Cruiser motorcycles pack loads of style into a low-slung platform and these types of street bikes deliver torquey power and are ripe for customization. We have selected these seven cruisers for ladies who ride. After all, did you know that One in Five Motorcyclists Are Now Women? There are great options here that are for female motorcyclists who might just be getting into riding or those who have already traversed many a mile on two wheels.
Related: Best Beginner Motorcycles for Women
2023 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
Harley-Davidson’s Low Rider S “blends style and performance” as we said in our buyer’s guide. It has a traditional cruiser look with a top-of-the-line fit and finish. Not only that, but its Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine delivers on both performance and sound.
“The engine is strong and loud with tons of torque available immediately from idle. But while it’s every bit a hot-rod engine, the powerplant feels surprisingly smooth and refined on the road.” It produces a measured 94.8 hp at 4,750 rpm and 115 lb.-ft. at 3,200 rpm.
Its 43mm inverted fork is plush and forgiving, but maintains “a nice firm feel when being pushed through a canyon or mountain road. The fork only felt too soft on hard brake application, which would bring about more dive than is preferred.” The fork provides 5 inches of travel and the coilover shock offers 4.4 inches of travel.
For 2023, the Low Rider S gets standard electronic cruise control and has optional traction control. In Vivid Black the Low Rider S’ MSRP is $18,199; add $525 for the cruiser in White Sand Pearl.
Related: Best 2022 Harley-Davidson Motorcycles for Women
2023 Honda Rebel 300/ABS
The Honda Rebel is a great beginner bike and one that I always recommend to new riders. It has spent many years as a staple of MSF courses and continues to attract riders with its approachability.
Key to its current success is its quick-revving 25 hp engine. This single-cylinder engine is not only mild-mannered enough for green riders, but its snappy power is there to keep riders hooked as they gain more time in the saddle.
Which leads us to seat height. The 300 (and Rebel 500, for that matter) has a very low 27.2-inch seat height which causes confidence of shorter riders to spike.
The Rebel 300′s firm 41mm telescopic fork and twin shock setup lends to surprisingly sporty handling, something that all riders can appreciate.
A front 296mm disc and rear 240mm disc each with hydraulic calipers provides great stopping power as well. The Rebel 300 is available with or without ABS with respective price tags of $5,049 and $4,749.
Related: New Honda Rebel vs. Old Honda Rebel
2023 Honda Rebel 500/ABS/ABS SE
At the same time when Honda announced that the revamped Rebel 300 was hitting the 2017 market, Big Red also unveiled the Rebel 500. This mimicked (and still mimics) the Rebel 300′s peanut-style tank, blacked-out styling, modern LED lighting/LCD display, and even carries over the chassis components such as the fork/twin shocks, brakes, 16-inch tires, general dimensions, and that Honda reliability, but what it gives riders is a boost of power with a different 471cc parallel twin.
Our past dyno records indicate this machine delivers 40.8 hp and 29.9 lb.-ft. of torque. We have loved this middleweight’s smooth and entertaining power delivery and feel that it is a fantastic steppingstone for those moving up in displacement.
The Rebel 500 comes in three trims: the non-ABS base model ($6,449), the ABS-equipped base model ($6,749), and the ABS SE version ($6,949). The limited-edition SE version is equipped with ABS (obviously), but it also includes a number of factory-installed add-ons from Honda, such as a brown diamond-stitch seat, black fork gaiters, black upper fork covers, and a headlight cowl. It’s also the only Rebel 500 to come in Titanium Metallic. The other two come in Candy Blue or Matte Black Metallic.
Related: Top 5 Cruiser Motorcycles for Women
2023 Honda Rebel 1100/DCT/1100T DCT
Honda took the Africa Twin’s 1,083cc liquid-cooled parallel twin and repurposed it in the Rebel 1100.
