison test of the 2018 Honda Rebel 500 versus the 2018 Harley-Davidson Sportster, another great entry-level bike.

Yamaha Star Bolt

Yamaha Star Bolt in Raven Black.

Classic cruiser styling meets Japanese precision with the beginner-friendly Yamaha Star Bolt.


The Yamaha Star Bolt is a great beginner motorcycle and a stylish customization platform that won’t break the bank. Equipped with a 942cc air-cooled V-twin, the Star Bolt tries to bridge the gap between American cruiser style and Japanese manufacturing. Accents like a round headlight, shock reservoirs, and minimal styling make the Bolt a great option for riders looking to make their bike their own through customization.

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883

Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 in Silver Flux/Black Fuse.

A staple in the Harley-Davidson lineup, the Sportster 883 has more than enough power for a beginner and a huge aftermarket for customization parts.


The Sportster is a great beginner cruiser for a lot of reasons—good, simple engine, minimal styling, affordable price, and the fact that they have been made essentially the same for a very long time. If you’re looking to really customize a bike, there are few platforms more easily transformed than the Harley Sportster. The air-cooled 833cc V-twin engine has a classic American feel and there’s no arguing with iconic Harley-Davidson style.

Kawasaki Vulcan S

Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS Cafe in Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Metallic Spark Black.

The Vulcan S ABS Cafe comes stylized, but you can opt for the base model Vulcan and add your own flair to it.


When you look at raw performance numbers, it’s hard to argue with the lightweight and versatile Kawasaki Vulcan S. The Vulcan has a higher-compression inline-twin liquid-cooled motor, trellis frame, and other modern technologies that set it apart from the other more classically styled bikes on this list.

Indian Scout

Indian Scout in Indian Motorcycle Red/Thunder Black.

Classic cruiser styling meets Japanese precision with the beginner-friendly Yamaha Star Bolt.


Indian Motorcycle’s Scout is one of the best new cruiser models to enter the market in years. It has a low seat height, puts out great power, and is good looking from stock, while still being relatively easy to customize. Popular among hooligan racers and cruisers alike, Indian claims the liquid-cooled 1,138cc V-twin motor puts out over 100 hp. Available as a Bobber, the 999cc Scout Sixty, or the base model Scout, this quick little cruiser is a great option for those new to motorcycling. Check out our first impression of this great beginner cruiser motorcycle for more details.