Motorcycle Sizing: Select Best Size For You (Explained)

Experienced motorcycle riders know the bikes that are possibly the right size for them. When they want to get off-road, it is most likely to far-off places. With the elimination rule, they remove all the bikes that don’t match their preferences, and narrowing down the list is very easy for them.

However, until you start riding, you will only be aware of a few bikes from a quick glance at the bikes on the road or parked in your neighborhood.

By the time you are ready to buy your first bike, you would discover the dozens of motorcycle types, varying in terms of size, design, speed, and control, each bike maker has to offer.

There are two kinds of new bike riders – those who are exactly aware of what they want to own and those that are befuddled by the plethora of choices and bemusing terminologies that leave them sitting on the fence. 

Is the Motorcycle Too Big for Me?

You may be the one who is used to traveling by cars and never had an idea of buying a motorcycle, but you catch the sight of the latest 2023 K 1600 GTL on a display and want to buy it out of a whim.

Many people have bought their first bike based on limerence or they want to buy a new bike to be a part of the motorcycle-loving clan and proudly say that’s the circle I run in.

New bikers, often wealthy dilettantes, full of zest, buy high-performance motorcycles to go for long, week-long rides, and after many rides, they may give up and start doing short trips with friends.

If you fall in that category, it’s better to buy a used bike that is available at many bike-dealer outlets, at affordable costs. 

How Do I Choose the Perfect Bike for Me?

When you have planned to buy a bike, the first order of business is to know the purpose of buying it. Your buying decision should be based on where you are planning to ride regularly.

Whether you are looking for a cost-effective bike for commuting, a means to get to a hermitage in the middle of nowhere, an adventure tourer for winding roads, or a comfortable vehicle for the highway, there are many choices in each category.

Following that, you seek the advice of the riding mavens, who will be glad to give you suggestions.

However, you can’t go by someone’s advice who says my BMW F900 XR is the best bike, and this will not help you in your decision-making.

An experienced rider, with all candor, will ask you what is your purpose of buying a motorcycle?

You can take his words, make a mental note of the options he mentions, fitting your requirements, and to this list, add your favorites. This will give you a head start. Then, you jump on the penultimate task, narrowing down the list and choosing your best.

Does the Motorcycle Fit My Height?

Is the bike the right fit for my height? Is it too heavy? Does it look bulky? These are a few of the earliest questions that will occur in anyone’s mind.

So, as a first thing, having your bike in an upright position, sit on the seat and move gently back and forth. If both of your feet are touching the ground securely, then it is perfect for your height.

If you are a naive youth taking on bike riding, it is recommended that you opt for a lightweight motorcycle with modest power. 

The US motorcycle market is enormous, with various models from world-class manufactures, and continues to reach new heights, with a multitude of models that fit any kind of riding you desire to do.

The bike options range from touring motorcycles to cruisers, from scooters and small bikes to high-performance sports bikes. As far as the looks, quality, cost, and other aspects, there are endless options to choose from. 

Here is a detailed guide about various types of motorcycles and a few latest models available in the market in each category:

Small Size Bikes

If you are looking for a smaller and lighter motorcycle, the best alternative is a small-displacement motorcycle under 200 cc.

Another cost-effective (starts at about $13,000), easy for mobility, is a scooter, sometimes called motor scooter, one of the most common motorcycles commuting on the road across the globe.

It is now more popular than station-based bicycles. Scooters have varying engine displacements and configurations in the range of 50 cc (single-cylinder) to 850 cc (twin-cylinder). Here’s the list of popular scooters and small bikes available in the market:

  • Yamaha XMax
  • BMW C400X
  • Suzuki Burgman 400
  • Kymco AK 550
  • Piaggio MP3 Sport 500
  • Honda MSX125
  • Kawasaki Z125 Pro
  • KTM Duke 200
  • Honda Monkey
  • Suzuki VanVan 200

Standard or Naked Motorcycles

Standard motorcycles are the oldest motorcycle style, prevailing from the 60s, that will never become obsolete because of their upright seating position, with the low to mid-range bar comfortably positioned away from the cruiser.

