A motorcycle is a two-wheeled motor vehicle, powered by an engine, with a saddle for the rider. It is used for transporting riders and passengers, either alone or with others, and can be configured for recreational, sport, and racing purposes. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a wide range of purposes, with many different classes of motorcycles designed for urban and rural use, long-distance travel, commuting, cruising, or off-road riding. The term motorcycle may also be applied to scooters and mopeds.
Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating and liberating experience, but it is important to remember that it is dangerous if not handled properly. It is recommended that new motorcyclists take a safety class and obtain their license before beginning to ride. It is important to stay focused on the road, obey traffic laws, and wear protective gear, including a helmet and protective clothing. Many multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles are caused by drivers not seeing the rider, so it is essential that motorcyclists always wear headlights and turn signals, drive within the speed limit, and leave plenty of distance between themselves and other vehicles.
Gender stereotypes of the typical motorcycle rider are still prevalent, with the majority of people pictured in advertisements and depicted in movies and TV shows as being white men in their 20s or 30s from lower socioeconomic levels. This perception can lead to discrimination and negative attitudes towards women and racial minorities who ride, but the formation of women-only motorcycle clubs has begun to change these stereotypes.