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Whether you’ve seen them filtering their way through rush-hour traffic or riding the winding roads of Tasmania, motorcycles present one of the easiest ways to travel, and are growing in popularity. They use less fuel, can be easily parked and feel liberating when riding.

Motorcycle vs car: 8 reasons to ditch your car for a motorcycle

Now more than ever, thrill-seeking Australians are trading in their cars for compact two wheelers, with 52,838 motorcycles having already been sold from January to June 2020 (a 24.5 per cent increase in sales from the same period in 2019). 

But with so many different types of motorcycle’s on today’s market, figuring out which one is right for you can be somewhat dauting.

That’s why we’ve compiled a quick pros and cons list of all the different motorcycle types to help you make a purchase decision that best aligns with your needs.

See all of Budget Direct’s motorcycle-insurance guides

Standard motorcycle

The standard or “naked” motorcycle is known as the best all-rounder. It houses the basic functions of a motorcycle and doesn’t come outfitted with fairings (panels) or a windscreen. The bike positions the rider in an upright position with the handlebar and foot pegs also placed comfortably underneath your feet. This bike is light, versatile and is a great motorcycle for street riding and beginner riders.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight and agile
  • Great for beginners
  • You can add accessories for long haul comfort

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as other models
  • Not advisable for long rides
  • Little to no protection from wind and debris
  • Doesn't have any additional functions

Cruiser motorcycles

Cruisers are large, heavy models that historically refer to the custom-built American-made motorcycles from the 1930s to the 1960’s. Cruiser motorbikes have extended front ends, modified frames, swingarms and custom petrol tanks. Their V-twin engine delivers a powerful movement and a large amount of force. Cruiser motorbikes aren’t recommended for new riders and are challenging to ride even for experienced riders.

Pros

  • Custom-built
  • One of a kind
  • Throttle is easily controlled

Cons

  • Aren't recommended for new riders
  • Uses a lot of fuel
  • No weather protection
  • Limited ground clearance that can make curves challenging

Sport bikes

Sport bikes are an extremely popular motorcycle make. Built for performance, sport bikes put a premium on power. Made for experienced and highly skilled riders, sport bikes are designed so that you can experience the excitement of going at maximum speed. The motorcycle body is specifically designed with aerodynamics that will allow the rider to lean forward while riding. This means that the riding position can be uncomfortable and is not suitable for longer off-road trips.

Pros

  • Weather protection
  • Designed with aerodynamics in mind
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful engine

Cons

  • Uncomfortable to ride on for long periods of time
  • Little to no storage capacity
  • High maintenance

Touring motorcycle

Touring motorbikes are a safe, comfortable and efficient model designed specifically for touring and long-distance trips. These motorcycles typically have a large windscreen for weather protection, a large fuel tank, engine and comfortable upright seating. Touring motorbikes are designed to make long distance trips more comfortable. The seats are soft, handlebars placed at an optimal height and you could even go as far as to make further modifications for ultimate comfort.

Pros

  • Suitable for long distance rides
  • Weather protection
  • Additional storage capacity
  • Comfortable
  • Large fuel tank and engine

Cons

  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Difficult manoeuvrability
  • Heavyweight
  • Expensive
  • Takes up a lot of space

Dual Sport motorcycle

Dual motorbikes are street legal and can be used on and off road. This make fulfills the true meaning of dual purpose. These off-road motorbikes are designed for beginners and have enough power for on and off-road trips. Dual sport motorcycles are equipped with street legal lights, a speedometer, mirrors, horns and muffler.

Pros

  • Off-road motorbike
  • Have enough power for extended highway riding
  • Lightweight
  • Designed with beginner riders in mind
  • Street legal
  • Durable

Cons

  • Too heavy for challenging trials
  • Not enough power for high speed riding

Off-road motorcycle

Off-road motorbikes are lightweight models made for rides on off-road trails through dirt, grass, woods, sand and uneven roads. The agile nature of the motorcycle makes manoeuvring much easier on an off-road trail. Beginners can even use this bike! However, experience will aid in minimising the risk of an accident while riding.

Pros

  • Great acceleration
  • Agile
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not street legal
  • Lack of storage

Scooter

Scooters are a lightweight, more affordable two-wheeler. Each vehicle is powered by a small engine that ranges from 50cc to 250cc. Each scooter has a step-through chassis (base frame) and footrest platform. On the road scooters are much more manoeuvrable and are much easier to control when riding at a lower speed.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Some have automatic transmission (no shifting gears)
  • More affordable
  • Easy to find a park
  • Great mileage
  • More manoeuvrable

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable on long rides
  • Lack of stability
  • Little storage space
  • Slower than a motorcycle or car

Motorcycle insurance

Motorcycle Insurance plays an important part in keeping your motorcycle safe; whether it’s damaged, broken or beyond repair. The type of insurance policy you choose will determine how you are protected in case of an accident.

Make sure to have a valid motorcycle license before purchasing insurance.

If you’re a beginner rider, who also needs to obtain a licence, then check out our state-to-state guide on how to get your motorcycle licence.

See all of Budget Direct's motorcycle-insurance guides

Sources