Touring styles vary from rider to rider and the following are typical ways of touring the world, either as such or as a combination.
- Time-constrained, riding-focused tour – This represents the majority of the tours where the riders (usually one to tree individuals) have dedicated a specific amount of time and money in their life to prepare for and complete their adventure. The routes used are usually well known and traveled and the riders spend most of their time riding leaving little time for local tourism, on or off the motorcycle. Under these conditions, some tours focusing on good asphalt roads through North America, Europe, and parts of Asia (Russia/Siberia especially) can be completed within a few months. Sometimes, the riders will chose to add some challenges to their tour by covering some harder stretches of road or ride for cause (for example a humanitarian project with the purpose to raise money through publicity of the tour).
- Split in multiple sections – Some riders will opt to spend a few months every couple of years or so to travel only through a few countries at a time. Eventually, over the years, these travelers end up completing a full round-the-world tour by adding up all the individuals sections they traveled. These riders usually prefer to travel at a slower pace to have more opportunities and time to explore the countries traversed.
- Opening new roads – Some riders will concentrate on touring in very harsh conditions, opening some uncharted territories, riding though some extremely difficult terrain in the desert or the jungle and sometime under terrible weather conditions. For these patient riders it may take years to complete their journey.
- Lifetime touring – A few well known riders have toured the world for the majority of their life, traveling for years, sometimes decades. These riders have chosen to spend their life on the road exploring countries where motorcycle tourism is rare and at great risks, and sometimes exploring the same country multiple times. Some of these riders started in the 1970s of 1980s and are still riding. Their adventurous life is often detailed in books and websites they publish.
- Organized tours – Several companies organize trans- and intercontinental tours with potentially larger groups of riders.