Ideal for paved roads and street-riding, it is a bike that is somewhat between a cruiser and sport motorcycle.

A close cousin to the standard motorcycle is the naked bike called so as it does not come with fairings or windscreens, by default.

The engine CC range is 250 CC to 850 CC. Here’s a list of popular standard motorcycles available in the market:

  • KTM 200 Duke ABS
  • Yamaha MT-01
  • Yamaha MT-03
  • Yamaha MT-07
  • Yamaha MT-09
  • Honda CB300R ABS
  • Honda NC750X
  • Triumph Trident 660
  • Honda Monkey 125
  • Honda Grom 125

Passengers Motorcycles (≈25 cc to 1850 cc)

Having a pillion rider is a great way to banter with your loved one for as long as you are riding, along with your LOVE for the road.

Apart from a huge horsepower engine for thrilling riding, safety and comfort are kept in mind while designing passenger motorcycles.

Passenger motorcycles from different motorcycle makers come with different types of passenger seats, such as passenger pillion, low-profile passenger pillion, heritage classic passenger pillion, softail deluxe passenger pillion, signature series touring passenger pillion,  sundowner passenger pillion – heritage softail styling, passenger pillion – street bob styling, passenger pillion – slim styling, and fat-boy touring passenger pillion. Here is a list of popular passenger motorcycles:

  • Honda Gold Wing
  • Suzuki V-Strom
  • BMW K 1600 GTL
  • Yamaha Star Venture
  • Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited
  • Honda Gold Wing Tour
  • Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse
  • BMW R1250 RT
  • Ural Gear-Up
  • Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic

Adventure Tourers

Adventure bikes, mainly designed for overlanding (can be across the US or round-the-world travel), are hotter than any other classification in motorcycling.

Because these motorcycles have  on and off-road capabilities, they are ideal for long-haul rides and dirt-exploration.

Available in light, middle, and heavyweight categories, adventure motorcycles have been having great success over the years.

While there are bikes of less than 500 CC for beginners, there are 125 CCl motorcycles for experienced riders. Here’s a list of popular adventure motorcycles available in the market:

  • Ducati Multistrada V4
  • Yamaha Tenere 700
  • BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
  • Honda Africa Twin
  • Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
  • Harley Davidson Pan America 1250
  • Moto Guzzi V85TT
  • Triumph Tiger 1200
  • Honda CRF 300L
  • KTM 890 Adventure R

Sport Touring Motorcycles

When you want to set off to faintly traveled backroads, sport touring happens and encourages you to get one sport touring motorcycle that you like.

Although sport touring bikes may look like adventure touring motorcycles with many similar features, they are different in the fact that they’re, in most cases, equipped with 17 or 19-inch front wheels with road-oriented tires for utmost grip on asphalt or concrete roads on dry and wet days.

Here is the list of popular sport touring motorcycles available in the market:

  • Honda Gold Wing Tour
  • Yamaha Star Venture
  • Kawasaki Vulcan S
  • Aprilla RS 660
  • Ducati Multistrada V4 S
  • Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
  • Honda VFR 800
  • Yamaha FJR1300ES
  • BMW R1 1200 RS
  • Husqvarna 701 Enduro
  • Kawasaki KLR650

Dual-Sport Motorcycles or Dirt Bikes

Dual-sport motorcycles are a type of street-legal motorcycles meant for both on and off-road purposes.

The latest dual-sport bikes enable you to broaden your two-wheeled vehicle horizons like never before.

Also known as dirt bikes, these motorcycles permit you to explore remote pockets and furtive riding areas. Here is a list of popular dual-sport motorcycles available in the market:

  • Husqvarna 701 Enduro
  • KTM 690 Enduro
  • Kawasaki KLR650
  • Suzuki DR650S
  • Honda XR650L
  • BETA 500RR
  • Husqvarna FE501S
  • KTM 500 EXC-F
  • Christini AWD 450DS
  • Honda CRF450RL

After you own your favorite bike and have a year of riding with your motorcycle, it’s time to share your two-wheel cruising experience with your friends, a great way to spend some quality time together.

You will start listening to your biking companions with an open mind, show interest in them, enjoy their company and get along with them soon.