The American Muscle Motorcycle as some have dubbed it, Harley Davidson has managed to turn a single type of motorcycle into a full-fledged, badass, legendary icon. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see a Harley on a race track, you’re guaranteed to see it praised in most, if not all, motorcycle clubs that you might ever encounter.
This brand has not only put the USA on the world map of motorcycle producers, but it has also garnered a worldwide following of loyal fans who couldn’t imagine riding any other brand or type of motorcycle. Harley Davidson emerged in the 1950s and changed the motorcycle scene forever. We don’t want to imagine what a world without choppers would be like today.
The Italian brand has given way to some awesome motorcycling legends. While it may not have the engine sound that Harley has, it makes up for it with its own signature style that has propelled it to the top of MotoGP preferences. If we were to compare Ducatis to a car brand, they would definitely be the Ferraris of the moto racing world.
Despite only one win in a MotoGP championship, this brand is still highly respected and continues to thrive even to this day. Its touch of elegance is provided by none other than the people who also produce Lamborghinis, who are themselves under the patronage of the world-famous Audi brand of cars.
When you think of BMW, you might usually picture fantastic cars with amazing speed, agility, maneuverability, and style unlike any other. Needless to say, BMW’s motorcycles share the same features as their four-wheeled counterparts. BMW cars and motorcycles have also made appearances in James Bond movies, further making them feel more special.
And just like with cars, BMW also likes to make a variety of motorcycle types, ranging from scooters all the way to sport bikes and everything in between. If we were to take solely variety into the mix, BMW would probably be king in the motorcycle enthusiast world. We hope that one day we will see a BMW motorcycle participate in a MotoGP competition.
With a modest start in the motorcycle world, Aprilia has quickly gained traction in several market segments, with some people speculating that its goal is to overtake Ducati as the premier Italian choice for motorcycle racers. This brand’s engineers clearly emphasize superb styling and engine responsiveness, with many of Aprilia’s motorcycles having a flawless start.
They first entered the motorcycle racing world in 1976 during the Motocross World Championship’s 125cc division. While it may have not earned a championship for any racer out there, it has still managed to make a good enough impression for the brand to still stick around to this very day and still manage to sell tons of motorcycles all over the world.
While many people probably know Honda best because of their cars, you should know that they started making motorcycles long before they even considered entering the car market. Their very first motorcycle came out all the way back in 1949, making this brand one of the longest-lasting on the motorcycle market up until this day.
They reached peak popularity in the 80s when they managed to produce around 3 million motorcycles in a single year due to increased demand from moto racers and motorcycle enthusiasts all over the globe. With several types of motorcycles under their belt, it is no wonder that they found such mass-market appeal, especially considering their performance in MotoGP.
Yamaha is probably the best-known motorcycle brand out there. The Japanese giant is so big that it even expanded into several other territories, even though it originally started out as a piano and reed organ manufacturer. So many MotoGP legends have raced and won championships with this brand’s motorcycles that it’s absolutely fantastic and ridiculous at the same time.
It is no wonder that Yamaha gets praised so much since the teams behind the company always put their hearts and souls into creating absolute wonders on two wheels. And like the previous two brands on our list, Yamaha also has a wide range of motorcycles from which to choose. Plus that, as we mentioned, they also make other great things, such as ATVs, scooters, and snowmobiles.
Another brand hailing from Japan, Kawasaki is one of the big four Japanese producers who make excellent motorcycles. Though not as appreciated as Yamaha or Honda in its homeland, Kawasaki motorcycles still make people fall in love with them all over the globe. Despite its lack of MotoGP participation, the technology and engineering put into every motorcycle is amazing.
And don’t be fooled by the small number of trophies it managed to bring to competitors who have raced on Kawasaki bikes. Their street-legal models are absolutely astonishing, with some models being able to reach top speeds in mere seconds. This brand is practically a pioneer of the superbike category in the worldwide motorcycle scene.
What motorcycle enthusiast hasn’t heard of the SV650X? If you know that motorcycle, then you know the top-notch quality that Suzuki likes to bring to the table. Even if its bikes are super powerful, they somehow still manage to be welcoming toward beginners as well. It’s not a small feat, nor is it something simple to achieve, with many brands struggling to find balance.
Fun fact: even though Suzuki is best known for its motorcycles, the brand actually started as a manufacturer of weaving looms. That’s quite an impressive jump. And to go from one completely different industry to another and somehow managing to master the former with such talent is worthy of praise.
Hailing from Austria, KTM began as a car repair shop somewhere in the 1930s and then started designing its own motorcycles in the early 1950s. From then up until the early 1990s, KTM has produced many scooters and casual motorcycles that people enjoyed for their ease of use and smooth rides throughout towns.
But that all changed in 1992 when it underwent a severe rebranding and started shifting focus toward off-road performance bikes. Since then and up until today, KTM has produced magnificent sportbikes that have been used in numerous competitions, including the world-famous MotoGP, Supermoto, and even the Enduro series.
This brand caters to the rich audience, as it produces custom-made high-end motorcycles for people who can afford such luxuries. No average Joe could ever afford a Confederate, which makes it part of the appeal. Even though you don’t see many of these in competitions, when they do show up, they’re guaranteed to leave your jaw dropped.
Our last brand on this list is yet again one of the world’s most renowned motorcycle producers. But just how much influence does Triumph have over motorcycle fans? Well, many of its earlier bikes are now collector’s items and they’re worth a small fortune. The brand has made a name for itself by producing powerful and performant motorcycles that everyone can enjoy.
But Triumph also brings to the table something that no other motorcycle brand can pride itself with. During World War I, Triumph supplied the Allies with around 30,000 motorcycles that would be crucial in winning key battles all around Europe. And if that wasn’t enough, it repeated this feat even during World War II.
This propelled the brand to new heights, and many patriots and freedom lovers all over the globe started ordering motorcycles from this manufacturer simply because of its efforts to provide us with the liberties that we hold so dearly today. The British giant is worthy of praise for this alone. And it still produces massively popular motorcycles today.
From this list, it’s hard to choose which brand is the best. They all bring something unique to the table, and if you look hard enough, you’ll find a model that best suits your style and needs from any of these.