According to a Statista report, the European motorcycle market is expected to experience a 5.32% yearly growth rate between now and 2016. That will see European brands of motorcycles improve their revenue from $14.314 billion in 2022 to $17.612 billion in 2026.
Of course, that spells concern for traditional Japanese giant motorcycle brands like Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki. And with the projected unit sales for motorcycles expected to hit $1,643.79k by 2026, every big player has an opportunity to stake a claim.
This is where big European hitters like KTM, Piaggio, and Triumph have a say with their incredibly fast, super fun, and powerful motorbikes.
We’ll look at the leading European motorcycle brands and their top models and mention those to watch out for in the next decade. That’ll help you know where to look when shopping for a European-made motorcycle.
Top European Brands of Motorcycles
Since Europe is such a vast continent with many manufacturers, we’ll look at the leading brands and their top models. Specifically, we’ll look at Italian, Austrian, German, and UK brands of motorcycles.
Italian Brands of Motorcycles
When it comes to Italian motorcycles, one company comes to mind first: Piaggio. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer makes different motorcycles under different brand names, such as Aprilia, Vespa, Derbi, Moto Guzzi, Gilera, Scarabeo, and Piaggio.
Here are the leading Italian Motorcycle brands.
|Aprilia Official Website|
Aprilia, which Italian motorcycle company Piaggio owns, was established in Norde, Italy, in 1945 by Italian Motorcycles enthusiast Alberto Baggio at the height of World War 2.
Baggio’s initial plan was to make a bicycle, and the idea transitioned to a scooter before settling on a full-size motorcycle.
The company has a rich racing history, currently holding 19 championships in 250cc and 125cc. Aprilia makes some of the fastest motorcycles globally, and their dominance in the motorsport world is overwhelming.
One of its fastest and most popular motorcycles is the Aprilia RSV4 which has a top speed of 177.7 mph.
|Vespa Official Website|
Vespa is an Italian luxury scooter brand owned by giant Italian motorcycle maker Piaggio. The company was founded in 1946 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.
One year after its founding, Vespa sold about 2,500 units and over 10,000 the following year. By 1950, the company had sold more than 60,000 Vespas throughout Europe and overseas.
Today, the company produces scooters in five series, S, GTS, GT, LX, and PX. Other than Vespa PX, a manual classic, the others are automatic modern style.
|Ducati Official Website|
Ducati, known as ‘the father of Ferrari,’ is identified with some of the fastest and costliest motorcycles today.
Ducati was created in 1926 in Bologna, Italy, by Italian Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and three of his sons. The company started making pushrod engines fitted onto bicycles before finally making their first-ever complete motorcycles in 1950.
The company is currently owned by automotive maker Lamborghini and holds an impressive racing history in MotoGP, Formula TT, and Superbike World Championship, among many other elite-level competitions.
Its current lineup includes Monster, Multistrada, and Scrambler motorcycles.
4. Moto Guzzi
|Moto Guzzi Official Website|
Moto Guzzi is another company under the Piaggio umbrella. It’s currently the oldest Italian Motorcycle brand, founded in 1921 on the streets of Mandello Del Lario, Italy.
Since its founding, Moto Guzzi has always set itself apart as an innovative motorcycle brand. They make the most innovative motorbikes but back them with a historical lineage, which sets the brand apart from others.
Some of its best-selling models are the V85TT adventure bike, Norge 1200 Sport Tourer, Breva 750, and the California 1400 Cruiser.
Other Italian Motorcycle Brands
Here are other notable Italian Motorcycle brands:
- Beta Motor
- FB Mondial
- Ghezzi & Brian
- MV Agusta
- Moto Morini
- Terra Modena
Austrian Brands of Motorcycles
Austria may not have as many motorcycle manufacturers as Italy, but it has two of the biggest motorcycle brands in the world. We are talking about KTM and its subsidiary company Husqvarna.
|KTM Official Website|
Austrian motorcycle maker KTM was founded in 1934 and is currently the parent owner of Husqvarna motorcycle company.
The company dominates the enduro, supermoto, and motocross motorcycle sectors in Austria and Europe.
KTM is the only Austrian motorcycle brand that closely challenges Japanese giants like Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki.
