Pedal power to horse power- Bike brands with a history of Bicycles


Most of the big names in the motorcycle industry had humble beginnings in the past. They were all involved in making Bicycles at one point of time and then branched out to manufacture motorcycles. To stay true to their humble beginnings, some of these brands continue to churn out bicycles, albeit in limited quantities. Bicycles influenced motorcycle brands across the globe and continue to do so.  

Triumph Cycle

Photo by Andrew Dressel / CC BY-SA 3.0

Great Britain has produced some of the most recognizable motorcycles on the planet. The iconic Triumph brand has won the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world by introducing bikes like the Bonneville, Tiger etc. What these bikers don’t know is that the company was initially established in 1886 to manufacture Bicycles. Later, the company was sold to BSA (Birmingham Small Arms Company), which in turn was acquired by Raleigh cycles in 1956. Currently, TI cycles of India sell cycles under the BSA brand.

Harley Cycle

Image Credits: Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Harley Davidson is undoubtedly the most recognizable motorcycle company from the United States. The company, which now has cult status, was once struggling to acquire customers for its motorcycles. The company’s management decided to make Bicycles in 1917(Cycles were very popular during this period) in order to acquire customers for their motorcycles. However, the Bicycle manufacturing ceased to exist in 1921.

Ducati Cycle

Ducati, the iconic superbike brand, is also involved in Bicycles, but does so indirectly. The company’s premium cycles are designed and manufactured by Bianchi- the world’s oldest cycle manufacturing company. This Italian marquee brand has the reputation of securing winning positions in the much coveted tour de France tournament. Ducati bikes entered the Indian market recently and are currently available in Track and Trail stores across the country. These stores sell performance cycles that belong to multiple, high-profile brands like Schwinn, GT, Bianchi, Mongoose and Cannondale. Aprilia is another Italian superbike company which started off as a manufacturer of Bicycles. The company is currently working on developing e-cycles.

KTM Cycle

Another well-known European brand is KTM. The company’s orange-clad motorcycles took the Indian two-wheeler market by storm, when it initially entered in 2013. Few people know that the brand also has a thriving Bicycle business. KTM has Bicycles in every category including Road, Cyclocross, Mountain Bikes(MTBs) and Hybrids. Although the Indian market looks promising, KTM still haven’t decided to mark its entry here but might do so in the near future.

Japanese giants like Yamaha and Kawasaki are also involved in making Bicycles. While Yamaha is involved in making e-cycles for the future, Kawasaki has a more conventional line-up of cycles. Kawasaki sells road, hybrid and Mountain bikes in very limited numbers in limited markets.

Hero Cycles

Finally, we come to the Indian subcontinent, where the motorcycle market is dominated by Hero Motocorp’s value-for-money offerings. Hero Motocorp is a subsidiary of Hero Cycles-the largest manufacturer of Bicycles in India. The company, launched in 1956, sells timeless Bicycles like the Octane, the Ranger etc. Recently, the company has also launched a new performance cycling sub-brand called Urban Trail.

Bicycles and Motorcycles go hand-in-hand in automotive history. It’s safe to say that the latter developed because of the former. The influence of Bicycles on modern motorcycles is immense.

To look at stunning, performance Bicycles by McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Ducati, click here


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