Diecast Motorbikes are actually a recent addition to one of the many genres of diecast collecting. Although there were manufacturers who produce diecast motorbikes, they were not detailed or high in quality. For example, Ruestes from SPAIN GUISVAL around the 1980s produced a diecast scooter that was modeled after the Lambretta or Vespa. The model itself was based on the 1/64 scale and was around 2 inches in length.
It wasn't until 1996 when BMW requested Minichamps to produce BMW diecast motorbikes that diecast motorbikes really gained in popularity. The first BMW motorbike replica produced by Minichamps was the 1/24 scale BMW R 1100 RS. The quality of diecast motorbikes produced by Minichamps also improved drastically when compared to the earlier diecast motorbikes. For example, the diecast motorbikes produced by Minichamps feature Photo-etched brake discs and wheel spokes. It was Minichamps decision to foray into the production of diecast motorbikes the perked the interest of many motorbikes enthusiasts to start collecting diecast motorbikes.
Minichamps, in 2000, also produced another first in the market of diecast motorbikes with the production of a diecast motorbike in the 1/12 scale. The replica was modeled after Carl Fogarty's Ducati 966. This Minichamps Ducati 966 replica sits on top a working suspension and rubber tires. The bike also features two removable fairings and a detachable kickstand. The engine is amazingly detailed as well. The success of the Ducati replica proved that there was indeed a market for diecast motorbikes. This led to Minichamps forging alliances with other motorbike manufacturers like Aprilia, Cagiva, Honda, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.
In 2002, Minichamps also produced the first few diecast motorbikes featuring individually plugged spokes with the 1/12 scale replica of the Triumph Bonneville 650 T120. Today, there are numerous manufacturers who also produce high quality diecast motorbikes like ERTL, Franklin Mint, Maisto and Schuco.
The range of diecast motorbikes produced varies from classic bike to racing legends in different scales. For example, Franklin mint recently issued a limited addition 1/10 scale of the 1948 Harley-Davidson which is the first 'Panhead'. This diecast motorbike feature a wishbone tubular frame, rear fender mounted saddlebags and the chrome-plated rocker covers look like inverted cake pans, hence the nickname 'Panhead'. Schuco is also another manufacturer of diecast motorbikes that specializes in 1/10 scale of classic bikes. They replicate classic bikes from BMW, DKW, Heinkel, Kreidler, NSU,Yamaha and Zundapp.
Nevertheless today, collectors of diecast motorbikes will be spoilt for choice with the numerous offerings that are in the market today. Unlike yesteryears, diecast motorbikes today are extremely highly detailed and feature many working parts that are almost as real as the original motorbikes.