In a world dominated by Japanese motorcycle brands like Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki, it’s easy to rule out the influence that American brands of motorcycles have.
An American brand like Harley Davidson, for example, takes up 31.1% of the US market share, making it the most popular brand in the US and among the leading brands in the world.
But still, Harley Davidson is not the only most reputable American-made motorcycle brand. We have Indian Motorcycle, Janus Motorcycles, Arch Motorcycle, and others that are highly reliable and offer lots of options with an American swagger.
Whether you want the iconic chopper-style cruiser motorcycle or the modern sportbike, these American motorcycle companies promise that and much more.
Let’s get started with the list!
Top 8 American Brands of Motorcycles
Here are the top 8 American-made motorcycle brands.
|Harley-Davidson Official Website|
Harley Davidson, popularly known as Harley, is a Wisconsin-based motorcycle brand founded in 1903. History shows that Harley is one of the fewest brands to survive the 1930s Great Depression.
Harley-Davidson is a true American pride with a history spanning over a century. The brand is famous for engineering the chopper-style motorcycle, recognized by its stretchy frame and high-rise handlebars.
Today, Harley Davidson makes its bikes at its Wisconsin headquarters and others in Brazil, Thailand, and India. Its motorcycle collection includes cruisers, sportbikes, adventure touring bikes, and grand American tourers.
For many years, Harley stuck with the air-cooled heavy-duty v-twin monsters. However, the bike brand would later diversify into the electric bike sector, making the Livewire electric bike line, which currently runs as an independent brand.
The electric bike line was popularized by Charley Bormann and Ewan McGregor, who rode from South America to the streets of LA.
|Indian Motorcycle Official Website|
Indian Motorcycle is a legendary motorcycle brand that dates to 1901. That makes it two years older than Harley, even though it doesn’t enjoy the lion market share that Harley enjoys.
While Harley is historically known for cruisers, Indian Motorcycle has been known as a racing motorbike brand since winning the Isle of Man Tourist trophy.
Even though the brand declared bankruptcy in 1957, it recorded its most historic achievement in 1967, when a modified-1920 Indian Scout set a new record for the fastest bike at 184mph.
2011 saw the company dive into the cruiser motorcycle line, and because of its iconic root, the bike brand has won the hearts of many cruiser diehards worldwide ever since.
The Indian Chief remains the most iconic cruiser bike, boasting a classic, timeless design and innovative technology. But in terms of popularity, the Indian Scout rules the streets as defined by its 120-year rich history and American heritage.
Indian Motorcycle specializes in cruisers, baggers, tourers, elite, standards, and electric motorcycles.
|Janus Motorcycles Official Website|
Based in Goshen, Indiana, Janus Motorcycles is a small-displacement motorcycle company that dates to 2011. The company, however, only delivered its first-ever motorcycle in 2013.
Before then, its founders David Biek and Richard Worsham, were only repairing and modifying pedal mopeds through a company known as Motion Left Mopeds.
After a successful moped pursuit, Biek and Worsham developed an interest in lightweight motorcycles. Its first motorcycle, the Halcyon 50, was known for its vintage wide handlebars and spank seat.
The bike’s top speed, according to Janus, was 55mph. 2021 saw the company unveil its most technologically advanced design, the Halcyon 450, which hits a top speed of 90mph.
Today, the company supplies the United States, Brazil, the UK, and the Netherlands.
4. Boss Hoss
|Boss Hoss Official Website|
Monte Warne founded Boss Hoss in 1990 on the streets of Dyersburg, Tennessee. The company is known to make cruiser motorcycles and borrows some of the technology from its Chevrolet V8 engines to promise large-displacement and powerful motorcycles.
Its large-displacement motorcycle engines average 376-496cc. Boss Hoss motorcycles are known for their vibration-dampening effects, making them among today’s most comfortable motorcycles. For that reason, most of its customers describe its bikes as ‘vibration-free acceleration’ motorbikes.
One of its coolest bikes is the 2020 Boss Hoss Super Sport, a powerful V8-engine sportbike with a 450 lb-ft torque and 454cc engine displacement.
|Arch Motorcycle Official Website|
Arch Motorcycle is one of the newest American brands of motorcycles, having been established only in 2011. The company was started by Keanu Reeves, popularly known for his leading roles in John Wick and Matrix action movies.
