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Our Top 5 Bike Picks

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


Our Top 5 Bike Picks

Bobby Buys
January 1, 2014

Honda, Ducati, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson are globally acknowledged as the best brands in biking. Unlike most other products, motorcycle brands attract fierce brand loyalty. You will seldom find owners of these bikes switching brands unless they wish to own a bike in a category that their current brand does not make. Here's a ready reckoner on the best brands in biking:


Honda is the largest and best known commuter and sportbike company in the world. Although, Honda is a Japanese company, Honda bikes are now produced in several countries around the world. It also has the largest range of motorcycles. Honda today produces cars, planes and small engines; however, its name is synonymous with motorcycles. Honda bikes have won several Moto GPs in racing.


Ducati is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer and the most well known biking company of Europe with a tradition of racing in Moto GP. It is known as the Ferrari of motorcycles. Ducati motorcycles have a pedigree of macho looking high performance motorcycles. Until the advent of Japanese motorcycle brands, Ducati dominated the performance motorcycle segment in Europe.


Suzuki is another famous motorcycle brand from Japan. Suzuki also makes motorcycles in several countries and has in its range, commuter as well as sportbikes. Suzuki has a very wide offering of bikes in different horsepower categories and is popular in many countries. Suzuki Hayabusa is one of the fastest motorcycles in the world. Suzuki has also won several Moto GP races.


Kawasaki is another marquee brand from Japan. Kawasaki produces a range of bikes in categories like sport, super sport, super sport touring, touring, cruisers and others. The Kawasaki Ninja has built a reputation as a brutally fast and powerful bike. Unlike Honda and Suzuki which are very popular as commuter bikes, the Kawasaki brand is better known for its high performance bikes.


Harley-Davidson is the Big Daddy of motorcycle brands with a cult following around the world. Owners of Harley-Davidson bikes are generally recreation bikers who take pride in its brand and snob value. There are Harley Davidson clubs in several countries whose members typically love to drive on long, open, cross country roads. Harley-Davidson bikes have been made since 1903. The company makes only heavyweight 700 cc and above motorcycles for cruising. Harley-Davidson's significant merchandise sale is an indication of its brand strength.

While Japanese motorcycle brands like Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki dominate the markets in developing countries because of their range of cheap and efficient commuter bikes, Ducati and Harley-Davidson are prized for their iconic status in the developed world. Barring Harley-Davidson, all the other companies take part in Moto GP.

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