Motorcycles (or motorbikes, or bikes, or mopeds) are two-wheeled vehicles with a seat for the rider and engine power. They have high power to weight ratios, and use a clutch and throttle controlled by twist-type controls on the handgrips, with a front-wheel brake and usually a rear-wheel brake. Most of them have a kick starter as well, though in recent years this has been mostly replaced by push-button electric starting systems.
The most practical reason to own and ride a motorcycle is that it’s cheaper than driving a car, both to buy initially and in terms of ongoing running costs. It also takes up a fraction of the space, and is easier to park. However, the more important reason to ride is that it’s a far more dynamic and engaging experience than driving an average passenger car. The rider’s body becomes a part of the vehicle, and leaning, turning and braking are much more instinctive than in a car.
Choosing the right type of motorcycle is critical to having a good riding experience, so it’s worth taking the time to find the model that best suits your size, height and experience level. There are six main categories of motorcycles based on the style of riding they are designed for. These include street bikes for urban and tarmac riding, sport bikes for canyon carving and track racing, cruisers for leisure rides, adventure motorcycles for long-distance travel and off-road motorcycles for dirt riding.