What Is the Smoothest Riding Motorcycle

[Page Updated 06/26/2022] California has some of the worst road infrastructures in the country, with around 35% of the entire road network in a state of despair.

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The cost of aging roads per driver is around $862, ranking the state second, slightly behind Oklahoma.

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These costs do not include motor vehicle repair costs, fuel, and more according to our expert motorcycle lawyers.

According to the research firm, TRIP, the state of the roads in California, on average, costs drivers just under $3,000 annually in car repairs, fuel costs, time wasted in congestion. Possible damage caused by accidents, from a small scratch, to a total loss with broken teeth is ever present on CA roads.

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Some say it’s just a matter of time before a beginner drops their bike by surprise. Collectively, drivers lose about $61 billion annually in the state due to unmaintained roads.

Drivers in Los Angeles alone pay around an average of $300 annually due to traffic accidents. This figure may not look huge but it’s spread across 6.6 million drivers across Los Angeles County. The bridges in the state are starting to wear out and the damage is starting to show on the surface. With more than 56% of the bridges above the age of 50 years, bridge infrastructure in the state poses a serious threat to drivers and riders.

Riding Motorcycles and Deadly CA Roads

It’s fair to say that if more drivers get into accidents due to poorly maintained roads, the likelihood of motorcycle accidents is also high. In 2020 alone, California saw more than 784,000 motorcycle sales. With the rise of motorcycle riders on the road, the majority of these lightweight vehicles are not well-equipped to cruise over the poorly maintained roads in the state. A combination of speed and a lightweight vehicle can cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash their motorcycle if they are not careful on Californian roads.

However, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the landscapes California has to offer while cruising on a motorcycle. You can count on our personal injury attorneys to protect your rights in the event of an accident and recover financial compensation for any damages.

If you don’t own a motorcycle and are considering buying one, we have compiled a list of types of motorcycles that offer supreme comfort and a smooth ride, even on the harshest of roads.

You may think that motorbikes like the Harley Davidson offer extreme comfort, which is true to some extent, but these types of motorbikes cannot reduce the impact of unmaintained roads in the state. Low-rider motorcycles like Harley Davidson do have a comfortable ride, but the motorcycle also comes with short rear springs, which will slowly damage your spine upon hitting bumps and cracks in the road.

What Types of Motorcycles Should You Explore?

Here are the different types of motorbikes available on the market today. Each of these motorcycles caters to the different needs of a rider. A motorcycle that runs well on city roads may not offer a comfortable experience while traveling long distances.

Sports Bikes

Considered the fastest type of motorcycle, sportbikes offer unparalleled speed for all those seeking a thrill. Since these bikes can run at high speeds, they come with a fantastic suspension system to offer a smooth ride and high-performance brakes to bring the motorbike to a halt in case of emergency braking situations.

However, sportbikes do not offer comfort at low speeds as they are often designed to run past 100 miles per hour, at which point they can become comfortable. That hasn’t stopped many speed enthusiasts from adding a lot of cushioning material and replacing the seat with a more comfortable seat to improve the ride at lower speeds. These modifications allow riders to enjoy longer stretches of the road regardless of how difficult or rough they become.

Sportbikes offer a lot of power and we do not recommend them for beginner riders. We think you should be comfy, with few blind spots. Motorcycles are more likely to cause fatal accidents than motorcars and beginner sportbike riders further increase that risk. If you’re a beginner and looking for some speed, consider sportbike lite with a sexy fairing to make it look tough as you proceed down your route through America.

Remember, these types of motorcycles can easily cross the standard US speed limits while in first or second gear and if you’re not careful. Plus, with all the distracting bells, whistles and other accessories, you run the risk of receiving speeding tickets or a high level crash. Some examples of a sportbike include Ducati Panigale, Yamaha R1, Suzuki GSX-R models, and more.

Dual-sports Bikes

These types of motorcycles come in two categories;

  1. Enduro style offers the versatility of a dirt bike

  2. Adventure bikes that offer the comfort of street bikes but also lean toward off-road capabilities.

Dual-sport bikes come equipped with a superb suspension system and a durable motor making them perfect for long-distance touring.

Although these vehicles are fantastic for long distances, they are also great as commuter bikes due to their lightweight, economical fuel consumption, and superb handling. Dual-sport bikes are more than capable of riding over bumps and cracks in the roads and can smooth out the pockmarked city streets, at least that’s the idea.

