Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Rock and Roll Capital
Thanked 1,767 Times in 1,212 Posts
cruisers are, well, cruisers. Shiny, Chromy motorcycles that go around town and country; not necessarily built for comfort but for the enjoyment of riding.
As previous posters have said, they can be one in the same but a true touring bike is a motorcycle that lets you have all the amenities, comfort and power necessary to sell the house, chuck it all and just ride around forever. IMHO the wing is a true touring bike, The Kawi Concourse is a true touring bike, The BMW 1200LT is a touring bike, the dresser Motor Company bike is a touring bike.
Cruisers are the non-dressed V-twin bikes of all different sorts. A vol can be set up for touring (although I think you'll find real touring bikes all offer neutral seating positions to relieve stress on the lower back) It won't be a fast tour, but who cares! Bikes can pull double duty. Yamaha's super monster tourer features touring gear than can be removed in minutes. My BMW R1150R has touring cases, windshield, luggage rack... everything you need to ride to California, quickly but in two minutes, POOF, naked Hooligan cycle.
Don't get caught up too much in terminology. Touring bikes are all about preparation, not type or style. many bikes can be bought and prepped to run around town and in a flash be converted to cross-country duty. Including the Vol