Different types of motorcycles explained

types of motorcycles explained
19 February 2024

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Motorcycle or two-wheeler is India’s primary mode of transportation among most people from very low-income to rich. Owning a motorcycle is a dream most people wish to come true. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the market share of two-wheelers has skyrocketed due to less confidence in using public traffic. There is a drastic change in the use of public transport when compared to private vehicles. Most people use motorcycles in developing countries because maintenance costs are meagre. The monthly income for a family in India is insufficient compared to other countries.

There was a time in India when we had minimal models to choose from, like Bajaj Chetak, Royal Enfield, etc., in the 90s. However, after integrating the Indian economy with the world economy in 1991, things changed rapidly, and the market got flooded with several motorcycle companies bringing out various models. There is fierce competition among companies to increase their existing market share, and they rely on multiple techniques. The primary approach deployed is to bring out different types of motorcycles in their portfolio to have cynosure among various age groups, including women.

This article will discuss different types of motorcycles based on various parameters.

Types of motorcycles based on body style

The main classification of motorcycles is based on the body style, and there are 12 types of motorcycles based on the same.

  1. Hyper Bike
  2. Super Bike or Supersport Bike
  3. Sports Bike
  4. Street Bike
  5. Cruiser
  6. Tourer
  7. Commuter
  8. Cafe Racer
  9. Scrambler
  10. Dirt Bike
  11. Adventure Bike
  12. Scooter
  13. Maxi scooter
  14. Moped

Hyper Bike

Hyperbikes, classified as motorcycles with engine displacements of 1001cc and above, are primarily engineered for achieving extremely high speeds while also offering a degree of comfort for touring purposes. In comparison to superbikes, hyperbikes tend to be heavier, which contributes to enhanced stability when riding at top speeds.

Superbike or Supersport Bike

Superbikes or Supersport bikes are racing bikes made street-legal to ride on our roads. They usually have engine capacities ranging from 600-1000cc. Most of these bikes have RR at the name end as it means (Racing Replica). Superbikes are purely performance-focused, as are their ultra-sporty ergonomics. Supersport bikes are also among the costliest ones to afford in India.

Sports Bike

Motorcycles with engine capacities ranging from 250cc to 1000cc comes under Sports bike category. These bikes are not that sporty or performance-oriented when compared to superbikes. Sports bikes provide a mix of both performance and comfort. Torque output from sports bikes is usually high when compared to supersport bikes in the low rev range. Most sports bikes come with full fairing.

Street Bike or naked bike

Street bikes are naked bikes with minimal or no fairing and have an engine capacity ranging from 125cc and above. Street bikes are for paved roads in city traffic conditions also. They have comfortable ergonomics and fuel efficiency is better than sports bikes. Ground clearance is usually high and a go-to for beginners and enthusiasts alike.


Motorcycles meant for long-distance rides have the best ergonomics among the bikes. Engine capacity starts from around 250cc and above, ranging to 2000cc. The engine’s torque output is higher when compared to the power output. That means it is never meant for high-revving rides but in the low and mid-rev ranges. The fairing is entirely absent in cruisers and possesses classic and retro styling. Cruisers are most suitable for paved roads.


Tourers are cruisers that can also do offroading. They can handle both paved and offroads similarly. Tourer equips with many travel accessories, a major USP compared to cruisers. Styling is modern, and ergonomics is always on the comfortable side. Tourer motorcycles are mostly semi-naked, and engine capacity is around 350cc and above.


A commuter has an engine capacity ranging from 50cc to 150cc. These motorcycles have superior performance and comfort in city conditions. Commuters are for short city rides and are unsuitable for long and off-road rides. The commuters’ mileage is very healthy, and maintenance costs are minimal. Ergonomics is for city rides, is the most comfortable, and has basic features.

Cafe racer

A cafe racer is a bike that originated in London in the late fifties and early sixties. Cafe racers are standard production bikes modified by their owners and optimised for speed and handling for quick rides over short distances. They were mostly ridden on rides from biker café to biker café. And that’s how the name originated. The cafe racer styling is minimalist, symbolising calm and a reminder of the past.


Scrambler is an old term for a dirt bike with an engine capacity of up to about 650cc that is used on off-road tracks with low jumps and various obstacles. Compared to dirt bikes, these bikes can also be used on street roads comfortably. Dirt bikes are purely for off-roads. They have high-ground clearance, taller suspension, spoked wheels, knobby tires and high exhaust pipes.

Dirt Bike

The most capable offroad bike and also the most offroad focussed. From the first look, you can clearly understand whether it is a dirt bike. Dirt bikes have a high suspension setup, huge ground clearance and elevated exhaust. Low kerb weight, superb handling capabilities and naked styling are the other characteristics of dirt bikes.

Adventure or ADV bikes

Adventure bikes are tourer bikes but with more suspension travel and offroad tires. They are also known as all-purpose bikes, which can be ridden on all types of roads and long-distance rides. But one thing to note is that this one is not meant for daily commutes. The engine capacity of ADV bikes starts from around 650cc and above.


Scooters having engine capacity from 100cc to 150cc and are purely for city rides. Suppose there’s a platform to rest your feet for the rider while on the move; you are riding a scooter. They have extensive cargo handling capabilities and are gearless, too. Hence, the ride is very comfortable, but performance is minimal. The main USP of scooters is the excellent mileage and low maintenance cost, which makes them favourable among low and middle-income families.

Maxi scooter

Maxi scooters come mated with bigger engines ranging from 150cc and above to 850cc. They are the beefed-up version of conventional scooters. Maxi scooters are more comfortable, have space and storage, and suit longer distances than conventional scooters. Also, they have a long wheelbase and use a larger frame. Most maxi scooters also come with a windshield.


Mopeds are scooters that have an engine capacity of less than 50cc. In earlier times, it was a bicycle fitted with a motor, also known as a Motorized Pedal vehicle (Moped). That is how this name, Moped, originated. Mopeds have minimal capabilities and are suited for ultra-short city rides. The primary purpose of this bike is to carry small loads, and it has a decent amount of space to carry goods. Deficient maintenance and service cost is the big USP, along with superb mileage, which makes it worthy and a favourite in rural areas. This is also the cheapest among the motorcycles when considering the price.

Types of motorcycles based on fuel type

Also, motorcycles can be classified by fuel type: petrol and Electric. Diesel motorcycles are a thing of the past and discontinued long after. Electric bikes and scooters have gained momentum after the post-COVID period, and several big motorcycle brands are foraying into the world of electric vehicles now. Post-COVID, petrol prices are surging, resulting in a gain in market share for Electric bikes and scooters. There are many concerns relating to electric models for an average user now. Still, petrol models lead the race now.


Here in this article, we have discussed different types of motorcycles or bikes based on

  1. Body style
  2. Fuel type

If you have any other doubts or queries, email us at bikeleague2017@gmail.com. We are always eager to help and assist you. Also, here are several social media platforms of Bikeleague India to raise your suspicions.