What are the Different Categories of Harley-Davidson® Motorcycles

What are the Different Categories of Harley-Davidson® Motorcycles

Learn About Harley Bikes from Pig Trail Harley-Davidson® Serving Rogers Eureka Springs Fort Smith AR

If you love Harley-Davidson® bikes, you are probably already aware of the many categories, special edition packages, and series options available from the maker. However, for new riders, it can be helpful to understand what categories these bikes fall into. After all, knowing the different categories of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles can give you a better idea of the possibilities available to you. Understanding Harley-Davidson®’s bike categories can also be a helpful exercise if you are trying to decide which kind of motorcycle you should buy. In many ways, asking what the different types of motorcycles from Harley-Davidson® are is one of the best questions to open with!

It may also be helpful to know that certain Harley-Davidson® motorcycle categories have shifted over the last few years. Unique category options are now available that may not have been out there just a few short years ago. So, even veteran riders can benefit from this information. In our blog, we are going to focus primarily on the current Harley-Davidson® bike categories instead of digging into complicated model classifications from the past.

Below, we'll go over everything you need to know about the basic motorcycle categories and types available from Harley-Davidson®. Will also give you some helpful information about the latest contributions to Harley's current motorcycle catalog. Let's Roll!

The Basic Harley-Davidson® Bike Categories, Explained

First of all, let's start off by discussing how many H-D® categories there are. Depending on who you ask, you may get a few different answers. The thing is, motorcycles have been evolving for decades. So, every year there are more choices to look into. However, in the simplest sense, there are still a few main categories that all Harley bikes fall into.

Harley-Davidson® Sport Motorcycles

For over half a century, Harley-Davidson® has been producing some of the most impressive Sports bikes out there. These motorcycles are nimble, stylish, versatile, and exhilarating to ride. To define these motorcycles, it is easiest to understand what they do. To put it simply, these zippy lightweight bikes are designed to be tight, responsive, and agile. They offer lots of acceleration and are optimized to corner well.

Harley-Davidson® Sports motorcycles often weigh around 500 lbs, making them lighter than most other motorcycles. They also have engines that come with signature features. These engines are designed to rev high and run smoothly. The top-end Harley-Davidson® Sport motorcycle engines produce around 1000 CC.

These nimble bikes are perfect for an array of urban writing applications and can help you get through heavy traffic. Sport bikes are sometimes also referred to as street bikes, though the terms aren't entirely interchangeable. Fans of Harley-Davidson® Sport category motorcycles will understand the subtle differences between Street and Sport models.

Cruisers and Standard Motorcycles

Standard bikes from Harley-Davidson® are simply bikes that put you in an upright seating position and have handlebars that are easy to reach. Forward footpegs are usually included and you can stretch out comfortably. These Standard bikes can often be accessorized or upgraded.

Although there's a bit more to it than this, we don't want to get overly complex. The CC range for a standard Harley-Davidson® motorcycle will be higher than that of a Sport model, usually falling at around 1000 CC.

Harley-Davidson® Cruisers can fall into standard or specific Cruiser categories. As the name would suggest, Cruisers are designed to cruise by. They ride incredibly smoothly and have advanced suspension systems. Usually, Cruisers will showcase a combination of low handlebars, lowered seats, and upright seat backs for rider comfort.

Cruisers also usually have slightly forward foot pegs that let you stretch your legs out. Cruisers also have distinctive silhouettes. The result is a silky, smooth gliding motorcycle that creates an aesthetic of cool, calm, collected style. Cruisers can be used for city or highway exploration applications. Maneuver across the freeway or meander down the boulevard. It's up to you!

Grand American Touring

Grand American Touring motorcycles from Harley-Davidson® are designed to go the distance in style. These impressive motorcycles have powerful engines and were contrived to help adventures discover new places and transverse long stretches of interstate. As the heaviest Harley-Davidson® bikes, they often have floorboards, saddlebags, room for touring accessories, and comfortable passenger seats. They also usually have either Sharknose or Batwing fairings.

Over the last five years, this category has been enhanced in numerous ways. Harley-Davidson® Grand American Touring motorcycles were built from the ground up! Newer H-D® touring bikes come with an onslaught of impressive technological advancements, rider safety enhancements, and infotainment features. That’s not to mention their numerous touring amenities.

The most defining characteristic of Harley-Davidson® touring motorcycles is their beastly size. This larger size makes them comfortable and capable. These bikes have been developed for folks who want to spend hours or days on the open road. When it comes to luxuries and convenient attributes, touring motorcycles have the most advanced ergonomics. All in all, these are the best motorcycles for crossing the country.

Adventure Touring Series / Off-Road Bikes

Off-road and Adventure Touring motorcycles from Harley-Davidson® may be the easiest category to define. These motorcycles are what they sound like, adventure bikes designed to take you off of the pavement and out on new trails. These motorcycles are also often referred to as adventure bikes because they keep getting more and more versatile.

Now, Harley-Davidson® offers an Adventure Touring series for long-distance off-road riding. Harley-Davidson® Adventure Touring motorcycles were designed for off-road enthusiasts looking to go the distance easily.

Off-road motorcycles from Harley-Davidson® generally feature a combination of high handlebars, long-travel suspension systems, and high seats. They also come with powerful engines and durable, hard-wearing designs to give you an unparalleled off-road experience.

Electric and Dual-Purpose Bikes

The term Dual-Purpose can be a little bit confusing. For some people, Dual-Purpose motorcycles can travel in the city or off-road. However, for other riders, Dual-Purpose means motorcycles have standard designs with cruising or touring capabilities. Regardless, Dual-Purpose motorcycles always put an emphasis on versatility. Many Dual-Purpose Harley bikes are very customizable and can be enhanced with accessories.

Multi-functional electric motorcycles are now also available from Harley-Davidson®. These motorcycles provide the perfect soulful connection between Harley-Davidson®'s historic heritage and today’s most efficient modern technologies. The Harley-Davidson® LiveWire, for instance, delivers an unparalleled ride that is instantly gratifying, incredibly imaginative, and absolutely immersive.


While Harley-Davidson® Trikes don't necessarily fall into the motorcycle category, they often come with various signature Harley-Davidson® features. In fact, many trikes from Harley-Davidson® feature the same Milwaukee-Eight® 114 and 117 V-Twin engines found on other Grand American Touring Motorcycles. Trikes from Harley-Davidson® are designed to provide a confident, comfortable, and exhilarating three-wheeled ride. Harley-Davidson® Trikes are perfect for touring the country with a passenger and all of your gear in tow!

Learn More About Harley-Davidson® Motorcycles Categories at Pig Trail Harley-Davidson®

Want to discover more about the many categories of Harley-Davidson® Motorcycles? Our team is here to help you today! We proudly serve riders in Rogers, Fort Smith, and all surrounding areas in Arkansas. We can help you book test rides and fill you in on the details of any Harley-Davidson® bikes that interest you. To find out how we can get you started on your Harley-Davidson® journey, contact us online, come by, or call!

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