Top 8 Motorcycle Brands in the World

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Motorcycles have been a popular mode of transportation since their invention in the late 19th century. Over time, different brands have emerged, each with its own unique history, design, and impact on the industry.

In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 motorcycle brands in the world, their achievements, and what sets them apart from the rest.

Whether you are a seasoned rider or a novice looking to purchase your first motorcycle, this guide will provide valuable insights on what to consider before choosing a motorcycle brand, emerging trends in the industry, tips for buying a motorcycle, and answers to some frequently asked questions.

1. Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson is a legendary American motorcycle manufacturer that was founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With over a century of experience in the industry, Harley-Davidson has become a household name and a symbol of American culture.

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are known for their iconic design and sound, as well as their reliability and durability. The company has a loyal following of customers who value the brand’s history and heritage.

Over the years, Harley-Davidson has introduced several innovative features to their motorcycles, such as the first electric starter in 1965 and the first anti-lock braking system in 2008.

Today, the company offers a wide range of models, from classic cruisers to modern touring bikes.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

Harley-Davidson’s motto reflects the brand’s focus on the overall experience of riding a motorcycle, rather than just getting from point A to point B. For many riders, owning a Harley-Davidson is not just about transportation, but a lifestyle.

2. Honda

Honda, founded in 1948 by Soichiro Honda, is one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.

The Japanese brand has a reputation for being reliable, easy to ride, and affordable. Honda is also known for its successful racing history, having won numerous championships across different motorcycle racing disciplines.

One of Honda’s most iconic models is the Super Cub, which was first introduced in 1958 and has since become the best-selling motor vehicle in history, with over 100 million units sold worldwide.

Honda is also known for its popular sportbikes, including the CBR series and the legendary VFR750, which set a new standard for sports touring when it was released in the late 1980s.

But Honda’s influence extends beyond just the motorcycle industry. The company is also a major player in the automotive and power equipment industries, producing everything from cars to lawnmowers to generators.

One of Honda’s most recent innovations is the Honda Riding Assist-e, a self-stabilizing motorcycle that uses robotics technology to maintain balance and prevent falls.

Honda motorcycle

Also see: Is Cfmoto A Good Brand?

Despite its global success, Honda has faced some challenges in recent years, particularly in the sportbike market where it has faced stiff competition from European brands like Ducati and BMW.

Nevertheless, Honda remains a top choice for riders of all levels, thanks to its wide range of models and reliable reputation.

3. Kawasaki

Kawasaki is a Japanese multinational corporation that has been manufacturing motorcycles since the 1960s. It is one of the top players in the motorcycle industry, known for its high-performance machines and innovative designs.

The Kawasaki brand has a significant presence in the racing world, with numerous championship wins in various categories. Its Ninja and Z series are among the most popular models and are known for their power, agility, and sleek designs.

Kawasaki motorcycle brand

The company’s commitment to innovation is evident in its range of motorcycles equipped with advanced features such as anti-lock braking systems, traction control, and sophisticated suspensions.

Its H2R model is the fastest production motorcycle in the world, with a top speed of over 300 km/h.

Kawasaki also offers a wide range of off-road motorcycles, including motocross and dual-sport models. Its KX and KLX series are popular choices among off-road enthusiasts.

4. Ducati

Ducati is an Italian motorcycle brand that is known for its high-performance and luxury models. Since its founding in 1926, the company has been committed to producing motorcycles that combine style and speed.

Ducati motorcycles are a popular choice for sportbike enthusiasts and those who value both form and function.

One of the most notable aspects of Ducati motorcycles is their powerful engines. The company is known for producing bikes that are capable of achieving high speeds and delivering thrilling riding experiences.

Additionally, Ducati is recognized for its use of innovative technology and materials in the design and manufacture of its bikes. This commitment to innovation has helped to establish Ducati as a leader in the motorcycle industry.

Another defining characteristic of Ducati motorcycles is their sleek and stylish appearance.

The company places a strong emphasis on aesthetics and is known for producing bikes that are visually striking. This focus on design has helped to enhance Ducati’s reputation as a premium motorcycle brand.

