The six main types of motorcycles are generally recognized as standard, cruiser, touring, sports, off-road, and dual-purpose.Sport touring is sometimes recognized as a seventh category or integrated with the touring category.
Although there are many names and systems for classifying types of motorcycles based on their characteristics and usage, there are generally six categories recognized by most motorcycle manufacturers and organizations.
Strong distinctions are usually made between the six main types of motorcycles and other motorcycles.Scooter, moped, underbone, miniature, pocket, electric, and three-wheeled motorcycles are generally excluded from the main categories but other classification schemes may include these as types of motorcycles.
There is no universal system for classifying all types of motorcycles. There are strict classification systems enforced by competitive motorcycle sport sanctioning bodies, or legal definitions of a motorcycle established by certain legal jurisdictions for motorcycle registration, emissions, road traffic safety rules or motorcyclist licensing. There are also informal classifications or nicknames used by manufacturers, riders, and the motorcycling media. Some experts do not recognize sub-types, like naked bike, that "purport to be classified" outside the six usual classes, because they fit within one of the main types and are recognizable only by cosmetic changes.
Street motorcycles are motorcycles designed for being ridden on paved roads. They have smooth tires with tread patterns and engines generally in the 125 cc (7.6 cu in) and over range. Typically, street motorcycles are capable of speeds up to 100 mph (160 km/h), and many of speeds in excess of 125 mph (201 km/h). Street motorcycles powered by electric motors are becoming more common, with firms like Harley-Davidson entering the market.
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Various editors at different times have rewritten and deleted the historical narrative, and now it makes no sense. "The standard seemed to have disappeared..." was part of a larger chain of thought. Now it's a non sequitur. Need to sift through the article history and bring back enough of the old text to make sense again.(January 2021)
Standard motorcycles (also called naked bikes, roadsters, or simply standards) are motorcycles mainly intended for use on streets for commuting.They are characterized primarily by their upright riding position (in-between the reclining rider posture of the cruisers and the forward leaning of sport bikes) and most of the usable torque (powerband) at lower engine rpm for commuting and fuel efficiency.
Standards are typically not equipped with fairings or windscreens from the manufacturer, hence the name naked bikes.Standard is often a synonym for naked, a term that was originally used in reference to 1950s road racing bikes. Footpegs are below the rider and handlebars are high enough to not force the rider to reach too far forward, placing the shoulders above the hips in a natural position. Due to their flexibility, lower costs, moderate engine output, and up-right seating position, standards are particularly suited for beginner motorcyclists.
Cruiser motorcycles (or simply cruisers) are styled after American motorcycles from the 1930s to the early 1960s, such as those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Excelsior-Henderson.Harley-Davidsons largely define the cruiser category, and large-displacement V-twin engines are the norm, although other engine configurations and small to medium displacements also exist. Their engines are tuned for low-end torque, making them less demanding to ride because it is not necessary to shift as frequently to accelerate or maintain control.
The riding position places the feet forward and the hands are up relatively high, so that the spine is erect or leaning back slightly.At low to moderate speeds, cruisers are more comfortable than other styles, but riding for long periods at freeway speeds can lead to fatigue from pulling back on the handlebars to resist the force of the wind against the rider's chest. Cruisers have limited cornering ability due to a lack of ground clearance.
Choppers are a type of cruiser, so called because they are a "chopped", or cut-down, version of a production cruiser. Choppers are usually custom projects that result in a bike modified to suit the owner's ideals, and, as such, are a source of pride and accomplishment. Stereotypically, a chopper may have raked-out forks, small fuel tanks and high handlebars. Choppers were popularised in the Peter Fonda film Easy Rider . Being designed primarily for visual effect, choppers will not usually be the most efficient riding machines.
Related to the chopper motorcycle is the bobber which is created by "bobbing" a factory bike by removing dead weight and bodywork from a motorcycle to reduce mass and increase performance. A common element of these motorcycles is a shortened rear fender that creates a "bobbed" look.
Power cruiser is a name used to distinguish bikes in the cruiser class that have significantly higher levels of power. They often come with upgraded brakes and suspensions, better ground clearance, and premium surface finishes, as well as more exotic or non-traditional styling.
