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Scooter (motorcycle)

Scooter (motorcycle)

A scooter is a two-wheeled motor vehicle with a step-through frame. Many modern scooters have their engines located forward of the seat and affixed to the frame.

Types of motorcycle

Motorcycles have been produced in myriad different models for innumerable purposes. This page is concerned primarily with contemporary designs of motorcycle.

Road motorcycles

Road motorcycles are motorcycles designed for being ridden on paved roads. They feature smooth tires with a light tread pattern and engines generally in the 125 cc and over range. Most are capable of speeds up to 100 mph (~160 km/h), and many of speeds in excess of 125 mph (~200 km/h).

In India and Pakistan, motorcycles are more popular than cars as means of transport due to cost of ownership. Typical displacements are small (50 to 450 cc), and as a result these motorcycles give better fuel economy — reportedly 1.25-2.5 l/100km (94-188 mpg) being common.

Road motorcycles are themselves broken down into several sub-categories.

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Main article: cruiser (motorcycle)

BMW R1200C CruiserThese motorcycles mimic the style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, such as those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson, even though they have benefited from advances in metallurgy and design. The riding position places the feet forward and the hands up, with the spine erect or leaning back slightly, which many find to be more comfortable for long-distance riding. The riding position of American style Cruisers and Choppers evolved from the saddle and riding position used by Western Cowboys. This position allows greater long distance comfort, with some compromise of control.

Chopper-style motorcycles would be categorized as a type of cruiser.

Some cruisers may have limited performance and turning ability because of a low slung design. Riders who enjoy cornering at higher speeds may need to customize to enhance lean angle, or start with a performance or sport-cruiser. Cruisers are often custom projects that result in a bike modified to suit the owner's ideals, and as such are a source of pride and accomplishment. Cruisers are sometimes called custom even in the absence of aftermarket modifications.

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Sport bike
Main article: Sport bike

Kawasaki sportbikes.Sport bikes, sometimes called performance bikes or "crotch rockets", are typically much smaller and lighter than cruisers, and are essentially consumer versions of the motorcycles used in production-based forms of Motorcycle sport road racing. The bikes are designed with an emphasis on handling and speed.

The riding position places the feet towards the back, the hands low and the spine inclined forward. Sportbikes derive their seating position from sporting oriented horse riding, notably the English Saddle. Sport bikes are almost invariably capable of very high speeds as compared to most vehicles, with great stability in corners. Large-displacement sports bikes offer large power-to-weight ratio with explosive acceleration; most bikes reach 100 km/h from stand still at or about 3 seconds and can do a quarter mile under or about 10 seconds. They are difficult to manage by those not experienced in their operation; for the less-experienced or who have requirements of a smaller, lighter vehicle, smaller-displacement, sub-75 horsepower (56 kW) motorcycles are also manufactured. The 2006 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 (stock) can reach 100 km/h (62 mph) under 2.5 seconds and does a quarter mile in 9 seconds flat with an experienced rider, however top speed is electronically limited to 300 km/h (186 mph). The many engine sizes available often reflect the difference professional and amateur racing classes which adhere to strict engine-size and weight rules. The late 1990s saw "power wars" between various motorcycle manufacturers that culminated in Suzuki's 1300 cc GSX-1300R Hayabusa, the first production motorcycle to exceed 300 km/h (186 mph), and Kawasaki's ZX-12R, designed to exceed 320 km/h (200 mph). The Japanese manufacturers have allegedly had "gentlemen's agreements" to limit production motorcycle engines to a maximum output of 125bhp in the 90s & later a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) in an effort to promote safety - typically accomplished with an electronically-controlled speed governor. Aftermarket manufacturers, however, do not hesitate to satisfy the need for even greater speeds - several produce parts or systems designed to defeat the factory-installed speed limiters.

Modern sportbikes are raced in production-based racing categories such as "superbike," "supersport" and "superstock" around the world. Superbike generally refers to classes in which substantial modifications to the bikes up to 1000cc are allowed, whereas supersport and superstock are classes in which only limited modifications are permitted.