Ducati motorcycle

Performance and Style in One Package

Ducati’s commitment to high-performance and luxury is evident in its lineup of motorcycles.

One of the most popular models is the Panigale V4, which features a powerful 1,103cc engine and a stylish, aerodynamic design. The bike is built for speed and offers riders a thrilling riding experience.

Another notable model is the Diavel 1260 S, a cruiser that combines performance with comfort. The Diavel features a 1,262cc engine and a relaxed riding position, making it an ideal choice for longer rides. The bike’s sleek and muscular design also sets it apart from other cruisers on the market.

Ducati also produces a range of adventure bikes, including the Multistrada 1260 Enduro. This bike is built to handle off-road terrain and features a 1,262cc engine that delivers impressive performance.

The Multistrada’s rugged styling and advanced features make it a popular choice for adventure riders.

Ducati’s focus on innovation and design has helped to establish it as one of the most respected motorcycle brands in the world. Whether you’re looking for a high-performance sportbike or a comfortable cruiser, Ducati has a model that is sure to impress.

Ducati motorcycle

6. BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad is a premium brand that offers high-quality motorcycles with advanced technologies and modern design. The brand is a subsidiary of the German automaker BMW and has been producing motorcycles since 1923.

Throughout the years, BMW Motorrad has become renowned for its reliability, performance, and innovation.

BMW Motorrad has a diverse range of models, ranging from touring bikes to off-road models. Its touring bikes, such as the BMW K 1600 GTL, offer a comfortable and luxurious riding experience with features like heated seats, electronic suspension adjustment, and GPS navigation.

On the other hand, its off-road models, such as the BMW R 1250 GS, offer excellent handling and control on rough terrain.

What sets BMW Motorrad apart from other motorcycle brands is its technological advancements. The brand offers cutting-edge features such as adaptive headlights, crash sensors, and traction control.

Additionally, its motorcycles come equipped with high-quality components such as Brembo brakes and Akrapovič exhaust systems, making them a top choice for motorcycle enthusiasts.

BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad has also ventured into the electric motorcycle industry with its BMW C Evolution model. This electric scooter has a range of up to 99 miles and can charge in just 3 hours.

With a top speed of 80 mph, it is a practical and environmentally friendly option for urban commuters.

7. Suzuki

Suzuki is a Japanese motorcycle brand that has been producing motorcycles since 1952. The company is known for its versatile and reliable motorcycles, which are suitable for a range of riding styles and needs.

One of Suzuki’s most popular motorcycles is the GSX-R, a sports bike that has won numerous accolades for its speed and handling. Suzuki also offers a range of adventure bikes, such as the V-Strom, which are designed for long-distance touring and off-road adventures.

Suzuki motorcycles are also known for their customization options, with a variety of aftermarket parts available to personalize and enhance their bikes. This has led to a strong Suzuki enthusiast community around the world.

Additionally, Suzuki has a strong presence in motorcycle racing, with a number of successful racing teams and riders. This has helped to elevate the brand’s reputation for performance and reliability.

If you’re considering a Suzuki motorcycle, it’s important to consider factors such as your riding style, experience level, and budget. You should also research the model you’re interested in to ensure it meets your needs and expectations.

Suzuki motorcycle
Popular Suzuki modelsFeatures
Suzuki GSX-R1000The GSX-R1000 is a high-performance sportbike that offers excellent handling and impressive speed. It features a powerful engine and advanced electronics that make it a top-performing motorcycle.
Suzuki V-Strom 650XTThe V-Strom 650XT is an adventure bike designed for both on-road and off-road riding. It comes equipped with advanced features such as ABS, traction control, and adjustable suspension for a smooth and comfortable ride.
Suzuki DR-Z400SMThe DR-Z400SM is a supermoto bike that offers a perfect combination of on-road and off-road performance. It features a lightweight design, powerful engine, and excellent suspension that make it a perfect bike for enthusiasts.

