Understanding The 6 Types of Motorcycle Chassis

What are the types of motorcycle chassis?

  1. Backbone
  2. Single Cradle
  3. Double Cradle
  4. Perimeter
  5. Trellis
  6. Monocoque


A chassis is one of the most important parts of a motorcycle because it holds all the other components in place. Without it, the engine, wheels, fuel tank, handlebars, seat, etc. won’t have something to hold on to. The quality of a motorcycle chassis will depend on the material used. Most manufacturers will either use steel because it’s strong, cost-effective, and durable. They can also be modified or shaped into different forms to fit the requirements of a motorcycle. If you want to learn more, keep on reading for the different types of motorcycle chassis.


Backbone Chassis

In humans, the backbone is referred to as the spine — or also the body’s central support structure. It allows you to stand, sit, walk, twist, and bend. The same function applies to the backbone chassis in motorcycles. This type of frame resembles a spine and acts as the support structure for the different parts. Other than that, the engine is bolted to the frame and hangs off from it.

The backbone frame is considered one of the most economical options because it requires less steel than other chassis types. It’s suitable for motorcycles that have low-power needs and doesn’t require high strength and torsional rigidity.


Single Cradle

Single Cradle

Another economical and basic motorcycle chassis is the single-cradle frame. If you see one, you’ll notice that it resembles the frame of a solidly built bicycle. This type of chassis is also popularly known as the single down tube and is similar in build to the diamond chassis. Steel tubes are welded to form a frame that will serve as a bed or as a cradle for the engine.

The single-cradle chassis is often used for a low-power motorcycle because it’s light and cost-effective to build. A diamond frame can be found in earlier motorcycles that are equipped with very small engines and resemble bicycle frames.


Double Cradle

A double-cradle chassis has two tubes going down the frame to support or cradle the engine. Because of this, it’s also known as the double down tube chassis. The upgraded build allows the motorcycle to handle forces when you’re braking heavily or driving at high lean angles.

When comparing the price of a single cradle chassis to this type of frame, the cost won’t differ greatly. But despite this, the double-cradle frame is preferred by many because of its improved strength and structural rigidity. It can provide you with an equilibrium of quality and cost.




The perimeter chassis is also commonly known as the twin-spar frame because it has two beams that surround the engine. These beams also link the swing arm and the steering head. This type of chassis is made of aluminum to keep the motorcycle lightweight, but earlier frames are usually made of steel.

The perimeter frame is often found in sports bikes and high-performance applications. It was made based on research that by joining the steering head to the swing arm in a short distance, you can improve the bike’s rigidity.



A trellis chassis is similar to the perimeter frame because the main point of the design is to connect the swing arm to the steering head in the best way possible. The difference is that the frame is manufactured using several short tubes that are welded together, just like a trellis. Because of this modification, the trellis chassis is considered to be better when it comes to rigidity and its lighter weight.

On top of these benefits, the trellis chassis is simple to manufacture and doesn’t require special machinery.




The monocoque chassis is made of one piece of metal, just like a car chassis. The tank, tail, and seat mount are combined into one piece. Because of this, they can provide high strength and rigidity to the motorcycle.

The monocoque chassis is considered a rare type in the industry because it requires highly robotized and automated manufacturing environments to make. This type of frame is more often found in cars. Because of this, they’re only used in bikes that require very high power — such as racing bikes. You’ll find monocoque frames made with magnesium and carbon fiber.


Key Takeaway

Every bike starts with a frame because it acts as the support for other components — such as tires, fenders, engine, exhaust, handlebars, and more! Knowing the types of motorcycle chassis is important, especially if you’re considering building a custom bike or need to replace yours. It can also help you if you’re shopping for a new motorcycle.

If you’re looking for a motorcycle parts manufacturer in the Philippines, you can contact us here at Roberts! With high-quality products and a portfolio of reputable clients such as Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, you can rely on us when it comes to your motorcycle needs. Apart from that, we’re also a trusted supplier of radiators, leaf springs, steel tubes, and other automotive parts.