When you’ve been riding for a while, you might be ready to move to a bike with a more powerful engine or try out a new class of bikes. When upgrading, it’s up to you to determine the kind of bike you want. Even more confusing is the wide variety of motorcycles that may be unlocked as upgrades.
While all bikes have a few essential things in common, there are enough variations in design that almost any rider would find a good match (and if not, there are always customs). Knowing your alternatives is crucial whether you’re looking at brand-new or pre-owned motorcycles.
Yet, just as there are several automobiles, there are many motorcycles that people favor for various reasons. While some are created primarily for visual appeal, others are created to fulfill a practical purpose.
An overview of the main motorbike categories and a top pick to consider for each category is discussed in the below sections.
It’s a great beginner and all-around motorbike because it comes in sizes ranging from 125 to 1,000 cc and can be customized with accessories like a luggage rack, a tank bag, and a new seat. There may or may not be a small fairing on the front of it.
It offers neutral ergonomics because it does not recline too far to the back or the front. Most people will be able to sit comfortably on a seat that is somewhere between the lowest and highest possible setting. The Yamaha SR400 is an excellent choice if you’re searching for a motorcycle to ride around the town.
In the 1930s, the cruiser motorcycle style took off in the United States. They entered the following decades and have maintained their popularity ever since. Several manufacturers contributed to the total, including Harley Davidson and Excelsior.
The design is very compact and old-world. It appears to be sturdy and dense, able to withstand considerable force. Cruisers are motorcycles designed to be ridden and shifted with minimal effort and have a lot of low-end torque. Cruisers, on the other hand, typically aren’t very powerful. Power Cruisers are a specific type of cruiser that features powerful engines.
#3 Dual Sport
Dual-sport vehicles, or dual-purpose or adventure sport vehicles, are built for extreme mobility and adaptability. They include standard roadway equipment like lights and a horn but set themselves apart with a more rugged off-road chassis and sometimes knobbier tires.
When traveling on less empty roads, it helps to have a higher seat to see over the steering wheel and see obstacles ahead. The BMW G 310 Hs combines rugged off-road performance with a sporty, versatile design. It has a taller seat but isn’t too powerful to be a hassle on a leisurely weekend ride. It can do that if you’re planning a lengthy voyage. Stock it with the essentials for capturing some priceless moments in time.
#4 Sport Touring Motorcycle
As their name implies, Sport Touring motorcycles successfully combine the best features of both Sport and Touring models. They have a higher seat than a Touring motorbike and more storage space than a Sport motorcycle, making them ideal for lengthy travels.
The engine sizes range from around average to the largest ones on the market. You should use your discretion to determine the size that suits your riding preferences.
Kawasaki’s Concours14 ABS is an excellent example of a Sport Touring bike. It can store much extra stuff, letting you rack up the kilometers throughout the weekend. The engine is slightly larger for more power while driving cross-country.
Motorcycles in the sports category are built for speed and maneuverability, with forward-leaning ergonomics that are cornering-ready. The weight is one of the most noticeable distinctions between a standard motorcycle and a Sport model.
Motorcycles in this category tend to be manufactured mainly of aluminum and other lightweight materials to improve their agility in a horizontal plane. The seat is typically higher to lean the motorcycle further without scraping the foot pegs or fairings. A higher seat height could force riders of shorter stature to use their toes to reach the ground.
In the 1980s, Suzuki’s GSXR series was widely regarded as the first of its kind. The Suzuki GSXR600 is a good motorbike of this type and is still in production today.
#6 Off-Road Motorcycle
Off-road motorcycles are designed to travel in areas where conventional vehicles cannot. They have higher suspensions to manage a few bumps and higher seat heights to accommodate deeper bush.
Kawasaki produces a range of competent and reasonably priced off-road motorcycles. The KLX110 has a 4-speed transmission and a clutch-less design, making it comfortable on the hands and wrists to hike up steep slopes on the weekend.
They are constructed for the same purpose that mountaineers scale peaks and spelunkers explore caves: exploration. The seats on these motorcycles are higher, and the suspension is softer than on adventure bikes. They’re made sturdier and have purposes beyond only sports.
Even among riders, opinions on the Scooter might vary. Some people would even say that it’s not a real bike. They serve the same purpose as the standard bike or the naked cycle. They help get around town and other regions where highway speeds aren’t appropriate. Their cylinder sizes range from 50 to 500 cc, and they come with a more compact fairing that can only hold a few necessities.
Despite their differences, some scooters are commonly referred to as Mopeds. Mopeds are similar to bikes in design but are often more lightweight. Their engines are less powerful (often 50 cc or fewer) and typically use electricity rather than gasoline. Due to their lightweight and low power, they are best used for shorter trips.
