5 Different Motorcycle Riding Positions 

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Mr. Chase Manhattan


Riding motorcycles can be an incredibly enjoyable experience, allowing you to explore the world in ways that few other modes of transportation can. But to maximize your safety and comfort, it is important to know the different riding positions depending on the type of motorcycle you are riding. By understanding the different positions, you can ensure that you are always in the best posture for the type of bike you are riding. In this article, we will take a look at each riding position and how it relates to different motorcycle types, so you can make the most of your ride.

Motorcycle Riding Position
Courtesy of LittleRock

Motorcycle Riding As A Hobby | Intro

Motorcycling is an enjoyable activity that can provide manifold physical and mental health benefits. To maintain the correct riding position, it is essential to engage numerous small muscles in the abdomen. Additionally, motorcycling provides direct exposure to nature’s elements, such as the wind on one’s face, the smell of gasoline, and the camaraderie of fellow riders, all of which can have a positive impact on one’s mental health.

Depending on personal preference, motorcycle riders can opt to ride either alone or in a group and may choose between riding on the street, off-road, or on a track. Each type of terrain demands different postures and riding positions, which must be observed to avoid fatigue, cramping, and discomfort. Subsequently, this article will provide an in-depth overview of the various types of motorcycle riding and their corresponding suitable riding positions.


Motorcycle Dirt Bike
Courtesy of PxFuel

Adventure riding is an exhilarating and thrilling form of motorcycling that offers a unique chance to explore the world and discover hidden gems. Featuring a mix of on and off-road riding, adventure riding takes you to far-flung places, allowing you to experience the beauty of the outdoors in a manner that few other activities can match. With a greater emphasis on comfort and stability, adventure riding requires the use of appropriately modified motorcycles and the adoption of specific riding positions to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Adventure Specific Riding Position

The adventure motorcycle riding position combines the riding positions for both street and off-road riding. The rider should sit upright with his/her back straight and both feet on the ground, but with the body weight shifted forward slightly and the arms bent to enable better control/maneuverability when riding on rough terrain.

Additionally, the rider should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars and controls; and easily stand on the footpegs when needed for better balance and control while riding off-road. This position allows the rider to react to any terrain, from tarmac to gravel, mud, rocks, or sand.

Note that, depending on the type of adventure riding, the position may change. For instance, when riding on more challenging terrain, you must lean back and pick up speed to prevent getting stuck by obstacles or veering in deep sand.

Not every motorcycle can be used for adventure riding. Adventure riding enthusiasts have a hint of the kind of terrains and road surfaces they would encounter during riding, so picking the right bike for adventure riding can be tricky. 

Below is our hand-selected list of adventure motorcycles. 

Off-Road Motorcycle

An off-road motorcycle is a dirt bike designed with off-road exploration in mind. As the name implies, the motorcycle can drift across rough and rugged pathways where people hardly set foot.

In most cases, an off-road motorcycle can ascend rugged, hostile terrains, much like a mountain climber. It has a tall seat that encourages upright motorcycle riding and a higher suspension to improve comfort. This feature makes it a much better bike for adventure riding.

The appropriate riding position for an off-road motorcycle is an upright sitting position with both feet on the ground when stopped. This allows for a comfortable and relaxed posture while maintaining control of the bike. The elbows should be slightly bent, and the hands should be positioned on the handlebars to provide quick and easy access to the brake and throttle controls. It’s important to note that this motorcycle riding position may vary depending on the design model of the bike and the rider’s individual preferences.

Dual-Sport/On-road motorcycle 

This motorcycle is a cross between a sport motorcycle and an off-road bike. 

It typically features a lightweight frame, long-travel suspension, and knobby tires that provide good traction on dirt and gravel roads. It has a small engine, usually between 250cc and 650cc, which makes it lightweight and maneuverable.

With dual-sport’s unrivaled versatility on and off-road, riders can travel anywhere and perform any task they can imagine with their bike.