Suzuki motorcycles are known for their durability, reliability, and affordable pricing. The brand has a strong reputation in the motorcycle industry and is a popular choice among riders of all levels.

If you are looking for a versatile and high-quality motorcycle, Suzuki is definitely a brand to consider.

Suzuki motorcycle

8. Aprilia

When it comes to Italian engineering and craftsmanship, Aprilia is a standout brand in the motorcycle industry. Founded in 1945, Aprilia has a rich motorsport heritage and a reputation for high-performance motorcycles.

One of Aprilia’s most iconic models is the RSV4, a powerful and agile sportbike that has won numerous racing championships. The Tuono and Shiver models also offer impressive performance and handling, while the Mana and Dorsoduro models provide more versatile riding options.

Aprilia’s attention to detail and commitment to innovation have also led to the development of unique features such as the Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) system, which offers advanced electronic controls for improved handling and safety.

Aprilia Motorcycle

“Aprilia is a standout brand in the motorcycle industry.”

Whether you’re a racing enthusiast or just appreciate Italian style and performance, Aprilia motorcycles are definitely worth considering.

Other Notable Motorcycle Brands

While the top motorcycle brands certainly dominate the market, there are several other notable brands worth mentioning. One such brand is Indian Motorcycle, which has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s and is known for producing heavyweight cruisers with a classic American style.

Another brand worth considering is Royal Enfield, which is known for its retro-style bikes that offer a unique riding experience.

For those looking for high-performance sport bikes, MV Agusta is a top contender, producing some of the most powerful and advanced motorcycles on the market.

Similarly, the British brand Norton is known for its high-quality and high-performance bikes that are often used in racing competitions.

If you’re in the market for an electric motorcycle, Zero Motorcycles offers a variety of eco-friendly and efficient options.

And for those seeking a more budget-friendly option, Korean brand Hyosung provides affordable and reliable motorcycles suitable for everyday commuting.

notable motorcycle brands

Ultimately, the choice of motorcycle brand comes down to personal preference, budget, and intended use. It’s important to do your research and consider factors such as reliability, quality, and customer service before making a decision.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Motorcycle Brand

Choosing the right motorcycle brand can make all the difference in your riding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, there are several important factors to consider when selecting a motorcycle brand.

Performance and Riding Style

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a motorcycle brand is your preferred riding style. Are you looking for a sporty ride or something more laid-back and comfortable?

Different brands are known for their unique riding styles, so be sure to do your research and find a brand that is in line with your preferences.

Tip: If you’re looking for a sportier ride, consider brands such as Ducati or KTM. For a more laid-back ride, consider brands such as Harley-Davidson or BMW Motorrad.

Budget and Affordability

The cost of a new motorcycle can vary greatly depending on the brand and model. Before making a purchase, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. Consider not only the upfront cost of the motorcycle but also factors such as maintenance and insurance costs.

Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, brands such as Suzuki and Yamaha offer affordable options without compromising on quality.

Availability of Parts and Accessories

When selecting a motorcycle brand, it’s important to consider the availability of parts and accessories. If you plan on customizing your motorcycle or making modifications, you want to ensure that the necessary parts and accessories are readily available.

Tip: Brands such as Harley-Davidson and Honda have a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories readily available.

Reliability and Maintenance

Another important factor to consider is the reliability and maintenance of the brand. You want to ensure that your motorcycle will perform consistently and require minimal maintenance and repairs.

Tip: Brands such as Honda and Yamaha are known for their reliability and require minimal maintenance compared to other brands.

motorcycle brand

By considering these important factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a motorcycle brand that is right for you. Remember to research thoroughly and test ride various brands before making a final decision.

