Motorcycle Parts

Today’s motorcycles are sophisticated, complex driving machines – made up of hundreds of parts that contribute to their function and design.

Below is an overview of some of the key parts on a motorcycle and a brief description of each.

Engine: The heart of the motorcycle, the engine converts fuel into mechanical power. There are various types of engines, including: single-cylinder, parallel-twin, V-twin, and inline-four.

Transmission: The transmission on a motorcycle consists of gears, shafts, and a clutch. The transmission enables you to select the right gear for your speed and terrain.

Chassis: The chassis on a motorcycle is the main frame that holds everything together. It includes the main frame, subframe, and sometimes a swingarm.

Swingarm: The swingarm is the main component of the rear suspension. It pivots at one end and holds the rear wheel at the other.

Suspension: The suspension system on a motorcycle includes both the front forks and the rear shock absorbers. The suspension provides a smooth ride and helps maintain tire contact with the ground.

Chain/Belt/Shaft Drive: Motorcycles have chains, belts, or shaft drives, which transmit power from the engine to the rear wheel.

Wheels And Tires: Motorcycle wheels and tires come in various types and profiles for different purposes (e.g. touring, sport, racing, off-road, etc.).

Batteries: Motorcycle batteries start the engine and power on-board electronics. Available in conventional lead-acid, gel, or advanced lithium-ion variants, motorcycle batteries differ in lifespan, maintenance requirements, and performance. Key factors include cold cranking amps (CCA), amp-hour (Ah) rating, and voltage stability. By periodically charging your battery and avoiding running it down, you can extend the life of your battery.

Brakes: Comprising disc or drum systems, motorcycle brakes employ calipers and brake pads (for disc brakes) or shoes (for drum brakes) to generate friction, converting kinetic energy into heat and enabling you to slow down or stop.

Fuel Tank: Fuel tanks hold the fuel and are typically located above the engine. They’re often adorned with the manufacturer’s logo or other designs.

Exhaust System: The exhaust system on a motorcycle directs and expels the burnt gases from the engine. Exhaust system designs vary, from shorty exhausts to full systems, with each offering distinct tonal qualities and aesthetics.

Electrical System: The electrical system on a motorcycle includes the battery, starter motor, alternator, lights (headlights, tail lights, turn signals), ignition system, and various sensors.

Air Filter: The air filter on a motorcycle cleans the incoming air before it enters the engine, which is essential for the engine’s health and performance.

Seat: Motorcycle seats can vary dramatically by model – from double-seats for riders and passengers to cruiser seats for laid-back positioning, and sportbike seats for aggressive riding postures. Often upholstered with leather or synthetic materials, motorcycle seats may also feature padding, contouring, and heating elements.

Handlebars: Motorcycle handlebars come in various shapes and sizes, such as curved clip-ons, upright ape hangers, pullbacks, and low drag bars.

Instrument Cluster: The instrument cluster on a motorcycle displays crucial information, such as speed, RPM, fuel level, turn indicators, neutral light, and more.

Mirrors: Mirrors allow you to see drivers, riders, and the environment behind you. They come in a variety of styles, including: standard mirrors, bar-end mirrors (installed at the end of handlebars), fairing mirrors (integrated into the motorcycle’s fairing), folding mirrors, and custom mirrors.

Foot Pegs And Controls: Foot pegs are where you place your feet on a motorcycle, and the controls can include gear shift levers and rear brake levers.

Fenders: Fenders help protect you and the motorcycle from dirt, mud, and water spray.

Fairings And Windshield: The fairings and windshields on a motorcycle are covers and screens designed to reduce drag and shield you from wind and debris.

Saddlebags and Panniers: Saddle bags and panniers provide storage space. They’re mounted on either side of the back of the motorcycle and can be made out of hard plastic, metal or durable textiles!

See related topics:
Motorcycle Accessories
Emergency Tools And Parts Kits For Motorcycles
Motorcycle Maintenance
Motorcycle Repairs