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South Africans love motorcycles, whether they’re adventure, cruiser, or commuter bikes. Local biker communities are thriving.

In fact, the motorcycle market in South Africa is projected to generate a revenue of US$52.33m in 2024. Some of this growth can be attributed to the growing middle class; many use motorcycles as affordable alternatives to purchasing cars.

Over the decades, various brands have made their mark on the local market, catering to different riding preferences and styles. Some of these brands have become firm favourites.

Let’s talk about one of the most popular brands with local riders and their best-model series.


BMW has a solid brand presence in South Africa, especially in selling motorcycles for the adventure riding segment.

The BMW GS range is a definite favourite and default choice for many adventure riders.

On the road, it’s fun and versatile for those looking to commute to work and back. It is composed and competent on the weekends, ready for an adventure anywhere.

The newer GS range is sleek, slim, and sophisticated. At the top of the range is the R 1 300 GS, which is perfect for any keen rider.

But let’s look at the global leader of motorcycle sales.


Internationally, Honda is the world’s leader in motorcycle sales, selling an estimated 18.4 million units worldwide annually.

Locally, Honda’s motorcycle lineup offers a wide selection of different models. These include:

  • Cruisers
  • Adventure bikes
  • Superbikes
  • Touring bikes
  • And commuter bikes.

The African Twin, with its 1,084cc engine, is locally the most popular model in the Honda range. In the last year, the model has received some new redesigned elements, such as an adjustable windscreen, tubeless tyres, and even Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

A legendary touring Honda has to be the Gold Wing. The 2024 GL1800 model’s liquid-cooled, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine is powerful yet smooth.

It offers a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as an option and has all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from the range.


You’d be forgiven for forgetting that Suzuki also sells motorcycles locally, with their recent ascension up the car sales chart. However, Suzuki has also been a firm favourite for local adventurers and superbike riders for decades.

The 2024 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE model stands out in the local market due to its versatility, advanced features, and performance, making it a top choice among adventure riders.

While it does not offer all the comfort features of the BMW or Honda, it is an affordable and reliable adventure bike. If you weren’t going to view it, you need to reconsider.

Suzuki offers a legendary model range: the GSXR1300r Hayabusa. Many local riders will be familiar with this name as it whizzes past them on the highway. It was the fastest production motorcycle at the turn of the millennium.


A brand well-known by local riders, Kawasaki’s motorcycle lineup for 2024 locally offers various riding preferences. However, the brand’s most popular model is the Kawasaki Ninja series.

The range comes with several engine configurations, the most popular of which is the Ninja 400. Its sporty riding experience makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable commuter.

While in the motocross segment, the KX series stands out with its powerful engine and lightweight construction.


Yamaha is known for its reliable motorcycles. It offers local riders a wide variety of models, including the Yamaha MT-07.

Referred to as its Hyper Naked series, it is known for its aggressive styling and dynamic performance.

It is also highly user-friendly, making it a firm favourite for new and experienced riders. With a solid 689cc water-cooled engine and lightweight chassis, it provides agile handling for riders, making it an instant classic.


KTM is a motorcycle brand for die-hard riders looking for something special. While it does not produce the number of units that other brands on the list make, KTMs are all about adventure and excitement.

The KTM Super Duke R EVO is a stripped-down road bike that inspired other brands to do the same, while the KTM 500 EXC-F is ready to take off the road anytime.

As for sales figures, it isn’t the most popular locally. Other non-popular brands we wish to mention are:

  • Triumph Motorcycles
  • Harley Davidson
  • And Ducati

While all fantastic, their primary target audience is the connoisseurs of motorcycles.

The following motorcycles are affordable models that dominate the sales.

Southern African Motorcycles (SAM)

While you might not be familiar with the SAM name, you know the brands they sell, namely:

  • Big Boy
  • GoMoto
  • Jonway
  • And Bajaj

All these affordable brands are perfect for the e-delivery service industry with 125cc engines. SAM is constantly importing and improving its products, with certain brands under the central company umbrella offering electric vehicles under R40,000.

Now You Know What Is On Sale

South Africa’s motorcycle market caters to a diverse audience. Whether you’re planning on going on an adventure, cruising along our highways, trying to earn a living, or just trying to get from A to B on a commuter – there’s something available for you.

When it comes time to fit your ride with a battery, you can do so at a SABAT Xpress or the closest SABAT battery stockist.


  • Andrew McFarlane

    Andrew Macfarlane has accumulated over a decade of experience in content creation - graduating from the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business with a Diploma in Copywriting. When he is not engrossed in writing at his computer, he can be found tending to his garden or engaging in various DIY projects. His contributions as an author have been acknowledged in reputable publications such as the Sunday Times, Bizcommunity, and HotCars, further solidifying his reputation as a skilled and versatile writer.

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