Although any motorcycle can be equipped and used for touring, touring motorcycles are specifically designed to excel at covering long distances. 850–900 lb (390–410 kg) and top 1,300–1,400 lb (590–640 kg) fully loaded with a rider, passenger and gear.They have large-displacement engines, fairings and screens that offer good weather and wind protection, large-capacity fuel tanks for long ranges between fill-ups, and a relaxed, upright seating position. Passenger accommodation is excellent and expansive luggage space is the norm for this class. Such bikes can have wet weights of
Bagger, full dresser, full dress tourer, or dresser are various names for touring motorcycles, sometimes used disparagingly or jocularly, and originally referring to a Harley-Davidson or other cruisers with full sets of saddlebags. This can now refer to any touring motorcycle.
Sport bikes are road bikes which emphasize top speed, acceleration, braking, handling and grip,typically at the expense of comfort and fuel economy in comparison to other motorcycle types. Sport bikes have comparatively high performance engines supported within a lightweight frame. Inline-four engines dominate the sport bike category, with V-twins and parallel twins having a significant presence; and most other engine configurations appear in small numbers at times. High-performance braking systems may use upgraded brake pads, multi-piston calipers and larger vented rotors. Sports bike suspension systems may be more sophisticated, with greater adjustments for compression and rebound. Sport bikes have fairings to completely enclose the engine, along with windscreens that effectively deflect the air at high speeds away from the rider, thereby minimising overall drag.
Sport bikes may have footpegs that are both higher and set further back than on a standard bike, improving ground clearance when cornering and enabling a more prone position for the rider. There may be a long reach to the hand controls, which positions the body and center of gravity forward, above the fuel tank. The rider leans forward into the wind, the force of which may support the rider's weight at high speeds. However, at lower speeds a rider may experience excessive weight on the arms and wrists, causing fatigue.
Muscle bike is a nickname for a motorcycle type, derived from a sport bike design, that puts a disproportionately high priority on engine power.
Streetfighters are derived from sport bikes, originally being customized sport bikes with the fairings removed and higher handlebars replacing the low clip-on handlebars.Since the 1990s, factory streetfighters have been produced. As with naked bike and muscle bike (below), the name streetfighter is used to help clarify the middle ground occupied by designs that blend elements of both sport bikes and standards.
Off-road motorcycles, also known as dirt bikes or scramblers, specially designed for off-road use. The term off-road refers to driving surfaces that are not conventionally paved. These are rough surfaces, often created naturally, such as sand, gravel, a river, mud or snow. These types of terrain can sometimes only be travelled on with vehicles designed for off-road driving (such as SUVs, ATVs, snowmobiles and mountain bikes in recent decades, and minibikes even earlier) or vehicles are designed to better handle off-road conditions. Compared to road-going motorcycles, off-road machines are lighter and more flexible, typically having long suspension travel, high ground clearance, and are geared higher to provide more torque in off-road situations. [ citation needed ] have knobby tires, often clamped to the rim with a rim lock.Wheels (usually 21" front, 18" rear)
Many competitive events have emerged[ when? ] and developed into a variety of off-road motorcycle sports, for which a number of specialized motorcycles have been built:
Dual-purpose motorcycles, sometimes called dual-sport, on/off-road motorcycles, or adventure motorcycles, are street legal machines that are also designed to enter off-road situations.Typically based on a dirt bike chassis, they have added lights, mirrors, signals, and instruments that allow them to be licensed for public roads. They are higher than other street bikes, with a high center of gravity and tall seat height, allowing good suspension travel for rough ground.
Adventure motorcycles are motorcycles with touring capability on paved and unpaved roads. As a dual-sport they have a significant on-pavement bias and perform well on pavement at higher speeds unlike most dual-sports.Their size, weight and sometimes their tires, however, limits their off-road capability. Most adventure motorcycles function well on graded dirt and gravel roads but are less than ideal on more difficult off-pavement terrain.
Supermoto motorcycles were designed to compete on a single course that alternated between three genres of motorcycle racing: road racing, track racing, and motocross. This increasingly popular type of motorcycle is often a dual-sport that has been fitted by the manufacturer with smaller rims and road tires. Supermotos are quickly gaining popularity as street bikes due to their combination of light weight, durability, relatively low cost, and sporty handling.
