Large motors with plenty of low-end torque, forward set footpegs, and a laid-back reclined riding position. All of this without breaking your bank

We here love the laid-back reclined riding styles that make covering vast expanses of arrow-straight asphalts a pleasure. Being the closest thing to flying without leaving the ground, Cruisers have been the incarnation of the ‘30s to ‘60s American lifestyles. Large motors with plenty of low-end torque, forward set footpeg position define any modern-day cruisers.

Here is our list of new cruiser motorcycles under $10,000 for you and me to buy in 2020 that gets us to cruise, be at one with our bike, taking in the sights and the scents, fresh air washing over, and supposedly cleansing the soul. All this, without breaking our bank.

2020 Honda Rebel 500

Top Speed Top Six Cruisers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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2020 HONDA REBEL 500
MSRP: $6,199

Although not an all-new motorcycle, this refreshed entry-level cruiser from Honda meets the eye with a sportier outlook while still being lightweight, with a manageable engine and excellent fuel economy. Thickly padded saddle, LED lighting, updated dash are some of the updates seen for 2020. The Rebel 500 gets the 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin, which makes around 45bhp and 44Nm of torque, and this time there’s a new assist-and-slipper clutch.

The engine, frame, wheels, and handlebar remain unchanged, but the suspension internals are updated at the 41 mm fork at the front to improve action, and Nitrogen gas is now being used in the shocks. A single-pot caliper binds the 240 mm rear and 296 mm front disc and has ABS as an available option. MSRP: $6,199.

2020 Indian Scout Sixty

Top Speed Top Six Cruisers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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2020 INDIAN SCOUT SIXTY
MSRP: $8,999

Featuring throwback styling and a mighty powertrain to go with it, the Scout family pays homage to a rich heritage of the Americas of the 30s’. The same liquid-cooled, 60-degree 999 cc V-twin will continue for the 2020 Scout and puts out 78 horses and 65 lb-ft of torque. An electronic closed-loop fuel-injection system handles fuel delivery while maintaining fuel efficiency and emissions standards, and 54 mm throttle bodies feed this monster. Like all Indians, power delivery, refinement, and aural quality coming out of that black exhaust pipes are top-notch and throaty.

In keeping with the classic look, the speedometer has a decidedly vintage dial, and instrumentation is basic. The 29-degree rake gives the Scout an almost-custom vibe, and coupled with the 4.7-inch trail, keeps the bike fairly stable in the straights and eager in the corners. The low seat height of 26 inches is a very cruiser-esque phenomenon that lets the Scout handle like a dream. MSRP: $8,999.

2020 KAWASAKI VULCAN S

Top Speed Top Six Cruisers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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2020 KAWASAKI VULCAN S
MSRP: $7,099

The Vulcan S is a cruiser motorcycle that is based on the same platform on which the Ninja 650R, as well as ER-6N, are built. A typical Japanese cruiser, the ER-6N boasts of both modern and retro elements, which make it a distinctive motorcycle. The bike sources its power from a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, 649cc motor, which churns out 61 bhp of maximum power and 46 lb-ft of peak torque.

The Vulcan S retains the frame, suspension, and brakes from the Ninja 650. Built on a double pipe perimeter frame, the Vulcan S comes fitted with 41mm front telescopic forks and lay-down offset rear monoshock. The suspension is tuned to provide a softer ride, without compromising much on the front of dynamics. Single disc brakes take the operation of braking care at both front and rear, which also come with the optional ABS. MSRP on the Vulcan S is $7,099 without ABS and $7,499 with it. The SE goes for $7,699

2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50

Top Speed Top Six Cruisers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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2020 SUZUKI BOULEVARD C50
MSRP: $8,299

This middleweight stalwart cruiser provides a comfortable riding position in a platform suitable for almost any rider. It boasts of smooth acceleration and comfortable seating combine with laced wheels and classic styling while still emulating the styling of its elder brothers, thanks to the old rigid frames, fat front forks with a triangular, and a hardtail-looking frame.

The 805 cc 45-degree V-twin engine powers this cruiser with 53 horsepower, and a maximum of 50.9 pound-feet of torque. A throttle body with electronic fuel injection manages the induction with the help of the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve that helps maintain smooth power delivery through the use of a computer-controlled, secondary butterfly valve. Suzuki mellows the swingarm action with a single shock tucked away and carries a large, 300 mm disc, but only gets a two-pot caliper to bind it. The rear tire doesn’t even rate a disc brake, but instead comes with a 180 mm drum. MSRP: $8,299.

2020 Yamaha V Star 250

Top Speed Top Six Cruisers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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2020 YAMAHA V STAR 250
MSRP: $4,349

Introduced in 2008, the V Star 250 replaced the Virago 250 but was essentially the same bike spec-wise. Here we have an air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin in the house that would give out 78 mpg. The 2020 model is a carry-over from last year that gets classic styling cues, chrome details, laced wheels, round headlights, and more to keep the retro all intact.

Lightweight and with a seat height of 27 inches, this lends itself to the starter-bike market with Telescopic forks at the front and twin rear shocks. The 282 mm single front disc and rear drum brakes are adequate at best. MSRP: $4,349.

2020 Honda Shadow Phantom

Top Speed Top Six Cruisers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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2020 HONDA SHADOW PHANTOM
MSRP: $7,899

The big brother to the Rebel range, the Honda Shadow Phantom carries a low, stocky profile and relaxed rider triangle quite like the vintage American cruisers from the 1950s. Full fenders, round headlights, and chrome covers shove into the retro territory. A liquid-cooled, 52-degree V-twin engine powers the Shadow through the five-speed gearbox, down the driveshaft.

A fat 120 mm wide tire upfront and an even fatter 160 in the back kicks up some serious notes and compliments the voguish attire of the bike. The 41 mm front forks have 4.6 inches of travel, but the preload-adjustable rear shocks offer a scant 3.5 inches of travel. A dual-pot piston and 296 mm disc do the braking at the front, while the rear settles with a drum unit. MSRP: $7,899.

Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read More
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