Cheap cruisers: a bad joke or a fantastic choice? Most people assume that the more expensive the bike is, the better quality.
Luckily, that’s not always the case.
In fact, some of the cheapest cruiser motorcycles can make excellent beginner bikes. And let’s not stop there – some of these badass budget cruisers are just as powerful, reliable, and stylish as their more expensive counterparts.
When shopping for the cheapest cruiser motorcycles, look for brands that are known for quality and durability. Japanese motorcycle brands like Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki are famously reliable. On the other hand, all-American brands like Harley-Davidson and Indian are known for excellent aftermarket service and have that iconic look cruiser riders look for.
Finally, some up-and-coming Chinese brands are now offering affordable cruiser options, and the classic Royal Enfield also has a stake in the cruiser market, even if it’s leaning more toward the neo-retro café racer styles.
In this post, we’re listing ten cheapest cruiser motorcycles from the most budget friendly to the more expensive ones starting at the most economical options.
As you work your way through the list, don’t just compare the prices. The best cheap cruiser motorcycle will have that perfect intersection point between price, specs, power, comfort, and looks. Decide what works best for you and choose a cheap cruiser that will make you feel like Easy Rider (but without breaking the bank).
Without further ado, here are our favorite cheap cruisers:
Best Cheap Cruiser Motorcycle Choices
1. Yamaha V-Star $4,349
This one is the cheapest cruiser motorcycle on our list, but it’s by far one of the most popular. As mentioned above, Yamaha is well-known for building sturdy, reliable motorcycles with great aftermarket service. This means that you’re getting value for money. The V-Star is easily the best cheap cruiser motorcycle because it’s well-built, relatively lightweight, stylish, and, above all, easy to handle.
It’s a fantastic entry-level cruiser that will boost your confidence as a new rider. If you’re an experienced biker, you’ll still have plenty of fun on the V-Star: it’s smooth, torquey, and perfect for urban riding or weekend getaways. At a price point of $4,349, this is a cheap cruiser that will serve you for years to come, help you progress as a rider, and look awesome.
Pros: Excellent weight and power ratio, cheap and easy maintenance, simple but stylish design, low seat height, great aftermarket service, easy to find and replace parts
Cons: A little underpowered for more experienced riders
Yamaha V-Star 250 specs:
Engine: 249cc V-Twin
Power: 21 HP
Wet Weight: 324 lbs
Seat Height: 27 inches
2. Zong Shen RE3 $4,603
Zong Shen is one of China‘s biggest players in the motorcycle market, and recently, it came out with RE3 Cyclone, a cruiser motorcycle aimed at fans of the modern retro. The RE3 is an interesting choice when it comes to cheap cruiser motorcycles because while the model is brand new, it seems Zong Shen has pulled all the stops while making this bike. It’s got a decent-sized engine, sleek looks, and a carefree, café-racer-to-cruiser vibe to it. The main drawback of this cheap cruiser is that it’s brand new, meaning some of the kinks may not have been worked out yet, and the aftermarket service is probably more complicated. However, it’s a breath of fresh air in the cheap cruiser motorcycle market, and it looks like it’s fun to ride.
Pros: This budget cruiser has great looks and packs a punch in terms of engine size and horsepower.
Cons: Aftermarket service and finding spare parts may be a little more difficult; as it‘s a brand new model, there may be some issues the manufacturer hasn’t worked out yet
Zong Shen RE3 specs:
6 – Speed Transmission
Engine: 377cc Twin-Cylinder
Power: 36 HP
Wet Weight: 400 lbs
Seat Height: 30 inches
3. Honda Rebel 300 $4,899
Another great Japanese bike, Honda Rebel is a cheap cruiser motorcycle that looks – and feels – like an expensive one.
Honda Rebel 300 is a hugely popular cruiser because of its ergonomics, its great build and design, and its unbeatable reliability. Try as you may, you just can’t kill a Rebel… And that means you’ll get one of the cheapest cruisers to last you for years to come.
The Rebel 300 has a fun, torquey engine and a throttle response that has a bite to it. At the same time, it’s perfect for new riders. This bike is so well-balanced it will help you master the basics in record time.
For more experienced motorcyclists, the Rebel is a fun little allrounder that can serve as a commuter or a short-distance travel bike.
And can we get some kudos for the name?