There is one huge disadvantage of riding dual-sport bikes which is that it’s not a great option for short individuals since these bikes are tall. So if you’re considering this option, make sure your feet or toes touch the ground while sitting on the motorbike. However, you can lower the motorcycle to match your height by either using the lowering kit or replacing the seats with a lower seat to reduce discomfort.

Some examples of dual-sport bikes used on city pavement include the Triumph Tiger 800, KTM Adventure, Suzuki V-Strom models, and more.

Touring Bike

California is a state known for its serene beauty that can last for miles at a stretch, which is perhaps why many are buying motorcycles more than ever before to experience that. Touring bikes are fantastic motorcycles that can quench your travel thirst. Now you can easily enjoy a comfortable long-distance ride and bring all the necessary gear or vintage equipment with you.

Touring motorcycles come equipped with strong audio equipment, comfortable heated seats, a powerful ABS, great electronic suspension, and a lot of space to carry important items with you while on the road. A touring motorcycle is comparatively more expensive than others on this list and if you’re interested in buying one, consider checking out used options as you’ll definitely come across a touring bike that is in great shape.

Some examples of a touring bike include Honda Gold Wing, BMW K1600GT/L, and Triumph Rocket III Touring. The Honda Gold Wing is a popular option as it comes with all the latest features such as heated grips, comfortable and wide heated seat, satellite navigation, and many more.

Cruiser Bikes

If you dream of cruising down Californian streets in a powerful machine, consider the cruiser motorcycle. These motorbikes come with a V-twin engine offering unparalleled torque power and a low seat height perfect. These motorcycles are extremely comfortable to ride and can replace touring bikes with some unique additions such as saddlebags, a windscreen for protection, and a backrest.

Lightweight cruisers or medium-weight cruisers are great options for beginners since they have great handling at lower speeds and comparatively relaxed power output. Although cruisers offer comfort, they have a low flat tire and a low seat which can be a real pain on cracked roads or bumps. If you’re touring across California, you can enjoy a comfortable experience with a cruiser bike but if you’re going to be riding it in the streets, consider looking at other options.

Some of the best cruiser motorcycles include Harley-Davidson bikes, Kawasaki Vulcan, and the Ducati Diavel.

Sport Tourer Bikes

Sport touring bikes not only offers the power and handling of sportbikes but also the comfort and carrying capacity of touring bikes you can also use comfortably on trails. It’s much more comfortable than a sportbike and comes with a windscreen, hard luggage that you can easily detach, and serious horsepower. These types of motorcycles come with various technological features such as ABS, GPS, and many more.

Sport tourer bikes offer comfort and speed making them a great option for individuals looking to reach their destination quickly while ensuring a smooth ride. However, this may not be a great option for beginners as the motorcycle is heavy and has enough power to easily surpass city speed limits. If you’re not careful, you run the risk of receiving speeding tickets.

Some examples of sport tourer bikes include the Yamaha FJR1300, the Kawasaki Concours, and the Triumph Trophy.

Scooter

Scooter-type motorcycles on the market took off after the phenomenal success of the notorious Vespa by the Italians. When you think of a scooter, the first thing that comes to mind is the small engine and relatively smaller tires. However, today, modern scooters come equipped with different size engines and can go all the way up to 650cc or more!

Modern scooters also flaunt cutting-edge technology, comfortable seats, great suspension, and other features making it a comfort wagon perfect for the streets of California. If you’re not much of a traveler and only move about within your city of residence, a scooter is a fantastic choice for you. But if you travel further distances, then you may find that the small wheels in a scooter will not offer the smoothest ride.

Some examples of a scooter include Vespa, Honda Elite scooters, Kymco scooters, and more.

Dirt Bike

If you’re one of those people that enjoys the occasional off-road trip, dirt bikes can add a lot of fun to your mountaineer adventures. Many people in the United States buy motorcycles to experience the thrill and fun motorcycles offer. However, in doing so, they also put other people at risk since they don’t really know how to ride motorcycles properly, let alone cruise down streets.

A dirt bike is a great way to enjoy all the fun of riding motorcycles while ensuring the safety of other people. Driving dirt bikes on the streets is illegal but you can take one to a camping or ride site and have a lot of fun with it.

