How To Choose The Right Type Of Motorcycle

Eight of the most common categories of motorcycles.

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.

Sportbike Category Image
Sportbikes 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.Illustration by Rich Lee
Standard/Naked Category Image
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.Illustration by Rich Lee
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.Illustration by Rich Lee
Cruiser Category Image
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.Illustration by Rich Lee
Touring Category Image
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.Illustration by Rich Lee
Adventure Touring
Adventure touring category image
Another fast-growing genre is often called adventure, or 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.Illustration by Rich Lee
Scooter category image
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.Illustration by Rich Lee
Retro Category Image
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.Illustration by Rich Lee