FLASHBACK FRIDAY | WINNERS & LOSERS BY BRAND

Not every rider on the AMA circuit is a winner. There are very few winners in a single season, and most of those winners repeat for several years; however, when it comes to motorcycle brands, AMA Championships have been spread out across seven brands over the last 20 years, with Husqvarna rejoining the AMA Championship ranks with titles by Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson in 2017 and 2018 respectively (Husky’s only previous AMA Championship was back in 1976 with Kent Howerton).

Ricky Carmichael. 

Still, there is a lot of confusion over which brand is the “winningest.” Most of this confusion comes from a Suzuki tag line that claims it is the “winningest brand in AMA motocross over the last 10 years.” Depending on the metrics that you are using, this tagline is easily fact-checked. For MXA’s purposes, we wanted to round up all of the AMA National Championships over the last 20 years and collate them by brand. The titles we focused on were the AMA 250/450 Nationals and the AMA 450 Supercross series (from 1999 to 2018). We did not count AMA 250 East/West Supercross titles, because those are regional titles that the AMA does not recognize as National Championships.

On pure AMA Championships (between the three classes), Kawasaki has won 23 times, Suzuki 12 times, Yamaha nine times, KTM seven times, Honda seven times and Husqvarna two times over the past 20 years. If you only looked at the last 10 years—to sync with Suzuki’s tagline—the results are Kawasaki 10 Championships, KTM six, Suzuki five, Yamaha five, Honda two and Husqvarna two.

JAMES STEWARTJames Stewart.

Some of the confusion comes because Ricky Carmichael won 13 Championships over the last 20-year time period. Many fans think that Carmichael, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey did most of their winning on Suzukis. Not true. Ricky Carmichael was an equal-opportunity employee, winning five AMA Championships for Honda, four for Kawasaki and four for Suzuki. Ryan Dungey won five AMA Championships for KTM and three for Suzuki. James Stewart never won an AMA Championship on a Suzuki but did win four for Kawasaki and one for Yamaha. These three riders combined won seven Championships for Suzuki and eight for Kawasaki; however, the winningest rider on a single brand over the last 20 years was Ryan Villopoto, who won nine AMA Championships on a Kawasaki.

Kawasaki’s 23 AMA Championships were won by Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Eli Tomac, Mike Brown, Ivan Tedesco, Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett. Suzuki’s 12  AMA Championships were won by Ricky Carmichael, Greg Albertyn, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen and Travis Pastrana. Yamaha’s nine AMA Championships were won by Jeremy McGrath, Chad Reed, James Stewart, Grant Langston, Jeremy Martin, Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger. KTM’s seven  AMA Championships were won by Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen and Grant Langtston. Honda’s seven AMA Championships were won by Ricky Carmichael, Trey Canard and Eli Tomac. Husqvarna’s two AMA Championships were won by Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson.

Trey Canard. 

And there you have it, the winningest brand is Kawasaki over the last 10 years and the last 20 years.

AMA CHAMPIONSHIP BY BRAND (1999–2018)

450 NATIONALS
1999 Suzuki
2000 Kawasaki
2001 Kawasaki
2002 Honda
2003 Honda
2004 Honda
2005 Suzuki
2006 Suzuki
2007 Yamaha
2008 Kawasaki
2009 Suzuki
2010 Suzuki
2011 Kawasaki
2012 KTM
2013 Kawasaki
2014 KTM
2015 KTM
2016 Suzuki
2017 Kawasaki
2018 Kawasaki

250 NATIONALS
1999 Kawasaki
2000 Suzuki
2001 Kawasaki
2002 Kawasaki
2003 KTM
2004 Kawasaki
2005 Kawasaki
2006 Kawasaki
2007 Kawasaki
2008 Kawasaki
2009 Suzuki
2010 Honda
2011 Kawasaki
2012 Kawasaki
2013 Honda
2014 Yamaha
2015 Yamaha
2016 Yamaha
2017 Husqvarna
2018 Yamaha

450 SUPERCROSS
1999 Yamaha
2000 Yamaha
2001 Kawasaki
2002 Honda
2003 Honda
2004 Yamaha
2005 Suzuki
2006 Suzuki
2007 Kawasaki
2008 Suzuki
2009 Yamaha
2010 Suzuki
2011 Kawasaki
2012 Kawasaki
2013 Kawasaki
2014 Kawasaki
2015 KTM
2016 KTM
2017 KTM
2018 Husqvarna

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