What are good motorcycle brands?

I don't know much about bikes but i want to know of some good models and names. I'm a beginner but would like something decently nice.

Other answer:

Nice Motorcycle Brands
Mr. Smartypants:
Well first of all there are no really -bad- motorcycles made today. Motorcycles are easier to design and get into production than they ever were, so models that have problems, or that don't sell well, are quickly discontinued and replaced with something else.

Motorcycles come in categories. There are four big Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and they are all very good–Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki. You really can't go wrong with any of them. I always thought Honda was the most reliable but it turns out that recently Yamaha and Suzuki have pulled ahead.

Then there are the European brands. Triumph in England, BMW in Germany, Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Aprilia and a few others in Italy. European bikes are very beautiful and nice to ride but they tend to cost more than Japanese bikes, and are not as reliable or long-lived, though they have certainly improved in recent years. And I forgot Royal Enfield, your classic mid-20th-century Britbike, now made in India.

Then there's the US. Harley Davidson has incredible customer brand loyalty. They've been around forever, meaning about since motorcycle were invented. But there are now a few more American manufacturers, Victory and Indian (actually these are now both one company, Polaris, but different product lines.) ALL these bikes are cruisers. We invented cruisers. They are the American style of motorcycle.

For a beginner, you don't want to learn to ride on a brand new motorcycle, or your dream bike. You'll feel bad the first time you drop it. You want a used bike, nothing too fancy or too big. Something generic and general purpose (or a cruiser if you like cruisers). I would recommend one of the Japanese mfgrs because their bikes last a long time and they really give you the most for your money. If you buy carefully, after six months or a year you can sell this bike for about what you paid for it, and by then you'll have a better idea what you really want.

I would say the best bike to start on would be a used 250-300cc 'standard'. Honda CBR 250 or 300, Kawasaki Ninja 250 or 300, Yamaha R3. Something like that. These bikes are designed as trainers, to be easy to learn, gentle 'road manners', etc. If you don't mind cruisers you could go a little bigger. Honda Shadow 750 and Suzuki 'Savage' 650 aka 'Boulevard S40'. There's a zillion of these bikes on Craigslist. I think some of them go from newbie to newbie

Also we strongly recommend the MSF course (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). It's for total newbies. Some of their students have never sat on a motorcycle before. Learning to ride a motorcycle is about twice as dangerous as riding one. So it's good to learn some safety stuff.

After you read up on motorcycles and personally talk to some bike owners, you will have a better idea. Honda sells in the neighborhood of 50% of the bikes sold. That means parts are more available. Start with a smaller bike, and learn to ride( 400cc or less). Then step it up if you want.
Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, KTM
Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, KTM
Bikes are cheaper and more reliable than cars, and they don't have a huge body to go rusty. I'd recommend a small, used Japanese model to start with. I have ridden Honda 90, 175 and 250cc models and a BSA 250. They were all great. Take lessons and drive safely, motorbike riders suffer many more deaths and injuries than car drivers.
I'm kind of limited to Honda because the bus goes from here (NE Los Angeles) to the Honda dealer in Glendale California.
Motorcycle shops around here don't have courtesy vans.
Tim D:
Triumph, KTM, Aprillia, Ducati, BMW, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, the list goes on.

For a beginner I suggest a small displacement, secondhand, Japanese bike for a couple of years.

Honda, Yamaha