Top 8 Motorcycle Brands For Military & Veterans

We’ve seen troops riding bikes on base with their reflective vests and even more veterans wearing Legion Rider leather vests on their hogs.  But we asked ourselves, what motorcycles are military and veterans most interested in?

… So we asked 3,000 military, National Guard, reserve, & retirees which motorcycles got their engine running and here are the results.  A couple of brands surprised us and we saw some interesting differences by age – Military under 40 years old really liked their Yamaha, Suzuki, & Kawasaki bikes, but that dropped off big for older vets.

Here’s what the troops & vets said they like best…

8. Suzuki – 30.7%

Veterans like Suzuki for dirt bikes and sport bikes like the GSXR 600 and 1000.    Suzuki plays in motocross and has cruisers, but not as prominently for military riders.

7. Kawasaki – 36.3%   

Kawasaki is most popular for under 40 military among Japanese bikes including Honda, Yamaha, & Suzuki. “Kawi” is most prominent in sport bikes and dirt bikes.  You’ll often see tricks on these bikes watching ESPN, and vets seem to like that.

6. Triumph – 42.8%

Veterans like this British brand and racing history. Steve McQueen rode a Triumph to do his famous jump in “the Great Escape.” This café-racer appeal has a good mix of sport bikes and cruisers.

5. Yamaha – 43.3%

Yamaha has some cruisers, but has top creds for sports bikes with veterans.   Military folks like performance and know Valentino Rossi, also known as “The Doctor,” and his exploits in MotoGP. Yamaha’s performance here and in endurance races has given the brand a high grade from veterans.

4. BMW – 43.5%

Lots of servicemembers got their first BMW motorcycle when they were stationed in Germany and the government shipped it home for free.  Veterans like their touring and café racer inspired bikes like the 90T.  These bikes can be pricier than the rest, but veterans love BMW sport bikes for long distance highway rides.

3. Indian – 59.2%

Even though veterans gave Indian cruisers high marks, Polaris announced they shut down Indian in January 2017.  Sorry soldiers.


2. Honda – 61.1%

While Honda has some cruisers and dirt bikes, they are the sport bikes to catch among veterans.  The Honda CBR1000RR “Fireblade” epitomizes the dream sports bike for military.  And who can forget the Goldwing for a touring bike.

1.  Harley Davidson – 78.5%

Harley owns the American cruiser vote among veterans.  There are many of Harley clubs and local chapters with veterans everywhere.  If you are at Rolling Thunder with the Legion Riders, this is the bike for you. 

What motorcycle is best in your mind?

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