The riding position for a dual sport motorcycle is slightly different from that of a street motorcycle. Since dual sport bikes are designed for both on and off-road use, the rider should be more aggressive with the body weight shifted forward, arms bent, and hands gripping the handlebars firmly. This position allows for better control and maneuverability when riding on rough terrains, such as dirt, gravel, and mud. It also allows the rider to stand on the footpegs for better balance and control when riding off-road.


The Supermoto motorcycle is an off-road bike created to function as a street bike. 

It has the features of both an off-road bike and a sports bike. Supermoto bikes typically have a lightweight, agile chassis and suspension designed for off-road riding but with road-oriented tires and brakes. The tall posture of a dirt bike is combined with the outstanding braking, grip, and speed of a sport bike in the supermoto. But it is not designed for long-distance trips as you may experience discomfort after riding for many hours.

Sumo Specific Riding Position

The riding position for this bike is similar to that of a street bike, with the rider sitting upright with both feet on the ground, hands gripping the handlebars, and the back straight. However, the rider may have to lean forward slightly and position their body weight over the front wheel to improve stability and control when cornering at high speeds. The seat of a supermoto bike is typically higher than sport bikes, which allows the rider to shift their weight around while riding quickly.

In summary, the riding position on a supermoto bike is designed to be upright and relaxed, which allows for better control and comfort while riding on both off-road and street surfaces.


Motorcycle Riding Position - Street Riding - Touring
Courtesy of Flickr

Street riding is a form of motorcycle riding where motorcycling is done on public roads, including city streets, highways, and suburban roads.

Many enjoy the fun that comes from street riding, and it often serves recreational purposes. But sometimes, it can be scary for beginners who try to navigate different road lanes while learning how to ride competently. Sometimes attempting to brake, shift, start from a stop and remember to switch off the blinker after a turn might come uneasy to beginners while carefully avoiding vehicles and weaving through traffic. However, safety must be taken into consideration when street riding.

Riders need to be familiar with traffic laws and regulations and must have the ability to safely navigate through traffic, maintain a proper speed, and obey traffic signals and signs.

The motorcycle riding position for this form of riding is to sit upright with both feet on the ground, hands gripping the handlebars. This position allows for reasonable control of the motorcycle and easy movement of the feet for shifting gears and operating the rear brake. It also allows the rider to see and be seen more quickly by other vehicles on the road.

Street motorbikes are easily configured to be suitable for any body type and riding style to allow convenience while riding. We have a list of them specifically made to be ridden on paved roads with tread-patterned tires that are smooth and capable of reaching speeds of up to 150 mph (201 km/h) and above.

Naked Bike

It is an all-purpose motorbike with a simple design, a sizable engine, and room for additional gear, which many people find exquisite. Naked bikes are universal bikes that are multifunctional and versatile, with extra features that can only be found on two-wheelers. The bike provides a functional design that reduces the fatigue and discomfort of operators. It has a mid-range seat height for an upright riding position and is neither too big nor small for users.

It has simple aesthetics that make it appropriate for street riding. With its shell-like body components assembled for aerodynamic and stylish purposes, you can enjoy slow and comfortable rides for fun and, at the same time, high-speed cruises.

With the upright riding position that naked bikes provide, riders will have better visibility. But the exposure to wind slows down the rider’s speed and makes it harder to maintain balance and control of the bike. Finding an appropriate motorcycle riding position is crucial so the bike can be controlled easily and safely.

Sport Bike

Sport motorcycles are your best option if you’re looking for speed and agility. 

Compared to an off-road motorcycle, a sport bike has more aluminum parts, making it lighter and easier to maneuver.

Sport motorcycles are speed demons with high-powered suspensions that raise the seat to a certain height to prevent scraping the footpegs. The standard engine size is 600 cubic centimeters (cc), but it can be less or more.

One of the several fantastic features of this bike is the high-performance braking system manufactured with cutting-edge technology. A sport bike is not ideal for amateur riders; high-speed freaks enjoy this bike very well because it has high seats that leave riders no choice but to ride on tiptoes.

