There are many different brands of motorcycles on the market today, and they’re not all the same. Some are better than others, and some are downright awful. To narrow down your search, you need to know the best Japanese motorcycle brands available.
However, These best Japanese motorcycle brands have proven themselves over time to be both reliable and effective in their designs and craftsmanship.
Also, if you’re looking to purchase a motorcycle of your own, you should keep these best Japanese motorcycle brands in mind when you’re shopping around.
Table of Contents
- Looking at History
- List of the Best Japanese Motorcycle Brands
Looking at History
In a motorcycle racing circuit, you’ll often hear names like Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki being tossed around as if they were deities.
In many ways, these legendary companies have been innovating in their respective fields for decades now.
However, Suzuki in 1954 and Honda in 1959 provided their respective fields. Also, with high-quality products consistently for several decades now.
This is important to note because it means that you can expect not only the consistent quality of the best Japanese motorcycle brands. But also consistency in terms of experience and performance.
List of the Best Japanese Motorcycle Brands
Since 1959, Honda has been consistently making motorcycles that are some of the best in their class. From cruisers to sport bikes, scooters to mopeds, Hondas have dominated every category.
With world-class quality and reliability for various best Japanese motorcycle brands type, you can’t go wrong with Honda.
Moreover, One of our favorite and best Japanese motorcycle brands is arguably their most famous one – The Rebel 250.
This classic bike features a single-cylinder 4-stroke engine and looks like it came straight out of an American biker movie set.
In 1969! Add ons for cruisers range from chrome exhaust pipes to custom wheels. So there’s no end to what you can do with your new Honda Rebel 250.
Japan’s first motorcycle manufacturer had a massive effect on several industries, notably music production. The origins of Yamaha go back to 1887, but it wasn’t until 1955 that they started to produce motorcycles.
However, they have since become one of the biggest and best Japanese motorcycle brands. Also, with a significant presence in Europe and America as well. You can find everything from motorbikes to cars and ATVs in their lineup.
Nevertheless, they continue to produce hit after hit with popular models like their DT series, XJ600, and MT-07 lines. It’s safe to say that Yamaha will continue to be one of Japan’s most prominent brands for some time yet.
Suzuki is another of our favorites on the list of best Japanese motorcycle brands. They have more than 60 years of excellent motorcycling history.
With an incredible lineup of over 75 different models, you’re sure to find something to fit your needs. It could be a scooter or cruiser for commuting or a dirt bike for some weekend riding.
Also, their GSXR street bike series is widely known, and one of their newer models has picked up lots of awards since its release (the GSX-S1000) with rave reviews from other motorcycle enthusiasts.
For over 70 years, Kawasaki has been a significant player in motorcycle manufacturing. They have been most successful in developing large-displacement engines for motorcycles. Their Ninja line of sportbikes is some of today’s fastest and best Japanese motorcycle brands.
Moreover, they also produce many utility models that perform pretty well. Kawasaki’s success has been due to its superb attention to engineering details. They stay true to performance while optimizing each model for safety, comfort, and cost savings.
Also, their dedication to function is second only to their drive to improve on what already works continually. As a result, riders can expect high performance and reliable service from all Kawasaki models.
Founded in 1945, Marusho is a significant motorcycle parts manufacturer. More than that, though, Marusho has been producing motorcycles since 1969. They are considered one of the best Japanese motorcycle brands and major players in terms of quality.
Their bikes are designed to be attractive and easy to operate while still packing a punch. They specialize in small-displacement bikes with high-performance engines.
It includes models ranging from 50cc scooters to 650cc sports bikes with engine capacities from 250 ccs to 650 ccs.
When choosing a motorcycle for casual riding, your primary concern should be comfort and reliability. If that’s what you’re after, look no further than HODAKA, an entry-level motorcycle brand owned by Yamaha since 2003.
However, HODAKA bikes are known for their quality and affordable price tags. The company has been in operation since 1961 and is well-known for creating reliable scooters that can transport riders with ease. Their lineup includes some of the most popular models on today’s market, including the Hodaka 250cc.
In addition, this bike is great for beginners looking to get started in motorcycling. It comes equipped with everything you need to start enjoying yourself right away.
Although, It features hydraulic disc brakes, a CDI ignition system, and an automatic transmission. It also has a four-stroke engine capable of producing 25 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 19 lb/ft of torque at 6000 pm.
Despite being primarily known for its cars, South Korea’s Hyosung is also a significant producer of the best Japanese motorcycle brands.
With products ranging from small scooters to full-size touring motorcycles, it has long been a mainstay of Asian markets—a subsidiary of Hyundai since 1991.
Hyosung has access to some of its parent company’s considerable research and development funds for the best Japanese motorcycle brands.
However, in recent years it has begun exporting its bikes. Particularly in Europe and North America and manufacturing bases outside of Asia (in India and Poland). It may not be a household name yet, but watch out for Hyosung in future years.
Moreover, Its engineering expertise is second to none, with international expansion underway. It could well become a global force in motorcycle production.
KTM is among the best Japanese motorcycle brands, and KTM Industries AG and Indian company Bajaj Auto own it. Currently, it produces a range of models, including street legal and off-road motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, and sidecars.
Their motors are also supplied for performance bikes delivered by Husqvarna (Husaberg). However, In 2015 KTM started to sell their street legal motorcycles in North America.
Worth a distribution deal through RSC Energia Group Inc. It is part of KMF Group, which Stefan Pierer owns. The company makes lightweight off-road motorcycles used in enduro and other competitions such as motocross.
The history of RIKKO started in 1885 when inventor Yataro Iwasaki opened his first factory to manufacture steel in Tokyo.
In 1955, his son, Hiroshi Iwasaki, decided to open a motorcycle plant. And also produced one of the well-known and best Japanese motorcycle brands: The RIKUO.
However, the factory closed down in 1969, but the production of new RIKUOs continues today as a hobby of its owner. It has found its way onto American soil through Kawasaki Motors Corp.
HANWAY is an English-based manufacturer of the best Japanese motorcycle brands. In 2007 Maximilian Shinwell founded Max Shinwell Racing Limited Company to manufacture high-quality motorcycles.
However, They are among the top and best Japanese motorcycle brands with fantastic production.
If you haven’t heard of Tohatsu, you should look it up. Known for its outboard motors, Tohatsu began producing small bikes and ATVs in Japan in 1949.
By 1961, it had introduced two mini-motorcycles to local markets, and by 1964 had developed a complete line of vehicles that included 150cc mopeds and a 230cc motorcycle.
But it wasn’t until 1983 that they made their way overseas. Today, Tohatsu offers ATVs with an engine size range between 50cc to 1,300cc and are popular with both commercial users and recreational bikers alike, thanks to their high performance at a low cost.
Italian manufacturer Aprilia is a great place to start for motorcycle enthusiasts looking for a new brand. The company is an international household name, but few realize that tally started in Italy at Piaggio—the same company responsible for creating Vespa and Moto Guzzi.
At its earliest stages, Aprilia built mopeds under license from Piaggio. The brand first became its entity when it began producing sports bikes in 1992 and hasn’t looked back since.
Aprilia makes motorcycles ranging from highly accessible commuter bikes to high-performance racing machines with top speeds of more than 200 mph.
Ducati is one of those companies that has been around for a very long time but is just now gaining popularity in North America.
As with any established brand, they have a rich history behind them. While they’ve recently started to produce more affordable motorcycles (around $15,000), their flagship lineup comprises high-performance motorbikes that cost well over USD 50,000.
Also, Ducati’s Scrambler series has been popular among motorcycle enthusiasts since it first hit European shores in 2013 and made its way across American markets in 2015.
The bikes are stripped down and simplified compared to many other Ducatis, making them relatively easy to ride—but still expensive!
The MIYATA Group was founded in 1951 and since then has produced motorcycles for both racing and street use. At the same time, they are a smaller manufacturer than Honda or Yamaha.
MIYATA produces several award-winning models each year that garnered much praise among consumers. Nevertheless, One of these, known as The Landline, is one of only 500 motorcycles.
Moreover, with a classic retro look and top-notch build quality. It continues to attract a wide range of riders from all over Japan. Another model known as Hyper Bruiser remains one of the most sought-after bikes ever produced by MIYATA.
This bike gained the best Japanese motorcycle brands due to its exceptional off-road abilities despite being powered by a four-stroke engine not generally used for such purposes on rough terrain.
Piaggio & Vespa motorcycles
The two best Japanese motorcycle brands make up Piaggio to manufacture everything from mopeds to luxury cruisers. Their most popular products, however, are scooters and motorbikes.
Piaggio’s mobility products range from high-performance racing motorcycles to stylish super motors to stable scooters ideal for daily use.
Although Vespa, a name synonymous with classic scooters, is also available in three categories. Vespa Primavera 3 and 4T models and Vespino 50 particular edition/limited edition scooter.
On top of that, Piaggio owns several other companies (including Moto Guzzi) with their assortment of motorcycles. And is one of the largest Italian exporters on a global scale.
Meguro is among the best Japanese motorcycle brands in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The company’s origins go back to 1920 when it is established as a manufacturer of outboard motors for marine use.
However, In 1935 Meguro began producing four-stroke internal combustion engines for motorcycles and outboard motors and beginning with four-cylinder engines displacing 226cc and 342cc.
With its excellent small displacement two-stroke engines (350cc and 400cc), Meguro has become one of Japan’s leading two-stroke engine manufacturers.
Japan is often renowned for its impressive automobile brands. It’s also a leader in motorcycle manufacturing. In terms of unit sales, it’s one of only three countries that manufacture more than ten million motorcycles a year. The others are China and India.
Moreover, Japan manufactured nearly nine times as many motorcycles as any other country. China is coming in second at just under four million units produced in 2013 (the latest year for which data is available).
No matter what you think about motorcycling or motorized transportation, choose one of these best Japanese motorcycle brands. There’s no doubt: all roads lead to Japan!