The characteristics of each type of motorcycle are described below, along with their advantages and disadvantages. These are all elements you must take into consideration in order to choose the motorcycle that best suits your needs.
The standard street motorcycle is a cross between a touring and a sport bike. It is lighter and handles more easily than a touring motorcycle. Although standard bikes are powerful, they are not as powerful as sport motorcycles, but they are more comfortable and better suited to trips in urban areas. Standard motorcycles have an easy riding posture, although they are not very comfortable for long distances.
These motorcycles are designed for both novice and experienced riders. However, because some models are very powerful, it is important that cylinder capacity and the power-to-weight ratio be compatible with the rider's experience.
Sport motorcycles are manoeuvrable, powerful and built for performance. They are not comfortable for long trips due to the riding posture they require, which makes riders rest their weight mainly on their wrists.
Sport motorcycles are designed for experienced or even highly experienced riders due to their engine power and acceleration capacity and the skill required to ride them at low speeds.
Because of the height of the seat and the position of the footpegs and handlebars, cruisers sometimes make riders assume a posture that requires them to arch their back. The weight of cruisers or custom bikes can make them difficult to handle. The absence of fairings makes these motorcycles less enjoyable at high speeds. However, the engine can reach speeds that allow intercity trips even though it is generally not designed for high performance. Moreover, luggage capacity is limited compared to that of touring motorcycles.
Cruisers are suitable for both novice and experienced riders. However, it is important that the riding posture imposed by both the design of this type of motorcycle and its weight correspond to the rider's experience.
These all-terrain motorcycles are authorized for use on the road. These bikes usually have low cylinder capacity and are versatile because they are lightweight. They are designed to be ridden on uneven terrain and are therefore sturdy. Because they are not designed for long trips, however, they do not emphasize comfort.
Dual-sport motorcycles handle very well and are intended for both novice and experienced riders. However, riders must make sure that the motorcycle is appropriate for their size, and that they will be able to maintain good balance and stability when stopped (especially if they are regularly accompanied by a passenger).
Touring motorcycles, which are mainly designed for convenience (luggage) and for the comfort of both driver and passenger, are primarily intended for long trips. They are heavy, powerful and more difficult to handle, making them less suitable for urban traffic. Because of their size, weight and the skill required to drive them at low speeds, touring motorcycles are designed for experienced riders.