Less than 150 years after the first two-wheelers were invented, motorcycles now have engines that are powerful and efficient; chassis and tyre technology provide racetrack-level grip and handling; and clever electronics have added layers of safety. The result is a machine that can be as thrilling to ride as it is practical to own and operate, even though there are still many dangers to avoid.
There are many different types of motorcycles that people prefer to use for multiple reasons. Some are purely utilitarian, others have an aesthetic appeal and are designed to grab attention, but most have some combination of both.
Cruiser These motorcycles have an appearance that harks back to the 1930s, and they are popular with those who like to ride for long periods of time. They are usually designed with the feet forward and the riding position more akin to that of Western cowboys, which allows for greater long-distance comfort.
A sport bike has a powerful engine and low weight, which give it excellent acceleration performance – most middleweight bikes will out-accelerate all but the fastest cars on the road. However, they are not very aerodynamic – having a rider sat on top of them with their exposed wheels and messy airflow around the engine means that they generate a lot of drag compared to smooth, streamlined car designs. This doesn’t matter much at low speeds, but as you increase speed, the force of drag increases with the square of your velocity.