Japanese motorbikes: Honda vs Yamaha

Japanese motorbikes: Honda vs Yamaha

Friday, 12 August 2011 12:36 PM

Japanese motorbikes: Honda vs Yamaha

Japanese motorbikes: Honda vs Yamaha

When it comes to finding the perfect new ride, it can be hard to choose which manufacturer to go for. Japanese motorbikes are often considered to be some of the most finely tuned, reliable and powerful in the world, boasting sleek exteriors and engines with real grunt.

Two of the most famous Japanese makers are Honda and Yamaha – both known for their high-calibre models. And their similarities do not end there. Indeed, each brand began its motorbike sales in the 1950s and enjoys an excellent reputation.

So, if you're looking for a new bike, just how do you choose between the two brands? As with selecting any ride, which you go for will largely depend on how well the particular model you are looking at fits with you as a rider. After all, you can try out the best bike in the world, but if it doesn't match your needs, personality and style, it won't be the right choice for you.

Known for providing superior construction and seductively smooth rides, Honda is a sterling manufacturer trusted by countless bikers around the world. In addition to making motorbikes, it produces jets, cars and trucks – among many other things.

Founded in 1955, Honda motorcycles span a range of series. Adventure, tourers, super sports, custom and sports tourers are just some of its offerings, so fans of the vendor are certainly given plenty of options – something that means they appeal to a broad spectrum of riders.

The firm's ability to combine styles to create new, slick and exciting machinery is perhaps one of the most attractive things about the brand. For example, its sports tourers combine the classic performance and feel of a sports bike, without losing the comfort and control of tourer, making it a versatile, desirable ride.

Recently, Honda has introduced eco-friendly changes to its bikes and manufacturing process, which could add to their appeal among those eager to have the latest technologies. Newer models incorporate cleaner engines and electronically fuelled injection systems, while factories are fitted with solar panels.

Also launched in 1955, Yamaha is Honda's fiercest Japanese competitor. Before it turned its attention to making some of the world's most desirable bikes, Yamaha was involved in piano manufacture and the company harnessed the metal alloy research from this field and applied it to motorcycle construction.

It unveiled its first model in 1955 – a motor that went on to win its first race the very same year.

Yamaha motorbikes have a reputation for sophisticated designs, while their powerful engines are also held in high regard.

Perfect if you're looking for a slick machine with real force, Yamaha is perhaps best known for its sports bikes. However, you'll find its range also consists of off-road rides and cruisers.

The 2011 XV1900A Midnight Star is just one of the cruisers it produces. With the classical cruiser appearance, it embodies excellent handling and comfort teamed with a high-performance 4-valve, 4-stroke, 2-cylinder V-type engine and a lightweight aluminium frame.

Meanwhile, like Honda, it also offers a sports tourer that provides outstanding engine and chassis performance, as well as excellent long-distance comfort for riders.

With the competition between the two manufacturers being undoubtedly tight, which you go for will largely depend how in tune you feel with each bike during a test run. But, you can be sure that whichever you opt for, you'll be getting yourself a superior ride.