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Top 5: Performance Cruisers of 2015


by Pascal Bastien ,

Today's top performance cruisers go beyond engine power to include steering precision, ride quality, ground clearance, and braking power. They offer nimble handling and other great dynamics including a proper riding position and favourable balance.

With rare exceptions, this means no 240mm or wider rear tires, no hardtail-like profiles with very little suspension travel (or conversely a long-travel bike focused solely on comfort), no extreme rake angles, and no radical or awkward riding positions. The bike's weight must be nicely contained, as well.

A sharp, smartly tuned motorcycle will always prove easier and safer to exploit on twisty roads. Obviously, cruisers will never match naked street bikes or GTs, let alone superbikes, but some of them are so well designed and calibrated that they manage to deliver similar thrills.

Here are's top 5 performance cruisers of 2015:

No. 5
2015 Harley-Davidson Low Rider
The Low Rider benefits from the latest upgrades to the Dyna family (frame, transmission, brakes) while retaining all the thrills that made this nameplate famous, starting with the exquisite rumble of its torque-y and feisty Twim Cam 103. It's an invitation to rock the countryside to the unique beat of the all-American engine.

Thanks to a 19” front tire, 30.5-degree rake angle, 128.3mm trail, and almost natural riding position, the Harley-Davidson Low Rider is quite nimble and playful -- unquestionably the sportiest bike to come out of Milwaukee this year.

You can confidently attack corners at will, and it doesn't matter if you're riding with a passenger. Generous ground clearance (by cruiser standards) even allows you to put some zest into it. With the powerful brakes featuring dual front discs and ABS, just two fingers on the lever will do the trick when approaching a curve or performing an emergency stop.

Harley-Davidson Low Rider 2015
Photo: Harley-Davidson

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