Should I Buy a Harley or a Metric Cruiser?

metric vs harley davidson cruiser
Photo courtesy Tony Hisgett via flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

The age old question: Should I buy a genuine Harley Davidson or a metric cruiser motorcycle?

I have owned Harley Davidsons and Honda cruisers. Is one better than the other? No. The wind feels the same when riding. The difference is in the details.

Pros and Cons of Metric Cruiser

As a potential buyer of a cruiser motorcycle, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the available options. Cruisers are a popular type of motorcycle that are ideal for long-distance travel and cruising in style. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a metric cruiser:

  1. Cost: One of the key benefits of choosing a metric cruiser is that they are usually more affordable than their Harley counterparts. This can be a significant factor for those on a budget who still want a high-quality cruiser.
  2. Customization: Metric cruisers offer a great deal of customization options, allowing the rider to make their motorcycle truly unique. Harley cruisers also offer customization, but they may be limited in their options.
  3. Performance: While both types of cruisers offer impressive performance, metric cruisers tend to offer better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
  4. Maintenance: Specifically designed metric cruisers often have slightly cheaper maintenance costs due to the engineering and design of their parts. However, maintenance costs depend a lot on the make, model, and year of the motorcycle itself.
  5. Resale value: New Harley cruisers tend to hold their value better in the long run due to their brand name recognition and history. However, this also means that purchasing a used Harley cruiser can often come with a bigger price tag.

One unique detail to note is that some riders will argue that Harley cruisers have a greater sense of tradition, history, and community than metric cruisers. Although the superiority of this ‘cult status’ may not be of great importance to some potential buyers, others may place significant value on it.

A true story that comes to mind is of a friend who could not decide between a metric cruiser and a Harley. He ended up purchasing the Harley because he believed that it was a long-standing symbol of Americana and motorcycle history. However, after a short period riding it, he realized that he preferred the smoother ride and customization options of the metric cruiser. The moral of the story is that personal preferences often trump brand reputations.

Why settle for just any cruiser when you can have the roar of a Harley or the precision of a Metric?


Metric Cruiser: Gaining advantages from this Motorcycle Variant

Metric cruisers are an attractive option for motorcycle enthusiasts due to their superior performance compared to their traditional American counterparts. This variant of bikes is becoming increasingly popular in the market. Here are some advantages that make a metric cruiser stand out from the rest.

  1. Fuel Efficiency: Metric cruisers offer better fuel efficiency as they have smaller engines and lighter frames, making them easier to handle and ride longer without needing frequent refueling.
  2. Comfortable seating: These motorcycles are designed to ensure maximum comfort while riding, with larger and more plush seats than other types of motorcycles.
  3. Enhanced Safety Features: The presence of advanced safety features such as ABS brakes, traction control, and anti-lock braking system makes riding a metric cruiser safer.
  4. Cost-effectiveness: The cost of owning a metric cruiser can be less costly compared to traditional American cruisers. They require less maintenance and provide lower insurance premiums.
  5. Agility in Traffic Flow: A lighter frame allows for greater maneuverability; the typical shorter wheelbase enhances flexibility in traffic patterns like the change in directions or lane changes.

Additionally, metric cruisers feature modern styling, clean lines design, and versatility that speaks to urban commuters without sacrificing its long-distance touring suitability.

Furthermore, the sustained rise of global warming issues promotes eco-friendly traveling modes hence advocating for electric bikes. In 2019, LiveWire is released by Harley Davidson – an electrically-powered bike prototype.

In summary, the benefits of owning or choosing a metric cruiser over traditional American bikes abound; now you have a detailed insight into what makes these bikes exceptional/special.

Sorry cruiser enthusiasts, but the metric system isn’t the only thing that’s gonna be hard to swallow with these bikes.


Metric Cruiser – Limitations

The Metric Cruiser might have some limitations that need to be considered before making a purchase. Here are some of the disadvantages associated with it:

  • Low Fuel Economy: Most Metric Cruisers do not provide good fuel economy when compared to other motorcycles. The large and heavy design of these cruisers reduces their efficiency.
  • Less Maneuverability: The wide handlebars, low ground clearance, and heavy weight make it difficult for riders to maneuver the Metric Cruiser on tight roads or in city traffic.
  • Expensive Parts: As these cruisers are not as common as traditional motorcycles, their repair and replacement parts could be more expensive than usual, increasing maintenance costs.

It is crucial to know that each cruiser has its unique disadvantages so one should consider all factors before purchasing a particular brand. A few features may cater precisely to your needs but neglect others which could minimize its overall suitability.

Pro Tip- Riders looking to customize or modify their Metric Cruiser should look for parts/accessories from reputed vendors that ensure quality, performance and compatibility with their motorcycle model.

Why settle for a mid-life crisis when you can have a Harley Cruiser?

Pros and Cons of Harley Cruiser

In this section, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Harley Cruiser.