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Main article: Touring motorcycle

BMW K1200LT at Glacier National ParkAlthough any motorcycle can be so equipped and used to tour with, manufacturers have brought specific models designed to address the particular needs of long-distance touring and heavy commuting riders to market. Common to the touring market is usually large displacement fairings and windshields (to offer a high degree of weather and wind protection), large capacity fuel tanks (for long ranges between fill-ups) and a more relaxed, more upright seating position than sport-bikes. These motorcycles can be further subdivided into multiple sub-categories, which are commonly used terms within the motorcycle industry.

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Naked bike
Main article: Naked bike

1997 Suzuki GS500E fully naked bikeAlso known as a "standard" or "street bike", this is the basic form of the motorcycle stripped down to its fundamental parts. The emphasis is on functionality, performance and ergonomics rather than aerodynamic body panels and exaggerated riding positions that are most common on sport bikes.
This style of motorcycle became the "norm" in the 1970s and early 1980s (with the advent of the Universal Japanese motorycle), but fell out of favor as motorcycles evolved and niches developed for sport, touring, and cruising. The "naked" saw a resurgence at the end of the 1990s, driven in large part by the European market, with many manufacturers releasing new models with minimal or no fairings. Current naked bikes are usually given a modern, more-or-less sporting suspension, unless they are intended to be have "retro" styling. The BMW's K1200R, R1200R, and F650CS, and the Ducati Monster, Yamaha FZ1, Honda 919, Honda Hornet (599), Triumph Speed Triple, Triumph Speed Four, MV Agusta Brutale, Buell Lightning, Buell Ulysses, Buell Blast, and Suzuki GSF600 Bandit are popular examples of naked motorcycles. Large engine displacement versions of naked motorcycles, especially those built in Japan, are often referred to as "muscle" bikes.

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Feet-forwards motorcycle

With a feet-forwards motorcycle, the rider's feet are positioned ahead in a position (like a car), rather than below and astride, as with conventional bikes. Usually these are designed with a low-slung faired body, with the rider in a reclining position. These motorcycles are somewhat experimental and hard to find.

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Motorscooters are similar to motorcycles and are also designed for being ridden on the road. Scooters usually have the engine as part of the swingarm, ie. their engines travel up & down with the suspension. They are often have smaller wheels (generally less than 14 in (357 mm) diameter), automatic transmissions, small (generally less than 125 cc) engines, and a step-through configuration allowing the rider to ride with both feet on a running-board and knees together. In Mediterranean Europe, particularly Italy, scooters are very popular. In the United States scooters have long been a fixture on college campuses and strapped to the back of Recreational Vehicles due to their portability and exceptional fuel economy. However much larger scooters with engine displacements greater than 250 cc are becoming more popular. The Honda Silver Wing, Honda Reflex, Yamaha Majesty and Suzuki Burgman are the most popular "maxi-scooter" models available in the United States. Australia is about to introduce the Honda Silver Wing 650cc in Late November 2006.

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The moped used to be hybrid between the bicycle and the motorcycle, equipped with a small engine (usually a small two-stroke engine up to 50 cc, but occasionally an electric motor) and a bicycle drivetrain, and motive power can be supplied by the engine, the rider, or both. In many localities, mopeds are subject to less stringent licensing than bikes with larger engines and are popular as very cheap motorbikes, with the pedals seeing next to no use. Mopeds were very popular in the United States during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but their popularity has fallen off sharply since the mid 1980s.

  • Underbone - In Asia, moped were usually call as Underbone Motorcycle.

Off-road bikes

There are several different types of off-road motorcycle, designed and specialised for specific functions. For off road use they typically, when compared to road going motorcycles have:

  • Light weight, small engines
  • Long suspension travel and high ground clearance
  • Simple, rugged construction with little bodywork and no fairing
  • Large wheels with knobby tires, often clamped to the rim with rim-locks

Off road motorcycles are often specialised for a variety of off road motorcycle sports, notably

  • Motocross - A race over jumps - Thus these machines have small fuel capacities, extensive suspension travel, no road legal necessities (e.g. lights, indicators, instruments, etc), number plates for riding numbers, no passenger attachments, etc. Engines can be two or four stroke, typical capacities 125cc to 500cc (smaller for youth), as the weight and utility of the power of larger capacities is not needed).
  • Enduro - A long distance competition, through forests, etc. Similar to motocross machines but with the bare minimum of equipment for road legality and additional fuel.
  • Rallies - long distance racing, typically through deserts for long distances. Road legal machine (like enduro) but with significantly more fuel. Capacities tend to be larger, around 450cc to 660cc (two or four stroke), an upper limit is often imposed for rider safety.
    Trials - An extremely specialised form of competition focused on balancing skills and precision rather than speed. Thus low weigh and quick power is the priority leading to small (125cc to 300cc) engines, often two strokes being used. Seats are unnecessary and affect the centre of gravity so they aren't installed (sometime they are jokingly referred to as banana bikes due to the lack of a seat). Fuel is kept to a minimum so range is very limited. These machines are also road legal.
  • Track Racing - High speed oval racing, typically with no brakes, no suspension, at most two gears, fuelled by methanol (not road legal machines).