The correct riding position when using sports bikes is typically a more aggressive stance with the rider leaning forward, and their body weight shifting towards the gas tank. This position allows for better aerodynamics and allows the rider to grip the handlebars more tightly for improved control and stability when cornering at high speeds.

The rider’s legs should be bent, and his/her feet should be placed firmly on the footpegs, with the knees hugging the gas tank. This motorcycle riding position allows for better control and stability when cornering and allows the rider to quickly shift their weight when braking, accelerating, or navigating tight turns.

Also, it’s important to note that this riding position is unsuitable for long distances and could cause fatigue and discomfort, so riders should adjust their motorcycle riding position regularly and take breaks when needed.


A Supersports bike is a motorcycle designed for high-performance riding on both the street and off-road. These bikes typically have powerful engines, aerodynamic bodywork, and advanced suspension systems.

This motorcycle is designed to provide more horsepower per pound than most conventional two-wheeled vehicles. The foot pegs are higher than average to accomplish greater lean angles, which may be necessary at high speeds. They are generally lightweight and are made for experienced riders who seek a high-performance and adrenaline-fueled riding experience.

Compared to sports bikes, Supersports bikes have a more aggressive motorcycle riding position. Here, the riding position involves the rider leaning forward even more, the handlebars lower and closer to the rider, and the footpegs higher and farther back. This riding position is meant for high-performance riding and track use, where the rider’s body position is optimized for aerodynamics and stability at high speeds.


Motorcycle Riding Position Track Bike
Courtest of WallpaperFlare

Track riding is a form of motorcycle riding that occurs in a closed racing arena. Track riding allows riders to experience high-speed riding in a controlled environment without the distractions and hazards of public roads.

Riding on the track consists of sessions where participating individuals can ride their motorcycles around the track at high speeds. Motorcycle clubs or racing schools usually organize these events, providing a safe and structured environment for riders to improve their skills and push the limits of their motorcycles.

The motorcycle riding position for track riding is called the track position. It is a crouched, aerodynamic position in which the rider leans forward and tucks his/her elbows close to the body to reduce wind resistance and increase stability while riding at high speeds. This position allows the rider to quickly shift his/her weight and make quick turns on the track.

This position also allows the rider to have control and handle the motorcycle better during high-speed and hard braking. 

Sports classes

Sports classes refer to different categories of competition in organized sports. It is often based on skill level, age, and equipment. These classes are structured to create a level playing field and ensure fair competition among participants. During these classes, participants are grouped based on their equipment, such as mountain bikes, road bikes, and recumbent bikes. This ensures that athletes using different types of equipment compete against others using similar equipment. Sports classes create a fair and entertaining competition for all participants and an avenue for the athletes to improve their skills and compete at a higher level.


Motorcycle Riding Position With Passenger
Courtesy of WikiMedia

When riding with a passenger, it is essential to adjust the motorcycle riding position to ensure the safety and comfort of both the rider and the passenger.

A right sitting position is important for the rider. The rider should keep a straight back to maintain reasonable control of the bike. The feet should be kept on the pegs, and the knees slightly bent to absorb any bumps or vibrations in the road.

For the passenger, he/she needs to sit properly with his/her feet on the footpegs. The passenger should also keep his/her knees bent and grip the rider’s waist or the seat with their legs. This will help to maintain balance and prevent them from sliding forward during braking or acceleration.

It’s also vital for both the rider and passenger to communicate effectively, for instance, when the rider needs to take a turn.

Also, protective gear such as a helmet, gloves, and riding boots should not be neglected during such rides.

Generally, the appropriate motorcycle riding position when riding with a passenger ensures the safety and comfort of both the rider and the passenger; not excluding good communication and proper use of safety gear.


In this article, we’ve considered the various riding positions in adventure riding, street riding, track riding, and riding with a passenger. To ensure safety, it is important for riders to always comply with these riding positions.

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Hey y’all! It’s Chase Manhattan, a life-long gearhead, tinkerer, and adrenaline junky. I like to write about all things technical in the Harley Davidson and motorcycling space.