When it comes to off-roading, other bikes even with their high-tech features fail to offer the smoothness a dirt bike does on uneven terrain. With long suspensions, an extremely lightweight body, and small yet powerful engines, dirt bikes offer comfort and a smooth ride during off-roading.

Some examples of dirt bikes include Honda CRF450, Yamaha YZF450, and more.

Electric Bikes

Driving motorcycles can be scary for beginners which can lead to a lot of issues such as over throttling and bad power output management. If you’re riding with such issues, you run the risk of a motorcycle accident. Remember, distractions and lack of motorcycle riding skills increase the likelihood of the motorcyclist causing accidents.

Electric bikes are fantastic motorcycles for beginners as it has great power management, does not require shifting, and is not scary to ride. This makes it easier for every rider to stay in control of their motorcycle while reducing distractions on the road for the smoothest ride.

Some examples of electric bikes include zero models, BRD Redshift, and more.

Streetfighter

Essentially, streetfighters are sports bikes that have gone through several modifications, improving the comfort and stability of the motorcycle. These first started as a low-cost solution to bringing dead sportbikes to life by simply changing a few components and design elements. However, Ducati, one of the major streetfighter manufacturers took it to a whole new level.

Streetfighter bikes are much cheaper than sportbikes, and riders can go crazy with the plethora of customizations available to them. They are superior in comfort and have enough control to allow for a smoother and more stable ride.

Some examples of streetfighter motorcycles include the Ducati Streetfighter, the Aprilia Tuono, and more.

Motor Bike Features That Improve Smoothness of a Ride

There are many motorcycles on the market, but what sets them apart is the different features they offer.

Here are some features that you should consider when purchasing a motorcycle. Although many features can offer comfort, such as heated grips, carrying capacity, comfortable seat height, and more, the following features will ensure a smooth ride, helping reduce the impact of bumps, skids, and other obstacles.

Traction Control

When it comes to motorcycles offering a smooth ride, certain features help achieve that. Traction control made its way to motorcars, and now motorcycle manufacturers are experimenting with the technology on their motorbikes.

Riding motorcycles can be enjoyable, but when the wheels start to spin at different speeds, it can cause the motorcycle to lose control. With the traction control feature in modern motorcycles, wheel sensors capture speed data and ensure that both wheels are moving at the same speed, limiting skids and slips and ensuring a smooth ride.

ABS is a common form of traction control found on modern motorcycles. This helps prevent skids, but it does not increase the grip a motorcycle tire provides. Electronic stability programs and precision control systems are some of the alternative names for traction control systems.

Electronic Suspension

Suspension plays a huge role when it comes to a stable ride. You may have heard about the suspensions in SUVs, such as range rovers, that allow drivers to drive over uneven terrain as smooth as possible. The same is true for motorcycles.

There are three types of suspensions and these include:

  • Passive electronic suspension

  • Semi-active electronic suspension

  • Active electronically adjustable suspension (still in the prototype stages)

Since the active electronically adjustable suspension is still in its infancy, out of the other two, the semi-active electronic suspension is the better option.

The semi-active electronic suspension uses the same spring and hydraulic dampening set, but it combines all of that with electronic suspension features. Before the ride, a motorcycle rider must select a suspension setting, and once they set off, the sensors collect data and adjust the suspension according to the surface of the road. This results in a much smoother ride.

Ducati and BMW were the first manufacturers to introduce electronic suspension in the motorcycle world.

Cruise Control

When it comes to smooth rides, there are a lot of factors that come to play besides the components or features of a motorcycle. When driving over long distances, fatigue can set in and affect how the rider controls the motorcycle. Sloppy gear changes, overspeeding, and under speeding can all affect the quality of the ride.

Cruise control is a fantastic feature that allows riders to maintain a stable ride and constant speed over long distances, allowing for a comfortable journey. However, make sure that you’re only using cruise control over highways and long distances rather than in the city, as it can be dangerous if you don’t have your hand on the throttle at all times.

Wider Rear Tires

You must have noticed the size inconsistencies or differences in the two wheels in a motorcycle. It’s not some design flaw but these differences are genius motorcycle engineering that has a purpose. It is important to understand the function of the two different wheels before exploring the benefits of a wider tire.

