Different motorcycle types

Types of Motorcycles

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Learn more about different motorcycle styles and which one fits your driving dream the best.

If you’ve ever wondered about getting a motorcycle, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “What type of motorcycle fits me?” We can help you narrow down your choices with this simple breakdown of different types of motorcycles.

Standard Bikes. Standard bikes tend to be very basic in style and features, hence their nickname, “naked bikes.” They’re great for beginners, thanks to their upright riding position, lighter weight and ease of control. But like any other style, these come in multiple sizes and speeds, so don’t automatically assume every standard bike is a beginner bike.

Pros: Versatile; usually lower-cost

Cons: Minimal design and tech gadgets

Cruisers. Close your eyes and think of a motorcycle. Chances are you pictured a cruiser — something with classic motorcycle charms like a Harley. Cruisers are low to the ground making them easier to get your feet down flat, but they’re also a little more difficult to clear corners. Cruiser motorcycles are one of the most popular styles of bike, so finding a cruiser in your brand of choice shouldn’t be hard at all.

Pros: Low seat height; ideal for customization

Cons: Riding position can grow uncomfortable during long distances

Touring Bikes. Shrink an SUV into a motorcycle and you’ve got a touring bike. Built for comfort and equipped for long distance traveling, these babies come with features like luggage storage, radios and intercoms, GPS screens, ABS and high-capacity gas tanks.

Pros: Comfortable and well-equipped; carries a lot of gear

Cons: Hefty in size; often pricey; not a beginner bike

Sport Bikes. If you have need for speed, a sport bike is the way to go. These are powerful, high-performance machines with sleek, aerodynamic designs for quick acceleration.

Pros: Strong brakes; lightweight for easy handling

Cons: May have poor fuel economy; awkward riding position

Sport-Touring. These hybrid motorcycles combine the practical features of a touring bike with the ostentatious physicality and racy engine of a sport bike. They typically have more storage than a sports bike, and though their seats are typically higher than a touring bike, they provide a more comfortable riding posture for long distances.

Pro: Better cornering ability than touring bikes

Con: Heavier than sport bikes

Scooters. Think of scooters as the practical little cousin of the motorcycle. So if you’re not quite ready for a motorcycle, the scooter is a good alternative. The frames and wheels are smaller than motorcycles, and engine sizes range from 50cc to 650cc, making scooters a better choice for short commutes around town than long distance travel.

Pros: More fuel efficient and affordable than motorcycles; most have automatic transmission

Con: Smaller to medium sizes are not made for highway riding

There are plenty of subcategories that fit into these motorcycle classes, but with this basic knowledge, you’re sure to find something that fits your style. And if you’re hoping for a little more personalization, consider getting your dream bike custom-built.

No matter which motorcycle you select, give your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) a call to make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your riding style.

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