Do you know the difference between a sportbike, a cruiser, and a naked bike? If you don't, no need to worry. We've got you covered with a visual guide to the eight most common types of motorcycles available on the market today.
Illustrations by Rich Lee
SPORTBIKE These machines are focused on performance, acceleration, cornering, and braking. They’re as light and powerful as possible, and typically not as comfortable as other types of motorcycles.
STANDARD/NAKED Many modern standards, also called naked bikes, offer nearly all the performance of full-on sportbikes but with more comfortable riding positions and a bit more overall utility. This is a rapidly growing segment.
DUAL-SPORT Part road, part dirt, so-called dual-sports are street legal and capable of highway travel as well as urban/suburban commuting. But they can also tackle off-road trails on the weekends.
CRUISER Stemming from the styling themes laid down by Harley-Davidson, most cruisers are low, long, and somewhat mean looking. Their main benefit is low seat height along with a certain visual swagger.
TOURING Today’s touring bikes are built for the long haul and include full weather protection, waterproof luggage, and other amenities like heated handgrips, stereos, and comfortable seats.
ADVENTURE TOURING Another fast-growing genre is often called just ADV. These bikes are patterned after the long-popular BMW R-GS bikes, which are basically large street machines that also offer some off-road capability.
SCOOTER Often for city dwellers, there’s nothing more functional than a scooter. Bigger scooters are comfortable for larger riders, have locking luggage space, and get phenomenal mileage.
RETRO With styling that recalls motorcycling’s roots mated to modern technology like antilock brakes and fuel injection, today’s retro bikes are both mechanically simple and utterly reliable.