KTM is popularly known for the KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo, which has a top speed of 186mph. Another popular model is the KTM 250 adventure bike, known for its off-road dominance and fast pace on dirt paths.
|Husqvarna Motorcycles Official Website|
Though Husqvarna dates to 1903 as a Swedish brand, financial difficulties saw it acquired by Austrian giant motorcycle maker KTM in 2013.
But despite being under the administration of KTM, Husqvarna runs as an independent bike brand and makes its own motorcycles, which often compete with KTM bikes.
Like KTM, Husqvarna specializes in enduro, supermoto, and motocross motorcycles. The company is headquartered in Mattighofen, Austria but serves Europe and the rest of the world.
Its most popular model is the Husqvarna 701 enduro bike, known for its 120mph top speed and off-road dominance.
German Brands of Motorcycles
While Germany is traditionally a motor vehicle powerhouse, the country is slowly staking a claim in the motorcycle manufacturing sector.
While the country has several manufacturers, the two most notable ones are BMW Motorrad and Sachs Motorcycles.
1. BMW Motorrad
|BMW Motorrad Official Website|
Identified with luxurious German motor vehicles maker BMW, BMW Motorrad is known to make some of the fastest and most luxurious motorbikes globally.
Interestingly, the German manufacturer employs aviation technology to make its motorcycle engines, which has seen them win the hearts of speed-obsessed motorcycle lovers.
In 2015, for example, the motorcycle brand sold over 136,963 units. The company’s first motorcycle was unveiled in 1923, its founding year.
Today, the company is known for the BMW S1000RR, which marked its entry into the superbike world championship in 2009. It boasts a top speed of 188mph.
2. Sachs Motorcycles
|Sachs Motorcycles Website|
Sachs Motorcycles may not enjoy the reputation that its German counterpart BMW Motorrad enjoys, but it’s pretty reputable nevertheless.
The German motorcycle maker was established in 1886 in Schweinfurt, Bavaria, Germany. The company made its first motorbike in 1904 and later produced numerous models.
Its most popular model is the Sachs Roadster 800, made between 2000 and 2004. It was famous for its robust s-speed transmission and a top speed of 175km/h.
Other German Motorcycle Brands
Here are other notable German motorcycle companies:
UK Brands of Motorcycles
The United Kingdom motorcycle sector has experienced fast growth in recent years. The local support is growing, and so is the global appreciation, especially that of Triumph Motorcycles.
1. Triumph Motorcycles
|Triumph Motorcycles Official Website|
Triumph is the UK’s largest motorcycle maker despite only being founded in 1983 by John Bloor. It has its headquarters in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England.
The original company, however, dates to 1902. Triumph is known for the 1994 Speed Triple, the first motorcycle launched under the headship of John Bloor.
It was easily distinguished by its naked light design and twin headlamp. The 2004 Triumph Thruxton also won the hearts of the retro-cafe racer fans with its laid-back design.
The one that threatened the Japanese brands was the Triumph Speed Triple, a beast with a top speed of 150mph.
Other UK Motorcycle Brands
Here are other noteworthy UK motorcycle brands:
From all suggestions, European brands of motorcycles are not a pushover. They are staking a genuine claim with their vast, powerful, speedy motorcycles.
They may not enjoy the popularity or exclusivity that Japanese brands enjoy, but they are on their way there.
People Also Ask
Given the vastness of Europe as a continent and the massive list of manufacturers, a few questions which we probably haven’t covered are likely to pop up. Here are the most frequently asked.
What is the Most Popular Motorcycle Brand in Europe?
In recent years, Austrian giant KTM sales in Europe have increased steadily while those of traditional Japanese giant Honda have dropped significantly in recent years. All that shows the increased popularity of KTM, even though Honda remains the brand to beat in Europe and beyond.
Who is the Biggest Motorcycle Manufacturer in Europe?
The largest motorcycle seller and manufacturing company in Europe is Austria’s giant motorcycle maker, KTM. KTM sales have increased significantly in recent years, showing its growing popularity in Europe.
Are Motorcycles Popular in Europe?
Motorcycles have replaced cars for a few years now in most European countries. Reports show that the European motorcycle market has improved steadily in the recent past despite the COVID-19 pandemic.