Motorcycles or bikes have been part of men’s life from decades. The amazing sound of throttling engines has inspired many enthusiasts to create their own custom motorcycles. There are many aspects of motorcycles like aesthetics, sound, balance, control etc., which should be kept in mind while choosing a bike or motorcycle. There are many high end motorcycle brands, and to choose one brand from the other is like choosing aesthetics for control and speed. In reality, a bike should give an excellent riding experience and should be environment friendly. We have compiled a list of 10 best well known motorcycle brands on the planet.
Kawasaki motorcycles are one of the most well-known manufacturers of sports bikes. Kawasaki started as Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Building motorcycles was a small project of the diversified conglomerate. Kawasaki acquired Meguro motorcycles, one of the early Japanese motorcycle builders. The company produced its first motorcycle, a B8 125cc two stroke engine. There series of Ninja bikes are popular among super bikes enthusiasts. Kawasaki motorcycles are designed and manufactured by a division of Kawasaki heavy industries in countries like japan, US, Thailand and Indonesia. They used to manufacture motorcycles under the name “Meguro”; they were in partnership with the failing manufacturing company before starting at their own.
Those who have watched the movie “Tron Legacy”, they might have seen the café racer that Sam Flynn was riding, that was a Ducati Sport 1000. Ducati Motor Holding is an Italian motorcycle company headquartered in Bologna, Italy. In 1926 Antionio Cavalieri Ducati founded Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati with his three sons for producing radio equipment. The company produced its first motorcycle in 195o, a 48cc bike with a speed of 64km/h. In 1960s, Ducati was the first company to manufacture a 250cc road bike. They are one of the best known bike manufactures from Italy. Currently it is under the flagship of German automotive group Volkswagen.
The German automobile industry is well known and actually it has its roots in motorcycles. BMW is a German manufacturing company of luxury vehicles, engines and motorcycles. It is the parent company of luxury cars brand Rolls-Royce. It is headquartered in Munich, Germany. BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) motorcycle history began with the company building engines for other companies. The production of first motorcycle began after the First World War the first successful model was the “R32” in 1923. BMW Motorcycles regularly takes part in The Dakar Rally held in South America. In the year 2007, it made it entry to the Super bike World Championship. The company manufactures motorcycles under BMW Motorrad.
Suzuki is one of the biggest and well known motorcycles companies of Japan. With Honda, it produces other automobiles. Suzuki Motor Corporation is headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan. It manufactures automobiles, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles. In 1909, Michio Suzuki Founded the Suzuki Loom Works in Hamamatsu. The company invented a new type of weaving machine which was exported to overseas market. The company made inroads in other products based on consumer demands. One of the first model of two wheeled vehicle that Suzuki produced was a bicycle fitted with a motor, it was a 36 cc, one horse power, two stroke engine known as “Power Free”. It started producing motorcycles in 1952. Most well-known bikes include the GSX_R series of sport bikes and the cruiser boulevard series. Its off-road bikes and street bikes are known all over the world.
Yamaha is one of the big four motorcycle companies from Japan. It is also well known for producing musical instruments. It was established in 1955 and is headquartered in Shizuoka, Japan. It began production of its first model YA-1, a 125cc motorcycle with single cylinder. Though the model was a copy of German DKW RT 125, it won many racing championship in japan. The success in this racing set the tone for the company. Yamaha motorcycles have inspired many custom motorcycle builders of Japan. With a humble beginning, it has grown into a global powerhouse, offering classic motorcycles both in sport bikes and off-road bikes.
Triumph Motorcycles is the largest British motorcycle manufacturer. They are known for producing vintage motorcycles with over 100 years of history. Triumph motorcycles went out of business, like many other motorcycle companies. It was resurrected by British industrialist John Bloor after the company went to receivership. The old Triumph Engineering Co Ltd was based from Coventry, England. It was started by Siegfried Bettmann as an import export agency. They used to buy and sell bicycles. In 1902 the company produced their first motorcycle, a bicycle with a Belgian Minerva engine.Triumph motorcycles are always known for their design characteristics, they have certain appeal for motorcycle enthusiast.
Honda Motor Co Ltd is one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers. It has diverse areas of manufacturing ranging from automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment. Honda was founded by Soichiro Honda who had interest in automobiles. He had worked as an apprentice in a garage shop in Tokyo. After few years, he opened his own garage. He built his own race car, after getting the adrenaline of speed. He started his own company to manufacture piston rings for clients like Toyota. After the end of WWII he turned his attention to inexpensive motorcycles, after foreseeing the need for affordable transportation. Honda CB750 along with HONDA GL1000 GOLD WING is one of the most well-known models of Honda Motorcycles.
Aprilia is an Italian motorcycle company and the second largest producer of motorcycles and scooters in Europe. They are also one of the few companies which manufacture full range of two wheeled vehicles. It is also well known in the racing circuit. It was acquired by Piaggio group in early 2000s. Aprillia was founded by Cavaliere Alberto Beggio after the Second World War. It initially started as a bicycle production factory. In 1968, Ivan Beggio son of Alberto Beggio took over the helm of the company. He produced the first 50 cc motorcycle with the help of collaborators. It has a history of producing moped, motocross bikes, scooters and super bikes. Aprilia’s famous motorcycles include RSV Mile, RS250 and RSV4.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company was founded by two friends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, America in 1903. One of the iconic brands of motorcycles to have survived great economic depression, It is now the fifth largest manufacturer of motorcycles, with a fan following throughout the world. The Company was started by Bill Harley and Arthur Walter Davidson; they built a one-cylinder motorcycle for racing which was powered by a gasoline combustion engine. Harley-Davidson is loved by custom motorcycle builders and the best customized Harley-Davidsons were seen in the 1969 movie “Easy rider”. Known as choppers, it is a style of customization which grew in 1960s in America. Few of the iconic models of Harley-Davidsons are 1915 11F, Panhead, EL, XL and FXB Sturgis.
Indian Motorcycles are one of the oldest American motorcycle companies. Indian Motorcycles Company was started by racer George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom. Initially they manufactured motorcycles in the name of Hendee Manufacturing Company. In the 1910s they became the largest producers of motorcycles in the world. They originally produced motorcycles from 1901 to 1953 in Massachusetts, United States. In 1907, they produced their first V-twin engine. In the coming years it became one of the largest manufacturers of motorcycles in the world dominating the streets as well as race tracks. The company’s best models include the scout and the Chief. Though it is one of the best known companies, it went bankrupt in 1953. Many organizations tried to revive its brand name with limited success.
Though, we have missed some motorcycle companies. This is a carefully compiled list of best brand of motorcycles, if you have any suggestions to add please feel free to comment in the comment box.
In future, we are planning to write some articles about the extinct and disbanded companies of motorcycles. If our readers have any suggestion please mail us at mardistas at gmail dot com.
Image credit : Pixabay, free highquality images
Image cerdit : Flickr