Future Trends in the Motorcycle Industry

The motorcycle industry is constantly evolving, and there are several emerging trends and technologies that are shaping its future. Here are some of the most notable trends:

Electric MotorcyclesThe rise of electric vehicles has led to a surge in the development and production of electric motorcycles. These motorcycles are environmentally friendly and offer a unique riding experience with their instant torque and smooth acceleration.
ConnectivityMotorcycle manufacturers are incorporating more advanced technology into their bikes, including features such as connectivity with smartphones, GPS navigation, and rider-assistance systems.
Autonomous RidingResearch and development of autonomous motorcycles is ongoing, with the goal of making riding safer and more convenient. These bikes would be able to self-balance, avoid collisions, and even ride themselves to a designated location.
Advanced MaterialsNew materials such as carbon fiber and advanced alloys are being used to make motorcycles lighter, stronger, and more durable, while also improving performance and handling.

As the motorcycle industry continues to innovate and evolve, it is clear that the future holds exciting possibilities for motorcycle enthusiasts and riders.

future trends in the motorcycle industry

Tips for Buying a Motorcycle

Buying a motorcycle can be an exciting and thrilling experience, but it’s important to take your time and make an informed decision. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making your purchase:

Consider your riding experience and needs

Before choosing a motorcycle brand, consider your level of experience and the type of riding you plan on doing. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a smaller engine size and work your way up.

If you plan on using your motorcycle for long distance touring, consider a brand that offers comfortable seating and storage options. For off-road riding, consider a brand that specializes in dirt bikes.

Research before committing

Take the time to research different motorcycle brands and their models. Read reviews from other riders and consider their experiences with the brand. Look into the brand’s reputation for quality and reliability, and make sure their customer service is reputable as well.

Set a budget

Before you start shopping, set a budget for yourself. Consider not only the upfront cost of purchasing the motorcycle, but also the cost of insurance, maintenance, and any necessary accessories.

Inspect the motorcycle

When you find a motorcycle that you’re interested in, be sure to inspect it thoroughly before purchasing. Check for any visible damage or wear and tear on the body, tires, and mechanical components. Take it for a test ride to ensure it runs smoothly and handles well.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

When purchasing a motorcycle, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the seller. Be respectful and reasonable in your negotiations, and be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that you find the perfect motorcycle for your needs and budget. Happy riding!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to some common questions related to motorcycle brands:

What should I consider when choosing a motorcycle brand?

When choosing a motorcycle brand, consider your riding style, budget, maintenance needs, and preferred features. Research different brands and read reviews from other riders to inform your decision. It’s also important to test ride different models to ensure a comfortable fit and riding experience.

How do I maintain my motorcycle?

Maintenance requirements vary by motorcycle brand and model, so consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations. However, some general tips for maintaining your motorcycle include regular oil changes, checking tire pressure and tread, inspecting brakes and lights, and keeping the bike clean and stored in a dry and secure location.

What should I know before buying a used motorcycle?

Before buying a used motorcycle, thoroughly inspect the bike for any damage or signs of wear and tear. Ask the seller for maintenance records and a vehicle history report. It’s also a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the bike before making a purchase. Make sure to negotiate a fair price and have a written contract outlining the terms of the sale.

What’s the difference between a cruiser and a sportbike?

Cruisers are typically larger and heavier motorcycles designed for relaxed, comfortable rides. They feature low-slung seats and a more traditional riding position, with feet forward and hands high on the handlebars. Sportbikes, on the other hand, are lighter and more agile motorcycles designed for speed and performance. They feature a more aggressive riding position, with feet back and hands lower on the handlebars.

What are some common motorcycle buying mistakes to avoid?

Some common motorcycle buying mistakes to avoid include not test riding the bike, overlooking maintenance needs, choosing a bike that’s too powerful or heavy for your skill level, and not factoring in the cost of gear and accessories. Make sure to do your research and take your time when making a purchase.

Do I need a license to ride a motorcycle?

Yes, you need a valid motorcycle license to legally ride a motorcycle on public roads. The requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license vary by state and country, so check with your local DMV or equivalent agency for specific information.

What are some important safety tips for riding a motorcycle?

Some important safety tips for riding a motorcycle include wearing proper gear, such as a helmet and protective clothing, following traffic laws and signals, avoiding riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and staying alert and aware of your surroundings. It’s also important to maintain your motorcycle properly and regularly attend training courses to improve your skills and knowledge.