Bike Vs. Bicycles: What Is the Difference?

Bike Vs Bicycles

There are several means of transportation in the world ranging from cars, trains, and even walking.


However, one of the most common means of road transportation is using a two-wheeler. Some people might refer to these as bikes, while others call them bicycles. 

However, people use these two terms interchangeably. That begs the question, “Do they mean the same thing?”

Many might say that both terms are synonymous; therefore, one is a shorter term for the other. But, there is a difference in both terms. 

The term ‘Bike” encompasses a motorcycle and a bicycle. In other words, “bike” is a general term used in describing both vehicles.

Now, the question is, are motorcycles and bicycles the same? The answer is No. In fact, they are two different vehicles that might share similar features but are very dissimilar. 

Here, we shall extensively look at both bikes and bicycles, their uses, types, similarities, and differences.


A motorcycle is a two – and sometimes three-wheeled vehicle which is motor-powered. This simply means it makes use of an engine that consumes fuel.

The first motorcycle came from Germany in 1885. This invention bore the name Reitwagen which translated into ‘riding car’.

The name ‘motorcycle’ came to be in 1894 when Hildebrand and Wolfmuller became the first series of production motorcycles.

In present times, the motorcycle has become a rather common vehicle. It is popular because of its speed and flexibility through roads. 

Uses of Motorcycles

The uses of motorcycles range from domestic uses to commercial uses. People use motorcycles to transport commodities even through areas cars or vans might not go through.

In some areas around the world, motorcycles act like taxis. They serve to transport individuals from one location to another commercially.

Several companies today also employ using bikes and dispatch riders for numerous types of wares. Inclusively, many sporting activities now use motorbikes for racing competitions.

Types of motorcycles

  • Cruisers: These motorcycles come from an old design used back in the 1990s. Though simple, it is compact and slower than most motorcycles. Typically, cruisers are comfortable making it perfect for slow riders. 
  • Dirt Bikes: Living up to their name, these motorcycles are perfect for off-road driving. They are quite similar to adventure motorbikes; however, they have high suspension and taller seats.
  • Adventure motorcycles: Adventure motorcycles are one of the most popular motorcycle types in the world. Companies produce these bikes with stronger materials; thus, it can scale through any terrain. Their outlook combines the ruggedness of dirt bikes and the comfortable design of traditional bikes.
  • Choppers: Choppers are motorcycles with a unique design. Since it emerged in the 1990s it has become a remarkable bike that plays active roles in action movies, music videos, and advertisements.
  • Scooter: Scooters are quite common for its simplicity and functionality. However, for these same reasons may argue that it is not a real motorcycle. These motorcycles feature lighter frames and are perfect for shorter trips. Thus, females prefer this to other motorcycle types.

Common Motorcycle brands

  • Honda
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Suzuki
  • Triumph Motorcycles Limited
  • Ducati
  • BMW
  • Kawasaki
  • Aprilia
  • Bajaj 

What is a Bicycle?

A bicycle is a two-wheeled vehicle that needs physical efforts to it forward.It has a pedal that your feet rotate constantly to generate energy.

Therefore, the movement of a bicycle is dependent on a person’s effort to propel the vehicle.

The history of bicycles starts from the 19th century when it was a major transportation means. However, since that time, other vehicles have evolved, reserving bicycles for simple tasks.

Today, there are over a billion bicycles, which is twice the number of cars. Bicycles are in fact, the most common vehicles in the world.

Uses of the Bicycle

  • For transportation of people and goods
  • Several sports and racing games
  • For exercises
  • Delivery of items
  • For entertainment or other leisure activities

Aside from these mentioned above, bicycles perform some other vital functions in the community. In fact, it stands as one of the easiest means of transport.

It has no age discretion as both children and adults can comfortably ride it. Furthermore, the bicycle is very lucrative and occupies little space on the road and in your garage.

Types of Bicycles

Different types of bicycles have different features to suit different purposes. These features could involve the size of the wheels, the height of the bicycle, and so on.

The types of bicycles include:

Utility bicycles: Utility bicycles are the bikes you use for the running of your day-to-day activities. These could include shopping, visiting friends, touring, visiting city centers, or simply running errands.

Mountain bicycles: Mountain bicycles have features suitable for off-road cycling. Though similar to regular bicycles, its makeup comprises of materials that can withstand any rough terrain.

These include large tires, durable wheels, a suspension fork, and wider handlebars. As a result, these bicycle types are heavy. It also has powerful brakes, lower gear ratios, and dropper posts to adjust seat height.

Hybrid bicycles: Hybrid bicycles are the cross between utility bicycles and mountain bicycles. It is best suited for individuals who want an all-purpose bicycle. Hybrid combines the comfort of a mountain bicycle with the speed of a regular bicycle.

Touring bicycles: As the name implies, touring bicycles are best for going on tours. Thus, it has wider and more comfortable seats and can also carry heavy loads. Furthermore, its wheels are stronger, made to withstand heavyweight.

Racing bicycles: A racing bicycle is a bicycle used for road cycling. The main attribute of road bicycles is their rigid form, which determines how a rider’s strokes can push the bicycles further. For better positioning, the saddles are usually higher than the handlebars.

Common Bicycle brands

Today, there are many brands producing more and more bicycles every day. There are almost twice as many bicycle-producing brands as there are brands making cars.

Common bicycle brands include:

  • Trek
  • Cannondale
  • Giant
  • Specialized
  • Bianchi
  • Diamond Bicycles
  • Santa Cruz
  •  SCOTT
  • Marin 

Similarities between “Motorcycles” and “Bicycle”

The appearance of both vehicles

This is the major similarity between both vehicles. They both feature two tires that propel their movements.

They also have similar structures. However, bicycles tend to have leaner shapes than bikes, which are significantly wider.

Furthermore, both feature side mirrors that help its rider monitor the rear while riding. They also have handlebars that you hold on to while driving.

The make-up

Another significant similarity is the way it works. Though their modes of power are different, they both need a source of energy to work.

For bikes, it is fuel, while it is a physical effort for bicycles. Also, both vehicles have gears that facilitate control while driving.

The riding technique

Irrespective of which you are riding, you’ll have to sit astride it. The sitting position of its riders is quite similar as they have to sit with their back upright.

Furthermore, you have to grab hold of the handlebars before you begin driving. The same applies to turning at bends and corners.

Also significant is the fact that you must look up while driving both vehicles. Therefore, they feature very similar safety measures.

For instance, a rider of a motorcycle and that of a bicycle needs a helmet for protection.

Bike vs Bicycles: what is the difference?

Now, let’s say the term ‘bike’ refers to a term describing two-wheeled vehicles. What then makes it different from a bicycle? If you are conversant with the term ‘proper nouns’, then this should be easy. 

The bike covers more than one vehicle. Thus, it could be a motorcycle, a motorbike, or a bicycle. On the other hand, a bicycle is a vehicle itself.

While both are bikes, not all bikes are bicycles. However, it is convenient to know that the term ‘bike’ is informal when describing motorcycles or bicycles. 

For a professional presentation, it’s advisable to call the motorcycle a ‘motorcycle’ and the bicycle a ‘bicycle’.

Aside from this, there are no other prominent differences when looking at this view of ‘bikes’.


With this post, you have an in-depth knowledge of the difference between bikes and bicycles. So, if you’re challenged with both terms, remember this – there are two ways one may refer to bikes. ‘Bikes’ could mean a motorcycle, also known as a motorbike or a term describing two-wheeled vehicles. Bicycles, on the other hand, are examples of bikes.

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