Most motorcycle riders ride their bikes just for the freedom that it gives them. The feel of the cold breeze and the freedom to move in tight spaces is something you cannot experience while driving a car. Riding a motorcycle gives us the adrenaline rush that we seek.
While taking the bike out for a long ride on a weekend or even while commuting to the office regularly, motorcycles help the rider to enjoy every single moment of the journey.
Every motorcycle brand is known for different things. While you might know Ducati from the numerous Moto GP races, you will know about Harley Davidson because of its vintage design. Every single motorcycle brand has different features to offer. So, you will have to choose the bike based on the way you intend to use it.
To help you decide on your next motorcycle, we have created this list of the best motorcycle brands that you should consider while buying your next bike.
Top 20 Best Motorcycle Brands 2021
Be it the tracks or the roads, Yamaha rules them all. Having won 39 world championships, including 6 MotoGP championships, Yamaha is a motorcycle brand known for its high speed.
The Yamaha corporation was established in 1855. However, it wasn’t until 1955 that they started producing motorcycles. With Valentino Rossi racing the unbelievably fast Yamaha bikes, it’s no doubt that many people associate this company with racing.
One of the most iconic bikes released by Yamaha was the Yamaha Rx100. This was released in 1985 and was an instant hit in the biker communities around the world. The bike’s build was perfect and made it extremely easy to handle. During the late 1980s and the 1990s, the Yamaha Rx ruled the streets around the world.
The bike sported just a 100cc engine. However, the acceleration of the bike was no less than that of a 200cc machine. The two-stroke machine won the hearts of millions. Even though the production of this bike was stopped long back, we still find numerous Rx on the streets.
While the Yamaha motorcycles are known for being used for long rides, they are extremely popular amongst millennials who crave high speed. Due to its success both on as well as off the racing track, Yamaha is one of the best motorcycle brands.
This is another Japanese motorcycle manufacturer. The main reason for the widespread popularity of Honda motorcycles is their extensive racing history. The Honda CBR is one of the most popular bikes in their production line.
The numerous CSR activities such as providing these bikes for patrol cops, etc has made this one of the most popular bikes out there. Honda is also the world’s leading bike manufacturer.
Honda is extremely popular in the racing world. The machines that were manufactured by them have bagged 700 victories. This massive winning streak of Honda is the reason why these bikes are known for their speed.
With their up-to-date technology, not only are the bikes extremely fast but also easy to handle. Honda motorcycles are also known for their excellent fuel efficiency. A well-maintained Honda motorcycle will retain its fuel efficiency throughout its lifetime.
3. Harley Davidson
The revs from the Haley Davidson motorcycles are something every biker would love. Haley Davidson is like the Dodge and Chevy of the motorcycle world. This is also one of the least advertised bikes out there. These machines sell themselves.
You would have never seen a Harley Davidson in any of the MotoGP races. These bikes are not known for their racing capabilities. Harley Davidson is more popular for the comfort and reliability of the bike on a long ride.
This doesn’t mean that these vehicles are not fast. Powered by the iconic V-twin engines, a Harley Davidson can cruise at high speeds without any problems. The bikes manufactured by Harley Davidson are like the American muscle of the two-wheeled world.
On weekends, you will often find a herd of Harley Davidson’s on the highways going for a long ride. The community that has been built by this manufacturer is simply amazing. The vintage look that these bikes have is something that everyone appreciates.
Even though it’s not extremely popular amongst the millennials, Harley Davidson is a great motorcycle company out there.
Indian is one of the other manufacturers to have rivaled Harley Davidson. Both the companies produced bikes that weighed a ton, had great balance, and were overall just comfortable to ride on.
Ironically, Indian is not a bike manufacturer in India. This is an American bike manufacturer that started in Massachusetts. Owning one of these bikes was a proud moment for many. Unfortunately, the company went under and had to shut down in 1953.
Even after its shutdown, the loyalty of people did not diminish. Many would paint the Indian logo on any vintage bike that they found. The love for the quality of the machines produced was simply too high.
