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A Guide to the Most Common Types of Motorcycles Out There

Are you thinking about purchasing a motorbike? Or maybe you have already purchased one and you are looking at getting a new one. It can be helpful to know about the different types of motorcycles.

If you understand the different motorcycle types then you can more easily make a more informed decision that will be suitable for your purpose. From a city bike, to get you from one place to another, to a heavy-duty motorbike to go off-country.

Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of motorcycles.

1. Automatic

What constitutes a motorcycle differs from state-to-state and from country to country. Some countries define a motorcycle as only being a manual motorcycle that has gears that you change yourself. But it’s often used as a generic term to include all two-wheel vehicles with an engine.

This includes automatic vehicles. They are a lot easier to use than manual vehicles because you don’t have to change gears but they are often less powerful. It’s more difficult to go off-road with them or to take large hills or mountainous roads.

2. Semi-Auto

The main difference between a semi-automatic and an automatic motorcycle is that with a semi-automatic you have to operate the clutch.

Semi-automatics give you some degree of control that automatic bikes don’t but a lot of the work is still taken care of you. Another key difference is the fact that on a semi-automatic you can change the gear a lot faster because it is partly controlled by a computer.

These bikes are great for people who want to cruise down a highway but know that they might have to tackle more difficult terrain and want to have that extra element of control for part of the journey without having to worry about it all of the time.

3. Manual

A manual motorcycle offers the most amount of control as you control all of the gears. It can be difficult to get used to for those who have learned to use an automatic motorcycle.

Changing the gears does take longer and you have to know when you need to change gears but manual motorcycles are often more powerful than automatics.

The degree of control they offer you enables you to breeze down highways and major roads but also allows you to tackle really difficult, off-road riding.

If you are an experienced rider then this can be the right type of bike for you as it can really allow you to let rip.

4. Adventure Motorcycles

Are you in need of an adventure? Then you’ll want an adventure bike which is the best way to see the world. If you need to head over sand dunes or more mountainous territory then an adventure motorbike is exactly what you need and does what it says on the tin.

The classic image of adventure motorcycles is of a thick bike with even thicker sports wheels and spraying mud everywhere and making a racquet for all to hear. This is a bike for getting down and dirty and letting loose.

Suspension on an adventure motorcycle is always top-notch and they are generally taller than a conventional bike which makes riding whilst standing up a breeze. To top it off they generally come with a compartment for bags, though be careful not to include anything too valuable if you’re planning on pushing the bike to its capacity.

5. Scooters

Scooters are generally automatic bikes and are designed for comfort. A Vespa Scooter is a typical model. They are popular in Asia and are great for cruising around a town or city or for traveling long distances on the highway between cities.

They can be a great alternative to cars. Be sure to check out these some money saving tips for purchasing motorcycles.

They don’t require as much skill as a more advanced motorcycle to ride and they are often cheaper. In countries like Vietnam, they are more popular than cars for getting around.

A scooter is one of the best motorcycle types.

Legal Without a License

Some scooters also come in models less than 50cc which means they are about half as powerful as a typical motorcycle. They can’t go as fast and it takes them a while to accelerate but a lot of countries allow people to ride a motorcycle up to 50cc without the need for a license.

This makes them perfect for beginners or drivers who want to build up to purchasing a motorcycle.

Remember though they are not suitable for heavy off-road driving or steep paths. as you don’t have the control over the gears that you do on other models.

Many lower CC motorcycles are also great for the environment unlike conventional petrol or diesel models. 

Planning Your Route

Perhaps you’re considering a post-Corona getaway to Vietnam’s iconic Ho Chi Minh Trail on the back of a motorbike. Many people have gotten stuck climbing mountains or unexpected paths here and all around the world. Be sure to plan out your route in advance and check the guidance using Google Maps or your local off-road driving association before you set off to find out if your scooter is suitable.

Be sure to load up on phone credit and to make sure you have some emergency numbers loaded in your phone before you set off. This applies to whatever motorcycle you are planning on using but particularly if you have a less powerful one.

There Are So Many Types of Motorcycles

There is a huge range of motorcycles on the market, but what motorcycle you want depends on your individual needs. If you’re looking for some off-road driving then a manual motorcycle and an adventure bike might before you.

If, however, you are just looking for a bike to get you from one city to the other for cruising around then you’ll want to consider a scooter and something that is automatic.

If you are interested in learning more about the different types of motorcycles then be sure to check out the rest of our site.