Like many, you may have been watching longingly for years as motorcycle riders passed you on the freeway. Now it’s your turn, but there are some things you should know about the various types of motorcycles on the market. Motorcycle manufacturers understand that different consumers have different needs and wants when it comes to the bikes they choose; therefore, they have developed a wide range of motorcycles; manufacturers have designed different products for different personalities and lifestyles. Before choosing a motorcycle, you will want to learn about the various types to decide which are best for you.

Standard Motorcycles

Another word for standard motorcycles is “naked motorcycles.” They are offered by a number of motoclicletas (motorcycle in Spanish) manufacturers, and they are designed for basic street use. These bikes usually do not have windscreens or fairings, and they are ridden in an upright position. The foot pegs are placed in a comfortable place below the rider and the handlebars are place such that they can be reached easily without leaning. They are exactly what they are called: standard motorcycles. Manufacturers make new models of standard motorcycles every year.

Touring Motorcycles

Of course, you can travel long distances on any motorcycle, but when it comes to touring motorcycles, manufacturers are careful to include features that make travel comfortable and enjoyable. The seats are upright but are designed to provide added comfort for long periods of time, and the gas tanks are larger so the bikes can go long distances between fill-ups. Luggage accommodations are added on either side of the rear of the bike, and fairings and windscreens provide wind and weather protection. Motorcycle manufacturers that build these bikes have the comfort of the passenger in mind.

Dual-Sport Motorcycles

Motorcycle manufacturers recognize that many riders have two reasons to want a bike: as a vehicle to get from one place to another, and as a sporting vehicle for off road adventures. That is why there are dual-sport, or dual-purpose, motorcycles. Manufacturers have designed a host of vehicles that are legal to drive on the road but that also perform very well on off road trails, hills, and countryside. These motorcycles are built on a dirt bike style chassis, with a high center of gravity and a sport suspension for off road performance. However, lights, signals, mirrors, herramientas (tools in Spanish) and other instruments are added to make them street safe as well.


Cruisers are motorcycles that are designed for long rides like touring motorcycles, but that have that added power when desired. These are the styles often preferred by biking clubs and groups, with feet placed slightly forward, handlebars high, and seating that encourages an erect spine. Choppers are a kind of cruiser, and while motorcycle manufacturers designed them for long trips, they do not have the luxury comfort measures found in touring motorcycles. Manufacturers have placed these lower to the ground than other models, making them less able to make sharp turns at high speeds. It is not uncommon to see custom designed cruisers with added horsepower and other aftermarket changes and modifications.