In our 2021 review of the 1100 DCT version we stated, “While some may be intimidated by its engine displacement, you shouldn’t be. In typical Rebel spirit it’s a manageable and well-rounded motorcycle. It has a low, asphalt-hugging stance with a narrow and well-proportioned cockpit.” Its seat height is at a low 27.5 inches, that’s only fractions taller than its baby siblings. We also praise it for its high-end feel, impressive sporty handling, and modern tech such as LED lighting, three power modes, and optional DCT.
DCT is perfect for those who want an easy-to-operate cruiser. It eliminates the need for a traditional clutch and gear-shift lever and instead features a pair of handlebar-mounted trigger shifters. This dual-clutch transmission is unique to the Rebel 1100 DCT and new-for-2023 Rebel 1100T DCT models. No other cruiser uses this technology. The standard six-speed manual transmission version retails for $9,499 (what a bargain), and the DCT and 1100T DCT have sticker prices of $10,099 and $11,299 respectively.
Related: Is Honda’s 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT Cruiser a Modern Sportster?
2023 Indian Scout Bobber
Another American V-twin-powered ride is the Indian Scout Bobber. It’s powered by a 1,133cc liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin that makes 100 hp and 72 lb.-ft. of torque (claimed) and is the most powerful engine that’s equipped on the Scouts. Plus, the Bobber offers “the appealing Scout performance to a broader group of riders who might otherwise shy away from the standard Scout’s heritage styling,” as we stated in a past review. So if you’re looking for an American-bred factory bobber, this is a great option.
Also in that past review, we noted that the Bobber’s suspension offered a firmer ride and was more planted in the curves than the standard Scout. The Bobber employs a 41mm telescopic fork and dual shocks, with 4.7 inches and 2.0 inches of travel respectively.
The 533-pound weight (claimed) is low slung and the 25.6-inch seat height makes it easy to put feet down.
The Indian Motorcycle accessories catalog also has a range of extended reach (for riders who are 6-foot-1 and over) or reduced reach (5-foot-6 and under) handlebars and foot controls so you can adjust your riding position.
Starting MSRP is $12,249, that’s for the non-ABS model. Prices go up from there to $13,149–$14,649, depending on color or Icon trim.
Related: 2018 Indian Scout Bobber First Ride Review
2023 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
For longer hauls there’s the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT. It flexes some midsize muscle with a 903cc liquid-cooled V-twin. It’s a reliable mill in a motorcycle that’s comfortable to ride, has super-steady handling, and is easy on the wallet.
Like the Low Rider S and Scout Bobber, the Vulcan 900 Classic LT has a belt final drive, so there’s less maintenance to worry about when compared to motorcycles with a chain final drive (no scrubbing, lubing, or chain tensioning needed).
This version of the Vulcan 900 Classic LT is $1,000 more than the base model, but what we love about the Classic LT is it has a big height-adjustable windscreen and studded seat with a matching passenger backrest and saddlebags. The only thing we wish this model had carried over from the base model was the whitewall tires to complete the classic cross-country cruiser look. MSRP for this tricked-out model is $9,999.
Related: Best Motorcycles for Women
2023 Royal Enfield Meteor 350
With its timeless charm and comfortable riding position and seat, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is a worthy cruiser option that requires very little cash to drop down at the dealer.
Although its 349cc air/oil-cooled single may not outperform a bike like the Rebel 300, the Meteor 350 has an impressively flat torque curve and a mild-mannered engine that’s very approachable and makes for a leisurely ride (check out my comparison review on Motorcyclist’s sister brand Cycle World).
It also comes standard with dual-channel ABS, which is helpful in emergency braking situations. You can also prop it up on its standard centerstand for maintenance tasks.
The MSRP ranges from $4,699 to $4,899. Royal Enfield backs its product up with a fantastic three-year warranty too.
Related: Best Dirt Bikes for Women
Motivations for Motorcycle Use for Urban Travel
2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT and GSX-S1000GT+
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR