Exploring the Different Types of Motorcycles: What You Need to Know

Do you have a need for speed? Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced rider, you can learn or cross check your knowledge about the different types of motorcycles out there. Correctly categorizing motorcycles is tricky as you can often see in classified ads, as for example adventure motorbikes are often listed as touring motorcycles or especially in the US cruisers are listed as tourers.

From cruisers to dirt bikes to touring motorbikes, there’s something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the different types of motorcycles and what you need to know about them. Whether you’re a speed demon or a leisurely rider or just considering buying your first motorbike, you’ll learn about perfect motorbikes for your ride in no time. Because there is never a good reason not to have or ride a motorcycle!

What are the basic motorcycles categories?

  • Cruiser
  • Touring
  • Sport
  • Naked
  • Adventure (touring enduro)
  • Dirt bike (motocross)
  • Dual-Sport
  • Scooter



Cruiser motorcycles are the classic American style, perfect for riders who want to cruise in style. Think Harley Davidson or Indian motorcycles, but every major motorcycle manufacturer usually offers at least one cruiser. These motorbikes are known for their long, low seating and laid back riding position. Cruisers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and engine sizes, ranging from lightweights to full-size motorbikes. The classic cruiser look usually includes forward-mounted footpegs, pulled-back handlebars and swept-back exhaust pipes. Riders of cruiser motorcycles often customize their motorbikes with addition of accessories aimed mostly at style, since this is one the biggest assets of cruisers.


• Long wheelbase• Low-seating• Forward-mounted foot pegs• Pulled-back handlebars• Swept-back exhaust pipes• Customizable accessories• Available in a variety of shapes, sizes and engine sizes

Pros and Cons


Easy and comfortable riding style

Stylish look

Variety of customization options


Less maneuverability than other types of motorcycles

Limited cornering options as cruisers are not made for bigger leaning angles and your pegs or even mufflers will let you know pretty soon



Touring motorcycles with the subcategories of sport touring and enduro touring are designed for longer rides, usually over hundreds of miles. It is not something you would buy to have fun riding short trips around your home. These motorbikes are equipped with comfortable seats, plenty of storage for luggage, and sometimes even fairings to protect you from the elements. Touring motorcycles are built with a strong engine, capable of taking on the long roads and keeping up with traffic. They have all the features and accessories you need to hit the tarmac and ride all day.


• Comfortable seating • Plenty of storage • Fairings for protection• Strong engine • Accessories such as windscreens, cruise control, and GPS

Pros and Cons


Ideal for long distance riding

Comfortable ride even for a passenger

Plenty of storage for luggage

Can keep up with traffic


Heavier and less maneuverable than other types of motorcycles

Style - it is subjective, but these motorbikes are not what you would call a looker



Sport motorbikes, also known as performance motorbikes, are designed for speed and agility. They have a lightweight frame, powerful engine, and aerodynamic design to help riders reach top speeds. Sport motorbikes are perfect for riders who are looking for a thrilling and adrenaline-filled ride. They’re great for racing, as well as for everyday riding. Sport motorbikes usually have a lower seating position, allowing riders to lean into the corners when cornering. They also have more sophisticated suspension systems and braking systems than other types of motorcycles. Their equipment is usually top of the line what the manufacturer has to offer, since these motorcycles cater to a very specific, demanding and performance driven crowd. Sport motorbikes are especially a domain of Japanese manufacturers Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.


• Lightweight frame• Powerful engine• Aerodynamic design• Lower seating position• Sophisticated suspension and braking systems• Perfect for racing and everyday riding

Pros and Cons


Ideal for racing and thrill-seeking riders

Lightweight and agile

Great for cornering as these motorbikes allow for the biggest lean angles


Not suitable for long-distance riding

Uncomfortable seating position

More expensive to purchase than naked motorbikes

Not ideal for carrying passengers or luggage

Less maneuverability in the city and and in low speeds when turning

Hard suspension not ideal for roads of lower quality



Naked motorbikes, also known as standard or street motorbikes, are the most popular type of motorcycle. These motorcycles are designed for everyday riding, with a minimalistic design and a comfortable riding position. They are the most versatile motorcycles for riding on the roads. They will serve great as commuter motorbikes, giving its owner lots of fun on the weekends in the twisties and even work for some longer trips.

Naked motorbikes are actually the direct descendants of the first original motorcycles. Today, they usually come from sport motorbikes, where manufacturers strip down a sport motorbike, tune the engine for more power in the lower revs, adjust footpegs and handlebars to give the motorcycle a more upright seating geometry. Unfortunately they come with lower end suspension and brakes then sport motorbikes, but on the upside they are more affordable.

They usually have a low center of gravity, providing a smooth and balanced ride. Naked motorbikes have a simple engine, making them easy to maintain. They are also lightweight, making them great for maneuvering around traffic and therefore great as first time motorcycles.


• Minimalistic design • Comfortable riding position• Low center of gravity• Simple engine• Lightweight • Simple accessories for everyday riding

Pros and Cons


Ideal for everyday riding

Low center of gravity for a smooth ride

Lightweight and easy to maneuver

Inexpensive to purchase and maintain


Not suitable for long-distance rides

Not as powerful as other types of motorcycles

Lower end suspension, brakes and other performance parts than sport motorbikes

Adventure (touring enduro)


Adventure (touring enduro) motorcycles, like the BMW GS 1250, are designed for long-distance rides and off-road trails. These motorbikes have a larger frame and higher seating position, making them more comfortable to ride over long distances. They also have a more powerful engine than other motorcycles, allowing riders to tackle steep hills and rough terrain with ease. Touring enduro motorbikes are also equipped with multiple accessories such as a screen, panniers, and crash bars to make the ride even more comfortable.

Adventure motorcycles are perfect for riders who love to explore and venture off the beaten path. This is the kind of motorcycle you take on a long distance adventure. It can be fitted with street tires or off road tires. Nowadays they are also full of electronic aids, which makes it easier to ride them despite their heavy weight.


• Larger frame and higher seating position• More powerful engine• Multiple accessories for extra comfort• Perfect for long-distance rides and off-road trails

Pros and Cons


Ideal for long-distance rides and off-road trails

More powerful engine for tackling rough terrain

Multiple accessories for extra comfort


More expensive than other types of motorcycles

Heavier and less agile than other types of motorcycles

Dirt bike (motocross)


Dirt bike (motocross) motorcycles, like the Honda CRF250R, are designed for off-road trails and motocross racing. These motorbikes have a smaller and lighter frame, allowing them to accelerate quickly and handle rough terrain with ease. They also are equipped with special off-road tires and a high-performance suspension system. Dirt bikes are perfect for riders who love to go fast and explore the great outdoors.

Needless to say, this is the only motorcycle from the list that is not street legal. They are designed for use exclusively off road. Their maintenance is demanding as they often suffer great abuse. The servicing intervals are measured not in kilometers or miles but in moto hours (hours that the motorcycle has been ridden).


• Smaller and lighter frame• Special off-road tires• High-performance suspension system• Perfect for off-road trails and motocross racing

Pros and Cons


Lightweight and agile

Excellent acceleration and handling

Ideal for off-road trails and motocross racing


Not street legal

Maintenance schedule



Dual-sport motorcycles, are designed for both on- and off-road riding. These motorbikes have a larger frame and more comfortable seating position, making them ideal for long-distance rides. They are also equipped with a more powerful engine, allowing riders to tackle both trails and pavement with ease. Dual-sport motorcycles are perfect for riders who want the versatility of an on- and off-road motorcycle.

They look like dirt bikes, but the difference is that they are street legal, equipped with turning lights, mirrors etc. They offer less performance off road than dirt bikes, but offer the versatility of riding both on and off road as well as a normal street motorbike maintenance schedule.

These motorcycles are favored by many for not being the status motorcycles. They are relatively cheap, they don’t gow fast on the road, but they can be modified for the ultimate adventures, being much lighter than large enduro cruiser bikes. The two most iconic dual sport bikes are Suzuki DRZ 400 and Yamaha WR 250 R.