Eventually, Honda bought the Indian motorcycle company. While the production of the bikes has resumed, many still prefer the original Indian motorcycles over the rebranded Honda bikes.
Customised motorcycles are extremely popular in the biker community. Confederate is the market leader when it comes to creating customized motorcycles. The manufacturer is capable of creating any custom bike based on the specifications that you provide.
Given that every single Confederate motorcycle is unique by itself, you should also expect the prices of these bikes to be extremely high. Usually, bikers who are willing to pay any sum of money to get a customized bike of their liking choose to go with Confederate.
Ducati is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer that is predominantly known for its racing accomplishments. This Italian superbike manufacturer is renowned around the world for producing high-speed bikes that are capable of reaching speeds of even 325 km/h.
Ducati is owned by Audi through its subsidiary Lamborghini. Many even consider Ducati to be the Ferrari of the motorcycle world. Ducati bikes are lightweight, elegant, well-built, and unbelievably powerful. This is one of the superbikes that every racer would want to have in their garage.
The first thing that comes to our mind when we think about Kawasaki is the infamous green colored Kawasaki Ninja. This is one of the most popular bikes manufactured by this Japanese company. The bikes produced by Kawasaki are mainly known for their off-roading capabilities.
The naked bike build of Kawasaki has become their trademark feature and this also makes the bike extremely lightweight. Surprisingly, the quality of the bike has not taken any hit in this process. This makes them extremely durable.
While we haven’t seen Kawasaki enter the MotoGP since 2008, the motorcycle manufacturer still has many followers in the racing community.
Be it a long ride or an adrenaline-filled drag race, Triumph has bikes that fit both these criteria. Founded in 1984, the Triumph motorcycle company has been the primary choice for many millennial riders.
Triumph recently made headlines after replacing Honda with its moto2 765cc engine for all MotoGP bikes. These engines were being developed by Triumph for over 2 years and this dedication has certainly been rewarded.
With such a powerful engine powering its superbikes, Triumph is certainly a fan favorite in the racing community.
Triumph motorcycles are also known for their rigid build quality. With several accessories made for their bikes, you can transform them easily to a bike suitable for traveling long distances.
The Triumph Tiger is one such example. With a mounted saddlebag, the beasty bike can be used on long rides comfortably. Due to the immense success that Triumph has seen in recent years, it is on this list of the best motorcycle brands.
BMW is an automobile manufacturer that is not only known for its range of luxury supercars but also its range of superbikes. You might have seen them making an appearance in the Bond movies or even the high-speed chases in Mission Impossible. These bikes are built with amazing power under the seat.
Production of motorbikes started way back in 1923 and the sales of these German motorcycles have increased every single year. Every single BMW bike offers great comfort, is elegant and at the same time, surprisingly powerful.
Just like the cars, the BMW bikes too cost a lot of money. This is completely justified with the great features that they come with.
This is another Japanese motorcycle manufacturer that has a wide range of motorcycles. Suzuki is known for its diversity when it comes to the motorcycles that they create. From regular street-ready bikes to racing machines, Suzuki produces some of the best bikes in the industry.
They also manufacture dirt bikes. So, if you are an adventure junkie who loves to go ride in unconventional terrain, Suzuki has you covered. Suzuki also has a renowned MotoGP team that has won several times over the years.
KTM is an Austrian motorcycle and car manufacturing company that has taken the entire motorcycle world by storm. The duke range of bikes that KTM offers has been an instant hit amongst riders around the world.
Known both for its speed and great looks, KTM has been able to woo the millennials the most. Even though the manufacturing of KTM bikes started in 1992, there are traces of its existence dating back to 1934. The lightweight, sporty, and naked appearance of the KTM motorcycles has become its signature look.
This motorcycle company also has a few beasts to its name. KTM recently won its 100th Grand Prix victory. So, the bike is very well known in the racing community. With great acceleration even on its entry-level bikes, KTM has cemented its position in the motorsport world.