The front wheel is solely responsible for steering and absorbing any impact. This is why a thinner wheel with a larger diameter is usually found in many motorcycles as it improves bike steering performance. The larger diameter improves the capacity to take impact, providing much-needed stability over rough roads.

The rear wheel of a motorcycle manages 100% of the power produced by the engines and uses it to push the motorcycle forward. Typically, the back wheels are much shorter than the front wheels, and they are also considerably wider. This is because wider tires increase the surface area of the tire, allowing it to grip the road much better and provide stability during harsh weather conditions like storms or rain.

The wider rear wheels also increase the impact absorption capacity, making longer journeys more comfortable.

Riding Modes

Different manufacturers offer various riding modes for their motorcycles to help tune the experience according to the environment. There are many different riding modes, such as sport, dynamic, offroad, street/road, and many more.

Many motorcycles already have several components that are there to improve the smoothness of a ride, and with the right riding mode activated, riders can enjoy a comfortable motorcycle experience.

For example, rain mode is perfect for wet surfaces as it provides more grip while street/road mode offers fantastic fuel economy and a smooth cruising experience.

Consider a Test Ride Before Purchasing a Motorcycle

Purchasing your first motorbike or replacing your old one with a new motorcycle can be exciting. However, before you purchase a motorcycle, you should always ask for a test ride. Obviously, you’ll need your M1 or M2 license.

Some dealers will let you test the motorcycles on sale for a few hours while others will let you book it for a day. This is ample enough time to ride the motorcycle on the streets, road, and even the highway. Some dealers will let you test ride the motorcycle for a couple of minutes but that’s not enough to understand whether or not the motorcycle is perfect for you. Negotiate your way to extending the test ride for at least a few hours.

As we’ve already explained, there is no one smooth-riding motorcycle as different types of motorcycles are perfect for certain situations. For example, sports bikes become stable and smooth at high speeds, but you can’t ride at such speeds on city roads and streets. If you travel on the highways a lot, then a sports bike might be the smoothest-riding motorcycle for you.

Once you’ve tested all aspects of the different motorcycles, shortlist them down to a single motorcycle that you think is best for you. Some riders may want more wind protection or even an adjustable windscreen or other rider aids like a helmet communication system for rider comfort and ease of communication on road trips.

Others may desire a unique riding position or passenger seat that sport bikes can’t provide for long distance riding (Harley or Indian Bagger bike, or Honda Goldwing?). Now go for another test ride using a new motorcycle fresh off the showroom floor. Now you will be able to test all the features or capabilities of the motorcycle that you had forgotten during the first motorcycling test ride.

Motorcycles May Be Dangerous, but That Shouldn’t Stop You from Buying One

Many studies conducted in the past suggest that motorcyclists are at an increased risk of death and injuries than motor car drivers as soon as they leave the garage for commuting purposes. Although these statistics are true, they shouldn’t waiver you from buying a motorcycle as there are many benefits to owning one.

The fuel economy can save you a considerable sum of money annually, you get to experience California scenic beauty from a different perspective, and it’s just convenient riding one.

With all that said, there is also a stigma associated with motorcyclists that they are not careful and reckless riders. Such biases against motorcycles can often lead to lower claims or even a claim rejection in the case of an accident. Don’t let the stigma around motorcyclists affect your decision to purchase one.

You must always drive carefully, whether you’re in a car or a motorcycle. Exert extreme caution and avoid reckless driving even if the roads are clear. Being responsible on the road can save you from injuries and accidents. Unfortunately, not all drivers or riders on the roads are careful.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Motorcycle Safety Attorney in Los Angeles County

Our experienced attorneys will review your accident and guide you through all the possible legal options to pursue to recover fair compensation for your damages when comfortable bikes don’t prevent a spill from an unrepaired pothole, etc.

You can always add on different components to make your ride smoother to float over the bumps and cracks in California but it is impossible to save yourself from a negligent driver or poorly maintained roads. Let our attorneys deal with such hassles against Caltrans and others, while new riders and you enjoy California, or heal up in the hospital, trying to heal and recover your lost earnings.

If you happen to be in an accident due to a negligent driver, contact us at (213) 596-9642 for a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys over obtaining maximum compensation for a riding injury. For more information, call us or visit any of our law offices in California.


Michael Ehline

Top rated injury lawyer, Michael Ehline in Tuxedo Suit

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.


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