What Are Motorcycles?


A motorcycle is a two-wheeled motor vehicle that uses an engine to generate power for propulsion. It also incorporates other systems and components to produce the desired vehicle dynamics and performance. Motorcycles are most often ridden by the rider, although some are designed for passengers and may have sidecars. They are generally powered by gasoline, though some use other fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or electric-powered. Depending on the model, transmissions range from four to six speeds with power delivered to the rear wheel sprockets through chains or shafts. The brakes are hydraulic disc type, with the front-wheel braking controlled by a lever located on the handgrip. Other body parts and features may be added for aesthetic or performance reasons.

The most common type of motorcycle is the road bike. These are characterized by their lightweight construction, ability to accelerate quickly, and neutral ergonomics that allow for easy handling on a straight line. Their seat heights are typically in the middle to upper range to fit most riders comfortably and can be lowered for beginners.

A street bike can be customized with a wide array of accessories, such as exhausts, wind deflectors, and handlebar-mounted mirrors. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) puts on races and rallies, as well as lobbying for riders’ rights. Membership is optional; it’s up to each rider to decide if the organization is worth the money. The AMA also offers insurance coverage, which can be helpful in the event of an accident.