The Touring Bike
These are typically the larger, multi-cylinder type of bike, that are built for their comfort and for long distance riding, and where the design is totally adaptable for carrying detachable luggage carriers, tank bags, and backrest boxes for extra storage. Some of the fixtures may include large windscreens, built in satellite navigations systems and a radio. Most having excellent road handling capabilities, some very good examples might include:
Suzuki Bandit 1200S
Harley Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide
They have large engines typically with a V-twin or V-four, powerful, long and can be quite bulky. Some models designed specifically with a lower riding posture with rising handlebars and forward foot positions, this does provide a laid back or upright riding position. They have always been popular models for customising. Personifies the dark shaded ‘wild one’ image
Popular models may include:
Harley Davidson Sportster and Softtail
Honda, BMW and Suzuki have various models
Sportsbike (sometimes referred to as a ‘café racer’)
Built and chosen mainly for their responsive acceleration and speed performance. They have lowered handlebars, half or full molded fairing designs. Being lightweight, they are easier but can be tight to handle. They come in various engine sizes and can be extremely powerful. These should not be the choice of a beginner! Examples might include:
Kawasaki Ninja (250R upwards)
Ducati Superbike (848 upwards)
Suzuki GSX (R6 upwards)
The Customised or Chopper
Although there are now many manufacturers producing the customised or chopper style motorcycle, the true form is mainly individually built by the enthusiast. Having lots of chrome extra’s, extended forks, different size wheels, and many with a unique paint job, historically popularised from America, by the film ‘Easy Rider’.
Trials, Enduro, Scrambler or Motocross (or Dirt Bikes)
These are essentially manufactured off-road motorcycles, and in the main having no lights or indicators. They are built specifically for riding over different types of terrain, and very popular in off-road competitions. Of a lightweight construction, with a simple framework, they have superior riding suspension for soft landings and ‘nobbly’ style tyres for extra grip and handling. A wide range of makers should include:
A variant on the above where the motorcycle is designed, not, only to have the ability for off-road riding, but is also street legal, for riding on the road.
BMW GS series
Both types of these machines have smaller engine sizes, are great for beating traffic jams and make an excellent choice for commuting and are cheap to run. The Scooter style machine having small wheels, an enclosed engine and a ‘step through frame’ design. They also have a built in platform to rest the feet.
Benelli plus all the main manufacturers
The moped (motorised pedal bike) has had various different designs over many years, but originally could be pedaled as well as driven. They usually have 49/50 cc engine, so as above very economical. UK models have ‘speed limiters or governors’ built in.
Standard (or naked)
These are rider friendly motorcycles that come in all engine sizes and are most commonly used by most types of rider. The term ‘naked’ means that they have not got a customised or built-on fairing. They have a fair amount of comfort, are easy to ride and control. Although not built for performance, have ample power and good handling. Are single or multiple engined, with ‘standard’ seating, disk brakes and wide seats. Virtually all manufactures make them, the choice is yours.