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Tips for finding the perfect motorcycle

Thinking about buying a motorcycle? Get tips on finding the perfect motorcycle for you.

Step one is to learn about the different types of bikes that are available and determine what type of bike will best suit your needs for how you will use the motorcycle. To help you find a bike that fits, first ask yourself:

  • How do you plan to use your bike?
  • Do you want to sit upright, lean forward, or lean backward?
  • Do you want to have your feet below your hips, behind you, or in front of you?
  • If you straddle the bike, and tilt it gently from side to side, does the weight feel manageable?

Once you've answered the questions above, you'll start to get an idea of the type of motorcycle that will best fit you and your riding style.


Cruisers usually have lower seat heights, fatter rear tires and high/forward positioned foot pegs. While accessories can be added to all types of motorcycles, cruisers tend to be the most "customizable" type of bike with looks being among the top priority. While these motorcycles handle beautifully at high speeds, keep in mind that traveling for long periods of time can be exhausting (especially at highway speeds) because of the seat and handlebar positions. When traveling at low speeds, the low slung design of a cruiser can make handling a bit tougher.

Primary use: More of a show bike. Cruisers are known for their looks and style.
Body position: Leaning backward slightly
Foot position: In front of you
Weight: Average


Touring motorcycles are designed for long distance riding. These motorcycles tend to have a larger gas tank so that you can travel further between fuel stops, have larger engines and have an upright seat position for both the driver and the passenger. The foot pegs are usually located directly below the driver's hips with a handle bar designed to put less pressure on your wrists. Touring motorcycles are designed for comfort, traveling, and providing an ideal experience for both the rider and passenger.

Primary use: Long distance riding. Also ideal for carrying a passenger.
Body position: Upright
Foot position: Below your hips
Weight: Heavy


Sport bikes are one of the flashier types of motorcycles. These bikes are lightweight, colorful, and fast. They are built for speed and tend to be more aerodynamic than other types of motorcycles by positioning the body and weight of the driver forward over the tank. The design of the bike, combined with larger and wider tires, allows for higher cornering speeds and greater lean angles.

Primary uses: Speed and performance
Body position: Forward lean
Foot position: Behind you
Weight: Light


Street bikes are built to cover a variety of riding situations. This type of motorcycle is popular among new riders and those looking at affordability, versatility, and comfort. The slight angle of the fork allows for better balance at all speeds and allows for an easier turn. The foot pegs are usually positioned directly underneath the rider with an upright seat position.

Primary use: Versatile
Body position: Upright
Foot position: Below your hips
Weight: Average

How to find the perfect motorcycle

Reading about the different types of motorcycles will give you solid background information on the different types of bikes that are available. The best place to research your next bike is at your local motorcycle dealership where you will actually be able to sit on and test drive different types of bikes.

The bike you think you may like and what you actually prefer, may be two completely different motorcycles. Without actually sitting on and even test driving a motorcycle, you'll never really know what you like.

That being said, keep in mind that it's best to start small, improve your riding skills, gain confidence, and work your way up to your dream bike. Buying a motorcycle that is too big for you and your riding skills may make for a disappointing (and dangerous!) experience.

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