Types of motorcycles: a guide to identify them

types of motorcycles

Types of motorcycles: a guide to identify them

The market is divided in a huge number of types of motorcycles and, at times, it can be difficult to navigate among them even for the most experienced bikers out there.

The best part of it is that any change in a motorcycle design can really change its behavior and purpose. Let’s see what types of motorcycles are available on the market at the moment.


Sportbikes are engineered to go fast on a race track. They have a design studied in wind galleries to maximize aerodynamics and, therefore, top speed. Typically they have rigid suspensions that make this type of motorcycles not very friendly on the road (unless the road is perfectly paved) and the riding position is tucked in thanks to high footpegs and clip-on bars. This riding position guarantees a great feeling of everything that happens around the motorcycle, great handling, and an incredible aerodynamic efficiency.

This category is divided in two types of motorcycles: Superbike which includes all 1000cc motorcycles, and Supersport which include all 600cc motorcycles.

Some examples are: Ducati Panigale V4 and Yamaha YZF-R1.

Naked motorcycles

This category is basically composed of Sportbikes without fairing, with a gentler suspension setup and a more comfortable riding position. These are not so extreme and ride better on the road. Do not get me wrong, these bikes are able to show their teeth on track days and are capable of delivering tons of fun to their owner. Despite its similarity with Sportbikes, this category is not divided in two types of motorcycles.

Some examples are: Ducati Streetfighter and Aprilia Tuono.

Touring Motorcycles

This category is meant for the most comfortable motorcycles of all types of motorcycles. Packed with fairings, large bags, large and comfortable seats, these motorcycles are capable of taking you everywhere you dream of. Most of the also rock heated grips, heated and cooled seats to help you go through any kind of weather condition. They can be a bit heavy to move around and maneuver but, once on the go, they are relatively easy to handle.

Some examples are: Harley-Davidson Road Glide and Indian Challenger

Sport Touring Motorcycles

These motorcycles are in the middle of two types of motorcycles (Naked motorcycle and Touring motorcycles). Matter of fact, motorcycles in this category have powerful engines, a geometry that allows riders to ride real fast on bendy roads but, can be very comfortable and allow riders to go on miles and miles.

Some examples are: Ducati Multistrada and Yamaha Tracer 900 GT.

Cruiser motorcycles

These motorcycles are big, heavy, and with a relaxed riding position with mid/forward foot controls. They have a classic look and man… they are good to ride. If you have never had the chance to ride one, please do. Allowing the rider to fully embrace the road and experience a deep sense of freedom, they are the true essence of motorcycles riding.

Some examples are: Everything Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle

Adventures motorcycles

We are basically in front of huge dirt bikes that can go off-road for miles and miles. Basically, we are in Paris-Dakar territory. These motorcycles have long travel suspensions, dual-sport tires, and luggage. Their seating position makes them very comfortable to ride long distances and their high-bars are useful when riding standing.

Some examples are: BMW R 1250 GS and Ducati Desert X.

Dirt Bikes

Out of all types of motorcycles, these bikes are the only ones that can be fixed relatively easy after a crash. They usually have long travel suspensions, are very light weight and are equipped with knobby tires.

Some examples are: Honda CRF250R and Suzuki RM-Z450

Dual Sport Motorcycles

These motorcycles are basically dirt bikes that can be registered and can go on the road. They are less extreme than Dirt Bikes and are usually equipped with dual purpose tires.

Some examples are: Honda CRF150L and KTM 500 EXC-F


These motorcycles have the body and engine of Dirt Bikes but are equipped with sport bikes suspensions, wheels and brakes. Out of all types of motorcycles, supermotos are the most fun to ride and can turn even the most docile rider into a devil.

Some examples are: Suzuki DR-Z400SM and Ducati Hypermotard

Our trip into the most famous types of motorcycles has come to an end.
Did I forget something? Let us know inside the comments.

Until next time, Ride safe!


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