The oldest motorcycle brands that have stood the test of time

The oldest motorcycle brands that have stood the test of time
22 November 2023

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Long story short: Discover the legendary motorcycle brands that have withstood the test of time. From Harley-Davidson to Triumph, explore the rich history of these iconic brands.

Plenty of motorcycle brands are available in India and worldwide, right? Yes, customers now have a plethora of motorcycle brands to choose from. But there were times in India before globalization when we only had the option to purchase scooters like Bajaj Chetak, etc. After the globalization of Indian markets, customers can now access different premium bike brands and get to know the rich history behind them and the experience they possess. Gen Z and the younger generation understand the details about various bike brands. Still, few know about the legacy they had behind them.

This article will discuss the various motorcycle brands that have stood the test of time. The most surprising thing is that some bike companies in this list were there manufacturing motorcycles in World War 1 and 2 and have more than 100+ years of rich history behind them. So let’s visit all those motorcycle companies in detail right here. So, let’s start.

The list of oldest & legendary motorcycle brands in the world

List of oldest motorcycle brands in the world
List of oldest motorcycle brands in the world

Royal Enfield (1893)

Royal Enfield, the oldest motorcycle company in existence, was initially founded as a bicycle company in 1893 in Britain. It transitioned to producing motorcycles in 1901 and quickly became renowned for its durable and dependable machines. Throughout its history, Royal Enfield has been a major supplier of motorcycles to the British military and played a significant role in both World Wars. Today, the brand is known for its classic and vintage-style motorcycles that blend retro charm with modern technology.

Peugeot Motocycles (1898)

Focused initially on producing bicycles, the brand eventually expanded into motorcycles. Today, Peugeot Motocycles is well-established in Europe and offers a wide range of motorcycles and scooters. With a reputation for quality, innovation, and advanced technology, Peugeot Motorcycles remains a leading player in the industry. It holds the distinction of being the oldest manufacturer of scooters.

Norton Motorcycle (1898)

Established in 1898, Norton Motorcycle is a renowned British motorcycle manufacturer. With a long and storied history, the brand is celebrated for its high-performance motorcycles and impressive track record in racing. Norton Motorcycles are highly regarded for their exceptional engineering and unique designs.

Indian Motorcycle (1901)

Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle is one of the oldest and most iconic American motorcycle manufacturers. Known for its powerful and innovative motorcycles, Indian quickly became a significant rival to Harley-Davidson. The brand made a name for itself in the early days of motorcycle racing, setting speed records and achieving great success.

Triumph (1902)

Throughout its long history, Triumph motorcycles have become synonymous with exceptional performance, stylish designs, and innovative features. The brand has left a lasting impact in motorcycle racing, achieving notable victories in prestigious events like the Isle of Man TT. Triumph motorcycles like the beloved Bonneville range are highly regarded for their timeless and iconic designs. Today, Triumph continues to produce a diverse range of motorcycles, catering to the needs and preferences of riders worldwide.

Harley Davidson (1903)

Harley Davidson, founded in 1903, is a renowned American motorcycle manufacturer that has become an emblem of American culture and the spirit of freedom. The brand’s motorcycles have gained fame for their robust engines, unique designs, and a sense of thrill and exploration. Despite facing various obstacles throughout its history, Harley-Davidson has persevered. It continues to be one of the most prominent and influential motorcycle brands globally.

Husqvarna Motorcycles (1903)

Husqvarna Motorcycles, originally a Swedish arms manufacturer, began producing motorcycles in 1903. The brand is recognized for its excellence in off-road motorcycles, particularly in motocross and enduro disciplines.
Husqvarna Motorcycles has a strong racing heritage and has achieved numerous championships and accolades.

Moto Guzzi (1921)

Founded in 1921, Moto Guzzi is an iconic Italian motorcycle manufacturer. What sets Moto Guzzi apart is its distinctive transverse V-twin engine configuration and unique designs. Over the years, Moto Guzzi motorcycles have made a name for themselves in the racing world, earning a reputation for reliability and durability.

BMW Motorrad (1923)

BMW Motorrad, established in 1923, is the motorcycle branch of the renowned German automobile manufacturer BMW. With a rich history, BMW Motorrad is known for producing highly regarded motorcycles for their exceptional quality, performance, and cutting-edge features. The brand has significantly contributed to various motorcycle segments, including touring, adventure, and sports motorcycles.

Ducati (1926)

Ducati, founded in 1926, is an iconic Italian motorcycle manufacturer. Initially starting as a producer of radio components, Ducati later expanded into the world of motorcycles. Known for their powerful engines, impressive racing achievements, and distinctive Italian aesthetics, Ducati motorcycles have become synonymous with high performance and style.

Oldest motorcycle brands – Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the oldest & legendary motorcycle brands that have stood the test of time. One thing to note is that most companies started as bicycle companies and then started to integrate engines, hence converting to motorcycles. So there might be some difference in the starting year stated in this article and what the corresponding official company says. As a conclusion to the article, we will list all the motorcycle brands by year of start.

  1. Royal Enfield (1893)
  2. Peugeot Motocycles (1898)
  3. Norton Motorcycle (1898)
  4. Indian Motorcycle (1901)
  5. Triumph (1902)
  6. Harley Davidson (1903)
  7. Husqvarna Motorcycles (1903)
  8. Moto Guzzi (1921)
  9. BMW Motorrad (1923)
  10. Ducati (1926)

If you have any other doubts or queries, email us at We are always eager to help and assist you. Also, here are several social media platforms of Bikeleague India to raise your suspicions.