A CBR cranked over in a corner, rear end stepping out as the rider gooses the throttle at the exit; a Honda Gold Wing pounding the pavement two-up on the freeway, maybe even with a trailer in tow: these are the typical purchases of the respective cycles.

Regardless of design intention, there's nothing saying that a Gold Wing can't hit the track and a CBR can't tour the country. In fact, some riders find a thrill in doing the opposite of what their bike is intended to do. By testing the limitations of their machine, they test their own limits. For other riders, it's not about testing themselves or having something to brag about down at the local dealership. It's merely a necessity. If they've only got one bike and they want to sample the broad spectrum of the motorcycling experience, their bike's going to be pushed to do it all. In that light, it's a particularly admirable pursuit.

For many riders, using a motorcycle for its intended purpose—in situations where the bike can really shine—is the truest pleasure: touring and doing some light off-road work on a Triumph Tiger, hitting the twisties on a sportbike, cruising Sunset Strip on a Harley.

Scraping Gold Wing hard parts at the Keyhole at Mid-Ohio, or cursing "these damned old knees" after a 400-mile day on a Repsol-liveried CBR1000RR, is anathema to many. Just because a motorcycle can do it, doesn't mean it should. Or maybe because a motorcycle shouldn't do it, that's exactly why it should.

What type of rider are you? Would you rather ride a Gold Wing on a track, a CBR across the country, or hang it all and stick to what the bike’s been designed for?