The motorcycle industry is hotter than ever in America, and new and better motorcycles are coming out each year. Sure, Japanese bikes dominate the market with brands like Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki, but there are several American-made motorcycles that are worth looking at. While everyone may know about Harley-Davidson, there are several other American brands that produce some high-quality machines.
Before you decide to buy a bike, consider supporting American bike builders such as the ones in this list.
Harley-Davidson Street Bob
This list starts with one of the most iconic American brands, Harley-Davidson. The Street Bob is an obvious inclusion with its broad appeal. A lighter chassis makes this bike more manageable than older Harleys, which tend to be quite heavy and challenging to maneuver. Powering the Street Bob is a Milwaukee-8 1,753cc V-twin engine. This gives the bike a sporty feel.
The secret behind the lighter weight is the stripped-down, almost naked look. This gives the bike a modern feel while also keeping the weight down. The frame also has improved geometry, which gives the bike aggressive lean angles. So, while the total weight is 630 pounds, this is significantly lighter than other Harleys, and it has a well-balanced feel.
Indian Scout Bobber
Indian motorcycles were once a powerhouse in the American motorcycle market. The company produced motorcycles from 1901 through 1953, making it one of the first motorcycle manufacturers alongside Harley. Unfortunately, in 1953, the company stopped producing bikes when it went bankrupt. But all of that changed in 2011 when Polaris bought the brand. Since then, the bikes have seen a resurgence in popularity.
One reason for the company’s modern success is its ability to merge retro Indian motorcycle styling with modern technology and innovation. This can clearly be seen in the Scout Bobber. This is a bike that was a part of the original lineup, and Polaris has taken the original model and elevated it to a whole new level.
You’ll immediately notice the quite aggressive stance this bike has. Polaris changed the fenders, moved the foot pegs, and lowered the suspension. Then the entire motorcycle was given a black motif that completes the modern street rebel look.
Powering the Scout Bobber is a perfectly sized 1,133cc V-twin lump engine. This gives you 100 horsepower and 72 pounds of torque.
Victory 8 Ball
Unfortunately, Polaris cut Victory Motorcycles from the production lineup in 2017 due to struggling sales. This is a shame because the brand was really starting to make a name for itself. Even though Victory isn’t producing new motorcycles, their bikes are still relevant and have a dedicated following. The 8 Ball is one of the most popular models.
This is a large bike with a big front wheel and an impressive 1,737cc V-twin engine. It produces 97 horsepower and 113 pounds of torque. All of this performance is designed with a minimalist style. The bike looks super sleek in all black with highlights of machined metal.
This is probably one of the most well-known electric bikes on the market. Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign, Zero Motorcycles has become the poster child of electric motorcycles. It isn’t as impressive as the Lightning when it comes to performance, but it offers durability, quality, and trustworthiness. The SR may lack some flash, but it’s definitely an impressive workhorse.
You’ll find that you get a lot of benefits when you choose a Zero, such as a strong support network of dealers, economical operation, and capable performance. You can expect to get 67 horsepower and 106 pounds of torque out of your SR. This will help you reach 102 miles per hour, which is plenty for both city and highway riding.
A single charge will give you a riding range of about 197 miles. Then it’ll only take about three hours to fully charge up again.
Erik Buell Racing 1190RS
Unfortunately, Erik Buell Racing is another motorcycle company that is no longer producing motorcycles. However, there are plenty of bikes still for sale from their final production year in 2017. Erik Buell is a brilliant motorcycle designer, and the motorcycles produced by EBR are still relevant.
One of the most desirable bikes from EBR is the 1190RS. This is a race bike that’s meant for the street. It pumps out 175 horsepower and 97 pounds of torque thanks to its 1,190cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine. All of this power is paired with an overall light weight of 389 pounds.
But brace yourself when shopping for your own EBR bike; those in quality condition have a high price tag.
This is one of the most talked-about modern bikes on the market. It’s also Harley’s first venture into the electric motorcycle market. While it was first unveiled in 2014, it’s taken a few years to get it into production and become available for purchase.
This 460-pound bike can reach speeds of 95 miles per hour and can go from zero to 60 in three seconds flat. All you need to do is flick your wrist, and the power is at the ready. This is because there are no clutch and gears. Feel free to cruise a range of 146 miles on a single charge.
Harley built two options into the bike for charging. If you’re at home, plug it into any household plug, and get a full recharge overnight. An alternative is to plug into a Level 3 DC Fast Charge station and get a complete recharge in an hour.
The styling of the LiveWire is a true standout. Somehow Harley managed to divert from typical electric bike styling and incorporate traditional Harley features. The most notable is the large headlight and housing.
Indian FTR 1200
The FTR 1200 brings old-school flat-track racing into modern times. Indian stayed true to its history of dominance on the dirt ovals while also recognizing that the company’s motorcycle lineup needs to keep moving forward. The FTR has helped the company move in a new direction that isn’t cruiser and touring bike focused.
Powering this sporty bike is a 1,203cc V-twin engine that can produce 120 horsepower and 85 pounds of torque. Paired with all of that power are large Brembo brakes. Complementing the impressive performance is attractive styling. Indian embraced the naked bike look with minimal fairings to expose the frame, pipes, and engine.
One of the best things about the FTR is the sporty yet comfortable riding position. Your upper body is more straight up and down while your feet are under you. The handlebars are raised up to prevent too much of an aggressive sport position.
The MSTR makes it onto this list because it’s in a class all on its own. It’s the only V4 sport tourer. But this bike is so much more than an automatic inclusion. It also happens to be the fastest V4 in the world. It accomplishes this with 180 horsepower and 126 pounds of torque.
It may look like a typical sportbike, but it doesn’t feel like one. The ride position is comfortable and won’t leave you sore and crippled after hours of riding. This is great because the 5.5-gallon gas tank will let you travel far distances.
Purchasing one of these bikes means you’re buying quality. Each one is expertly handmade using only high-quality materials. You’ll find top-of-the-line carbon fiber parts and hardware from Rizoma, Brembo, Ohlins, Galfer, and Akrapovic.
Rokon Trail Breaker
If you’re looking for a serious off-road workhorse, then you need to check out the Rokon Trail Breaker. This is the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles. With continuous production since 1963, Rokon has had plenty of time to get it right.
Powering this tough machine is a 208cc single-cylinder engine that can reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour. You’ll have full functionality out on the trails with an innovative two-wheel-drive system. This enables you to tow up to 2,000 pounds and conquer gradients of up to 60 percent.
If this isn’t impressive enough, the entire thing can float. It has hollow wheels that allow you to float the bike across any deep water that you encounter.
For under $8,000, all you have to do is pick your color and you too could be owning the trails or revolutionizing the way you do farm work.
This is another electric motorcycle on this list, and it’s one of the fastest street-legal production bikes available. You can reach speeds of 218 miles per hour on this bike. It achieves this with its 200 horsepower and 168 pounds of torque. With all of that power, you also have a 100-mile range per charge.
Riding the LS 218 is like sitting on many other sportbikes. It has a seat height of 32-inches and weighs 495 pounds. A majority of the parts are made out of forged aluminum to help keep the weight down.
Ride the Best American Motorcycles
Are you ready to show your American pride by riding one of the best modern American motorcycles? This list features a wide variety from electric, to sport, to cruiser, so you’re sure to find something you like. If you’re struggling to choose, go sit on a few and give them a test ride. You’ll know the perfect one when it just feels right, so get out there and hit the road.