Roadsters and cruisers are two very different types of motorcycles that are used for different purposes. While cruisers are a type designed with comfort and style in mind, roadsters aren't designed to be comfortable but offer some versatility in the form of upright handlebars and wide tyres. The riding position of a cruiser is comfortable and relaxed, which is ideal for extended journeys. In contrast, a roadster offers a light & fast ride and is meant for leisure riding. With their attractive design and reliable performance, roadsters give the rider a sense of confidence and a clear view of what is happening in front of them.
Cruisers are usually larger than other types and have a low seat height and a long wheelbase. This helps the rider while having to navigate around obstacles. However, cruisers fall short of ground clearance and fuel efficiency. Now, let's get down to comparing these two types in terms of features, riding ergonomics, and more.
Roadster vs Cruiser: Riding Ergonomics, Features
A roadster is a type of motorcycle that falls anywhere between a sport bike and a touring bike. Designed mainly for everyday travel, the roadster features versatile components such as upright handlebars and wide tyres. Other notable features of the roadster include integrated lights and fenders, making it comfortable to ride on any terrain.
The roadster's most distinguishing feature is its absence of fairing, which a cruiser gets. The cruiser bike is designed to be enjoyed while riding. That is why, it features an upright handlebar posture, plush seating, foot pegs at the front, fatter tyres, and an extended wheelbase. All up, the cruiser offers optimal comfort while riding. Besides, it also promises easy access to all controls and has a softer suspension, returning a more enjoyable ride. However, they are challenging to drive over uneven terrains due to their low ground clearance, and they are not ideal for long-distance rides as they are less fuel-efficient than lightweight bikes.
Roadster vs Cruiser: How Heavy is a Motorcycle Frame?
The roadster's frames are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, making it well-suited for navigating busy city streets. It features an exposed engine and frame. Any bike, from a 100cc commuter to a 1,200cc cafe racer, can be considered a roadster depending on how it’s used and the modifications made. The Honda SP 125, the Hero Splendor, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250, the Ducati Monster 1000, the Keeway K300 N, the KTM Duke range, etc. can be categorised as roadsters.
While the cruiser tends to have a more weighted frame that adds to the already heavy engine. Examples are enumerated as follows: the Harley-Davidson Softail range, the Indian Chief range, the Royal Enfield Meteor 650, the BMW R18 Transcontinental, and the Triumph Rocket 3.
Roadster vs Cruiser: Origin
From their introduction in the early 20th century, roadsters have been a practical and reliable mode of transportation that could take riders anywhere they needed to go. They were a revolutionary invention during that time that changed the way people travel and commute in the U.K. and in many parts of the British Empire. Its design was simple yet effective, and ever since then, it was a perfect blend of convenience, durability, and comfort.
Cruisers have been around since the early 1900s, with their roots stemming from the West Coast of America. These have become popular among those who prioritise comfort and convenience, and their popularity continues to grow due to their vintage styling and easy riding during short leisure trips or long road trips along the coast.