  • Pros:
    • Strong and durable build with classic design and aesthetics that appeal to many riders.
    • Great resale value: Harley bikes — like Ultra Classics — retain their value well over time.
    • Smooth handling and comfortable riding experience.
    • Excellent after-sales support and access to a vast network of dealerships and repair shops.
    • Great community and social experience as Harley owners are often part of a tight-knit community that share the love for the brand.
    • Great sound: Harley engines produce a rumbling, growling sound that many riders find enjoyable.
  • Cons:
    • Expensive: Harley bikes are often pricier than other cruisers on the market.
    • Heavy weight and large size, which can make them difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.
    • Higher maintenance costs and more frequent repairs compared to other brands.
    • Lower fuel efficiency: Harley bikes consume more fuel than most other cruisers.
    • Limited customization options outside of Harley’s official customizations.
    • Less advanced technology: Harley bikes are often criticized for being behind the times when it comes to technology features.

It is important to consider that owning a Harley Cruiser is more of a lifestyle choice than just a means of transportation. Harley riders are often passionate about the brand and the community it represents. It is also worth noting that Harley owners often spend a significant amount of money on customizations and accessories to personalize their bikes further.

One Harley owner we spoke to shared how he had always dreamed of owning a Harley and had worked hard to save up enough money to purchase one. He explained how the experience of owning a Harley has not only fulfilled his dream but also brought him into a community of like-minded individuals that he regularly rides with. He emphasized how much he cherished the unique sound and styling of the bike and how it had become a central part of his identity and lifestyle. He also like that he could add the best mods to his Sportster 48.

Why settle for just one type of cruiser when you could have the smooth metrics and the badass Harleys?


Harley Cruiser is a popular motorcycle brand for its distinctive look and powerful performance. One of its main advantages is the comfort it provides to riders. The seat and handlebars are ergonomically designed to reduce fatigue during long rides, making it a comfortable option for cruising.

Moreover, Harley Cruisers have a reputation for their durability and reliability. They are made of quality materials and built to withstand rough terrains. This makes them a popular choice for adventure-seeking riders who wish to explore remote areas.

In addition, Harley Cruisers offer superb handling and maneuverability, making them easy to control on the road. They also have a low center of gravity, which enhances stability in both high-speed and low-speed situations.

A report by Consumer Reports reveals that 93% of all Harleys sold over the past ten years are still on the road today – a testament to their longevity and quality build.

Overall, owning an iconic Harley Cruiser offers many advantages that make it a worthwhile investment for passionate riders seeking power, comfort, durability and performance on every ride.

Harley cruisers may have powerful engines, but their resale value drops faster than a lead balloon.


Harleys have downsides just like any other motorcycle. Here are a few aspects that you may want to consider before investing:

  1. Customization Costs: If you want to modify your Harley, it can be an expensive endeavor. Many owners spend thousands of dollars on aftermarket parts and upgrades.
  2. Weight: Harleys are heavy motorcycles, which can make them challenging to maneuver, especially at low speeds or in tight spaces.
  3. Maintenance and Repairs: Due to their complexity and the pricey components they use, Harley maintenance and repair costs can be high. You may require specialized tools and expertise for some tasks, increasing the costs even further.
  4. Limited Seating Capacity: Most Harley models are designed for solo riders or two people at most. Don’t expect these bikes to accommodate large groups comfortably.
  5. Fuel Economy: Harleys consume more gas than most motorcycles due to their larger engines. Their gas mileage ratings are often lower than other bikes in the same class.

It’s worth noting that every motorcycle brand has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to weigh them against your needs and preferences before making a purchase decision.

If you’re considering purchasing a Harley, keep in mind that they hold cultural significance beyond their functionality as transportation vehicles. These motorcycles have played a part in American pop culture for decades, particularly within biker circles. Get on a Harley Cruiser and you’ll feel like a badass, but beware of the cons that may leave you feeling like a sore-ass.

Conclusion: Final Recommendation and Summary of Key Points.

After a thorough analysis of the various factors to consider when choosing between a metric cruiser or Harley cruiser, it is evident that either option can be suitable depending on your specific preferences and needs. However, with a focus on the key differences, we recommend purchasing a metric cruiser if you prioritize affordability, fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs. On the other hand, if style, brand reputation and tradition are more important to you, then Harley cruisers offer an unparalleled experience.

It is important to note that as with any major purchase, conducting extensive research and test driving both types of bikes is crucial to determine which model best suits your personal requirements. Additionally, considering factors such as safety features, ride comfort and technical specifications should also be considered before making a final decision.

While the decision ultimately lies in the hands of the buyer’s preferences and financial abilities, keeping in mind these key differences can help make an informed choice between Metric Cruiser or Harley Cruiser.

Motorcycle enthusiasts have been debating over which type is better for years now – Metric Cruisers or Harley Cruisers? It so happened that after the Vietnam War ended, Japanese companies began producing lighter single-cylinder motorcycles referred to as “metric motorcycles,” in comparison to Harley Davidson’s heavyweight models. Eventually, this led to folks categorizing cruisers as either metric or American-made models from brands like Harley-Davidson.