Cruiser vs. Touring Motorcycle: Which One Is Right for You?

Cruiser vs. Touring Motorcycle: Which One Is Right for You?

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If you’re going to invest in a motorcycle, you’ll need to choose between a touring and a cruiser. Both styles have unique characteristics that can affect how you ride. But the truth is every dealership and manufacturer has its own way of differentiating between these two terms. The term “cruiser” usually refers to a bare-bones all-purpose motorcycle, while a “touring” motorcycle is usually built for longer distances with added features and storage for a more comfortable commute. They each have their pros and cons and will serve you well on the road. Choosing between the two all depends on how far you plan on traveling and how much you’re willing to spend. Read on to discover the pros and cons of each type of bike.


Cruising motorcycles are designed for shorter distances and can be driven on all types of roads. They tend to feature a simple build with few features and accessories. Cruisers also have smaller engines than touring motorcycles, so they won’t deliver the same power on the road.


Lower cost: Depending on the make and model, you won’t have to spend as much on the motorcycle. Cruisers require fewer parts and are smaller in size compared to touring motorcycles, so it costs less to make them. If you’re on a budget and don’t plan on traveling far, it’s best to go with a cruiser.

Less maintenance: Cruising motorcycles can’t go as far but they are easier to maintain, which will help you save money in the long run.

Better fuel economy: Less weight will help you save money on fuel as well.

If you’re riding your cruising motorcycle with a group, use a helmet communication device to stay connected with everyone. It operates using voice recognition, so you don’t have to physically interact with the device while riding. Just speak into the receiver to start up a conversation.

Use Helmet Communication to Stay Connected on the Road


Shorter distances: Cruisers are best for daily commuting and short trips. You might need to pull over after a few hours of riding. All those extra miles can create additional wear and tear to the engine.

Less comfort: Many cruisers aren’t as luxurious as their touring counterparts. You might get a sore bottom or feel more vibrations behind the wheel, which will take a toll on your body. If you need to take a longer trip or want a more comfortable ride, consider replacing the factory cushion that will absorb more of the turbulence.


biker taking corner



Touring motorcycles have larger builds, bigger engines and more power than cruising motorcycles. They are designed to be taken on longer trips, such as a motorcycle tour, cue the name. You will find additional storage, a bigger fuel tank and usually a more comfortable stance so you can ride to your heart’s content. Rock out to your favorite song or dive into the latest podcast with your headset using quality JBL helmet speakers.

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Longer distances: You can ride a touring motorcycle for a full day without getting sore. Most riders prefer to tour in a group. Use the Packtalk Edge to connect to up to 15 riders at a time. It will automatically reconnect whenever you’re in range for a smoother ride.

More comfortable: These bikes usually let you sit back like you would in a chair so you don’t have to prop yourself up on the handlebars. This will take the pressure off your wrists.

Extra storage: The bike should come with a hardshell case or back compartment so you can comfortably carry around everything you need to enjoy the trip. It always helps to have some extra tools and supplies on hand in case of emergency.


Higher prices: If you go to a dealership and compare a cruiser to a touring motorcycle, the latter will usually be more expensive. But the higher price might be worth it if you plan on spending a lot of time on the road. You can also find a used touring bike to offset the higher price.

Poor fuel efficiency: The engine will be more powerful, but all that extra weight will end up costing you at the pump.

Slower speed: You won’t be able to go as fast on a touring motorcycle as you would on a cruiser, but slow and steady wins the race.

smiling biker on road



The debate between touring vs. cruising motorcycles lives on. Some riders will defend their choices until they are blue in the face, but your decision depends on how you plan to ride. Don’t forget to use a wireless headset regardless of which style you choose.