Types of Motorcycles

Motorcycles are motor vehicles steered by the rider from a saddle-style seat. Motorcycles can be powered by internal combustion engines (which are typically fueled with petroleum) or electric motors. Motorcycles are most often ridden by solo riders, but may also be configured to carry passengers or cargo. There are three major categories of motorcycles: street, off-road, and dual purpose. Within each category are a variety of sub-types that cater to specific purposes such as long-distance touring, commuting, and sport riding including racing.

The most common type of motorcycles are street-legal, gas-powered machines that feature a comfortable riding position and are designed to be driven on paved roads. These include cruisers, sportbikes, and scooters. Many of these motorcycles feature a large fuel tank and are designed for highway cruising.

Off-road motorcycles are designed to tackle a wide range of terrain and usually feature higher seats, more ground clearance, and suspension that can handle a beating. The majority of these machines are trailer-ready, and they tend to be very lightweight. Some examples include the SONDORS Metacycle, which is capable of highway speeds and can be ridden for around $6,800, and the Kawasaki KLX110, which can be had for under $2,900.

There are a growing number of prosperous middle-aged and older businessmen who decide to purchase Harley-Davidson cruisers late in life and use them to ride to and from the office or on weekend day trips. These types of riders make up a significant portion of the annual tally of motorcycle fatalities.