What is the Definition of a Motorcycle? [Explained]

Riding motorcycles can be fun and it can definitely be fun to learn even more about them as well. So, we’re going to take a look at some of the things you may not know about motorcycles but you may have always wanted to know.

Not to mention a few interesting tidbits that might make riding your motorcycle (or checking them out) a little bit more fun.

What is the Definition of a Motorcycle?

The legal definition of a motorcycle is a motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider that is designed to move on no more than three wheels. This is the legal definition in California, however, it’s a very similar definition to what you would find elsewhere.

Most states have their own legal definition of a motorcycle in their highway code or their vehicle code. This is to make sure that all drivers on the road are safe and all vehicles are legal. If your vehicle does not fall under the classification of a motorcycle that doesn’t mean that it’s not allowed.

It means that you may need to look at other legal definitions to find out what type of vehicle it is considered or to ensure that it is street legal.

Why is it Called a Motorcycle?

When you look at it ‘motorcycle’ isn’t actually that creative of a name. That’s because it’s a combination of the words ‘motor’ and ‘cycle’ which is short for bicycles. When the motorcycle was first created that’s exactly what it was, a combination of two things.

The motorcycle started out as a bicycle that was equipped with a motor. As a result, it seems rather fitting that it would be considered a ‘motorcycle.’ In fact, the name was used way back in 1895, so it seems that even those who created the very first of these were using the name. It’s not something that was only created recently as motorcycles became more common and more advanced. But the name seems to have stuck.

What is the Other Name of Motorcycle?

There are plenty of different names for motorcycles that you will hear. You might hear them referred to as motorbike, racer, chopper, bike, hog, cycle and more. It all depends on where you are and the specific type of motorcycle that you are referring to.

Some people use slang terms to refer to their motorcycles that might be common (like those we mentioned) or personal. Others might refer to their bike by its brands, such as a Harley or Yamaha. In general, there are an unlimited number of words and terms that are used by just about everyone to refer to a motorcycle and none of them are considered wrong.

What Do Bikers Call Their Motorcycles?

Bikers refer to their motorcycles in a number of different ways, calling them by slang terms that are entirely personal or even by their brand name. others refer to their motorcycle as a ‘bike,’ ‘hog,’ or ‘chopper.’ It all depends on the individual.

What to call a motorcycle is a matter of some debate, but it’s not really something that most worry about. That’s because these bikes are referred to in many different ways by a lot of different people. Whether you actually ride a motorcycle or not will generally play a role in how you refer to it. Not to mention where you live and the type of motorcycle that you ride or even how long you’ve been riding.

What is the Difference Between Motorbike and Motorcycle?

The short answer is that there is no difference. Both of these terms are used to describe the same type of road vehicle. In fact, they’re considered synonymous and have been used interchangeably for a long time. Both are combinations of the same words in a different format.

With a motorbike, you’re combining ‘motor’ and ‘bike’ whereas a motorcycle combines ‘motor’ and ‘cycle’ but all of those words come from the same two. ‘Motor’ and ‘bicycle.’ Combining these two words was the easiest way to refer to the new creation when it was first invented and works quite well even now.

What Does a Motorcycle Symbolize?

If you ask people who ride motorcycles what they symbolize you’ll generally be told that they symbolize a free spirit or an adventurous person. The motorcycle is something that lets you have versatility and adventure because of the way it goes.

Those who don’t have a motorcycle of their own often feel very similar about them. They might think they want a motorcycle because of the impression that you can go anywhere and do anything when you have one. For a lot of people getting a motorcycle feels like a license to get out on the open road and do something wild and crazy.

Are Motorcycles Male or Female?

Depending on the person a motorcycle could be referred to as being male or female. In fact, people have been known to give their motorcycles names and they might fall into either category. But primarily motorcycles are considered female.

Referring to your motorcycle or bike in either gender is entirely your preference. If you hear someone talking about a bike at a motorcycle shop or in general, however, don’t be surprised to hear most, if not all, refer to it with feminine pronouns.

What is a Motorcycle Made Of?

Original motorcycles were made out of regular bikes with a motor. New ones are made with steel, aluminum, or alloy. These are designed to keep the bike durable but still try and keep the weight down. Unlike a vehicle, motorcycles can’t keep themselves upright without help.

The specific materials that your bike is made of will depend on the manufacturer as well as the specifications of the bike. Some are made with higher quality materials and some are designed to be lightweight. You may also have a combination of materials because of the style of the bike.


A motorcycle is definitely fun to use and it can be a whole lot of fun to find out more about as well. All you have to do is take a look at the information that’s out there because there’s a whole lot to see.





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