How do we classify different styles of motorcycles

Motorbikes were once just bicycles with engines. Then, what differentiated a standard motorcycle from a sporty one was basically the engine. Nowadays things got really complicated, the nomenclature is murky at best, and we had to find a way to separate different styles for our users to find what suits them, using our filters.

Here’s how we call them so far:

  • Adventure: the original idea was probably a big bike, for long distances and every terrain. Today we have small capacity bikes that are not that capable but “long distance” can be a country house outside a city, where you have to use some dirt roads. So anything with a big front wheel, standard riding position and good ground clearance.
  • Adventure sports: essentially adventure bikes with road tires and 17 inch wheels. Still for long rides, upright riding position, with some focus on sporty riding but reasonable ground clearance.
  • Classic: bikes that resemble old bikes
  • Cruiser: low seat height, feet forward
  • Dual-sport: dirt bikes that can legally ride on the street
  • Naked: it appears this started as sport bikes that lost their fairings, which nowadays are identified more as street-fighters. Today any standard bike can be called a naked, mostly associated with modern design
  • Retro: it’s clearly modern but with elements of classic bikes
  • Scooter: scooter
  • Scrambler: a standard bike with some off-road capability
  • Sport: motorcycles with aggressive body position, full fairings
  • Sport touring: sport bikes with more comfortable ergonomics for long rides
  • Supermoto: dirt bikes with street tires
  • Touring: cruisers for long journeys. Wind protection and storage are part of the difference

This will be updated with more details and examples of differences and similarities.

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