Sport touring motorcycles combine attributes of sport bikes and touring motorcycles. The rider posture is less extreme than a sport bike, giving greater long-distance comfort. 550–720 lb (250–330 kg) wet, than a pure touring bike and often having racier engines, suspensions, and brakes, sport tourers corner better and are more at home being aggressively ridden on curvy canyon roads. The distinction between touring and sport touring is not always clear as some manufacturers will list the same bike in either category in different markets. The Honda ST1300 Pan-European, for example, was listed by Honda as a sport touring motorcycle in the United States and Australia, but as a touring motorcycle in Europe.Accommodation for a passenger is superior to a sport bike as well, along with increased luggage capacity. Being lighter, at
Motor scooters are in many cases classified as a separate vehicle to motorbikes, given their large amount of differences, and different evolution. 50–850 cc (3.1–51.9 cu in), and have all-enclosing bodywork that makes them cleaner and quieter than motorcycles, as well as having more built-in storage space. Modern scooters have automatic clutches and continuously variable transmissions (CVT), which makes them easier to learn on and to ride. Scooters usually have smaller wheels than motorcycles. They usually have the engine as part of the swingarm, so that their engines travel up and down with the suspension.Scooter engine sizes range smaller than motorcycles,
Underbones are small-displacement motorcycles with a step-through frame, descendants of the original Honda Super Cub. They are differentiated from scooters by their larger wheels and their use of footpegs instead of a floorboard. They often have a gear shifter with an automatic clutch.
The moped used to be a hybrid of the bicycle and the motorcycle, equipped with a small engine (usually a small two-stroke engine up to 50 cc, but occasionally an electric motor) and a bicycle drivetrain, and motive power can be supplied by the engine, the rider, or both. There are also Sport mopeds – a type of moped that resembles a sport bike.
In many places, mopeds are subject to less stringent licensing than bikes with larger engines and are popular as very cheap motorbikes, with the pedals seeing next to no use. Mopeds were very popular in the United States during the fuel-crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but their popularity has fallen off sharply since the mid-1980s. In response to rising fuel prices in the first decade of the 2000s, U.S. scooter and moped ridership saw a resurgence.Sales of motorcycles and scooters declined 43.2% in 2009, and continued to decrease in the first quarter of 2010, with scooter sales doing worst, down 13.3% compared to a 4.6% drop for all two-wheelers.
Other types of small motorcycles include the minibike, monkey bike, Welbike, pocketbike, and pit bike.
Enclosed motorcycles include cabin motorcycles and streamliner motorcycles.
Feet forwards motorcycles include the 1911 Wilkinson TMC and the 1918 Ner-A-Car. Contemporary examples include the Quasar, powered by a Reliant Robin engine, and the Peraves range powered mainly by BMW K Series engines.
Some motorcycles are specially adapted for specific job functions, such as those used by the ambulance, blood bikes, fire, and military services, and for specialized delivery services, such as pizza deliveries. Beginning in the 1960s with the Mountain Goat specialized motorcycles were developed for use on farms. The Motocrotte (or cainette) was used in Paris to collect dog waste with vacuum suction in the 1980s and 1990s, and was still in use in other French cities as of 2016.
A derny is a motorized bicycle used for motor-paced cycling events.
While motorcycles typically have two wheels, some motorized tricycles are classed as three-wheeled motorcycles. Some brands have made various types of three-wheelers direct from the factory. Most of these vehicles are treated as motorcycles for registration or licensing purposes.
Tilting three-wheelers keep all three wheels on the ground when they lean to negotiate curves. These include Honda's Gyro range, all of which have a front wheel that leans and a pair of rear wheels that do not, and the Piaggio MP3, which has two front wheels and a single rear wheel, all of which lean. The Yamaha Niken is also a tilting three wheeler but has smaller track width such that it is considered a motorcycle by some authorities.
sportbike: a motorcycle designed for aggressive performance, especially cornering
Streetfighter -- Also known as a 'hooligan' cycle, this is a sports-bike stripped of all superfluous bodywork.
streetfighter: a type of superbike customized for maximum speed and performance.
A motorcycle, often called a motorbike, bike, cycle, or trike, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: long-distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and being involved in other related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.
A moped is a type of small motorcycle, generally having a less stringent licensing requirement than full motorcycles or automobiles. The term used to mean a similar vehicle except with both bicycle pedals and a motorcycle engine. Mopeds typically travel only a bit faster than bicycles on public roads. Mopeds are distinguished from motor scooters in that the latter tend to be more powerful and subject to more regulation.
