What Are Riding Modes In A Motorcycle?

Riding Modes (Courtesy: BMW Motorrad)

Riding Modes In A Motorcycle:

The motorcycle riders have different riding styles which change according to the road conditions. Some riders prefer a sporty ride while others prefer a comfortable ride. The modern motorcycles are capable to deliver diverse performance range according to the rider’s demand. These motorcycles offer riding modes thru’ which the rider can choose the motorcycle’s riding dynamics.

The Engine Control Module controls the motorcycle’s main components such as the engine, traction control, suspension, and brakes to provide different combinations of riding modes. It has different engine power maps for different modes. These modes also alter the throttle response, suspension stiffness, ride feel, and traction control.

The earlier generation motorcycles had single riding characteristic. With riding modes, you can ride and handle a modern motorcycle in multiple ways. For e.g. four riding modes will give you four motorcycles in one. Generally, the riding modes can be set by a button on the handlebar.

Riding Mode Button
Riding Mode Button

The manufacturers offer the following riding modes:


This mode offers smooth cruising with comfortable & controllable speeds in most cases. The STREET or ROAD mode also focuses more on safety. It optimizes the bike’s fuel economy. For this mode, the manufacturers optimize the traction control and ABS for dry road conditions and the throttle response is standard.

While riding in the STREET/ROAD mode, you can expect to get the best fuel economy from your motorcycle. However, the throttle is not very responsive in this mode. The STREET/ROAD mode has less responsive throttle compared to other modes. So, even if you press the throttle hard, the actual response will be slower. Thus, it helps you save fuel as the engine power will increase slowly.


This mode is ideal for riding in slippery & wet conditions. RAIN mode offers the maximum grip among all the modes. It offers early intervention than in ROAD mode and maximum grip in the wet conditions. The bike’s max horse-power and the throttle response are reduced while the traction control and ABS are very sensitive.

Advanced Modes:


Furthermore, there is a SPORT or DYNAMIC mode for extra thrilling riding experience. Sport mode gives a quicker throttle response for a sporty ride. When you activate the SPORT mode; the engine/throttle response increases. However, the suspension stiffens up. Sport mode offers decent drifts and a noticeable amount of slippage. In SPORT/DYNAMIC mode, the traction control and ABS are less sensitive. However, the throttle response is more aggressive than ROAD mode.


Besides, some new generation adventure motorcycles offer a new mode – Off-ROAD mode. This mode is most suitable for off-road conditions. It offers smooth acceleration and softer damping. The traction control and ABS are less sensitive while the throttle response is more aggressive than ROAD mode. However, this mode is for advanced riders who can turn the systems ON/OFF as & when they need. The riders get complete individual control over their ride just when they need it.


Sometimes, the riders want slightly less grip & slightly more drift. That’s where the Off-Road mode comes in operation. In some cases, it allows up to 100% of slippage which is double the wheel speed. This makes the bike more fun to ride. Manufacturers such as BMW, Triumph, KTM, and Honda offer riding modes in their motorcycles.

Images Courtesy: BMW Motorrad

Watch Riding Modes in action:

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