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Know Your Motorcycles!

Motorcycles come in many shapes and forms. Although the word “motorcycle” may first lead you to imagine a classic Triumph or Harley-Davidson, there are perhaps as many styles of motorcycles as there are cars. Some bikes are designed for riding on the open highway while others are built for navigating crowded, mazelike urban centers. Some boast a wide variety of creature comforts while others offer nothing except raw speed and power. All they have in common is they all ride on two wheels – except for the ones that ride on three.

Here are the 10 most popular types of motorcycles on the road today:

Standard Motorcycle

Standard – Sometimes called a “naked bike,” this is a simple, nonspecialized motorcycle once popular with beginners. The rider sits upright. There are no fairings or windscreens. The popularity of the standard bike has waned considerably over the past 20 years as more specialized designs have come to dominate the market.

Motorcycle Cruiser

Cruiser – Cruisers mimic the American bikes made from the 1930s to the 1960s, particularly by Harley-Davidson. The traditional cruiser can be ridden anywhere: in cities, on highways or off-road. Engines are tuned for low-end torque, so they don’t require a lot of shifting between gears. Their ability to corner tends to be limited due to low ground clearance. Today, cruisers make up about 60 percent of America’s motorcycle market.

Sport Bike

Sport – As their name implies, sport bikes emphasize speed, turning, acceleration and braking, usually at the expense of comfort and fuel economy. Most sport bikes are designed so that the rider’s feet are closer to the body, providing greater ground clearance, and handlebars are positioned forward so the rider must lean into the wind.

Touring Bike

Touring – Touring bikes are built for long road trips. They have large-displacement engines, fairings, windscreens and large-capacity fuel tanks. Riders sit upright, and often there’s additional seating for passengers. Large touring bikes are often called “dressers.”


Chopper – A chopper is a standard motorcycle or cruiser customized with an extended front end and tilted neck. They usually have no rear suspensions, which can make them particularly challenging to ride. Choppers were popularized by 1960s Hollywood in such films as “Easy Rider.”

Dirt Bike

Dirt Bike – This is a lightweight motorcycle designed for use on rough surfaces, such as unpaved roads or mountain trails. Dirt bikes tend to have large fenders and highly textured tires designed for gripping muddy or uneven surfaces. In most states, you cannot ride dirt bikes on public streets because they lack standard safety features such as turn signals.

Dual Sport Motorcycle

Dual-Sport – Dual-sport or “adventure” motorcycles are usually dirt bikes outfitted with mirrors, signals and instruments that make them street legal.
Motocross – These are sturdy, lightweight bikes made specifically for racing on closed-off tracks. They tend to have small fuel tanks to reduce weight, and therefore have limited range.


Scooters – These are small, lightweight bikes designed mostly for use in cities or heavily traveled tourist areas. They tend to have smaller wheels, storage areas and all-enclosed bodywork that conceals the engine and makes them quieter to ride. Scooters are far more popular in Europe and Asia than in the United States.


Mopeds – Mopeds are basically bicycles equipped with two-stroke gasoline or electric engines. Initial power usually comes from the rider, who peddles until the bike reaches cruising speed, at which point the small motor takes over.

Learn to Be a Motorcycle Mechanic at WyoTech

If motorcycles are your passion, you can train to be a motorcycle technician at the Daytona Beach, Fla., and Fremont, Calif., campuses of WyoTech, one of America’s leading automotive training schools. WyoTech’s Motorcycle Technology program combines traditional classroom instruction with hands-on training in a modern motorcycle workshop setting.

WyoTech’s classes are taught by industry pros. Classes are small to ensure you get the attention and hands-on experience you need. And upon graduation, you can take advantage of WyoTech’s Career Services department, which offers support with everything from resume preparation to identifying and contacting employers in your area.

For more information on WyoTech’s Motorcycle Technology program, contact WyoTech today!

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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