17 PARTS of a MOTORCYCLE and the Function They Comply [+TIPS]

The motorcycle , motorcycle or motorcycle scooter is the favorite means of transport for many people. It has achieved this status thanks to a series of advantages  that make it unique, since it allows you to save money and time when you travel (especially if we are talking about the city). In addition, the  motorcycle is the motorized vehicle with the least gasoline, its maintenance is much cheaper than that of a car, and it also gives you the feeling of freedom and agility that it transmits while driving.

Today we want to review the motorcycle and its components . Ideal for those who are entering the world of two wheels for the first time and want to know and identify the parts of their motorcycle; or suddenly they are looking to change some parts of the motorcycle and do not know what they are called. We will try to explain some basic concepts for beginners in which we will show the main parts of a motorcycle .

Index of contents

Characteristics and functions of each part of the motorcycle

#1 Accelerator

The throttle is a device that increases or decreases engine speed. To use the accelerator:

  • Hold the center part of the throttle grip with your right hand
  • Don’t hold it too tight
  • Slowly twist the throttle back to speed up, and out to slow down

#2 seat

It is the part of the motorcycle where you can sit comfortably and it will avoid contact of the body with the engine. Its design varies depending on the type of motorcycle . In some cases, there is a chest under the seat that, depending on its capacity, makes it easy to store one or two helmets, as well as personal belongings or motorcycle papers.

#3 Chain

The chain is the part of a motorcycle that is responsible for making changes to the rear wheel. It is an extremely important component and one that must be changed with some regularity, since, if there are gaps or any type of problem, they can cause an accident. You must have quality transmission chains and, above all, do not skimp on the price. The slack in the chain should not be more than 20 mm.

#4 Chassis

The frame is the backbone of the motorcycle , to which all the components are installed and connected. The chassis provides support points for the engine and fuel tank, as well as a pivot point where the steering tiller is mounted. Another pivot point is set for the fork, which incorporates the suspension and rear wheel with the chassis. This can be simple, double cradle, multitubular, stamped sheet metal, double beam, monocoque, etc.

  • The cradle frame is made of a single main steel tube above the engine, and smaller tubes below.
  • The perimeter frame consists of two strong aluminum arms, which connect the steering head to the rear swing arm. Some Italian bikes use a steel version of this design, with a large number of short tubes forming a lattice pattern.
  • There’s also the column frame, a simple design, in which the engine hangs from a thick main tube.

The rigidity and geometry of the chassis is vital for its stability. Normally the necessary rigidity depends on the power of the engine and the dynamic characteristics. Today all motorcycles are equipped with suspensions, in order to keep the wheels in contact with the ground for as long as possible when going over irregularities, ensuring stability and increasing ride comfort.

It is usually built preferably in steel or aluminum, in rarer cases in magnesium, carbon or titanium.

Motorcycles are becoming more and more complex. With advanced technology, they have managed to exceed 320 kilometers per hour, where chassis designs have also had to evolve in order to meet the performance and safety requirements.

The frame must be light, but strong enough to support all the components of the bike. Additionally, the chassis must have structural rigidity while maintaining flexibility when necessary.

#5 Controls

The controls are all the parts of a motorcycle that we usually see on the handlebars, and with these we control various functions, such as the accelerator brake, fuel gauge, clutch, front and rear to ensure that they are working correctly.

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Also called motorcycle controls. Some newer bikes include digital controls with an interactive interface, and other buttons and gauges, which may vary from bike to bike.

#6 Horn

Also called horn in some countries. Its correct use is to alert what may interfere with the passage. Press the horn button lightly to make sure it works and has the proper sound.

#7 Oil tank

This tank is responsible for storing engine oil. It is important that you use specialized or suitable oils for your motorcycle. This motorcycle accessory generally has a meter that lets you know when the time to change the oil is approaching, so you will not damage your motorcycle.

#8 Gas tank

This deposit is located on the chassis, generally near the area where we usually place the key to start the motorcycle. It is used to store gasoline or fuel.

Before riding, perform a visual and operational check on your motorcycle, to travel safely and smoothly on the road.

#9 Exhaust

Through this part, the motorcycle can expel the gases burned during combustion (carbon monoxide and other harmful agents). It is generally made up of an exhaust manifold that collects the exhaust gases leaving the cylinders, extended by an evacuation device. The same engine can have several exhaust pipes. The exhaust pipe serves, in particular, to reduce noise and pollution.

In two-stroke engines, the extension tube improves both cylinder blowdown and compression.

