Six Types of Motorcycles


A motorcycle is a motorized two-wheeled vehicle with a seat for one rider. It is steered by the use of handlebars connected to a head tube that houses hydraulic springs for the suspension and connects with legs (called sliders) attached to the front wheel that control its movement. Motorcycles are typically powered by internal combustion engines, although some are electric or have even been designed for operation in outer space. Three-wheeled variations include the moped (which is usually small, single-seaters) and the motortrike (motorcycle plus sidecar).

The popularity of motorcycles increased dramatically after World War II as manufacturers produced models for GIs returning home to civilian life. The 1969 road film Easy Rider, starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, helped further popularize the image of motorcycles as symbols of rebellion and independence.

Modern motorcycles offer an experience that is much more intimate with the driving environment than a car, and are much more agile and responsive in terms of handling. They also have a very high power-to-weight ratio, meaning they can accelerate very quickly and stop short of the brakes. Because of this, they must be operated with a high degree of skill and awareness by trained riders.

Whether you’re an experienced rider or considering your first bike, the plethora of new options available can be overwhelming. To help, we’ve grouped them into six main categories according to what style of riding they’re best suited for: