Motorbikes are produced all around the world as the demand for them is global. The first manufacturers appeared in Europe and the United States because these were the regions where the motorcycle was invented. Many of the early manufacturers are no longer in business, but there are others that still make bikes today.
One of the first manufacturers to mass produce bikes was Triumph which began producing bikes in 1896. They were created by the German Siegfried Bettmann who had migrated to the county in 1893, and by 1903 they were selling 500 motorcycles a year.
Production increased each year and with the arrival of the First World War, the company made 30,000 motorcycles for the allies. The production continued despite fierce competition from other firms and the company received a boost in 1953 when actor Marlon Brando rode a “Thunderbird 6T” in the film “The Wild One”.
As time has passed, the company has gone through some difficult financial periods and has been under the ownership of several different companies. Today it is known as Triumph Motorcycles (Hinckley) Ltd, and it still produces names of models that were so popular in the past. Another early producer that is still going strong today is Harley Davidson. The American company was created in 1903 by William Harley and Arthur Davidson and their name has gone on to become iconic for anybody who has a keen interest in motorcycles.
They were as popular in America as Triumph was in Europe, also supplying motorcycles to the American troops in the war. During the 1920s, the company went from strength to strength, selling more bikes that any other in the world.
Their bikes became bigger and faster and the Second World War had finished with their larger models becoming more popular. The emergence of the association between heavy rock music and motor bikes was of benefit to the company as most people wanted to ride a Harley Davidson bike. Today the brand is as popular as ever. As well as making bikes in the States, the company also has factories in many other countries around the world. Despite fierce completion from the far-east, Harley Davidson is still going strong today.
The eastern competition originally started with Japan and commenced at the start of the 1960s as certain manufacturers became successful in the international Grand Prix races. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki all achieved wins and with their races being televised all over, the world many people wanted to ride one of their bikes.
Honda first started to produce motorcycles only in 1941, but by 1959 it became the largest producer of bikes in the world. They were close to the eastern markets, where riding a motorbike is extremely popular.
They can produce the bikes cheaply as costs are low, so their bikes are in great demand. It is the same with another Japanese company, Yamaha, who have conquered a large area of the local people who can only pay a small price for the means of transport.
Another company to emerge is Hero Motorcorp who make motorcycles in India. There is such a large domestic market in the country that it has been possible for an Indian company to become established and make the most out of selling the bikes to the large local population. There are still a large number of producers today, with them all specializing in certain areas of the market. At the same time they keep away from other areas that are not so popular.