How well do you know your types of motorcycles?

BMW record

Published on 23 February 2016 by Tom Wadlow

Every month the Motorcycle Industry Association publishes figures on the sales of new motorcycles, helping us to gauge how well the sector is performing versus previous years.

The statistics drill down into various types and classes of motorbike, providing a sense of what consumers are choosing and whether one particular breed is outperforming the rest.

READ MORE: Sales increase again as motorcycle industry enjoys positive start to 2016

However, how many of you are aware of all of the types of motorcycle out there? Indeed, could you confidently state what sort of bike you own? Take a look at the list below and see if you can identify with each definition.

Adventure (including Supermoto)

These bikes are similar in style to enduro motorcycles but are predominantly designed and capable for on-road use. Often they will have features similar to machines included in the Touring category e.g. fairings, luggage carrying capacity etc.


These machines include ‘cruisers’ and ‘choppers’. They have flat but typically feature high handlebars, low seat height and forward footrests. Body panels and fittings contain high polished chrome content.


In law, a motorised two-wheeled vehicle with an engine capacity of less than 50cc and a maximum speed capability of 28mph, riders must be aged 16 years or over. Mopeds are available in Motorcycle and Scooter styles.


In law, a motorised two-wheeled vehicle that is not a moped, riders must be aged 17 years or over.


In law, a motorised three-wheeled vehicle.

Powered Two Wheelers

All types of two-wheeled motor vehicle, including Mopeds, Motorcycles and Scooters.


Machines that fit between Supersport and Touring bikes categories. Typical features include full or partial fairings and practical rider and pillion seating with low to medium ride handlebars. Tend to have medium to large capacity engines.


These machines are designed to mimic or directly replicate racing bikes. They normally have full fairings and low handlebars and are sometimes referred to as race replicas.


Have an engine, as an integral part of the rear suspension or the chassis is a step-through type, irrespective of cc or wheel size. Includes all types of transmission.


Bikes generally have large engines and are designed for long-distance riding. Typical features include a more comfortable seating position for rider and pillion, luggage carrying capability and weather protection, such as fairings with a fixed or adjustable windscreen.


Machines are built to a basic specification with no fairing (or only a small handlebar fairing) and an upright riding position. Engines are large to medium and often called retro.


These bikes encompass trials, enduro and trail bikes with an off-road or cross-country capability.

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