All About Motorcycle Classifications

By L Quinn

There are many types of motorcycles, with each class having distinct differences. Here are the basics of the different types of motorcycle classes.

Cruisers and Choppers

A cruiser is a type of motorcycle where the rider has a straighter position while sitting and the feet are always in a forward position on the bike, meaning they are resting up or in front of the rider. Where for example on a bicycle, for instance, your feet are below where you are sitting. Cruisers are said to be more comfortable for riding long distances. Cruisers tend to be the most widely customized motorcycles and as such are sometimes referred to as “custom motorcycles”. These custom cruisers, also called “choppers”, which comes from a reference to the frame being chopped by having the front fork extended. The chopper was the type of motorcycle that Henry Fonda and Dennis Hopper rode in the 1960’s movie Easy Rider. A cruiser or chopper is also the most popular class of motorcycle for the serious biker and you’ll find a majority of bikers riding them at motorcycle conventions, expos, rallies and other events, as they give off the classic “cool” biker look. The leading maker of this type of bike is Harley Davidson.


Touring Bikes

Touring bikes are another major type of motorcycle. Touring bikes differ from cruisers and choppers in that they are geared towards riders who wish to travel frequently or have commutes. Typically, a touring bike has a large wind screen above the handlebar area. A touring bike will also typically have a larger fuel tank to allow for less frequent stops during travel. The seats and seating position are also optimized for long rides, with more overall comfort and better positioning. Some types of touring bikes may also have luggage and storage options including hard case saddlebags and storage on the rear end of the bike. Other types of touring bikes offer amenities that you’d find on cars, including heated seats, stereo systems, GPS and even air conditioning. Safety devices such as air bags have also been included in some touring bike models. Other types of touring bikes are optimized for off road travel, and include higher ground clearance and extra shielding for protection from off road hazards. A good example of this type of bike is the police bikes that were used on the TV show “Chips”. Honda, BMW and Yamaha are some of the leading makers of touring bikes.

Sport Bikes

Sport bikes are much less geared towards comfort than to optimizing the overall performance of the bike. The speed and acceleration are foremost a priority for sport bike enthusiasts. To accommodate this, sport bikes typically offer features like wider tires, lightweight frames and technologically advanced braking, which all sit on a high performance engine. Sport bikes are also much more aerodynamically designed to lessen wind drag and maximize speed, so you’ll see very sleek, smooth and often colorful designs. There are also different types of sport bikes, with small sport bikes offering engines from 100 cc to 150 cc, all the way up to what’s known as hyper sport bikes, with engines ranging from 1000 cc all the way up to an astounding 1400 cc. Japanese makers lead the pack when it comes to sport bikes, with makers like Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha being at the forefront.

About the Author: Lydia Quinn writes for PhatSportShades, a leading performance eyewear provider, offering motorcycle goggles and motorcycle sunglasses. Visit us at:


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