8 of the Most Popular Motorcycle Styles
If you decide to buy a motorcycle, you might be thinking primarily about the brand—for example, are you interested in buying a Harley Davidson or a Honda?
While the brand is important, before you get to that step, you have to think about the style of bike that’s going to suit your needs.
People who are new to motorcycles often don’t realize that they are like vehicles in that they come in different sizes, shapes, and levels of power. Some bikes are designed for a specific function, while others are meant to be eye-catching on the roadways and fun to operate.
The following are eight popular motorcycle styles and an overview of each.
The cruiser style of motorcycle first became popular in America in the 1930s. Cruisers have since then stayed popular, and Harley Davidson was known for producing a number of models, as were the Indian and Excelsior companies.
Cruisers are compact with a classic design. They provide a reasonable level of comfort and can take on challenging terrain.
The seats are low, and cruisers are meant for going on highways at relatively low speeds with a minimal amount of luggage.
There are a lot of customization options with cruisers, and the design and silhouette are very Americana-inspired.
Cruisers will usually have low seats and semi-forward foot pegs, and the handlebars are positioned to facilitate the comfort of the rider.
2. Power Cruisers
A power cruiser is another popular motorcycle style, and it’s a variation of the larger category of cruisers. A power cruiser is for a more aggressive experience for the rider.
Low ground clearance, upgraded brakes and suspensions, large exhausts, and thick rear tires are features of power cruisers.
They’re designed for both speed and performance, and they may have a mix of characteristics of sports bikes.
Power cruisers became popular in the 1980s as riders started to prefer more horsepower.
If you want to travel longer distances on a motorcycle and have room for your luggage and a passenger to fit comfortably, you might opt for a touring bike.
Touring motorcycles are designed for comfort during long-distance trips. They also have a larger fuel tank, so you’re stopping less often for gas. The downside of this style is that it’s harder to maneuver, but if you go on road trips, you don’t have to worry about this as much.
Some touring bikes will come equipped with features like navigation systems and satellite radio.
There’s also the sports touring design, which is a hybrid between a touring bike and a sport bike. These combine the amenities of a touring design, but there’s more of a focus on speed, similar to a sport bike.
Sportbikes are fast and powerful and also tend to be reliable and cost-effective. They’re easy to customize, and they come in a lot of different sizes, so all types of riders like them.
Popular models include the Kawasaki Ninja, the Honda CBR, and the Yamaha YZF. They’re nimble and lightweight, but the downside is that they aren’t necessarily very comfortable for riders.
There’s perhaps no more classic and timeless motorcycle design than a chopper. They’re designed to be unique while staying in line with traditional riding culture.
The downside of a chopper is that it’s hard to ride, and most have limited rear suspension, making corners challenging.
Also known as adventure touring or ADV, these motorcycles are equipped for on- and off-road riding. They have a long-travel suspension and a high handlebar position, as well as a seat with a high height, so they’re comfortable for all-day riding, but you can also stand up in your saddle if you need more control on rough terrain.
There are often modern adventure bikes that have classic cruiser comfort features like heated seats and grips and GPS systems.
Standard motorcycles are one of the designs that you see on the road most often. They have an ergonomic design that makes them easy to handle, with an upright riding position. The footpegs are usually semi-forward, so you don’t have to ride with your legs outstretched or with your arms cramped.
Finally, enduros and dual-sports bikes are similar to street-legal dirt bikes, but they can also be used for everyday use. These bikes don’t weigh a lot more than a dirt bike, and these bikes have a combination of on and off-road riding benefits and features. What you wouldn’t use these bikes for would be a long-distance ride because the narrow seat makes them uncomfortable for that.