The Different Types of Motorcycles – Part 1

The Different Types of Motorcycles – Part 1

For the layman there is little difference between one motorcycle and another, but the truth is that there are probably more variants in motorcycles than cars. That is because the motorcycle is far more adaptable than a car and can take on many different surfaces and terrains that a car could not even dream of. In this blog we will take a look at the different types of motorcycles that exist, what they are for and how they have developed.

The Different Bikes

Would you know the difference between an Adventure Touring bike and a Cruiser? Or how about a Sports Tourer and a Sports bike?

We will be looking at the myriad of choice that is out there for the motorcyclist from a Standard Bike to Adventure Touring, Cruiser, Dual-Sport, Sport Touring, Sport Bike, and the Tourer.

Standard Motorcycle

Basically a standard motorcycle is a dealer purchased road bike that is designed to be low maintenance, affordable, practical, easy to handle, light, simple and capable for everyday riding. The big problem with most standard motorcycles is that they are designed primarily to be low cost, and therefore many mechanical and overall specifications are sacrificed to achieve a low price. So, do not expect to have brakes, speed, suspension and looks to be as good as the more expensive alternatives. What you do get is a big bang for your money, that will be fuel efficient and rarely in the mechanics shop.

Adventure Touring

An adventure touring bike is a bit of a conundrum and is a fairly recent addition to the world of motorcycles. It is a large touring bike that can also follow a trail bike off road. The problem with this concept is that one bike is normally a really heavy and powerful road bike capable of crossing continents, the other is a light nimble machine that can tackle a forest as easy as it can a desert. And riding a cruiser type machine is not easy off road, complicated bikes are notoriously fragile because they are complicated and need constant professional care. And the bare truth is that they do not perform well off road, fat tires, large fuel tanks, and elephant proportions do not make for an off roader. The promise of this bike is the allurement, a bike that can span huge distances on any terrain. This promise is what sells machines like this and to be honest they are better off staying to the roads, where they look the part at least.


A bike built for simply cruising about, not built for speed or versatility, the cruiser is perfect for what is designed for. Looking good on a fantastic machine, with large elongated forks stretching out in front. The cruiser is all about image, and an image that portrays classic bikes with custom paint jobs and throbbing engines. Owning a cruiser is buying into a lifestyle, one where serious bikers spend a lot of time talking about their machines and riding out into the desert together. We leave part one of the different types of motorcycles with the cruiser, and in part two we look at the more modern sports types bikes.