You are here: Index — Complete Motorcycle Compendium

The Complete* Motorcycle Compendium
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Manufacturers Name

2004 BMW K1200S
2004 BMW K1200S

Babetta Mopeds made by Jawa
see Meier BAC
Baier Germany, 1924 – 1929, Baier-Motorenbau Berlin
Bajaj India, Started importing vehicles in 1948, started building two and three wheelers in 1959, has a partnership with Kawasaki
Bakker Holland, Makes frames and uses engines built by Yamaha, BMW, Harley, and others
France, Rotax engines
Barnsley England, late 1890’s
Barr Steam powered
Bartali Italy
Germany, 1945 – 1955, Scooters, made by Einspur Auto
England, 1902?
Batavus Dutch, Started making bicycles in 1904 and small motorbicycles and mopeds from the 1930’s to about 1984 
Battey USA, Sumpter Battey patented a rotary engine for a bicycle in 1895. It’s not clear if any were built
Germany, 1923 – 1926
Bayley Flyer
USA, 1914 – 1917
Beard & Able USA
Australia, Malcolm Beare designed a “six stroke” engine based on the Ducati V-Twin.
Beau Ideal
England, 1904, Beau Ideal Cycle company. Used 3.5hp Fafnir engines
Be-Be Germany, 1924 – 1927, The Berlin-Burger EisenWerke in Berlin
England, 1898 – ? Beeston Cycle Co
Bellini Italy, Paolo Bellini, manufacturer of the Bellini engine for speedway racers
Italy, Started in 1911 by six brothers. They had many racing championships building both racers and street bikes. In 1948 Guisseppe Benelli broke away and started his own company called “Moto B” (Motorcycle Benelli) that later became Motobi. After Guisseppe died, the family bought Motobi. Benilli/Motobi was sold to Alesandro De Tomaso in 1971 (De Tomaso also bought Moto Guzzi about this time) and it built a six cylinder street bike called the 750 sei in 1972. In 1989 Benelli was sold to the Selci Corp. and they built only small cc scooters until 1996 when it was sold to Andrea Merloni. Merloni builts Benelli/Motobi scooters from 50 to 250cc and in 2001 introduced the Tornado 900 TRE and a racing version the WSB Tornado
Bercley Belgium, 1905 – 1909, Designed by Gustave Kindermann,they had a 616cc V-Twin engine in 1905 
Bergfex Germany, 1904 – 1909, Berlin
Dutch, small motorbicycles 
Bernadet France, Scooters
Beta Italy, Established in 1904
BFG France, 1980’s, 1300cc Citroen car engine
Bianchi Italy, Started in 1897 by Eduardo Bianchi. Had a 650cc V-Twin around 1916, stopped motorcycle production in 1967
Bi-Auto-Go USA, 1913, an autocycle with a 323 cu in eight cylinder engine, resembled a two wheeled car with training wheels (outriggers) that retracted at speed, had a body w/doors and a motorcycle fender on the front wheel
Bi-Car USA, 1912 – 1914, Four cylinders, The Ner-A-Car used many of the aspects the Bi-Car
Big Brute Canada, API Racing builds motorcycles with Chevy V8 or V6 engines.
Brute with various engines sizes up to a  20hp, 570cc Briggs and Stratton V-twin
Big Buffalo
Germany, Manufactured by Güstrow Motocycle GmbH
uses a small block Chevy  V-8 engine. It is badged as an Indian
Big Dog
USA, Wichita, Kansas Big Dog® Motorcycles L.L.C. manufactures a line of 5 HD Clone cruisers with retail prices ranging from $18,900 to $26,900. (1999)
Binks English, Early 1900’s
Bismarck Germany, 1904 – 1956
Bleha Germany
Germany, Bavarian Motorcycle Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke) started in 1923
Boar USA, Harley clones
Germany, 1925 – 1930, Built by Dr. Martin Bohme in Berlin
Czechoslovakia, 1920 – 1939, First motorcycle with electric starter
Boisselot USA, 1901 – 1903, The Boisselot Automobile and Special Gasoline Motor Company built engine kits for bicycles
Bond England, 1950’s, Built Scooters
Boom Trikes
Germany, VW powered trikes
Italy, They make a 500cc single in 2000
Boss Hoss USA, makes 1100 lb Chevrolet 350 cu. in. V8 powered bikes
Bourget USA, Harley clones, S&S engines up to 126 cu. in.
Belgium, 1906 – 1930’s 
USA, The Bowman Automobile in New York, may have produced motorcycles
England, 1913 – Taken over by Aberdale in the 1930’s. Started by William Bown. Built the Aeolus and the Bown autocycle
Boxer France, Voxan
Blackburne English Engine manufacturer, quit making motorcycle engines in 1937.
Australia, 1919
Italy, Motorized scooters and minibikes
Germany, 1938
Blue Bird
Australian, 1920
BM Czechoslovakia, Speedway bikes
Germany, 1925 – 1930
Bombardier Can-Am motorcycles made in Canada. Rotax engines
Borile Italy, Started by Umberto Borile in 1988, their first motorcycle was the Piuma 520, a single cylinder, four stroke, 500 cc, off road bike