The Italians’ love for motorcycles is quite apparent with so many different Italian motorcycle brands creating quality bikes. Benelli is just another product of the Italian master class.
Initially, Benelli was known widely for creating guns. In 1911, they entered the world of motorcycles. Ever since, the motorcycle manufacturing and the gun manufacturing parts of Benelli have been separated.
Benelli is known to produce hunky beasts whose roar hits the right notes in every rider’s heart. Even though the bikes are heavy, they are powered by powerful engines that give the bike the capacity to cruise along the highways.
Benelli also has a MotoGP team. Due to financial reasons, they stopped entering the MotoGP in 1973. However, Benelli is once again part of MotoGP since 2007.
The bikes produced by Benelli are suitable for both streets as well as the tracks. They are capable of cruising through the traffic as well as hitting insane speeds for the track.
13. Royal Enfield
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular bike manufacturing companies in India. Located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Royal Enfield is known for its vintage looks and feel.
The most iconic product created by Royal Enfield is the bullet. Even though there are several newer versions of this bike, many still search for the older versions just to get the feel of the loud noise the engine used to make.
Royal Enfield was a British manufacturer. However, its successor is now an Indian manufacturer.
Royal Enfield creates bulky bikes that are also very heavy. However, due to the good design, the weight is well distributed. You would hardly notice the heavyweight while riding the bike.
The engines powering these motorcycles are powerful enough to allow you to cruise along the countryside. Most Royal Enfield riders normally use the bike for long rides. The comfort that this bike offers reduces the overall strain the long ride imposes on your body, thus making it a great choice for this purpose.
If you are looking for bikes meant for racing, then Royal Enfield is not the one for you.
This is another popular motorcycle manufacturing company in the world. Currently, it is the sixth-largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world and the second-largest in India. Bajaj is known for creating everyday friendly bikes that are capable of tackling the daily traffic that you see on the roads.
The Pulsar range of bikes has been the most popular range of bikes that Bajaj has manufactured. Even though Bajaj has not been known for the racing capabilities of its bikes, we can often spot several Bajaj bikes participating in unofficial drag races.
The fuel economy and the ability to maneuver the bike easily in everyday traffic is the main reason why many people use this as their daily means of transport.
This is another motorcycle manufacturer headquartered in the United States. The parent company of Victory was Polaris Inc. The main motive of the Victory motorcycles to compete directly against the likes of Harley Davidson and other American styled motorcycles.
These motorcycles were not known for their racing capabilities but more for their cruising capabilities. Just like the Harley Davidson, Victory produced bikes that were beasty and were powered by the mammoth V-twin engines. The vintage looks that these bikes possessed made them an instant hit in the motorcycle community.
The production of the motorcycles started in 1997. For five straight years, Victory managed to bag huge profits. However, things went south from then on. In 2017, Victory announced the complete shutdown of motorcycle manufacturing.
Even though Victory was around for just a couple of decades, it had earned the reputation to make it into this list of the best motorcycle brands.
Hero is another motorcycle manufacturer based in India. Operating in a country where two-wheelers are extremely popular, it comes as no surprise that the hero is also the largest motorcycle manufacturer in India.
Hero started manufacturing bikes in 1984 and due to the popularity of two-wheeled vehicles in India, itwas able to establish its foothold in this market and turn profitable very quickly.
During their initial days, Hero was known for its reliable bikes for everyday commute. Now, in addition to that, they have a range of dirt bikes that are known for their incredible off-roading capabilities.
So, by capturing both adventure junkies as well as everyday commuters, Hero has managed to establish itself as one of the best motorcycle brands in the world.
This is one of the Italian motorcycle companies that was founded right after the second world war. Amongst all the brands on this list, Aprilla is the only manufacturer that did not start by manufacturing bikes.
This company rose to popularity by manufacturing bicycles. Soo, they started to manufacture scooters and eventually ended up producing bikes as well. Aprilia is one of the motorcycle manufacturers known extensively for creating superbikes that race on tracks.