Through a system that reduces noise: “the silencer”, and reduces polluting emissions, by catalysis and filtration, thanks to the particulate filter and the catalyst. The exhaust pipe also participates in the operation of the engine:

  • If it is too free, the engine increases its power (the cylinder empties better after each explosion), but it heats up even more and consumes more.
  • If it is too clogged, the engine indicates a lack of power.

# 10 Rearview mirrors

Adjust the mirrors until the end of the shoulder can be seen at the bottom edge of the mirror. Do not adjust the mirror while the motorcycle is running. This part of the bike allows the rider to look behind without having to take their eyes off the road.

It is essential to maintain safe driving, especially when driving in urban areas.

#11 Lights

One of the essential parts of a motorcycle is the light, both for your safety and to avoid fines because some lights are mandatory . We can find the front and back of your machine, ahead are the headlights, which allow night driving. Here we mention the lights that cannot be missing on your motorcycle:

  • Low beam and high beam
  • Front and rear position light
  • direction indicator light
  • Rear license plate light
  • Non-triangular rear reflectors
  • Brake light

#12 Handles

Motorcycle levers are one of those handlebar components that we use the most. We are constantly pressing them either to brake or to change gears with the clutch. If you are going to buy new ones, you will always find them in pairs, so you must make sure that each one corresponds to your motorcycle or scooter model, that is: with or without a clutch. If it is a scooter, you should buy a pair of brake levers. Otherwise, you should make sure you buy a pair of levers, with one for the clutch and one for the brake. Below we explain the functions of a left and right lever:

left handle

Its purpose is to connect and disconnect power from the engine to the rear wheel. It is used when you do the gear change. To use the clutch lever:

  • Hold the clutch lever fully with your left hand with all four fingers, with your thumb grip the handlebars
  • Squeeze the clutch lever quickly and hold
  • Release little by little after you have selected the correct team

right handle

Also called the brake lever, it is located on the right side of the handlebars and is used to slow or stop the motorcycle. The right lever actuates the front wheel brakes. To use it you must:

  • Hold the grip with your thumb and the front brake lever with your four fingers
  • Squeeze the lever gently with your fingers
  • The more you pull on the lever, the greater the braking effect.

A correct use of the brakes is to slow down little by little, using both the front and rear brakes gently. The appropriate thing would be to step on the brake a little and release it to activate the brake lights, warning the preceding vehicle in advance and then proceed to brake little by little.

#13 Handlebar

The handlebar directly affects the operation of the motorcycle, since it will be the one that dictates your position on the motorcycle and the performance in the curves. This part of the motorcycle is located in front of the chassis and is attached to the suspension. On the handlebars we also find the levers and the accelerator.

#14 Engine

The engine of a motorcycle is its heart, and the different types applied dictate the character of the machine. It is normally powered by a two-stroke or four-stroke gasoline engine (2T and 4T), although lately two-strokes are being reserved for smaller displacements due to environmental reasons. For this reason, most of today’s motorcycles are four-stroke. Older motorcycles, and many race bikes, use two-stroke units that put out amazing peak power for their size. Since the engine is designed to burn oil, emissions regulations have restricted sales in recent years. Some scooters are currently powered by electricity.

The number of cylinders varies from one, usual in smaller displacements, up to 6 in line, with 4 in line and two in V with different angles being very frequent arrangements. The transverse parallel two-cylinder system was the most common system in larger displacements until the 1970s. From then on, 4-cylinders became extremely popular.

The engine is normally positioned transversally, that is, perpendicular to the march, regardless of the number of cylinders. Lubrication is done in a common way for the engine and gearbox, except for two-strokes (2T). The feeding is done by carburettor. The most common arrangement to date is that fuel injection is displacing them due to environmental regulations (gas emissions).

The engine ignition was originally done by magneto and points, without battery; then by coil and battery. First platinum, then hoisted transistor and today totally electronic. In the past, air cooling was the most normal, today liquid cooling has taken an extraordinary boom. Inside the engine we have:


Motorcycles generally have one or two pistons. The action of the piston in the combustion chamber creates the energy that powers the motorcycle. It does so through a two- or four-stroke combustion system. Two-stroke motorcycle engines have a simpler mechanism and must have oil and gasoline mixed to lubricate and power the engine. Four-stroke motorcycles have two cycles, one intake and one exhaust. The oil in four-stroke motorcycles is kept separate from gasoline. There is less wear and tear on a four-stroke engine, so they tend to last longer.