England, Bradbury and Co. were making sewing machines in 1852, they made their first motorcycle in 1904 the company closed in 1923
Germany, 1925 – 1930, made by Brand and Sohn in Berlin, also called B&S 
Brandenburg USA, 1901 – 1915 Thor engines
USA, 1905? Breeze Motor Company
Germany, 1902 – 1912, The Brennaborwerke in Brandenburg started making bicycles in 1893, motorcycles in 1902 and cars in 1908. Stopped motorcycle production in 1912 to concentrate on cars. Apparently Brennabors were made again around 1933 – 1940 but it is unclear to me if they were made in the same plant
Japan, 1949 – 1971, Displacements: 350cc, 200cc, 175cc, 100cc, 60cc, 50cc,  They began exporting to the U.S. in 1963, Rockford Motors of Rockford, Illinois was the original importer.
Briggs-Stratton USA, Bicycle engine kits
Motorcycles are made in New Zealand by John Britten. State of the art, extremely high tech. The 1998 Britten V1000 had a 999cc 60 degree V-Twin engine that put out 166 HP @ 11,800 RPM! and the bike only weighed 304 lbs.
Brondoit Belgium, 1924-1929
Brough-Superior England, George Brough started making motorcycles in 1921. Maybe the most coveted motorcycle ever made, it was called the Rolls Royce of motorcycles. Only about 1000 of them still exist. They used JAP, Motosacoche, Matchless, Barr and Stroud and other engines until 1935, from then on they used only Matchless motors. A perfect one will sell for upwards of $100,000. Almost every piece on them was hand made, nuts, bolts, fittings. What do George Forman and T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) have in common? Forman named all of his kids George and Lawrence named all of his Brough-Superiors George. Lawrence had eight of them and was killed in 1935 on George VII. They stopped production in 1940
Brown England
B&S see Brand
England, Birmingham Small Arms company built weapons until around 1910 when they started making motorcycles. They made many well known models. “Gold Star”, “Bantam”, “Victor”, “Royal Star”, “Thunderbolt”, “Lightning”, “Firebird”, “Rocket”. They purchase Sunbeam around 1938, Ariel in 1944, then Triumph and eventually merge with Norton – Villiers to become Norton – Villiers -Triumph (NVT)
BSA Regal England, After the formation of NVT, William Colquhoun formed a company and got the rights to the BSA name around 1975 and made light weight bikes using Rotax, Yamaha and Morini engines. In 1991 this BSA Company was merged with Andover Norton International Ltd and in 1994 was bought by newly formed BSA Regal Group. They make the Gold SR 500 on a one off basis for individual customer orders only
Bucker Germany, 1922 – 1958, They made their own frames but bought most of the other components. Used engines made by Bekamo, Villiers, Blackburne, ILO, JAP, MAG, Columbus and others
USA, Eric Buell started putting Harley motors in roadrace type frames and selling them in the early 1980’s.
USA, 1981 – 1990, The Buffalo Motorcycle Works Corp produced several prototypes for testing with 500, 750 and 1000cc singles in them. And some prototypes with 90cu in. V-twins. The Corp was dissolved before production started 
Bull Dog
Bullock Australia
Bultaco Founded in Spain by Francisco Bulto in 1958. Won many a world title
Butler Petrol-Cycle England, 1884 – 1896, Edward Butler patented a gasoline fueled two stroke twin tricycle and showed it at the Stanley Bicycle Show in 1884. For the next ten or twelve years he made improvements to his design, changing to a geared drive four-stroke water-cooled engine that ran at about 600 rpm. He is credited with inventing or developing the spark plug and coil ignition, magneto and the spray jet carburetor, as well as the word “petrol” His “Petrol-cycle” was broken up for scrap in 1896, the few remaining pictures of this first British motorcycle are in the Science Museum in London, England

Butterfield (Willis 4) USA, Late 1960’s early 1970’s, Butterfield owned Jacks M/C in Fresno California, a Ducati, MotoGuzzi , BMW Dealership, Willis worked with him in the mid 60’s into the 70’s. They built a complete motorcycle made to accept a 1500cc Volkswagen engine and used a BMW /2 transmission. The bike looked very much like a R60/2 BMW and was available as a kit or complete motorcycle. They are the best looking motorcycle I have seen that incorporated a VW engine. Apparently Butterfield and Willis had a falling out and a lengthy court battle ensued over the rights to the motorcycle and Willis won. Willis used a badge for them that said “Willis 4’s”  it resembled the BMW badge so closely that BMW threatened legal action.. Willis died shortly after. Approximately 100 were built.