Thursday, 2 February 2012 4:42 PM
If you're a passionate rider, you'll know that there are plenty of great motorcycle makes out there - but which are the best choice for experienced bikers? Read our guide to find out more about some of the top manufacturers.
Of course, which brand will offer the best motorcycles for you is also down to the type of rider you are. Racers, for example, are likely to find that they prefer a different make to those who typically use their bike for long, leisurely rides - or people who simply use theirs to get from A to B.
Indeed, while numerous manufacturers have a wide range of bikes spanning everything from beefy tourers to slick sportsters, there is normally a single area that they are particularly known for - such as Harley-Davidson's tourers.
This American manufacturer is among the most famous motorcycle producers. Founded in 1903, it has gone on to produce iconic bikes that have a strong fan base.
Ideal for experienced riders, its tourers give those who love making long journeys down the open road the perfect powerful, reliable motor with which to do it.
While the firm is certainly best-known for its low-seated, heavyweight bikes, it also offers sportsters that combine this classic look with a sportier edge.
Another popular brand among practised riders is Honda. Launched in 1955, this Japanese manufacturer makes a huge range of bikes, including supersports, tourers, adventure and custom rides.
Renowned for its innovative approach, it has been known to combine elements of different kinds of bike to come up with something new.
One example of this is its sports tourer, which provides riders with the tourer's classic control and comfort, as well as the performance of a sportier model.
An important player in the supersport category, Suzuki is a brand that cannot be ignored.
While starting its life building looms for the silk industry, the brand changed course in the 1950s and began building motorbikes.
Among its many successes, it is perhaps best-known for the story of the Supersports Hayabusa, which, following its launch, jettisoned a whole new supersports category into the motorbiking world - ultimate supersports.
Unsurprisingly, the make is incredibly well suited to racing enthusiasts, offering power, stability and a smooth ride. Amateur and professional racers alike rely on Honda to deliver the ultimate in performance.
Experienced riders will also find another reliable make in the form of Triumph Motorcycles.
This UK-based brand has a long history dating back to 1902, while the company re-launched itself in 1991, combining the latest equipment with its rich heritage.
Indeed, its bikes have an almost iconic status following their use by screen legends such as Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando.
In fact, one of the latest additions to the Triumph range - the Triumph Steve McQueen edition - pays homage to this silver-screen past and the actor himself. Broadly based on a T100, the inspiration for the bike was taken from the model ridden by McQueen in The Great Escape, the Triumph Trophy TR6.
Whichever brand you opt for, make sure you have the right kit before hitting the road, such as Dainese leathers.
Selling a wide range of motorcycle clothing, the manufacturer also offers Dainese helmets for ultimate protection.