Different Types of Motorcycles

So, you've decided you want a motorcycle. You may or may not have already taken your class, gotten your license and started looking for a bike. At this point, you're starting to notice just how many types of motorcycles there are. The type of motorcycle that is best for you really depends on how much you intend to ride, where you plan to ride, and whether you're going to be commuting or joy riding.

If you're already a seasoned motorcyclist with thousands of miles under your belt but have only had one type of bike, you may be starting to get curious about all the other types of motorcycles out there.

No matter your situation, knowledge is power. We wanted to break down all of the different types of motorcycles out there so you can help decide what kind is best for you. So let's get started!

Standard

The standard motorcycle is what most people learn on, and is a common favorite because of its universally simple design. The engine on these types of bikes range from 125cc to 1000cc+. The term "standard" can mean a lot of things, but generally speaking, it means that this type of bike isn's specialized for one style of riding over another and will do well (but not the best!) in almost all situations.

The ergonomics on this type of bike is relatively neutral and doesn't lean too far forward or too far back. A standard motorcycle can be used for sport or travel, and can easily be fitted with luggage, or be modded for speed.

Cruiser

The cruiser motorcycle sometimes called a "chopper" was designed for cruising...they picked the perfect name didn't they? A cruiser-type motorcycle is best for trips around town where you want to be comfortable, don't care as much about speed, but aren't needing to carry a ton of luggage. With that being said, cruisers can be equipped with luggage racks and make for a great weekend rider. ​

When you think of cruisers, a Harley-Davidson is likely what comes to mind. When you're sitting on a cruiser, it's actually more like you're sitting in a cruiser since their seats are lower and more relaxed than standard bikes.

Sport Bike

Sport Bike

Sport bikes, affectionally called "crotch rockets" are the type of bike that prioritizes speed and maneuverability. The seat configuration on a sport bike is generally more aggressive. It is set to learn further forward for better aerodynamics and is higher than standard or cruiser-style motorcycles. Sport bikes range in cc from 250cc to up over 1000cc.

One of the biggest thing that sets a sport bike apart from any other style is its weight. They are made primarily from plastic and aluminum, making them much lighter than any other style of bike in their cc range.

Generally speaking, sport bikes are not a good choice for longer rides or touring. There aren't a lot of features designed for comfort, and there isn't a lot of room for luggage.

Touring

The touring motorcycle can be thought of as a cruiser with more comfort and storage. These types of motorcycles are designed to have the features that make them a suitable choice for cross-country road trips. They offer a ton of storage space and ergonomic seats that allow you to ride for multiple hours at a time. With touring motorcycles, engine sizes are larger and are meant for highway speeds and hauling gear.

While how you maneuver ultimately comes down to the skill level of the rider, touring motorcycles are less nimble than any other type of bike. However, with the right skill set, you can easily take on twisties and drag your knee on a touring motorcycle, it's just not something you see all too often.

Touring motorcycle are great for longer trips that may require staying in hotels along the way. If you intend on doing this, make sure you always bring a motorcycle cover and wheel lock with you. Touring motorcycles can be desirable for thieves, and without a garage while you're on the road, a wheel lock and motorcycle cover can go a long way.

Sport Touring

Sport touring motorcycle

If you like the general style of a sport bike, but want the amenities of a touring, then a sport touring motorcycle might just be the right choice for you! Sport touring motorcycles are a great mix of aggressive speed-centered features of the sportbike, with the comfort and luggage-hauling features of a touring motorcycle.

Sport touring bikes make great weekend riders. Depending on how you have it configured, a sport touring bike can either be an excellent commuter, a fun weekend ride, or a cross-country touring motorcycle. The engine sizes for sport touring motorcycles aren't as big as regular touring motorcycles, but range in size from medium (600cc) engines, up into larger 1000cc+ engines for more power.

Dual Sport (Adventure Bike)

Dual Sport Motorcylce

Dual sports, as their name suggests are meant to go anywhere you want to go. Love riding through the dirt but want to commute back home on the same bike as well? Consider a dual sport. Dual sports are designed like a dirt bike, but have all the road-ready features of a traditional motorcycle, like lights, a horn, and a license plate.

Their suspension is more aggressive, making them suitable to go into areas other motorcycles couldn't imagine going. They can either have road tires or knobby off-road tires depending on how you set it up. Their seats are generally set quite high and have limited storage space.

What type of motorcycle is right for you?


After reading this article, you should have a pretty good idea of the type of motorcycle that best suits your needs. Are you going for the aggressive style of a sport bike or the comfort and amenities of a touring bike?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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