So, you’re thinking about taking up motorcycling. Bet you didn’t realize there were so many different types of motorcycles, let alone brands of motorcycles. Below you’ll find the types of motorcycles and what they’re used for.
Naked, i.e. standard, motorcycles typically have the following characteristics:
• Foot and foot peg positions are not far forward like on cruisers.
• High handlebar position.
• Moderate engine power.
• Upright riding position.
Naked bikes are usually what are recommended to new motorcyclists. They have minimal wind protection, but are good for beginners because if they fall over, damage will generally be minimal and less expensive to fix. They’re easier to maneuver than other motorcycles and are much more adaptable to different road types and trips.
The bottom line: Choose this bike if have no motorcycle riding experience and don’t want to spend a whole lot if you fall.
Cruiser motorcycles typically have the following characteristics:
• Fat rear tires and skinny front tires.
• Feet placement is typically further forward than on other motorcycles.
• High hand positioning.
• Low seat height.
• Upright or slightly back riding position.
Cruisers generally have large displacement V-twin engines that are tuned for comfortable riding; engine tuning specifically limits torque so that riders don’t need to shift gears often. Like naked bikes, cruisers are adaptable to different road types and trips, though they aren’t comfortable for very long trips due to the seating position.
The bottom line: As with Naked bikes, choose this bike if have no motorcycle riding experience and don’t want to spend a whole lot if you fall.
Sport bikes typically have the following characteristics:
• Forward riding position.
• Hand positions are forward.
• Have a windscreen.
• High foot pegs and foot placement.
• High performance brake pads.
• High performance engines.
• High performance multi-piston calipers.
• Inline-four V-twin engines.
• Less comfortable.
• Less fuel efficient.
Sport bikes are designed to be quicker, accelerate faster, and take corners faster than other bikes.
The bottom line: Choose this bike if you have motorcycling experience. If you don’t, understand that this bike is more dangerous to you as a beginner than a naked bike or cruiser.
Touring bikes typically have the following characteristics:
• Features that protect riders against the weatherand wind.
• Higher capacity fuel tanks than other bikes.
• Large-displacement engines.
• Luggage/storage space.
• Upright riding position.
These bikes are specifically made for comfortable, long-distance travel; there are large touring bikes and more compact ones depending on what a rider needs.
The bottom line: Choose this motorcycle if you plan on utilizing your motorcycle mostly for long-distance trips.
Sport Touring (Street)
Sport Touring bikes typically have the following characteristics:
• Foot position is further back than touring bikes.
• Higher performance engine than touring bikes.
• Lighter than touring bikes.
• More comfortable than sport bikes.
• Quicker and sportier handling than touring bikes.
A combination of tour bike and sport bike, sport touring bikes combine comfort and convenience with a quicker and
The bottom line: Choose this bike if you want something fast and relatively comfortable for long trips.
Dual-Sport bikes typically have the following characteristics:
• Can go both on and off-roading.
• High center of gravity.
• Taller than other motorcycles.
Designed for both on and off-roading, dual-sport bikes are essentially street legal dirt bikes.
The bottom line: Choose a dual-sport if you enjoy dirt biking but also want to be able to ride your motorcycle on the road.
Gina Williams is a guest post and article writer bringing to us the different categories of motorcycles.
Gina also writes about those involved in a motorcycle accident.