The Canadian-born action star started Arch motorcycles out of a love for adventure motorcycling that saw him collaborate with custom bike guru Gard Hollinger to build a custom bike with a Harley Davidson engine.
By 2017, the company had three models labeled as ‘American performance cruisers.’ Two of its most popular models are Arch Method 143 and Arch 1s, which enjoy a sporty look. Arch Method 143 appears in the Grand Left Auto Online game.
|ATK Motorcycles Official Website|
ATK Motorcycles dates back to 1985 and is popularly known for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The company is currently based in Centerville, Utah, USA. Its founder Horst Leitner is a former GP motocross racer and gold medalist at the ISDT championship.
ATK’s first model ATK 604, was produced between 1985 and 1993, averaging a top speed of 70mph. However, one of its fastest bikes is the ATK-Cannondale X440.
|Lightning Motorcycle Official Website|
Lightning Motorcycle was founded in 2006 in California to fill the gap for electric motorcycles. After competing as part of the Porsche racing team in 2006, its founder Richard Hartfield decided to increase the company’s production.
Today, Lightning Motorcycle Company makes some of the fastest motorbikes, living up to the name ‘lightning.’ Interestingly, the first Lightning motorbike was a modified Yamaha R bike, which averaged a top speed of 100mph.
However, the company would unveil its record-setting solar-powered Barracuda Lightning Bike in 2012 at the Grand Prix TTXGP. But overall, its fastest bike is the Lightning LS-218, which averages a top speed of 218mph, making it the fastest street bike today.
|Zero Motorcycles Official Website|
Zero Motorcycles is a leading American-made electric motorcycle brand. Founded by a former NASA lead engineer, Zero Motorcycles promise to match NASA’s innovation in the motorcycle sector.
The company’s bikes are all about speed and cutting-edge technology. Though the company might have started in 2006, it quickly took over the global electric motorcycle space.
Other Less Known American Brands of Motorcycles
In addition to the above eight motorcycle brands, here are other less-known but reliable American motorbike brands.
- Big Dog – Big Dog is a mid-range motorcycle brand headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, making semi-custom motorcycles. Its most popular model is the Big Dog Mastiff, a vintage stretched motorcycle.
- Erik Buell Racing (EBR) – EBR is a Wisconsin motorcycle brand known for fast street-racing motorbikes and superbikes. Its most popular model is the EBR 1190RX, which averages a top speed of 189mph.
- Live Wire – Live Wire was initially established as a Haley-Davidson dedicated motorcycle electric bike line. It now runs as an independent brand, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Orange County Chopper (OCC) – OCC is a private-owned motorcycle customizer based in Pinellas Park, Florida. Its top-selling bike is the OCC Fire Bike.
- Cleveland CycleWerks – Cleveland CycleWerks only makes small-displacement motorcycles at its Cleveland head offices.
While American brands of motorcycles are not as popular globally as Japanese brands, they are pretty good in quality and performance. Brands like Indian Motorcycle and Harley have always set the bar, proving that American-made motorcycles can be as good as any other.
People Also Ask
After looking at the top American-made motorcycles, the following questions are likely to arise.
What Brand Motorcycles Are American Made?
Here’s a quick American motorcycle brands list:
- Harley Davidson
- Indian Motorcycle
- Janus Motorcycles
- Boss Hoss
- Arch Motorcycles
- ATK Motorcycles
- Lightning Motorcycle
- Zero Motorcycles
- Live Wire
- Big Dog
- Orange County Chopper
What is the Best American Motorcycle Brand?
By far and large, Harley Davidson is the best American motorcycle brand. It enjoys the largest market share, according to Statista. Besides, the company has sold more units than any other since launching.
What Are the Most Popular Motorcycles in the US?
The most popular motorcycles in the US include Harley Davidson Low Rider, Indian Scout, Halcyon 450, Boss Hoss Super Sport, Arch Method 143, and the Lightning LS-218.
Is Honda Motorcycle American Made?
Honda is not an American motorcycle brand but a Japanese brand. However, Honda makes some of its motorcycles in the US, something it has been doing for 40 years, to target the US Honda fan base.
Is Harley Made in America?
Short for Harley Davidson, Harley is an American bike brand headquartered in Wisconsin. Though Harley sells its bikes globally, its largest market share is in the US.