#8 Enduro Bike
The Enduro Bike is built for the sport of Enduro. This long-distance cross-country route is designed to test the stamina of the competitors. The bike is operated on a time card and is primarily constructed for the World Enduro championship. In a time trial, the number of stages raced against the clock.
This is the primary consideration when designing the Enduro motorcycle. They are the most similar to motocross bikes. They are modeled after them. They offer unique features such as a sizable petrol tank, long-lasting, dependable engines, and sump protectors.
The bikes’ long travel suspension and reputation for long-distance toughness make them popular. An Enduro bike’s single-cylinder, 2-stroke engine typically has a volume between 125 and 360 cubic centimeters. A 4-stroke 195-650 cubic centimeter cylinder can also be installed on it.
Choppers are among the most recognizable motorcycles in the United States. It first became famous as a mode of transportation in the late 1950s. Since then, it has become a symbol of rugged masculinity in television, movies, and advertising. This motorcycle’s extended forks and skewed steering angle contribute to its radical style.
The term comes from the fact that the bike was constructed from a previously existing motorcycle that had been chopped. The most recognizable aspect is the fork-like protrusions at the front. They are joined with a steeper rake and a hardtail frame.
The Chopper also created the Harley Davidson, often considered the most recognizable motorcycle in history. The motorcycle, produced under the same name as the firm, first became a cultural phenomenon in the 1960s and has since come to represent the free-spirited spirit of the American male.
The origins of the scrambler motorbike may be traced back to the 1920s in England when there were essentially just two motorcycle styles available. There weren’t as many vehicles to pick from, and none were specifically designed to handle off-road terrain.
Consequently, enthusiasts who sought more from their bikes began modifying them. Scramblers are a popular term for off-road motorcycles because of their ability to overcome obstacles and traverse a wide variety of terrains.
The popularity of off-road events necessitated the development of the scrambler. Now fast forward to the present day, and the scrambler motorcycle is making a resurgence, not because there was a lack of off-road capable motorcycles, but because of their retro beauty.
#11 Touring Motorcycle
Touring motorcycles are explicitly built for extended rides. Compared to other motorcycles, these are more steady, smooth, and comfy and have more space for your belongings. Touring motorcycles are baggers, full dressers, full dress tourers, and dressers.
To keep up with traffic on the highway and to accommodate a considerable load, the engine size of this type of motorcycle is typically quite sizable. The bike excels in its segment of passenger capacity and large cargo space. Some touring motorcycles have a 125-mile range on a full tank, while others go as far as 200.
Motocross is a type of off-road motorcycle racing that takes place on closed, off-road courses that are relatively short in distance and feature a variety of obstacles. These motorcycles often have a small gasoline tank for weight reduction and increased compactness. It boasts a lengthy suspension journey, so riders may fly off jumps at breakneck speeds.
Depending on the model, these motorcycles may be powered by 50cc four-stroke or nearly 500cc two-stroke single-cylinder engines. Popular motocross bikes include those manufactured by Kawasaki and Honda.
A trail motorcycle is a compact bike designed for use on unpaved surfaces like trails. Riding one of these bicycles is more of a test of balance and precision than speed.
A trail bike has a small, two-stroke engine (125cc to 300cc) designed for lightweight and quick acceleration. The cyclist stands on the footpegs throughout the path, reducing the seat height or eliminating it on the trail bike. This motorcycle has a concise range due to its tiny fuel tank.
#14 Dual-purpose Motorcycle
A dual-purpose motorbike is a bike that can be ridden both on and off-road. They have a dirt bike frame but street-legal components, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and speedometers.
These bikes offer superior suspension travel over rugged terrain because of their elevated seat and center of gravity. A few extra bags can be added to make them suitable for a weekend camping trip, but their limited storage space is a drawback. The finest feature is that this motorcycle is suitable for long-distance travel.
A snowmobile, or “ski-doo” as it is more commonly called, is a motorized vehicle explicitly made for use on snow. It is not limited to roads, as it can traverse snow and ice to get from place to place. Four-stroke, air-cooled engines powered the earliest snowmobiles.
Modern internal combustion engines powered by two-stroke gasoline are far more efficient and portable. Since 1990, snowmobiles have typically only been built to seat one person, although earlier models could seat two. Typically, a windscreen is the only kind of protection on a motorcycle like this.
There is an unmistakable allure to motorcycles that can’t be ignored. Even while they conjure up images of speed, adrenaline, and danger, that only adds to their allure. Something about motorbikes has allowed them to continue and not be entirely supplanted by cars, whether you like the traditional Harley Davidson, the dirt bike, or the old-world Cruiser.
Either they have endured the test of time or been adapted for brand new sports that have exploded in the 20th century. And it all started with a passion for motorcycling.