Best scale for motorcycles

Hai, on a subject where I know nothing about:

what is the “best” scale for building motorcycles. Question is for a friend keen on starting to build HArley Davidson models.

I guess that in this case best means: most models availabel, good quality…

and what would be considered to be the best brand of motocycle models?


1/12 probably offers the broadest selection of both kits and diecast/built models .
Surprising to me though is there seems to be not a lot of HD subjects in this scale . Seems odd given the popularity of Harley.
1/9 would probably be the second most popular scale . I don’t know how experienced a modeler your friend is but it’s hard to go wrong with Tamiya.
Model Factory Hiro offers beautiful ( and expensive)
multi media kits in both 1/9 and 1/12 .
They had several Harley subjects that are currently sold out but they do reissue models from time to time .
Aoshima and Hasegawa are also players in the scale motorcycle genre.
Although not Harley subjects I offer these as examples of the quality offered by Tamiya and Model Factory Hiro .
Here is Tamiya’s RC 166 Honda I built a while ago .
1/12 and all the aftermarket parts offered by Tamiya for it - wheels laced just like the real thing, photo etched chain , suspension , multi plate clutch, etc .
And pre war BSA single in 1/9 by Model Factory Hiro.

Build logs for both are posted here on Kitmaker.


There are some HDs available but I suspect their licensing fees are a barrier to entry for model companies. A number of WWII and modern military motorcycles are available in 1/35 as well.

Don’t forget Italaeri. They have a substantial range in 1/9th including an HD “45”. The military motorcycles are mainly from old Esci dies, but despite their age, with care, they build up well. I’m looking at my BMW outfit as I write this. They also own several of the old Protar offerings, including the Manx Norton, AJS 7R, Norton Commando Proddy Racer and MV Agusta 3 cylinder racer (Protar majored on race kit, although there are Guzzi road bikes in the range). I personally feel that 1/9th is a good scale for bikes, much smaller and they lack presence, much bigger (e.g. Tamiya 1/6th) they take up too much room. I still have the Tamiya 1/6th BMW R90S that I made for my father, but the old Tamiya “Big Scale” bikes are very old dating back to the 70s. The engine on the BMW R90S is mainly filler, that’s how poor the part matching is! I have made a couple of the much more recent 1/12th Tamiya kits and they are excellent (Guzzi Centauro and Honda 6 for a friend). You can sometimes find some of the old Revell bikes about, they did a few Harleys, mainly customs and choppers if you like that sort of thing, but quality is so-so, you are talking dies going back to the 60s and 70s.

My friend has absolutely no experience with modelling, except when the odd lego model counts :slight_smile:
Thanks for all the informaiton, this is most helpful