A Complete Guide to Different Types of Motorcycles

POSTED: 31/03/2023

If you're in the market for a motorcycle, whether it's your first or you're looking to upgrade, you may be wondering what type of bike is best suited for you. There are loads of motorcycle categories and subcategories, each with its own unique features, advantages and disadvantages. Finding the right one for you depends on your riding style, experience level, budget, and personal preferences.

There are many types of motorcycles, each designed for a specific purpose or riding style, but the most common categories are:


Adventure Motorcycles

An adventure motorcycle is one that’s designed for both on-road and off-road use. They typically have a high ground clearance, long-travel suspension, and upright riding position for improved visibility and comfort on long rides. They also have features such as large fuel tanks, luggage racks, and crash protection to enable riders to take on long-distance journeys and rough terrain. Adventure motorcycles come in various engine sizes and can be equipped with different types of tires depending on the intended use. They are popular among adventure riders who enjoy exploring new destinations and taking on challenging terrain.


Classic Motorcycles

A classic type motorcycle has a timeless and vintage design. These bikes are typically modelled after the motorcycles of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, and often have features like chrome accents, round headlights, and spoked wheels. Classic bikes can range from small, lightweight models to larger, more powerful cruisers. They are often sought after by riders who appreciate the character of classic motorcycles, and enjoy the nostalgic feel of riding a vintage bike. Classic motorcycles can be used for a variety of purposes, from weekend cruises to daily commuting, but they are generally more prized for their style and aesthetic appeal than their functionality.


Cruiser Motorcycles

A cruiser motorcycle is designed for comfortable, relaxed riding on paved roads. These bikes typically have large, low-slung frames and engines, with a relaxed riding position that puts the rider's feet forward and their hands high on the handlebars. Cruisers often have a lot of chrome and shiny accessories and are known for their stylish designs. They are generally not as agile or nimble as other types of motorcycles, but they excel at providing a smooth and comfortable ride over long distances. Cruisers are popular with riders who enjoy touring, cruising, or just taking a leisurely ride on the open road.


Electric Motorcycles 

An electric motorcycle is a motorcycle that’s powered by an electric motor and a battery pack, instead of a traditional internal combustion engine. Electric bikes have gained popularity in recent years due to their eco-friendliness and quiet operation. They are typically lightweight and have instant torque, making them quick and responsive. Electric motorcycles can vary in design from sporty models to cruisers and adventure bikes. They have a limited range, typically around 100 miles per charge, but charging times are decreasing as technology improves. Electric bikes are popular with riders who want an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation and to save on increasing fuel costs.


Mopeds/Scooters

The term are sometimes used interchangeably, but the main difference between a moped and a scooter is their engine size and speed capabilities. Mopeds typically have a smaller engine size of 50cc or less and a lower maximum speed. Scooters, on the other hand, have a larger engine size and can reach speeds of up to 60 mph or more. They do not have pedals and require a valid driver's license to operate. Scooters also typically have more storage space and are designed for longer rides and commuting.


Naked Motorcycles

A naked motorcycle is designed without a fairing or windscreen covering the engine and rider. This means that the bike has an exposed frame, engine, and other mechanical components, giving it a stripped-down and minimalist look. Naked bikes are often designed with a focus on performance, and typically have an upright riding position, wide handlebars, and a responsive engine. They are generally more agile and nimble than other types of motorcycles, making them popular with riders who enjoy riding on twisty roads. Naked bikes can be used for commuting, weekend rides, or even track days, depending on the specific model.


Off-Road Motorcycles

An off-road type motorcycle is designed for riding on rough, unpaved terrain, like dirt trails, sand dunes, or rocky paths. These bikes typically have long suspension travel, knobby tires, and a high ground clearance, allowing them to handle rough terrain and obstacles like rocks and tree roots. They often have a lightweight frame and a responsive engine, giving riders the ability to tackle steep inclines and tight turns. Off-road bikes can vary in design from motocross and enduro bikes to adventure bikes and dual-sport bikes, depending on the intended use. They are popular with riders who enjoy exploring remote areas or for sports like motocross.


Sports Motorcycles

A sports motorcycle, also known as a sportbike or supersport, is a type of motorcycle that is designed for high-performance riding on paved roads. These bikes typically have a powerful engine, lightweight frame, and aerodynamic fairing to reduce wind resistance at high speeds. They are designed to be agile and nimble, with sharp handling and quick acceleration. Sportbikes often have a forward-leaning riding position, with foot pegs positioned towards the rear of the bike, to allow riders to tuck in and reduce wind drag. They are popular with riders who enjoy pushing the limits of speed and performance on twisty roads or on the track.


Touring Motorcycles

A touring motorcycle is designed for long-distance riding on paved roads. These bikes typically have a comfortable riding position, with a relaxed posture and a seat designed to reduce fatigue over long periods of time. They often have large fairings and windscreens to protect riders from wind and weather, as well as luggage storage options for extended trips. Touring bikes can vary in design from large, heavy cruisers to lighter, more nimble adventure bikes, depending on the intended use. They are popular with riders who enjoy road trips and cross-country adventures.

With these options in mind, you may be thinking…

 

What Type of Motorcycle Should I Get?

Choosing the right motorcycle depends on several factors, like;

Your Riding Experience

When it comes to riding motorcycles, choosing the right bike for your skill level is crucial. If you're just starting out as a beginner rider, it's best to start off with a 125cc motorbike and work your way up from there. One of the main reasons for this is that these bikes are lighter and easier to manoeuvre than larger, heavier bikes. 125cc motorbikes are more forgiving and easier to handle, especially when you're still learning the basics of riding.

Your Riding Style 

Your riding style will also affect the type of motorcycle you should buy. If you're interested in touring and long-distance riding, a touring bike or adventure bike might be a good option. For commuting or city riding, a scooter might be more suitable. If you're interested in off-road riding, a dirt bike or dual-sport bike could be a good choice. Taking a test ride or visiting the showroom is a reat way to get a feel for the type bike you feel most comfortable riding.

Your Budget

Before setting a budget for a motorcycle, it's crucial to determine your overall financial situation. This involves considering your income, expenses, and other financial obligations to determine how much you can afford to spend. Next, consider the type of motorbike you want and research the average cost for that particular type. It's essential to think about additional expenses such as insurance, maintenance, and accessories as owning a motorbike comes with extra costs.

Your Physical Size

When it comes to finding the right bike, your physical size and height are important factors to consider. A bike that is too small or too large for your body can be uncomfortable to ride and may even be unsafe. It’s important to also consider the frame size and seat height. The frame size should be appropriate for your body proportions, with the seat height set so that you can comfortably reach the ground with your feet, while sitting on the bike. A seat that is too high or too low can be uncomfortable for riding and make it harder to manoeuvre the bike around.

Choosing the right motorbike requires careful consideration of various factors, such as your experience level, intended use, budget, and personal preferences. Before making a purchase, it's important to do your research, take your time, and seek advice from experts. Contact us today to enquire about any motorcycle related topics, or to enquire about motorcycle training, so that you can start your motorbike journey today.

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