The camshaft has two tasks that are essential to the operation of your motorcycle: the first is to move the piston through two or four strokes. The other is to make sure the valves open at the right times.


The valves work with both the piston and the camshaft to provide fuel to your motorcycle’s engine. Valves are the conduit between the gas tank and the parts of the engine that require gasoline. Therefore, maintaining a tight seal around the valves is important. Without a proper seal your engine will lose compression which translates to loss of power on the road.


It refers to the area where the piston moves. This is where the propulsion action, combustion, takes place in a motorcycle engine, thus creating the energy necessary to start the engine and make the motorcycle run. The pistons move rapidly up and down the cylinder, sometimes at several thousand revolutions per minute.

A motorcycle can have from 2 to 6 cylinders, and its power will depend on it.


The carburetor mixes air with gasoline before the fuel enters the motorcycle’s cylinder. This combination is perfect for carrying out the operation of the engine. Too much of either will cause the bike to not run properly, leading to backfiring and low power.

#15 Transmission

The transmission of the motorcycle is key to enjoying the maximum power of your machine. This movement that propels the motorcycle is carried out, in its simplest form, with a chain engaged in some sprockets and connected to the axis of the rear wheel. This chain is greased so that it wears less and its operation is quieter. The normal assembly is light and reasonably reliable, but requires regular adjustment and lubrication.

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The way in which we transmit power from our engine to the rear wheel is what we normally know as the secondary transmission and throughout the history of the motorcycle this system has been in constant evolution.

They generally have a gear change that is controlled by one of the handlebar grips or by a foot-operated lever; Some low-displacement models have a variator change (a system of pulleys that maintains the engine revolutions ratio constant while the vehicle speed is varied), although models with an automatic clutch and sequential gear change are already emerging.

The most common transmission system is that of gears and a chain, in which the crankshaft wheel connects with the clutch. This allows us to connect and disconnect the transmission of movement from the motor to the wheel.

In the disadvantages section, we will always find its maintenance not too complicated. It consists of cleaning, greasing and tension, which will guarantee us a more than acceptable duration if we carry out these tasks with some regularity. Another of the characteristic disadvantages is dirt, which causes finding specks of grease that come off due to the centrifugal force produced when rotating at high speed.

Some machines offer an alternative such as the gimbal. This is used in longitudinal and transverse engine cases.
Many modern touring motorcycles use a cardan shaft assembly, where a drive shaft assembly rotates the rear wheel. The downside here is weight, but the upside is low maintenance and increased reliability.

#16 Pedals

The pedals and levers are a vital part of your motorcycle, since they work almost together and the safety of the driver and other drivers and pedestrians on the road depends to a large extent on them. Each pedal has a function, and we will explain it to you below:

left pedal

This pedal activates the gear change and, for this, it is necessary to use the left foot. It is used to select the proper gear to match the speed and power of the motorcycle. Most motorcycles have five gears (1st to 5th), but some may have a 6th gear. The purpose of the gears is to drive the motorcycle forward. Gear shifting involves coordination of the gear, accelerator, and clutch pedal. A good coordination of these controls is necessary to have a smooth change of the gears. To change gear:

  • Squeeze the clutch lever quickly and fully
  • Step on the gear shift pedal to downshift or lift the pedal with your toe to upshift
  • Release the clutch lever gradually after selecting the appropriate gear
  • Twist the throttle grip towards you to increase speed

right pedal

The foot brake pedals are used to slow or stop the motorcycle. To operate the brakes:

  • Place your right foot lightly on the brake pedal
  • Press down on the pedal with your foot with the motion of your ankle to slow or stop the motorcycle
  • The greater the pressure on the pedal, the greater the braking effect

Whenever the brake pedal is depressed, the brake warning lights illuminate, giving vehicles behind plenty of notice of your intention to stop. This method of braking should not be done when stopping in an emergency.

#17 Wheels

Many people confuse or believe that the wheels are the tires. These are one of the two parts that make up the wheels together with the rims. It does not matter if your whole motorcycle is in perfect condition, it will be impossible for it to move if it does not have the wheels.


Tires are made primarily of rubber and are filled with air. Its function is basically to provide the necessary grip to the ground to be able to propel the motorcycle. Check for punctured, flat, damaged, worn tires or other signs that they should be replaced . But if you want to change or renew them, remember to take into account the codes, the type, the storage , etc.


The rims are the support of the tire, it is a circular piece generally made with metal materials. Other parts of the motorcycle are usually attached to the rim, such as the brake systems and the crown, so the movement of the tire will depend on the rim.

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