Dual-sport, adventure-touring and Supermoto

Dual-sport is a broad term for steet legal machines that are also designed to enter offroad situations.[2] Dual-sport motorcycles are often a compromise between offroad and onroad capability.

Adventure-touring machines are large capacity road machines intended for touring like road tourers but with gravel tracks in mind, they can also be dual-sport machines equipped with larger fuel tanks and or saddle bags. Their weight and other features precludes them from tackling the extremes of off road where off road machines are found.

Supermoto machines are motocross and enduro machines (typically 450cc to 550cc) fitted with road tyres and rims while keeping the other features synonymous with off road machines. They compete over a course that mixes tarmac (ie road racing) and off road (eg motocross) sections.

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Farm bike

These adaptations of trail bikes were first used by dairy farmers in New Zealand from the early 1960s. They wanted a light, simple machine that could be started easily and that would negotiate particularly muddy paddocks and steep hillsides in all weathers. A range of bikes were tried by a number of farmers and they came to use a mild-off-road machine that could carry a good load (mainly a tray for their dogs, instead of a rear seat) that was easy to mount, start and ride with heavy rainwear. Large profile low-pressure tyres with knobbly tread were found best for grass, mud and rocky tracks. Ultimately Japanese manufacturers developed a range of specialised bikes—about the time that the farmers came to use ATVs instead.

Despite the development of the ATV, farm bikes retain certain advantages for some tasks. They are faster on uneven ground, which can be useful in rounding up livestock, and most are quicker in an on-road setting (and can be registered for on-road travel). They can also operate safely on steep terrain where ATV's have a risk of rollover. For these reasons, farm bikes are still reasonably common in some places.

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A Derny is a specialized type of motorcycle that is designed and built for use in track cycling events where a derny driver blocks the air-resistance for a racing bicycle riding close behind the derny.

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Aftermarket trailers designed to be towed by motorcycles are available. However, because of the added risk involved, no manufacturer of single-track motorcycles recommends that they be used to tow trailers.

Although there are aftermarket trailers that allow motorcycles to tow, factory-made motorcycles specialized for towing are rare. The only known vehicle for towing is Retriever by a Swedish company named Coming Through, which is a modified version of Honda GL 1800 GoldWing. With the use of a high torque engine, low centre of gravity design, and retractable trailer, towing motorcycles can reduce response time for retrieving cars and light trucks on congested roads.

The same limitations of solo motorcycles do not apply to "outfits" or sidecar equipped motorcycles. It is not known when the first sidecar drawn trailers appeared, but as far back as 1928, Rudge offered a caravan for its outfits and towbars are an aftermarket accessory offered for the current sidecar equipped Ural motorcycle.

Harley Davidson made a factory trike for towing from 1932 to 1973. Called the Servi-Car, it was a conceptual copy of the Indian Dispatch-Tow. It could also push the vehicle from behind while someone steered. It had nearly the same 750cc engine through all the years it was made. The greatest change was a redesign of the oil system in 1936 to recirculate the oil instead of dumping it on the ground as was customary on motorcycles at that time.

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Concept bikes

Concept bikes are one-off motorcycles built as prototypes to test or showcase the desirability of a design, the integration of new technologies, cost effectiveness, or general design studies. Most concept bikes never see the light of day as full mass-production vehicles; those that do rarely match the original concept perfectly, instead representing a combination of some of the concepts presented in the proto-type combined with marketing realities and tooling capabilities of the manufacturer.

Examples of recent concept bikes can be see in the press release for any of the major global motorcycle exhibitions, including the Tokyo Motorcycle Show, the various primary European Motorcycle Shows (Intermot (Cologne), Paris Motorcycle Exhibit, Milan Motorcycle Show)


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