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This page is for those who love motorcycles. Please take a moment now to honor our departed brothers and sisters who knew how to ride. Do you want to ride forever? Well, how about for a lot of years? Click here for free info. on how to keep your body strong.

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By Cathy Richey, the Cathy Factor

Touring motorcycles are the ultimate long distance motorcycles. They come with the biggest engines, great acceleration and cruising speed, lots of storage including top trunks and saddlebags, amenities like cruise control, stereo radios, CB communications, reverse gears, onboard air compressors, large fairings and windshields, heated seats and grips and high reliability.

Sport-Touring bikes are not as big as a touring bike and have less amenities, but superior handling characteristics. They are a cross between a sport bike and a touring bike.

Sport bikes also known as crotch rockets, are small, fast, light and covered with shiny, cool and expensive plastic. They are light and easy to handle, but their go-fast handles are very sensitive.

Sport bikes are the flashiest of all motorcycles. They often include colorful paint jobs. Sport bikes are the bad boys of motorcycles. They're pretty to look at and inexpensive to buy, but with the wrong rider aboard, they can become a deadly weapon.

The speed and acceleration of sport bikes make them very quick in traffic. So, if you want to ride a sport bike, first get trained and practice a lot. Wear protective apparel and be a responsible rider.

Standard or “naked” bikes are competent at everything. Having little or no plastic to break when you drop one, they are an excellent choice for a beginner. Standard bikes are what most riders see when they take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s training course. The rider sits pretty much straight up with the foot pegs directly straight down. The angle of the fork is slight, allowing for easy turning of the handlebars and easy balancing of the bike at all speeds.

A naked bike is basically a standard motorcycle with little wind protection and an exposed chassis. It's an example of a motorcycle you can usually see through.

Cruisers are low and long; their primary purpose is looking cool. Cruisers are normally motorcycles with low-seat heights, fat rear tires, raked front forks and forward controls with the foot pegs way out in front to the point that your rear end takes a lot of the road jolts. They tend to be big and heavy. Most Harley-Davidson motorcycles are cruisers. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki have many cruiser models. In fact, the cruiser type is the most popular motorcycle type.

Enduro bikes have suspensions that can soak up big bumps and tires that can deal with mud and gravel. They’re good for long cross-country trips on dirt roads. Because they’re tall, they are a handful to handle in parking lots, but they tend to be sturdy and can usually deal with being dropped. Enduro bikes are competition bikes used in motorcycle races, also called Enduro.

Dual-Sport or dual-purpose bikes are universal bikes. For those who want to ride on the street and also not be afraid to take an off-road detour, the dual-sport bike is the perfect choice.

Dual-Sports have tall seat heights, long suspensions and are street legal. These are not bikes for beginners. Adventure-touring bikes are similar except have added saddlebags, windshields and other long distance features.

Dual sport bikes have big knobby tires and can go anywhere a street bike can go as well as almost everywhere an off-road bike can go.

Off-Road/Dirt/Motocross bikes are designed for racing and recreation. They have big knobby tires and can climb around on trails. Since they don’t have things like headlights or turn signals, they aren’t allowed on public streets.

Choppers are motorcycles that have had certain components "chopped off." That was the original definition when returning soldiers looked at the bikes on the market and decided that they needed to be lighter, more streamlined, and have more performance. They also wanted their bikes to reflect their personalities and often make a statement of their philosophy of life. So they began to take components off a cruiser frame and modify the rest.

Choppers tended to be creations built by their owners. In recent years, motorcycle companies have been formed to create mass-produced choppers.

Trikes might be a stretch. Most people would not define trikes as a motorcycle type. The trike is symmetrical, unlike a sidecar rig. The growth of trikes is certainly noticeable as more and more riders find themselves unable to ride a two-wheeler anymore or they just like the concept of triking over biking. Age is often a factor. However, there are also people who just want to ride and don't want to start with a 2-wheeler. And there are those whose spouses have complained about being dumped off the back of a bike too many times. They like the concept of a stable trike.

Motor Scooters are not really a motorcycle type either. They are, however, getting more popular within motorcycling. That's because they get better gas mileage, are simpler to operate, take up less space, are easier to maneuver and are easier to mount and dismount. Anyone with problems with leg movement who can't flip a leg over a bike anymore, can easily step into a motor scooter and ride off using an automatic transmission.

Motor scooters are step-through or feet-forward vehicles with smaller wheels than motorcycles. Most have automatic transmissions. They range in engine size from 50cc to 600cc with the 400-600cc machines most capable of sustained highway speeds and are able to keep up with regular motorcycles.

Many of today's riders had a motor scooter for their first 2-wheeled vehicle.


About Cathy: She and her Doberman Trooper conduct research into all kinds of topics and produce articles like the one you see here. To contact Cathy, write to thecathyfactor@yahoo.com. Get the facts from Cathy, and let the Cathy Factor give you an edge.


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