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Difference Between Honda and Harley

Honda vs Harley

Honda and Harley-Davidson are two major name brands when it comes to automobiles. Although they are more or less in the same industry, there are stark differences between the two and the products that they produce. The most major is the origin of each company with Honda being a Japanese brand while Harley-Davidson being an American brand.

There is also a major difference in the type of vehicles that the two companies produce. Honda produces all types of cars as well as all types of motorcycles; from 50cc scooters, to 1000cc cruisers, and even beyond. Harley-Davidson does not produce cars. They only produce motorcycles, mainly cruisers to be specific. But aside from motorcycles, Harley-Davidson also sells apparels that are commonly associated to riding a Harley motorcycle.

Honda and Harley have different approaches when it comes to building a motorcycle. Honda uses the latest technology that comes from their research in order to improve performance, comfort, and reduce the cost of their bikes. On the other hand, Harley does little or no research when it comes to the technologies that are being used in their bikes. The massive appeal that Harley has right now is in the retro look and feel of their motorcycles and the reputation of being a Harley rider. This is why Harley is very slow to implement changes to new designs that significantly deviate from the existing models that they currently have. For a lot of riders, Harleys have attitude and a personality while some think that most Japanese bikes, including Honda’s, are clinical.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, Hondas have the edge as their motorcycles can run a lot longer per gallon of gas due to the multitude of technological upgrades that they have implemented. Harleys are known to be gas guzzlers and expect to visit your local gas station more frequently when you constantly ride your Harley.

Harleys are instantly recognizable due to the loud and distinct sound of their pipes. Due to Hondas wide range of motorcycle types and ever changing designs, you are not very likely to identify a Honda from the sound alone.


1. Honda produces cars and motorcycles while Harley only produces motorcycles

2. Honda is a Japanese company while Harley is an American company

3. Honda produces a wide range of motorcycles while Harley focuses on cruisers

4. Honda motorcycles have the most modern technology while most Harley motorcycles have outdated technology

5. Honda motorcycles have better gas mileage compared to Harleys

6. Harleys have a trademark sound while Hondas don’t

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  1. Summary: this piece is awful, from start to finish.

    HD should never be classified under anything auto; “Honda and Harley-Davidson are two major name brands when it comes to automobiles.” is grotesquely wrong. Further, HD does enormous amounts of R&D on all aspects of its production. HD has the patently superior technologies of fuel injection and disk brakes on both front and rear wheels across its entire model line; Honda doesn’t. It is one of two companies (and the other one isn’t Honda) that have given up the cheap-but-archaic chain drive for all models, going instead with the drive belt which is better for almost all consumer applications. The long stroke V-Twin provides maximum engine power at relatively low RPM, much lower than Japanese “screamer” engines, which means that for most people it will require a lot less shifting and more easily accessible power.

    The only thing “dated” about HD cycles is the use of push rod engine technology. Even here, for most consumers, it is debatable whether that is a disadvantage. It permits the use of hydraulic valve lifters which eliminates the need for costly periodic valve adjustments required on more “modern” engines. It is only a disadvantage at relatively high RPM, and that is only a problem if marketing wants to brag about maximum horsepower. HD cycles will all run in excess of 100 MPH, which is more than most consumers can ever handle safely. The extra horsepower provided by the overhead cam technologies in the Honda engines is seldom of practical use outside the race track.

    I’m surprised HD doesn’t sue for defamation.

  2. I have been ridding motorcycles since 1965. I have owned many brands over the years. Mainly Hondas and Harley Davidsons.

    This article is basically accurate. One thing worth mentioning is that many metric riders tend to think that Harley only makes big heavy expensive motorcycles. They are missing a great bike when they overlook the Sportster. The Sportster 883 is a nimble, extremely reliable bike with an MSRP the same as a Honda 750. They are a fun, well made bike that typically stays on the road over twenty years. Parts availability for vintage Sportsters is much better than Hondas. I don’t know what milage the new Honda get but the 883 Sportster gets around 45 MPG.

    If you are in the market for a medium cruiser it is worth considering both the Honda and Harley. Both are fine bikes and the price is virtually the same.

    Ride safe!


  3. Hmm. The differance between Harley and Honda?

    You got a honda that’s cool.
    Now come look at my Harley.
    Enuff said.

  4. Apples and oranges. HD is the only company that can get away with calling their least powerful model a “Sportster” :).

  5. Funny all the Harley Riders when gassing up can’t seem to look me in the eye. My bike is not only a lot faster. But hot ass girls not trashy leftovers ask to ride all the time. Deep down you know New York to Los Angeles is not only doable onbthe Goldwing. But deep down your not sure if it will make it to Nebraska without needing an overhaul. 700 miles a day is nothing. 39 mpg is the Tru average at 75 mph. It glides like a dream and you never Hear it coming. And when you see it it’s like Damn that mother fucker really is fine!! 6 cylinders not 2. That’s the difference!!!

  6. The major difference between Honda and Harley Davidson is that Honda is the most successful Motorcycle company in the history of the world. Honda is also the largest manufacturer of engines on the planet. Their automobiles (Honda and Acura) are pretty good too! Yet, I still enjoy riding my Harley.

  7. Will the seat off a Honda shadow fit a Harley softail

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