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Rate the big 4

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  • Rate the big 4

    Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha.

    Who's the overall best, who's the worst? Why? How do you feel the differ from one another in terms of the companys missions, goals for their bikes, etc.


    Honda - Reliability & engineering & real world style/performace
    Suzuki - Top speed and power
    Kawasaki - Top speed and chasing suzuki by just a step all the time..cant quite make up its mind.
    Yamaha - Style first and foremost...but I do really love the R1s

    Honda has always been at the top in my book..may not always be the fastest or the most stylish in some areas, but overall, for real world riding, you just cant beat em.

  • #2
    I'll second ya on those ranks but switch the kwaker and the yammy.. I have seen a lot more performance and looks out of yamaha lately. Much more so than kawasaki. Too bad Suzuki choose to partner with Kawasaki for many upcoming things.
    I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane


    • #3
      Actually, when you look at the entire racing world, no other company is as dominant and expansive as Honda. (F1, MotoGP, Dirt, ATV, watercraft, even brand wear such as Fox)

      I would rank

      1. Honda (I think of dependability)
      2. Yamaha (I think of performance...available in music also )
      ----------- These top two are by far, more dominant in racing and sales
      3. Suzuki
      4. Kawasaki

      Don't get me wrong...this is not how I would rank the motorcycle side of things....cause you know what company I would rank 1st

      (Harley are climing fast though! )


      • #4
        I really don't know how to rank each of those. Each company offers me something that I like about that Company only. Take crusiers for example. For me, Honda has one of the best crusiers for me, the Honda VTX 1800, where as I can not stand the Suzuki cruisers. Then you have Kawasaki that makes sweet and comfy Super Sports (Thinking the Ninja 9 here). Then you have Yamaha that makes the Sweet as Heck R1, that sure may not be as comfy as the Ninja, but has very unique styling, and they also make the Warrior which is just one bad arse cruiser. Then you have Suzuki that makes awsome street machines such as the Gixxer and the Sv's.

        I really can't decided which one is the best. I like them all.
        -89 Gixxer 1100 Engine
        -Stage 3 Jet Kit / KNN Pod Filters
        -Ohlins Susupension
        -Various Other Mods


        • #5
          1. Honda-reliability, ergonomics, street worthy, power, technology and style

          2. Suzuki- power, styling and top speed

          3. Yamaha- power, style, and blue is the fast one lol

          4. Kawasaki- ummmm, they are green the weakest of all on frame rigidity, braking and power

          I have always liked the Honda product for all around usability, Suzuki comes in a very close second for track proof and confort. The Yamaha is one awesome liter wheelie machine but lost it in ergonomics. The Kawi needs to just step up in all the fields that the others are so good at.
          TDA Racing/Motorsports
          1982 Honda CB750 Nighthawk, 1978 Suzuki GS750 1986 Honda CBR600 Hurricane; 1978 Suzuki GS1100E; 1982 Honda CB750F supersport, 1993 Suzuki Katana GSX750FP. 1981 Suzuki GS1100E (heavily Modified)
          Who knows what is next?
          Builder of the KOTM Mreedohio september winning chrome project. I consider this one to be one of my bikes also!
          Please look at this build!


          • #6
            Kawa really came thru w/ the ZX 10..and even though they've always had one of the fastest bikes overall, the weight issue has always held them back from getting over the hump,like suzuki has w/ its gixxer lineup.

            But yeah, u gotta give props to yamaha for coming thru w/ the R1, its definately sweet looking, and really brought them back up into the pack and into competition again.


            • #7
              1.zook's are on top of the list in my eye.
              they provide the best balance for real street riding, and they look sh!t hot.. thru out the whole range, take a quick look at the complete bike line ups for each company. imo the suzuki line up is the best, from the sv's to the gs to the gsx series.. they all look horn and are designed and engineered well.
              bikes worth mentioning are- SV650/1000 GSXR600/750/1000/1300(busa!!)

     comes a close second, their reliabilty is top notch bikes of choice- CBR1100XX blackbird (drool) and the cbr series, VFR deserves a pat on the back too.

              3.yammies sure they have a nice bike with the r1/r6.. but thru out the range, there isnt much more that gets me excited.

              4.the kawasaki's have lost their edge and posibly focus from the late 90's but the current zzr1200, zx12r and zx10r are giving me hope once more



              • #8
                1 - I've always liked Suzuki, you can't beat the Hayabusa, or the GSXR
                2 - Yamaha 2nd, the R1 is killer, but doesn't have the inventory to match Suzuki
                3 - Honda 3rd, good performance and reliability, but the style isn't up to par. IMO
                4 - Kawasaki, good bikes (ZX 10)but the colors jeez!


                • #9
                  Honda -- at the end of the production line, their bikes get dipped in a special Honda sauce, which dulls the experience slightly but adds some secret level of DependAbility(tm). Only exception is the rectifier/IC packs for their alternators (and certain year's wiring) which are utter crud at times. Made the mistake of using "biodegradable" electrical insulation for a few years there in the early 80's. Generally the best bikes on the market for the "real world", often at the price of top-notch performance. Now if only they would keep the VTec boys away from the damn bikes...

                  Yamaha -- all about handling and eye candy, but nigh-on-invisible and poor lighting at night. Nimble, fast. Designers should be shot for giving the R series one-sided headlights on low-beam.

                  Suzuki -- I break them down into two catagories: the super fast manic bikes (we will be faster everywhere on the track!), and the utterly reliable but way old school air-oil cooled ones.

