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Top 5 Cruiser Motorcycles for Women

In the early 1900s Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle put America on the newborn map of motorcycling. Like baseball and apple pie, the cruiser is an all-American pastime—though often as not these days it’s done on Japanese brands—that continues to resonate with riders across the states and around the globe. Cruisers are admired by men and women alike for their iconic style, rumbling engine (primarily of the V-twin variety), and low stance. Here, listed alphabetically by manufacturer, are our top five cruisers for women.

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

The Iron 883 is a raw, bare-bones Harley with an iconic look that’s ready for individual personalization.

The Iron 883 is a raw, bare-bones Harley with an iconic look that’s ready for individual personalization. (Harley-Davidson/)

The Iron 883, with its time-honored air-cooled 883cc V-twin, is Harley-Davidson’s minimalist cruiser. Its lean simplicity is the embodiment of the cruising lifestyle; it may not be fully dressed for touring, or even long rides, like many others in the Harley stable, but it drips cruiser attitude. It’s also comfortably thin between the rider’s legs, and its 25.7-inch seat height is friendly toward shorter inseams. Mid-mount controls mean no need to stretch legs out too far. And it’s hard not to notice that the Iron 883 is Harley’s most budget-friendly cruiser as well, with a starting MSRP of $11,249.

Honda Rebel 500

While the Rebel 500 doesn’t have a classic V-twin engine, it has held its own for years as an excellent all-around motorcycle.

While the Rebel 500 doesn’t have a classic V-twin engine, it has held its own for years as an excellent all-around motorcycle. (Honda/)

Honda’s Rebel 500 is famous for attracting female ridership; in fact, according to Honda, a remarkable 28 percent of Rebel 500 owners are women. The Rebel 500 sits nicely between Rebels 300 and 1100, and was picked for this list because it strikes a nice balance between approachability and usability, perfect for those new to motorcycling. Not only that, but the 500 performs admirably, with comfortable power from its 471cc parallel twin and impressive handling thanks to a compact 58.7-inch wheelbase. Pricing is entry-level friendly as well, with a starting MSRP of $6,399.

Indian Scout Bobber

The Scout Bobber’s 25.6-inch seat height not only contributes to the aggressive riding position, but also instills flat-footed confidence at stops.

The Scout Bobber’s 25.6-inch seat height not only contributes to the aggressive riding position, but also instills flat-footed confidence at stops. (Indian Motorcycle/)

The Indian Scout Bobber is a beefy single-seat cruiser with forward foot controls and an aggressive cruiser riding position. An easy reach to the ground and a low-slung heft limit any reservations riders may have about its claimed 553-pound weight. A rowdy cruiser sound and feel come straight from the Scout Bobber’s beefy 69ci (about 1,100cc) V-twin engine, while bar-end mirrors, a two-toned seat, side-mounted license plate, and bobbed fenders set its look apart from the standard Scout. Indian also offers quite a few colors to choose from. Starting MSRP: $11,499.

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT

As classically designed as it gets: large protective windscreen, chrome everywhere you look and a comfy studded seat with matching saddlebags.

As classically designed as it gets: large protective windscreen, chrome everywhere you look and a comfy studded seat with matching saddlebags. (Kawasaki/)

Looking for riding comfort in a classic full-dress cruiser profile? The Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT provides both comfort and utility with a large windscreen, saddlebags, and a passenger backrest for laid-back touring. The studded seat and saddlebags, glistening chrome, and valanced fenders, along with the Pearl Robotic White/Pearl Nightshade Teal paint, add up to one eye-catching machine. Just imagine it in contrast with the red rock of Arizona or flat golden farmlands of the Midwest, its 903cc V-twin rumbling away the miles. You’ll look fantastic while making the most of your money. Starting MSRP: $9,499.

Yamaha Bolt R-Spec

The Yamaha Bolt R-Spec’s clean lines, from steel fender to steel fender, make it ripe for customization.

The Yamaha Bolt R-Spec’s clean lines, from steel fender to steel fender, make it ripe for customization. (Yamaha/)

The Bolt R-Spec cruiser is raw and minimalist in design, wrapping its 942cc air-cooled V-twin in a double cradle frame that exposes the engine to as much wind as possible. Like the Indian and Kawasaki, the Yamaha has a non-maintenance-intensive belt final drive, freeing up more time for riding. Its compact design gives it precise handling for the class, meaning the Bolt R-Spec is a great casual around-town cruiser. And its trim, clean design means it’s a blank slate for customizing, ready to comfortably tackle the urban jungle in any style you give it. Starting MSRP: $8,599.

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