9 Common Types of Motorcycles

Yamaha XSR900

Standard Motorcycles

Standard-type motorcycles have a riding position midway between the forward-rotated position of a sport bike and the reclined arrangement of a cruiser, putting the rider in a very natural position. Standards often have little or no fairing and limited bodywork, and many are appropriately termed as Naked bikes. Standards are popular for commuting and other city riding.

Yamaha YZF-R1

Sport Bike

A sport bike is a motorcycle optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on paved roads. Due to the sport bikes aggressive body position, this type of motorcycle is best used for short spirited rides or track day.

Honda Goldwing

Touring Bike

Touring motorcycles are designed for long-distance riding. These types of bikes commonly have large displacement fairings and windshields that offer protection from weather and wind, large-capacity fuel tanks, plenty of cargo space, and a more relaxed, upright seated position.

Ducati Multistrada

Sport Touring

A sport touring motorcycle is a type of motorcycle that combines the performance of a sport bike with the long-distance capabilities and comfort of a touring motorcycle. Unlike a full touring model, a sport touring bike will typically have more ride height ground clearance for better cornering, less storage, lower weight, and a less relaxed seating position.

Suzuki Boulevard M90


Cruiser motorcycles are based upon the American model of large, heavy machine, traditionally powered by a substantial V-twin engine tuned to deliver strong low-speed torque, and easy rideability and shifting. Low seat height makes it a great choice for riders with shorter stature.

KTM 1090 Adventure R

Adventure Bike

Adventure bikes, also called ADV machines, are typically larger displacement multi-cylinder motorcycles developed for on-and off-road travel, and are capable of covering great distance in relative comfort. Detachable saddlebags are a common feature found on ADV bikes.

Kawasaki KLX450R

Dirt Bike

A dirt bike is typically a lightweight motorcycle designed for operation on unpaved surfaces such as sand, gravel, dirt, mud or snow. Knobby tires are a hallmark of dirt bikes making them capable of riding on rough terrains. Dirt bikes are not street-legal.

Honda CRF450L

Dual Sport

A dual-sport motorcycle is a type of street-legal motorcycle that is designed for both on-road and off-road use. The presence of a headlight and license plate is one easy way to distinguish a dual sport bike from a traditional dirt bike.

Honda Ruckus


A scooter is a type of motorcycle traditionally defined by characteristics such as a step-through frame, wheels less than 16” in diameter, and an engine located below the rider and to the rear.

More Helpful Info About Motorcycles!


A motorcycles anti-lock brake system (ABS) prevents a bike’s wheels from locking during hard braking situations by adjusting the pressure of brake fluid to maintain traction and avoid crashes.

2-Stroke vs. 4-Stroke Engine

Typically, a 2-stroke engine creates more torque at a higher RPM, while a 4-stroke engine creates a higher torque at a lower RPM. Two-stroke engines require pre-mixing of oil and fuel, while the 4-strokes do not.

Air-cooled vs. Liquid-cooled engine

Air-cooled engines typically dissipate their heat through fins seen on the cylinders, and often the head itself and operate at a wider range of temperatures that are considered “normal.” Liquid cooled engines use a mixture of water and other chemicals like anti-freeze and rust inhibitors, although some engines substitute water for other special fluids like ethylene glycol. Nonetheless, liquid cool engines have a narrower window of operating temperatures.

“Knobby” Tires

“Knobby” is used to describe a type of off-road tire that uses deep tread to provide better traction on unpaved surfaces like loose dirt, mud, sand, or gravel.