There are many different ways to get you on the open (or dirt) road to enjoy the best of the great outdoors…
Life on two wheels is incredible. Just ask anyone who rides.
But part of that appeal is finding a riding style that fits your personal preference.
There are many different ways to get you on the open (or dirt) road to enjoy the best of the great outdoors. I’ll suggest some new makes and models to consider in each category, but by no means are these the be-all-end-all of choices.
Cruisers (photos above)
Cruisers have mass appeal because of their low seat heights, generally comfortable ergonomics and ability to get you from point A to B in style.
Some models have the foot pegs stretched forward, some don’t. They might not be the most nimble bikes around but they certainly do have mass appeal. Better yet, they come in all different sizes, shapes and displacements making it even more accessible to riders.
Bikes: Honda CTX700, Yamaha Bolt, Harley-Davidson Superlow 1200T, Suzuki Boulevard C50
Want a sportier edge while still maintaining the comfort associated with riding for extended periods of time?
Consider a sport touring motorcycle.
They’re generally not as heavy or as elaborate as a full on touring bike, so you get the best of both worlds.
Bikes: BMW K1300S, BMW K1600GT, Yamaha FJR1300, Honda VFR1200
When asked how I’d describe a Touring bike I say: not small!
These machines are typically heavy, but come equipped with the technology and luxuries that can take you across the country and further. Their fuel tanks are generally much bigger so you can keep going for longer. Furthermore, storage compartments, relatively speaking, are quite generous.
Bikes: Harley-Davidson Electra Glide/Ultra Limited, Honda Goldwing, Suzuki Boulevard C90T B.O.S.S.
Those looking into trying riding without the high speeds might fall in love with trials riding. But get ready for a workout. If you look, there’s no seat. That’s because you’re meant to stand. Trials is a slow speed type of thrill where you manage obstacles and find ways to do things that even you didn’t think was possible. Think: riding up huge logs, up steep hills and over some interesting terrain. Either way, it’s a lot of fun and both physically and mentally challenging.
Bikes: Montesa Cota 4RT, Beta 200, Gas Gas TXT Pro
Playing in the dirt has never been so much fun! No, really. It’s true. Whether you’re young or young at heart, dirt bikes are a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Dirt bikes are restricted to the dirt, meaning, unless you have a dual sport bike that has a license plate, you can’t ride them in the road. That said, they’re generally quite affordable and are extremely durable.
Since there are so many different kinds to choose from, I’ll list the manufacturers that make them
Bikes: Honda, KTM, Yamaha, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Aprilia
Take the road less traveled, but take the road when you want! Adventure bikes have an uncanny ability to get you through some incredible terrain.
Bikes: BMW F700GS/F800GS/R1200GS, Suzuki V-Strom, KTM 1190 Adventure
If you’re looking for the ultimate performance machine, a sport bike is the way to go. These are the bikes that are generally designed with the racetrack in mind but are street legal. They have more horsepower than you’ll ever need and harness the engineering prowess of the best of the best. That said, they have an aggressive seating position and aren’t always suited for taller riders. Then again, if we really want something to work, we make it work!
Bikes: Ducati Panigale 899/1199, MV Agusta F3, Honda CBR600RR/1000RR, Suzuki GSX-R 750/1000, Yamaha R6/R1, Kawasaki Ninja
No, I’m not suggesting riding in your birthday suit!
Naked bikes tend to have a more upright seating and handlebar position and are devoid of fancy bodywork covering the engine and mechanical components. You still get quite a bit of sportiness out of these, but without the aggressive seating and the stress on your wrists.
Some Naked bikes are: Triumph Street Triple, Triumph Speed Triple, Ducati Streetfighter 848, Honda NC700X, Yamaha FZ-09
Of course, there are café racers, customs bikes and more. I could go on!