With the emphasis of a sport bike being on speed, acceleration, braking, and maneuverability, there are certain design elements that most motorcycles of this type will share. Rider ergonomics favor function. This generally means higher foot pegs that move the legs closer to the body and more of a reach to a lower set of hand controls, such as clip on handlebars, which positions the body and weight forward and over the tank. Sport bikes have comparatively high-performance engines resting inside a lightweight frame. High tech and expensive materials are often used on sport bikes to reduce weight.
Braking systems combine higher performance brake pads and disc brakes with multi-piston calipers that clamp onto oversized vented rotors. Suspension systems are advanced in terms of adjustments and materials for increased stability and durability. Front and rear tires are larger and wider than tires found on other types of motorcycles to allow higher cornering speeds and greater lean angles. Fairings may or may not be used on a sport bike; when used, fairings are shaped to reduce aerodynamic drag as much as possible and provide wind protection for the rider.
The combination of rider position, location of the engine and other heavy components, and the motorcycle's geometry help maintain structural integrity and chassis rigidity, and determine how it will behave under acceleration, braking, and cornering. Correct front-to-rear weight distribution is of particular importance to the handling of sport bikes, and the changing position of the rider's body dynamically changes the handling of the motorcycle. Because of the complexity of modeling all the possible movements of different sized riders, to approach perfect tuning of a motorcycle's weight distribution and suspension is often only possible by having a bike customized or at least adjusted to fit a specific rider. Generally, road racing style sport bikes have shorter wheelbases than those intended for more comfortable touring, and the current trend in sport bike design is towards shorter wheelbases, giving quicker turning at the expense of a greater tendency for unintentional wheelies and stoppies under hard acceleration and braking, respectively.