Pros: great price-to-quality ratio, reliable, well-built, newbie-friendly, fantastic looks, great aftermarket service, easy to find spare parts, easy and cheap to maintain
Cons: for more experienced riders, the Rebel is just a tad underpowered.
Honda Rebel 300 specs:
Engine: 286cc single-cylinder
Power: 25 HP
Wet Weight: 372 lb.
Seat Height: 27.3 in.
4. Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 $5,799
Talking about best cheap cruiser motorcycle choices, we just have to mention the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. Cool name aside, this bike is a serious contender in the cheap but powerful cruiser bike category. While its looks lean more towads a neo-retro roadster type, it’s still a stylish cruiser to run around in town. With a 650cc parallel twin engine, the Interceptor can be a great mid-sized cruiser that offers plenty of power and fun.
Owning a Royal Enfield is a bit of a statement: it’s nostalgic, and it has that old, iconic look about it. It’s a little too heavy for its power ratio, but if you’re a more experienced rider, taming the Interceptor won’t be an issue.
Pros: powerful, stylish, fun to ride
Cons: Royal Enfield is not the most reliable of brands, and aftermarket service may be a little more difficult
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Specs:
Engine: 648cc parallel-twin
Power: 47 HP
Wet Weight: 445 lbs
Seat Height: 31.5 inches
5. Suzuki Boulevard S40 $5799
Boulevard S40 proves that cheap cruiser motorcycles do not have to be small. The S40 boasts a 650cc engine, which means it’s got plenty of power and bite. It’s probably the cheapest cruiser motorcycle in this engine displacement category, and it’s a fantastic bike for mid-level and more experienced riders.
Much like Honda and Yamaha, Suzuki is known for building reliable bikes. This means that you won’t need to worry about service and maintenance of the Boulevard S40 much. In addition, it’s got that classic chopper look. Better yet, it has the classic chopper purr – you just can’t mistake that single-cylinder growl for anything else.
If you’re looking for a mid-sized cruiser that’s still in an affordable price range, the Boulevard S40 might be your best bet.
Pros: Great design, reliable, well-built, cheap and easy maintenance, good aftermarket service, classic looks
Cons: we may be nit-picking, but for a 650cc, 380-pound machine, we’d like just a little more oomph in the horsepower department. Also: no ABS, but then, some riders may take it as a pro.
Suzuki Boulevard S40 Specs:
Engine: 652 cc Single Cylinder
Power: 31 HP
Wet Weight: 380 lbs
Seat Height: 27.6 Inches
6. Kawasaki Vulcan S $7099
In terms of popularity, the Vulcan is a cheap cruiser motorcycle in the same league as the Honda Rebel. The Vulcan is loved by new and experienced riders alike. The thing is beautiful – but more importantly, it boasts a solid build. It’s low, powerful, and reliable, and it’s hands-down one of the best cheap cruisers out there.
Unlike the Boulevard, the Vulcan is a beast with its 650cc engine and 53 HP. It can be a great motorcycle to grow into: as you build your skills, the Vulcan will provide more and more fun, especially in corners.
We love this cheap cruiser because of its excellent build, great looks, and awesome aftermarket service.
Pros: plenty of power, great design, cheap and easy maintenance, good aftermarket service, classic looks
Cons: this is a beast of a bike, so if you’re a complete beginner, it may be a little harder to master at first
Kawasaki Vulcan S Specs:
Engine: 649 cc parallel twin
Power: 53 HP
Wet Weight: 380 lbs
Seat Height: 27.6 Inches
7. Honda Shadow Phantom $7899
Suzuki Boulevard S40 proved that cheap cruiser motorcycles don‘t have to be small. Honda Shadow Phantom proves that some of the best cheap cruiser motorcycle options can be downright awesome. The Shadow is a beast of a motorcycle: with its 750cc engine and 45 HP, this is a machine to be reckoned with. Add reliability and great ergonomics plus the amazing looks, and you‘ve got yourself one of the best cheap cruisers out there. It has a deliciously torquey engine, rugged looks, and plenty of power. If you ask us, that’s a winning combo right there.
Pros: excellent build and design, sturdy and reliable, good for mid-level and experienced riders, great aftermarket service, lots of power and plenty of style
Cons: this bike is heavy, which makes it a little more difficult to master for new riders. Also, for some reason, no ABS.
