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7 Different Types of Motorcycles and Their Targeted Riders

Different Types of Motorcycles Suit Different Needs

Have you ever wondered about the different types of motorcycles out on the road?  Maybe you are considering taking a motorcycle safety course, getting licensed, and purchasing a two-wheeled vehicle.  There are many different types to choose from.  Below is a breakdown of the various types of motorbikes available on the market.

The Standard

With a simple design and suitable for all purposes, the standard motorcycle is a favorite among consumers.  It is a good choice for first-timers and for use as an all-around commuter.  Engine chamber sizes vary from 125cc to 1,000cc.  The standard motorcycle has neutral ergonomics, meaning it is not especially forward or rearward leaning.  An example of this type of bike is the Yamaha SR400, which is not too large for a beginning rider, nor too small for a more experienced motorcyclist.  

Following is a YouTube video from MotoUSA reporting on the reissued Yamaha SR400.

The Cruiser

Also known as a chopper, the cruiser is – as its name suggests – designed for cruising.  The seat height is typically a bit lower. Cruisers have a variety of engine sizes and they are a good option for both new and experienced cyclists.  Probably the first brand that comes to mind with a chopper/cruiser is Harley-Davidson.

Sport Bikes

Forward-leaning sport bikes are designed for agility and speed.  They are usually a lighter motorcycle, constructed with aluminum and other lightweight materials in order to increase side-to-side maneuverability.  These bikes are made to “corner.”  The seat height is typically higher, giving the rider the ability to lean the bike more aggressively without scraping fairings or footpegs. The taller seat height may leave shorter riders on their tiptoes. Suzuki is one of the pioneers of the sports bike with its 1980s designs.


A larger motorcycle, the touring bike is designed to include the amenities necessary for cross-country trips. They feature easy ergonomics and a large amount of storage so riders travel nonstop for hours at a time. A Honda Goldwing is a classic example of a touring motorcycle.

Sport Touring

Quite obviously from the name, sport touring motorcycles represent a hybrid of sport and touring bikes.  The seats are usually taller than typically found on a touring motorcycle, and include more luggage options than a standard sport.  Engine sizes are usually mid-range, though some larger sizes are available. 

Dual Sport (aka Adventure Sport or Dual Purpose)

Dual-sport bikes are designed to do anything, anywhere.  They feature hearty off-road suspension and can also include rugged off-road tires.  The seats are usually situated a bit higher to assist in backroad navigation.  They typically do not come from the dealer with a lot of luggage options but can be outfitted afterward with extra bags.  

Scooter / Moped

Scooters are low to the ground and lightweight.  They are designed to move a commuter around cities and not equipped for travel at highway speeds.  While some people believe the terms scooter and moped are interchangeable, they are actually different types of motorbikes.  The moped has a lighter frame and bicycle-like styling.  The moped engine is also smaller, or it could include an electric motor instead of a gas engine.  Mopeds are becoming increasingly hard to find in the United States, but are available through importers such as TaoTao, which manufactures the 50 cc Titan 50.

Safety First – Always

If you are considering purchasing a motorcycle, we always recommend taking a safety course.  Figure out which one of these different types of motorcycles most suits your needs, and be careful out on the roads.

Before you head out on the open road, take a minute to type, ‘accidents near me’ on your smart phone. This is a cool way to make sure the roads you’re about to travel are accident and traffic congestion free.

Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a motorcycle accident attorney in Sacramento, California. My law firm has successfully handled numerous motorcycle injury cases over the past 38 years. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of another driver’s recklessness, do not hesitate to contact my office for free and friendly advice.  My local number is (916) 921-6400 or I can be reached toll-free from outside the Sacramento region at (800) 404-5400.  Alternatively, you may use my online form to request further information.

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