DIFFERENT STRIDES: Types of Motorcycles (PART 2)
TYPES OF MOTORCYCLES (PART 2)
Your guide to choosing your two-wheeled entertainment
Let’s pick up from where we left off. There are still a number of types to cover. We’ve excluded the offroad segment for time being.
1. DUAL-PURPOSE/ADVENTURE-TOURER (aka DP/ADV)
A dual-purpose motorcycle means it could be used on the road and offroad. Conversely, an adventurer-tourer is equipped for long-distance riding on both the road and offroad.
These bikes are a hoot to ride.
Since they can be ridden offroad, the chassis balance follows suit: Straight up sitting position, wide handlebars, narrow(er) tyres, tall ride height, slim motorcycle body. ADV’s can haul large loads too.
As with sport-tourers, the explosion in the touring trend has driven manufacturers to equip their DP/ADV motorcycles with groundbreaking technologies such as electronically-controlled suspension, advanced traction control and ABS, engine power mapping.
Most manufacturers produce two variants of the same model, to cater to customers’ preferences for on road or offroad riding, for example, the Triumph Tiger 800 XC is biased towards offroad riding, while the XR is more for road riding. The same template applies to the ever popular BMW R 1200 GS Adventure vs. the GS, the Ducati Multistrada 1200/S vs. the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro, and the newly launched KTM 1290 Super Adventure S (road) and Super Adventure R (offroad).
The Honda Africa Twin and Yamaha Super Ténéré, are biased more towards offroad riding, although they perform amazingly well on paved roads, too.
More specifically, modern classics.
The classic motorcycle design never goes out of style because it harks back to the days when the motorcycle constitutes an engine, two-wheels, a seat and a gas tank; alluding to something unadulterated, creating the right mixture to fire spark plugs in the brain’s pleasure centre. These bikes are also full of “character,” rather than feeling “machine.”
While modern classics look ol’ school, they utilize new age electrics and components. Triumph is the undisputed leader in modern classics with their Bonneville range. The Ducati Scrambler is also performing well in this segment, although it qualifies as a standard too, as we mentioned earlier.
Another allure of the modern classic is its ability to be customized to each owner’s whims and fancies. Both the manufacturer and aftermarket are enjoying brisk business in supplying the accessories and performance parts.
Speaking of accessories, it brings us to this segment.
A cruiser means a motorcycles that is more “laid back” in its riding styles: Low-slung, low seat height, long wheelbase, and usually lots of “show.”
There are a number of sub-genres within the cruiser segment:
Shorter wheelbases and slightly more contemporary riding position such as the H-D Sportster, Indian Scout, Yamaha Bolt.
Long wheelbases and low seat heights, for example the H-D Dyna and Softail range, Johnny Pag Malibu, the now discontinued Victory Vegas 8 Ball.
Fat tyres, large-sized tank and body such as the H-D Heritage Softail, Indian Chief Classic, Triumph America and the Triumph Rocket III which holds the distinction and record for having the largest engine capacity (2300cc!) of any production motorcycle.
Large windshields and bodywork, large overall size with luggage such as the H-D Road King, Electra Glide, Street Glide and Road Glide, and Indian Chieftain.
Although there isn’t a written convention on how they should be powered, Harley-Davidson had certainly defined the benchmarks by using narrow-angled V-Twin engines, hence almost every cruiser small and large are powered by such engines (except Triumph who sticks with their inline-Three). Technically, a narrow V-Twins is favoured for its compact packaging and high torque output. Aesthetically, the V-Twin’s symmetrical cylinders add to the motorcycle’s visual cues, and of course, for that deep, earth-shaking rumble.
Similar to classics, cruisers could be customized from mild to wild (even beyond).
90% of the motorcycles out there on Malaysian roads are kapchais and scooters and chances are, most big bike owners started riding on these small bikes. I’m one of them.
Besides that, these are the bikes that go on to contest in the Malaysian Cub Prix Championship. The race series has given ride to many Malaysian racers past and present on the international scene such as Hafizh Syahrin, Khairul Idham Pawi, Adam Norrodin, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, Zaqhwan Zaidi, et al.
So it’s no surprise that this category is hotly contested among the manufacturers, and it is through this competition plus customer demands that we see the kapchai evolve to most modern technology, such as disc brakes, monoshock suspension, fuel injection, electronic instrument clusters, LED lighting and engine capacity increase within the last 10 years.
Yamaha, Honda, SYM, Modenas are the main contenders. Benelli is set to join the fray.
The main appeal of scooters is none other than being convenient and fun run-abouts, therefore making up the large number of motorcycle ownership in Malaysia.
Sizes and prices range from 115cc, 125cc, 150cc city bikes through to 250cc, 300cc, 400cc and all the way onto the 650cc maxi scooters.
Yamaha has a stranglehold on the lower capacity segment, while SYM holds the 250cc and 400cc category.
The conclusion is, there are a great number of motorcycles that overlap different classes. Keep your mind focused on your intended purpose when shopping for one to make things easier on yourself. Not easy to do, isn’t it?
Well, that’s it for the moment. We’ll be back with the types of offroad motorcycles.
Here are the links to the respective manufacturers and distributors in Malaysia. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with them should you require more data.