Aprilia has been the most successful Italian and European motorcycle manufacturer when it comes to the number of victories in races. Bagging 294 wins in the Grand Prix, Aprilia has established its name in the racing world.
Aprilia bikes are extremely powerful machines and using them daily does not make much sense. This is where the numerous scooters that Aprilia also manufactures comes into the picture.
18. Moto Guzzi
The Italian love for motorcycles is simply too great. Over the years, many great motorcycle brands have originated in Italy. Most of them owe the idea to Moto Guzzi. Moto Guzzi has been the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer.
Moto Guzzi was established in 1921. Since its establishment, Moto Guzzi has been one of the most trusted motorcycle brands around the world. Moto Guzzi manufacturers cruiser type of bikes that one would normally take on long rides. While they are no superbikes, they hold their own on a long run.
The reliability and easy maintainability of the Moto Guzzi bikes is one of the reasons why it is very popular even to this day. This is one of the very few motorcycle manufacturers that has been able to stay profitable even after nearly a century of manufacturing bikes.
These bikes are not meant for races. They are mainly intended for the highways and cruising along the countryside. So, if you are looking for a new motorcycle for these two reasons, then Moto Guzzi is one brand that you can consider.
19. MV Agusta
The post-second world war was a period that saw rapid manufacturing growth around the world. In Italy, this was the period when the automobile and motorcycle industries saw massive growth.
In 1945, MV Agusta began manufacturing numerous motorcycles from its Cascina Costa factory near Milan. The Italian motorcycle manufacturers were always more lined up towards manufacturing fast machines. This is exactly what MV Agusta has done over the years.
It is widely known for manufacturing mean-looking sports motorcycles. With a rigid and well-designed body and an extremely powerful engine, MV Agusta’s motorcycles are ridiculously fast.
They also have a MotoGP team where they showcase some of their most powerful bikes. If you are looking for a cruiser, then you might want to consider waiting a bit longer because MV Agusta is planning to enter the cruiser sector of the motorcycle industry very soon.
Known for manufacturing extremely fast and reliable motorcycles, MV Agusta is one of the best motorcycle brands out there.
This is yet another Italian manufacturer that began manufacturing motorcycles in 1973. They are widely known for customizing motorcycles as well as manufacturing them.
They manufacturer mean-looking motorcycles are extremely fast and are built using the latest technologies. In 2019, Bimota was acquired by Kawasaki. They have started ramping up their motorcycle production ever since.
With this acquisition, we can expect more motorcycles to be manufactured by Bimota.
Motorcycles have always been known for their capabilities of reaching high speeds and also for easily cruising through traffic. Many motorcycle manufacturers pump out thousands of motorcycles from their factories. However, choosing the best motorcycle brand ensures the reliability of the motorcycle.
Even though some of the brands on this list no longer manufacture any motorcycles, they are still trusted amongst the masses. By choosing one of these manufacturers, you can be assured of a bike that offers great comfort as well as performance. All this while also using some of the latest technologies.
Passionate motorcycle aficionado. Pop culture nerd. Analyst. Tyler can be found playing his favorite games when he is not out on the road driving. He loves to write amazing buyers guide for best things biking.
- 1 Top 20 Best Motorcycle Brands 2021
- 1.1 1. Yamaha
- 1.2 2. Honda
- 1.3 3. Harley Davidson
- 1.4 4. Indian
- 1.5 5. Confederate
- 1.6 6. Ducati
- 1.7 7. Kawasaki
- 1.8 8. Triumph
- 1.9 9. BMW
- 1.10 10. Suzuki
- 1.11 11. KTM
- 1.12 12. Benelli
- 1.13 13. Royal Enfield
- 1.14 14. Bajaj
- 1.15 15. Victory
- 1.16 16. Hero
- 1.17 17. Aprilia
- 1.18 18. Moto Guzzi
- 1.19 19. MV Agusta
- 1.20 20. Bimota
- 2 Bottom Line