For many people, a motorcycle can be a great alternative to commuting in cars and trucks. They’re fun, economical, and easy to operate when taking the proper precautions. Whether you’re a current rider or are considering making the switch, there’s a lot to learn about different motorcycle types. To make it easier to navigate the options and choose a bike that’s right for you, we’ve broken down the six main categories of motorcycle.
The most common type of motorcycle is the street bike. This includes everything from small, lightweight scooters to full-sized cruisers. Street bikes are designed to be fast, and their performance is often measured in horsepower and torque. They’re also capable of traveling long distances and navigating urban congestion.
Racing motorcycles have long been a source of excitement. The first streamlined race machines were created in the 1950s, and they played an important role in Grand Prix motorcycle racing. The designs were radical for their time, but they weren’t without their risks. Two of the leading manufacturers, NSU and Moto Guzzi, had to withdraw from Grand Prix competition after a series of fatal accidents involving their motorcycles.
Motorcycles have become increasingly popular for commuters and other riders who want to minimize their environmental impact. Discounted tolls, free parking in non-car spaces and HOV lane access for motorcyclists have given new riders an incentive to try riding. And, in the last couple of years, a wave of adult-sized small-displacement motorcycle options have given perspective riders a reason to reconsider the bigger-is-better mentality that dominated the industry for decades.