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Kinds of Street Motorcycles

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/1/2007 | Sports

Motorcycles are not made similarly. Motorcycles are designed for specific purposes.

There are three main types of motorcycles. These are street motorcycles, off road motorcycles and dual-purpose bikes. Of these types, street motorcycles are the fastest and the most common.

Street motorcycles are designed for paved surfaces. Their tires are smooth with a light tread pattern design. Street motorcycle engines range from 125 cc and up. These engines allow the bike to reach speeds up to 100 miles per hour. More powerful motorcycles can attain speeds of more than 125 miles per hour.

Street motorcycles are divided into sub-categories. One of these categories is the cruiser. Cruiser motorcycles are inspired by the style of American motorcycles such as those made by Harley Davidson, Indian and Henderson from the 1930's to the 1960's. Owners of cruiser bikes usually customize their machines with accessories and creative paint designs that make these motorcycles rolling works of art.

The motorcycle is oriented in such a way that the rider places his feet forward, his hands up and his back erect or leaning back slightly. This riding position allows comfort for long distance riding. However, this also compromises maneuverability and control, as this street motorcycle is hard to turn.

Another category of street motorcycles is the sport bike. Sometimes called crotch rockets, sport bikes are smaller and lighter than cruisers. However, they are designed for maneuverability and speed. In fact, they can attain higher speeds on the road than most other vehicles. Sport bikes are used in high-speed bike racing.

Riding a sport bike entails that the feet be placed towards the back of the machine, the hands low, and the spine inclined forward. In a way, this position is similar to English Saddle horse riding. This position reduces aerodynamic drag.

There are also street motorcycles that are not as powerful as cruisers or sport bikes. A perfect example would be a touring bike. Touring bikes are equipped with fairings and windshields to protect the rider from rain and dust during long distance trips. These bikes have large capacity fuel tanks for longer ranges between refueling. Touring bikes usually feature saddlebags or brackets where bags, tents and other equipment can be stored. The riding position is comfortable and relaxed, with the rider sitting upright.

Lastly, mopeds or scooters are the smallest of all street motorcycles. They are not powerful and can only attain speeds less than 100 kilometers per hour. However, mopeds and scooters are cheap, maneuverable and easy to navigate in traffic. They are perfect urban vehicles.