• smaller size than adventure motorbikes, comfortable seating position• user friendly normal servicing intervals • Ideal for both on- and off-road riding• engine size from 250 to 400 cc

Pros and Cons


Offers the versatility of an on- and off-road motorcycle

Lighter than adventure motorbikes


Lower performance off road than a dirt bike - engine, tires, suspension

Not as good for long trips as enduro touring motorcycles

Not as comfortable for road traveling - lower top speed, tires not best for roads


Scooters, like the Honda PCX150, are designed for everyday commuting and city riding. These motorbikes have a lower center of gravity which makes them easier to handle and more stable at low speeds. They also have a distinctive step-through design which makes mounting and dismounting much easier. Scooters are perfect for riders who want a reliable and economical way to get around town.

Scooters account for most motorcycle registrations in the world. They are being widely used as one the most common means of transportation throughout Asia and south Europe. Their biggest advantages are automatic transmissions, low purchase and maintenance cost, great gas mileage, and that in many countries you don’t need a special driving license to ride them, especially under certain engine size and power.

But seriously, is a scooter really a motorcycle? I think not. Scooter is more of necessity than lifestyle and that is why scooter riders are looked down on by the members of the motorcycle community.

Other subcategories


No matter what type of motorcycle you choose, the most important thing is to make sure that it fits your needs. Do not worry, there are simple ways to customize your motorcycle if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for in any category of the stock motorcycles. Motorcycling is a thrilling and adventurous way to explore the world, and it’s important to remember that safety should always be a priority. Whether you choose a dirt bike, dual sport, or a scooter, you’ll be sure to experience the freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle.


This blog post explored the different types of motorcycles and their features, pros and cons. Dirt bikes are lightweight and built for off-road terrain, dual sport motorbikes are versatile and can be used for off-road and street riding, and scooters are great for everyday commuting. No matter what type of motorcycle you choose, safety should always be a priority.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this blog post has given you a better understanding of the different types of motorcycles and their features. Motorcycling is an exciting and rewarding activity, and we hope that you’ll find the perfect motorbike for your riding needs.

What types of motorcycles are best for long-distance riding?

When it comes to picking the right motorcycle for long-distance riding, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the bike should be comfortable to ride. Look for models that feature ergonomic seating and ergonomically-positioned controls. Additionally, you'll want to consider the type of engine, as some are better suited for long-distance riding than others. Lastly, be sure to check out the current weather conditions in your area and choose a bike that’s designed for the terrain and climate you'll be riding in. With these things in mind, some of the best bikes for long-distance riding include touring bikes and adventure bikes. They’re built for long-distance comfort, stability, and durability.

What type of motorcycle is best for city commuting?

That really depends on the individual and what their preferences are. If you plan to ride through city streets and through traffic, you'll want a smaller bike that's lightweight and easy to maneuver. The weight is definitely a factor to consider. Other one should be a comfortable riding position that will give you a good view of the traffic and mirrors. Last but not least I would consider how much you can turn your handlebars, which determines how tight you can turn in slow speeds. For these reasons I would not go with a heavy touring or enduro bike or a stiff and uncomfortable sport bike.

What is the most versatile type of motorcycle?

The naked bike is the most versatile bike of all because it combines the best features of all other types of motorcycles. It has the power and speed of a sportbike, the comfort of a touring bike, the agility of an enduro bike, and the fuel efficiency of a scooter. It is a great all-rounder for all kinds of roads, from tight city streets to open highways. Additionally, it is one of the most affordable types of motorcycles, making it an attractive option for those looking for value for money. With its combination of features, the naked bike is truly the most versatile of all bikes. I would suggest that if you are gonna have just one bike and you want to use it for at least two different things, let it be a naked bike. There are many options there: If you want power and performance, get one of the bikes from category super naked, which come very close to sport bikes, but without the disadvantages. If you like the classic look of motorcycles, get a naked bike from a category called modern classic, or even one designed or modified as a cafe racer. If you plan on sometimes taking your naked bike for a little gravel road adventure, scrambler is the best option.