Honda Shadow Phantom Specs:
Engine: 745cc V-Twin
Power: 44.9 HP
Wet Weight: 549 lbs
Seat Height: 25.8 inches
8. Yamaha Bolt $7999
Another fantastic cheap cruiser motorcycle from Yamaha, the Bolt is a powerful and and elegant machine. With a 950cc engine and 65 HP, this bike is one of the best budget cruisers in the large-capacity category. We love the torque, the power delivery, and the stunning looks of the Bolt.
In addition, this bike has a great power-to-weight ratio. It may not be a beginner’s motorcycle, but for more experienced riders, this cheap cruiser will be the perfect fit.
Pros: lots of power and torque, great for urban riding and road trips, well-built, great design, excellent aftermarket service
Cons: may be too heavy and powerful for newbie riders; no ABS
Yamaha Bolt Specs:
Engine: 942 cc V-Twin
Power: 65 HP
Wet Weight: 542 lbs
Seat Height: 27.2 inches
9. Harley-Davidson Iron 883 $9,749
When it comes to cruiser motorcycles, Harley-Davidson is the undisputed king. However, the Iron 883 proves that you don‘t need to break the bank for a Harley. Priced at just under $10,000, this bike is a timeless classic and a perfect ride for Harley-Davidson fans.
The Iron 883 is stunning, powerful, and well-designed. Because of its aggressive, chunky styling, it looks like a bulldog ready to pounce – and we promise riding it is a ridiculous amount of fun.
Pros: classic Harley-Davidson, great power delivery, plenty of torque, well-built, excellent aftermarket care
Cons: if you’re looking for a cheap cruiser, the Iron 883 is not the most budget-friendly one; ABS is optional and may cost you another $800 on top of the original price
Harley-Davidson Iron 833 Specs:
Standard ABS – optional
Engine: 883cc V-Twin
Power: 49 HP
Wet Weight: 564 lbs
Seat Height: 29.9inches
10. Indian Scout Sixty $9,499
Another all-American motorcycle, the Indian Scout Sixty is the biggest bike on our cheap cruisers’s list. With its 1000cc engine and 78 HP, the Scout Sixty is a seriously powerful machine. The low-slung exhaust and the iconic Indian look make this motorcycle one of the most stunning bikes on our radar. It’s got everything – the power, the torque, the low-weight, and the looks. If you’re ready to commit, the Indian Scout Sixty is a fantastic choice. However, it may be too much bike for a complete beginner.
Pros: well-established cruiser brand, great build and design, lots of power, distinct looks
Cons: less suitable for new and inexperienced riders due to weight and power
Indian Scout Sixty Specs:
Engine: 1000 cc V-Twin
Power: 78 HP
Wet Weight: 543 lbs
Seat Height: 25.6 inches
Essentials for Cruiser Owner
Now that you’ve picked your budget cruiser, it‘s time to think about maintenance, care, and safety. Cheap cruiser motorcycles are usually easy and inexpensive to maintain as long as:
- You service your bike regularly.
- Periodically check your oil level.
- Keep an eye on the chain and sprockets.
- Winterize it properly.
If you’re not mechanically minded, it’s always best to leave your motorcycle service to professionals. Whether you bought it new or second hand, make sure to service it every 4,000 miles or so, especially when it comes to oil changes and regular checks.
In addition to keeping your motorcycle in good shape, it’s important to make sure it’s safe. Always park your bike in a secure parking lot or garage, don’t forget to lock your steering, and add disc locks or chains for extra security. Consider installing a motorcycle alarm for an added layer of safety: a motorcycle tracker and alarm will help you track your bike at all times and get alerts if it’s being moved.
Cheap Cruiser Motorcycle FAQ
Are cruisers good for beginners?
Cruiser motorcycles can be great beginner bikes. Their low center of weight means cruisers are easy to handle, and if you pick a smaller or a mid-sized bike, it’ll be a fantastic entry level motorcycle. Cruisers are also an excellent option for beginners because of the upright sitting position, high handlebars, and low seat height.
Who makes the best cruiser?
Best cruiser motorcycles are made by Japanese motorcycle manufacturers such as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki. Equally, American manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and Indian are well-known for making great cruisers.
What is the most reliable used cruiser motorcycle?
When it comes to the most reliable used cruiser motorcycles, we vote for the Honda Rebel (either the 300 or the 500 model). Honda makes famously reliable bikes, and you simply can‘t go wrong with the Rebel. For more reliable used cruiser motorcycle ideas, check out this article.