Aprilia is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer founded immediately after World War II in Noale, Italy, by Alberto Beggio. The company started as a manufacturer of bicycles and moved on to manufacture scooters and small-capacity motorcycles. In more recent times Aprilia has produced large sportbikes such as the 1,000 cc V-twin RSV Mille and the V4 RSV4.
Motorenwerke Zschopau GmbH is a German motorcycle manufacturer located in Zschopau, Saxony. The acronym MZ since 1956 stands for Motorenwerke Zschopau GmbH. From 1992 to 1999 the company was called MuZ, an acronym for Motorrad und Zweiradwerk.
KTM AG is an Austrian motorcycle, bicycle and sports car manufacturer owned by Pierer Mobility AG & Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV. It was formed in 1992 but traces its foundation to as early as 1934. Today, KTM AG is the parent company of the KTM Group, consisting of a number of motorcycle brands.
Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. The sport evolved from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom.
Malaguti is an Italian bicycle, scooter and motorcycle company based in San Lazzaro di Savena, founded by Antonino Malaguti in 1930. Producing bicycles until 1958, they then entered the motorcycle market. Noted for their use of small engines in their bikes. In October 2011, Malaguti laid off its remaining employees in Bologna, Italy as the company eventually folded.
A sport bike is a motorcycle designed and optimized for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on asphalt concrete race tracks and roads. They are mainly designed for performance at the expense of comfort, fuel economy, and storage in comparison with other motorcycles.
A motorcycle engine is an engine that powers a motorcycle. Motorcycle engines are typically two-stroke or four-stroke internal combustion engines, but other engine types, such as Wankels and electric motors, have been used.
Enduro is a form of motorcycle sport run on extended cross-country, off-road courses. Enduro consists of many different obstacles and challenges. The main type of enduro event, and the format to which the World Enduro Championship is run, is a time-card enduro, whereby a number of stages are raced in a time trial against the clock.
Garelli Motorcycles was an Italian moped and motorcycle manufacturer. It was founded in 1919 by Adalberto Garelli.
The Triumph Speed Four is a standard or streetfighter motorcycle made by Triumph from 2002 to 2006 as the naked, or non-faired brother of the TT600 sport bike introduced in 1999.
Ossa was a Spanish motorcycle manufacturer which was active from 1924 to 1982 and from 2010 to 2015. Founded by Manuel Giró, an industrialist from Barcelona, Ossa was best known for lightweight, two-stroke-engined bikes used in observed trials, motocross and enduro. The company was known originally as Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anónima (O.S.S.A.) and was later renamed Maquinaria Cinematográfica, S.A..
Motorcycle racing is the motorcycle sport of racing motorcycles. Major varieties include motorcycle road racing and off-road racing, both either on circuits or open courses, and track racing. Other categories include hill climbs, drag racing and land speed record trials.
An enduro motorcycle is an off-road racing motorcycle used in enduros, which are long-distance cross-country time trial competitions.
Beta is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer, specialising in off-road motorcycles. Beta are best known for their popular observed trials bikes. In 2005, they launched a range of enduro motorcycles using KTM engines. In 2010 they launched the new RR series, with a new engine made in-house. Beta motorcycles have been used by world trials champions such as Jordi Tarrés, Dougie Lampkin, Albert Cabestany and Enduro riders Steve Holcombe and Brad Freeman. Production in 2018 was expected to be in excess of 20,000 motorcycles, ranging in size from 50 cc to 480 cc.
Motorcycle components and systems for a motorcycle are engineered, manufactured, and assembled in order to produce motorcycle models with the desired performance, aesthetics, and cost. The key components of modern motorcycles are presented below.
The following outline is provided as an overview of motorcycles and motorcycling:
A sport moped is a moped that resembles a sport bike and often performs better than standard mopeds. They were created to circumvent UK legislation, called the "Sixteeners Laws", aimed at taking young motorcycle riders off the road. The new laws, introduced in 1971 by Conservative Party Minister for Transport John Peyton, forbade 16-year-olds from riding motorcycles of 250 cc (15 cu in) capacity, thus limiting them to 50 cc machines until they turned 17.
The Ducati Scrambler is an V-twin engined standard or roadster motorcycle made by Ducati. The Scrambler was introduced at the 2014 Intermot motorcycle show, with US sales beginning in 2015, in seven configurations: the 803 cc (49.0 cu in) Classic, Urban Enduro, Icon, Flat Track Pro, Full Throttle, Italia Independent and the 399 cc (24.3 cu in) Sixty2.