                  Kawasaki -- all about acceleration. Forget superb handling, it's about drag racing potential. 0 to whatever (you name it), we have to be first there.

                  BMW -- the macintosh of the motorcycle world. All about eating miles and reliability, at a very steep price. We don't care that we're different than everyone else -- where else are you going to find a bike that will go around the globe, tackling both high-speed highway cruising and off-road lumber trails with equal aplomb? Power-assisted brakes with ABS standard. GPS navigation system with voice-feedback in your helmet optional.

                  Ducati -- Race Tech for the street. We've got the handling that Yamaha wishes it had. Yes, our engines aren't hyper-reliable, and our electronics cause men to weep from America to Zanzibar (esp. if it rains), but you will feel connected to the ground like nothing else on the planet. You guys trying to get your knees down? We're trying not to put our shoulders to the ground. We sell bikes to race, not race to sell bikes.

                  Triumph -- Uh, me too, eh? British flavor for the modern age; not the most stylish, or the most practical, nor even the best deal. But it does what it does reasonably well and is "different".

                  HD -- Yesterday's technology at today's prices. We sell retro-period cool. It just happens to come on two wheels, as well as on every possible piece of merchandise imprintable, embroiderable or paintable on the planet.

                  =-= The CyberPoet
                  Remember The CyberPoet


                  • #10
                    Hmmm.. IMO

                    Honda: Tops in reliability, ground breakers in some designs (mass market DOHC, Big 750 etc)
                    Dull in styling (UJM's, CBR600F1)
                    Always a force in racing. (60's GP to Superbike, Hailwood to Joey Dunlop)
                    They took on the street world and won with the CBR 600 again with the CBR900RR.
                    GP crowns with Hailwood and Doohan.
                    Over all the longest, most consistant success

                    Suzuki: horsepower leaders in the 70's with the GS1000, had two turns at GP domination with Sheene and Kevin S. Created a new street class with the GSXR and held it as the leader.

                    Cracked the GP world wide open with the two stroke.
                    FZR series; 400, 600 and 1000
                    withstood the test of time.
                    Wayne Rainey...
                    Faltered against the CBRs
                    returned as a force with the R6/R1.
                    Leads the industry with compact power plants that take years to catch up to.
                    All in all too many peaks and valleys.

                    Kawasaki. Caught and beat Honda with the Z1.
                    Dominated the street for years with the KZ1000.
                    Never quite stole the GSXR's thunder with the Ninja line but discovered a rose by that name would smell sweeter than GPz. Kept hold of the top speed title with the ZX10/11. Only strong style marker the ZX7R. A bit of a yawn..

                    Two words "corner speed"
                    Style: sometimes wayyyy too much of it.
                    888 Superbike doesn't look 15 years old.
                    Have proved "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
                    Gathered a following that rivals Harley, used the cash to engineer it's product, not it's "t"shirts..

                    I'll add Triumph too.
                    It was really nice when a brand (along with Norton)
                    that was known for letting you put a race worthy bike on the street only to fade away in the face of the UJM, returned with style, smarts and power.
                    The first Speed Triple was stylish, the Daytona (at 145 HP) powerful and the modular engine allowing a wide range of bikes from street racers to desert ponies to be built like using Legos was smart as hell.

                    Harley: Cyber put it so well...
                    Interestingly from what I have read of Old Mr. Davidson he would be happy..


                    • #11
                      I currently own a Honda Cruiser (and a Katana, of course) and my wife has a Yamaha cruiser. In the past I owned another Suzuki and a Kawasaki.
                      All the big four are great now in days. It's nice to have so many choices (which I had enough bucks...) It's almost a four way tie.
                      Ranking is tough, and basically a personal thing. So with that in mind, and baseing my ranking on cruisers mostly, If I HAD to rank them:
                      1) Yamaha..cruisers are really well made, fit and finish overall..though I still like my Honda better than anything they got.
                      2) Suzuki (though If I was talking sportbike only, they would be ranked 1) Their Cruisers are unique, and they get a lot of points for this. I just don't like some of the recent changes in the line up.
                      3) Honda..their bikes just "feel" right. I'm not liking the newer cruisers though, a bit too much chromed plastic and just too friggin' fat. I like my Shadow Spirit though.
                      4) Kawasaki. I like the ZZR600. The Vulcans never did it for me. The sport bike line is nice, but just doesn't seem as "refined" as some of the others. Paint and overall finish seems under par with the rest. Case in point..the Vulcan Drifter, looks great from ten feet away, but get up close and seems cheap. Just my opinion and not trying to disrespect anyones choice of scoot.


                      • #12
                        [quote="SweetLou"]and they also make the Warrior which is just one bad arse quote]
                        shame on you for mentioning a Yamaha cruiser and missing the best one they make
                        Visit And sign up now!


                        • #13
                          OK range..give it up Triumph ! lets hear it !!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SweetLou
                            and they also make the Warrior which is just one bad arse quote]
                            shame on you for mentioning a Yamaha cruiser and missing the best one they make
                            Would that be Mr. Max?
                            I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SweetLou
                              and they also make the Warrior which is just one bad arse quote]
                              shame on you for mentioning a Yamaha cruiser and missing the best one they make
                              Don't get me wrong, the Max is a super nice bike, but that Warrior just send chills up my back!
                              -89 Gixxer 1100 Engine
                              -Stage 3 Jet Kit / KNN Pod Filters
                              -Ohlins Susupension
                              -Various Other Mods