When looking for a new motorcycle, learning about the different types can make it easier for you to narrow down your search. Especially if you're a new rider, understanding the different styles can make it easier for you to get the bike that meets your needs. Veteran riders may also benefit from memorizing the basic classifications of bikes since it provides a template for evaluating any bikes you see at rallies and events. When you consult with our dealership, we can help you find the bike that suits your needs. Understanding the various motorcycle categories makes it easier to narrow down your search.
Basic Harley-Davidson® Motorcycle Types and Categories
There are several categories of bikes, and you may discover some truly innovative categories depending on who you ask. In general, it's best to start with the six main categories of classification, and then you can use that information as a base to learn more if you desire. The six different classifications are the main ones used by most motorcycle dealerships, and you'll be able to get far with a basic understanding of these bikes.
If you walked into a dealership and asked for a standard motorcycle, you would likely get a confused look. While standard motorcyles are technically a style, the term standard is too general to be especially helpful. Some of the characteristics of a standard bike include the upright seating position, comfortable handlebars that prevent much stretching, and forward positioned foot pegs. A standard bike offers comfort for most riders, and it is especially good for riders more experienced with life. Come down and explore our Tampa Bay Harley-Davidson® dealership for more information.
Sports bikes are designed to be fast, powerful, nimble, and agile. A good sports bike should provide optimal acceleration, and you should also get superior cornering. These bikes provide an upright riding position, and are also typically lighter. You may occasionally hear people refer to a sports bike as a street bike. While there are some differences, it starts to get really subtle in the distinctions. Sports bikes are just one of many Harley-Davidson® motorcycle categories.
Off-road motorcycles are designed to provide you with capabilities on and off the road. As the name implies, these are rugged bikes that often come with protective features like skid plates. You also get larger wheels that are designed to tear up the terrain and keep you upright. While you can find an off-road bike that is designed solely for off-road performance, these tend to be reserved for the dirt bike category. Many modern off-road bikes are referred to as adventure bikes, and they can tackle both on and off-road conditions. Test drive an off-road motorcycle at our Tampa Bay Harley-Davidson® dealership.
Touring bikes are robust and heavy. They often sport additional storage compartments, and may also fall under the category of bagger. The extra weight on the bike makes them more comfortable, and you'll also typically get flat foot controls that allow you to rest your boots. These bikes usually allow a passenger seat, and some seats come with backrests for the passenger, rider, or both. Front fairings are commonly found to help minimize wind and protect the rider. Touring bikes are one of the more popular motorcycle categories for comfort and storage capacity.
Think of a cruiser as a bike that you might want to take on a long scenic drive through the mountains or the city. These bikes are comfortable and smooth riding. Typically, the seats on these bikes are low, and you'll also get a slightly forward foot peg position, which adds to the overall rider comfort. Cruisers have a distinct profile, and you can usually tell from the low seat, relaxed handle bars, and laidback riding position. Cruiser bikes are one of the more popular motorcycle categories, and fall somewhere between touring and sport bikes.
Much like the standard category, the dual-purpose bike blurs the lines. This category could fall under the off-road category if you're looking for something suitable for streets and off-roading. It could also indicate you want a bike that has a cruiser-like feel with the saddlebags similar to what you might find on a touring bike. The main idea here is that if you want a versatile bike, be prepared to cite the combination of bikes you would like to see. For example, you might ask for the capability of an off-road bike paired with the agility of a sports bike.
Highlights and Features of Harley-Davidson® Motorcycles
You may notice that all of the categories discussed can be found at our dealership. Our brand serves as a pioneer of these classifications, and you'll love the innovative features and options available with these bikes. You'll want to ask us about safety features, electronics, sound systems, and riding capabilities when you visit our dealership. Explore more Harley-Davidson® motorcycle categories at our dealership.