Street Bike vs. Sport Bike

Motorcycles come in many shapes, sizes, and capacities. Our topic today revolves around the age-old discussion of street bikes vs. sportbikes. 

With the information we provide in this article, you’ll develop a good idea of the two types of bikes and decide which one best fits your style and needs.

Is A Street Bike And A Sport Bike The Same Thing?

Going back to the first-ever internal combustion petroleum-fuelled motorcycle in 1885, when Daimler Reitwagen was produced by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, the basic formula has been the same. A motorcycle usually has either two wheels (but sometimes three) and is motor-powered. Ancillary parts, like a sidecar, can be added to certain models.

Street bikes and sportbikes are two different beasts. Their motors, seating, powertrain, and uses vary somewhat dramatically. One of the main differences can be spotted with a simple glance. In many cases, you can distinguish a street bike from a sports bike by its fairings - or lack thereof. A street bike typically will have minimal to no fairings, while a sportbike will have a full-frontal fairing with a functional windshield.

Another significant difference is that most passenger seats on a sportbike, also known as pillion seats, are just decorative and often not suitable to carry a passenger. The street bike, by contrast, offers better seating and comfort for the passenger.

What Is A Street Bike And When To Use It?

Street bikes, also known as naked bikes, have been the go-to for beginners and enthusiasts alike. These bikes are designed with a comfortable riding posture, equipped with footpegs below the rider and handlebars within easy reach.

Another characteristic of street bikes is their moderate power output, with engine capacities starting from 125cc. However, some street bikes have engines above 600cc. They have a good ground clearance for emergency stops and easy idling. These bikes have light treads for use on paved roads. Street bikes emphasize form over function, so while it is sufficiently powered, it will not corner at high speeds like a sportbike.

In general, street bikes are ideal for beginners just getting into the motorcycle world and experienced riders looking for an easy and comfortable ride.

What Is A Sport Bike And When To Use It?

Sportbikes are characterized by their fast acceleration, high top speeds, and top-tier braking.

They are broken down into three subclasses; smaller bikes with engine capacities of up to 500cc fall under the lightweight category. Middleweights, also known as super sports, generally have an engine displacement between 500cc to 750cc. But the kings of the hill are superbikes, which have an engine displacement of over 1000cc.

Sportbikes are known to have aerodynamic fenders and fairings to increase acceleration and top speed, and the posture is a little uncomfortable due to the rider having to lean onto the handlebars to grip them and the footpegs being higher which results in a body position where the weight is forward and over the tank.

Their use is more towards racing and riders who seek a thrill from the speed and aggressiveness of the bike. While some street bikes can be considered sport bikes, the opposite is not necessarily true.

If you are looking for a two-wheeled vehicle with an emphasis on speed and are interested in going down to the local track, then a sports bike is ideal for you. Keep in mind that unlike a street bike, where the riding posture is pretty natural, sports bike posture takes time to learn and find the most comfortable position.

Price And Cost Comparison

When price comes into play, there is a notable gap between the cost of a street bike and a sport bike. You can find a cheap 2021 brand-new street bike for as low as $4,000 while a brand-new sports bike will cost you in excess of $15,000.

The price tag is not the end of the cost story here. A street bike is generally cheaper to maintain as it uses relatively common parts and accessories. On the other hand, sports bikes require specialized oils and lubricants and use expensive components to maintain optimal performance. Insurance costs are also higher on a sports bike than a street bike due to their MSRP and cost of parts.

If you're looking for a bike for general usage and fun riding, then a street bike is an ideal choice, due to its low maintenance cost, high fuel efficiency, and versatility. But as noted throughout this piece, each type has its pros and cons.

But as Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Co., said, “Primarily, essentials of the motorcycle consist in the speed and the thrill,” and to that, we wholeheartedly agree. There is no thrill like riding a motorcycle.