In the know: Popular motorcycle body types


You think you know motorcycles? Well, think again. Despite offering only a small amount of canvas, motorcycles have spawned various body types that allow riders to pick a ride that best suit their budget, preferred riding position, and style.


  • What are some of the most popular motorcycle types in the Philippines?

    Popular motorcycle body types in the country include scooters, underbones, naked bikes, sportbikes, cruisers, and ADVs.
  • What motorcycle manunfacturers produce these types of motorbikes?

    Some of tghe popular brands in the Philippines include Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, KTM, Harley-Davidson, and BMW Motorrad.
  • That said, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular motorcycle body types and share a few pointers on how to ride them.

    1. Scooters

    yamaha soul gt


    Scoots are arguably one of the most popular motorcycle body types, especially here in the Philippines. These motorbikes are characterized by step-through frames, automatic shifting (typically by way of a CVT), and engines usually more powerful than mopeds.

    Scooters are often seen as the gateway to riding because their simple and straightforward means of operation easily allow beginners to get accustomed to taking the road on two wheels. Plus, they’re also relatively affordable compared to the other motorcycles on our list.

    A scooter puts the rider in a comfortable seating position with both of the arms placed on the bars in a relaxed manner. Riders wouldn't have to worry about mastering advanced foot and hand coordination as there are no gears to shift.

    You may check this video from Carmudi Philippines’ Big Bike Guy Ruben Manahan as he looks at some of Yamaha’s best-selling scoots.

    2. Underbones


    Underbones tend to be more aggressive than scoots and are characterized by having a step-over frame and a semi-automatic transmission. This means that shifting is still relatively easy as underbones work without a clutch. In terms of engine size, underbones typically share the same displacement as scooters, ranging from 115cc to 150cc.

    Riders assume a more aggressive riding position when hopping on an underbone motorbike as its saddle is usually higher than a moped's and the bars are often stretched out causing one to bob a little lower.

    3. Standard and Naked


    Naked bikes also account for one of the largest numbers of motorcycles here in the Philippines. They are also called “standard bikes” and “streetfighters.” You wouldn’t miss one as these motorcycles often have their engines poking out on each side and offer very minimal fairings — just like your gym trainer tito who always finds a way to flex his muscles.

    On that note, it’s obvious that these motorcycles are undoubtedly more powerful than scoots and underbones. Riders position themselves close to the tank to help combat drag and air resistance as naked bikes often have little to no windshield.

    4. Sportbikes

    KTM RC 390

    Sportbikes are designed to be more aerodynamically sound than naked bikes. That said, one can expect them not only to look fast but to actually be fast. Fairings are strategically placed on the motorbike to deflect air with a similarly functional windshield.

    Sportbikes are also often intended to be one-seaters as their pillion seats are often designed with aerodynamics in mind and are sometimes only decorative.

    Riding position, as one would expect, is aggressive.

    5. Cruisers

    Harley-Davidson Sportster S MY2021

    Those looking to use a motorcycle with a more relaxed riding position often go for cruisers. As the name suggests, this type of motorbike lets riders cruise comfortably thanks to its low-hanging seats, feet-forward footpegs, and well-positioned handlebars.

    Cruisers typically are heavy bikes with priority leaning more on comfort and low-end torque. However, some cruisers are made to offer more than the norm, just like the Harley-Davidson Sportster S. This motorcycle, despite its heavy cruiser DNA, offers aggressive riding with sportbike agility and handling.

    Check out our interview with Harley-Davidson of Manila’s Bernie Ledesma to know more about this sporty cruiser.

    6. ADVs

    BMW 310 GS

    Adventure bikes, often called ADVs, are types of motorcycles that have been designed to survive a trip to hell and back. They are characterized by tall yet comfortable seats, tall windshields, impressive suspension travel, plenty of luggage options, and high ground clearance.

    ADVs share similar features with likewise rugged motorcycle body types such as dual sports, enduros, and dirtbikes.

    Riders do assume a more relaxed riding position as these motorcycles are intended for long and demanding adventures.

    Photos from Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, KTM, Harley-Davidson, BMW Motorrad, and Moto Guzzi

    Also read: 

    In the know: Things you need before you get a motorcycle

    In the know: Where to get proper education on motorcycle riding

    Read All

    Featured Articles

    Recommended Articles For You

    Read All

    Featured Motorcycles

    • Upcoming