Main Styles of Road Motorbikes

Types of Road Bikes

So you have your motorbike license, or you’re about to get it. Now one of the biggest decisions that you need to make is the sort of bike you wish to ride. This can often be a very daunting task for those who have never been riding before, as there are so many options out there. After reading this article it is also worth reading What Is The Best Motorcycle For A Beginner to send you on the right path.

We will focus solely on a few of the main variations of road bikes on the market, although there are many other types in addition to off-road options too. By the end of this article you’ll have a good idea of the different main styles of motorbikes which are available to you, as well as know some of the key characteristics of each and the names of some of the most common models of each.



Supersport bikes are one of the most popular on the market, this is almost the most well-known styles of motorbikes as well, partly due to these being similarly shaped to those in the MotoGP and Superbike Championships. These bikes are very sleek by design and will have fairings (fairings refer to the fibreglass or plastic casing that sits at the front of the bike covering much of the engine). Some of the most well-known super sport bikes include the Yamaha R1, Suzuki GSXR 1000, Ducati 1198 and the Honda CBR1000. These are some of the fastest bikes on the market. Supersport motorbikes have a very aggressive seating position, where the rider is heavily leaned over the fuel tank. These are a very popular choice for anyone wishing to spend considerable time at a racetrack on the weekend. These are the bikes that scare parents.

main styles of road motorbikes - yamaha r1 2003 -



Naked bikes come with a bit of a strange name but it does make some sense. Naked is referring to the lack of fairings on the front of the motorbike, as the engine is now exposed, and naked. These will often have a more relaxed seating position than the super sport bikes so they can sometimes be more comfortable on longer rides. However, keep in mind that most naked motorbikes will not have any windshield, which can be a pain on long rides. Naked bikes are also a very popular choice for commuting, as well as for motorbike couriers as they often are easier to turn than supersport motorbikes. Due to the lack of fairings on naked motorbikes, these are often also an excellent choice for learner riders, as there is less to break if, or when, the bike is dropped at a set of traffic lights and they don’t have time to get a foot down. Some of the most popular naked bikes include the Yamaha FZ1N, Honda CB1000 and the extremely popular learner bike the Honda CB250.

main styles of road motorbikes - Yamaha fz1n 2007 -


Adventure or Dual-Sport

Adventure motorbikes often look like a naked bike that it then heightened, or sometimes a naked motorbike which has then slept with a trail motorbike. These are able to be at home on either paved roads or off the beaten track, they are looking to be the best of both worlds. Adventure bikes will have a heightened ride which can be very useful when overcoming obstacles or if you have long legs. These are the most popular choice of motorbike if you’ll be travelling any sort of long distances over dirt roads not suitable for supersport or naked motorbikes. These shouldn’t be confused with trail bikes, even though they have a few things in common. Some of the most common types of adventure bikes include the BMW 1100GS, BMW 1200GS, Suzuki V-Strom and the Kawasaki KLR650. Don’t be fooled though, these can often be an excellent choice for everyday road riding due to their relaxed seating position. If you’re looking to spend a day riding along a fire trail and a dedicated dirt bike is not possible, an adventure or dual-sport bike is your best choice.

main styles of road motorbikes - bmw r1200gs -

Adventure / Dual-Sport


When people think of cruisers the first that will come to mind is most likely a Harley Davidson. These bikes have a very upright seating position, long stature and an exposed engine. Although some models have windshields, many will not. In addition to Harley-Davidson, other common cruiser style motorbikes include the Honda Rebel, Honda VT750 and the V Star. Although they are basically the only choice for many outlaw motorbike clubs, the cruiser style motorbike has an extremely large following amongst the general public too.

Read more about 1% clubs in the article “What Is A 1% Motorcycle Club?“.

main styles of road motorbikes - harley-davidson fxdw -



The final type that we will look at is the motard. The motard is slowly becoming a more popular choice of motorbike due to its versatility. The motard is essentially a trail bike which has then been converted for road use. Although it will look like a trail bike from a distance it will have street legal tires, headlights and all of the mirrors required by law. Due to the light weight of motards, it often a very popular choice for commuting due to its excellent turning ability through traffic, as well as very reasonable purchase prices and the ability to easily find cheap and reliable spare parts. Some of the most popular motards which are available on the market include the Honda XR400M and Suzuki DR400 SM. In addition to commuting, motards are also the growing popularity within recreational riding circles. Motard racing involves a small racetrack, often a go kart track, with tight bends and may also include alternative road surfaces such as dirt or gravel and small jumps. Although they won’t help you in a motorbike theory test, these are an easy bike to learn on complete any practical testing.

main styles of road motorbikes - suzuki DRZ400SM 2006 -

Super Motard


While there is not any one particular type of motorbike which is going to suit everyone, hopefully now you have a greater understanding of the different types of bikes which are available on the market.

What is your favourite style of bike? Tell us in the comments below.

If you are looking to start riding then have a read of “What Is The Best Motorcycle For A Beginner?” to help you determine which style of motorcycle will best suit you.


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