cruiser motorcycles

Top American Motorcycle Brands in 2023

Top American Motorcycle Brands in 2023

American motorcycles were mass-produced at the beginning of the 20th century when two-wheelers became acknowledged as a prominent mode of transportation. Initially, many American motorcycle manufacturers were producing reliable motorbikes. However, only a few managed to survive to the modern day due to tough competition. American motorcycles usually have distinct looks and classic styling. However, as the market is mainly full of younger riders looking for technologically-advanced motorcycles, American motorcycle brands are forced to constantly adjust their engineering and production. Read this article to learn about the top American motorcycle brands in 2023.


1. Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson is the most beloved, oldest, and most popular American motorcycle brand. It has a strong presence in the American motorcycle market and makes a lot of money in the U.S. alone. Harley Davidson specializes in producing vintage-style cruisers, touring bikes, and baggers. Harley Davidson motorcycles are bulky, comfortable, and powerful. It has recently started using matte black parts instead of chrome parts due to their high demand. Harley motorcycles are usually fitted with large displacement engines capable of producing impressive torques, making them suited for touring. The Harley-produced Milwaukee-Eight engine is one of the most impressive engines according to most American riders.

Another reason why Harley motorcycles are loved by motorcycle enthusiasts and custom builders is due to being highly customizable. Aftermarket parts are readily available on the market and produced by local and private manufacturers. If you want to improve your motorcycle’s performance, aesthetics, and comfort, Viking Bags offers a variety of good-quality add-ons, including saddlebags, tank bags, fairings, crash bars, sissy bars, backrests, handlebars, and seats.

Harley Davidson entered the world of highly-advanced and modern motorbikes by introducing the Harley Davidson Sportster S. The company also started producing electric motorcycles which gradually gained popularity over time. However, Harley later decided to create a separate company dedicated to the production of electric motorcycles called LiveWire.

Harley Davidson is a recognized global motorcycle brand. However, the company has suffered low sales and little expansion in the past few years. The company had to shut down several manufacturing plants in several countries. Its manufacturing plants in India being shut down was a major setback. Harley Davidson needs to modify its marketing and production strategies by taking into account the needs and preferences of young motorcycle enthusiasts to turn around its current situation.

Harley Davidson
Founders William S. Harley
William A. Davidson
Walter Davidson
Arthur Davidson
Founded In 1903
CEO Jochen Zeitz
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
2023 Harley Davidson Motorcycles
Sport Cruiser Adventure Touring Grand American Touring Trike
NIGHTSTER® ($13,499)
SPORTSTER® S ($16,399)
STREET BOB® 114 ($16,599)
FAT BOB® 114 ($18,899)
LOW RIDER® S ($18,199)
LOW RIDER® ST ($22,199)
FAT BOY® 114 ($20,199)
BREAKOUT® 117 ($20,999)
PAN AMERICA® 1250 ($17,699)
PAN AMERICA® 1250 SPECIAL ($20,399)
ROAD GLIDE® ($21,199)
STREET GLIDE® ($21,999)
ULTRA LIMITED® ($29,799)
ROAD GLIDE® ST ($29,999)
STREET GLIDE® ST ($29,999)
CVO™ STREET GLIDE® ($42,999)
CVO™ ROAD GLIDE® ($42,999)
FREEWHEELER® ($29,999)
ROAD GLIDE® 3 ($32,999)
TRI GLIDE® ULTRA ($36,499)

* Base Price Mentioned


2. LiveWire


Photo Credit: Club Motor

LiveWire is an American electric motorbike company owned by Harley Davidson. In response to the rising demand for electric motorcycles in the U.S. and worldwide, Harley Davidson prepared a prototype in 2014. The first LiveWire was introduced in 2019 and has since continued to be upgraded. The liquid-cooled three-phase induction motor could deliver a horsepower of 105 hp and a torque of 117 Nm. Another model known as the Se Del Mar is expected to launch at the end of 2023.

The LiveWire One is equipped with a dual-charging mode, including level-one charging and DC fast charging. The level-one charging is supposed to recharge the motorcycle from 0-100% in 11 hours. Meanwhile, the DC fast charging is supposed to recharge in only one hour.

Owned By Harley Davidson
Started In 2019
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S
2023 LiveWire Electric Motorcycles
Motorcycles Base Price
LiveWire One
LiveWire S2 Del Mar
(Expected To Be Launched at the End of this Year)

3. Indian Motorcycles

Indian Motorcycles

Photo Credit: Road Racing World

Indian Motorcycles also have a rich and long motorcycle production history. In 1901, this company started with the production of the classic Indian Scout and Indian Chief. Indian Motorcycles went through a severe economic crisis twice, resulting in production being halted in 1953 and 2003. The company was purchased in 2011 and was revived in 2013 by Polaris Industries. Since then, Polaris has taken several steps to make Indian motorcycles some of the best-selling motorcycles. Indian Motorcycles, like Harley Davidson, also specializes in producing cruisers and touring bikes powered by V-Twin engines.

Most Indian motorcycles are heavyweight vehicles designed for expert riders. In the cruiser category, Indian Motorcycles brought back the traditional Scout and Chief. For novice riders, Indian Motorcycles has produced the Indian Scout and Scout Sixty, powered by a 60 cu in engine. These motorcycles are lightweight, slim, nimble, and fitted with a low-slung seat, ensuring a comfortable riding experience.

Indian motorcycles have a distinguished subtle look with a dull finish and retro design. Besides the vintage silhouette, they are equipped with several modern features to make rides more enjoyable and safe. Most of the styling elements have remained the same, but the performance of Indian motorcycles has improved over the years thanks to the inclusion of Thunder Stroke and PowerPlus engines. With its newly-designed flat-track racer-inspired Indian FTR, Indian Motorcycles has expanded production to a sporty-style motorcycle designed for quick rides.


Indian Motorcycle
Founders George M. Hendee
Oscar Hedstrom
Founded In 1901
Discontinued In 1953
Owned By Polaris Inc.
Revived In 2011
CEO Michael T. Speetzen
Headquarters Medina, Minnesota, U.S.
2023 Indian Motorcycles
Standard Cruiser Bagger Touring Elite Electric
Indian FTR (Starting at $13,499) Indian Scout (Starting at $10,749)
Indian Chief (Starting at $14,999)
Indian Super Chief (Starting at $18,999)
Indian Springfield (Starting at $22,499)
Indian Chieftain (Starting at $22,999)
Indian Challenger (Starting at $24,999)
Indian Roadmaster (Starting at $31,499)
Indian Pursuit (Starting at $30,999)
Indian Pursuit Elite (Starting at $39,999)
Indian Chieftain Elite (Starting at $35,499)
Indian Challenger Elite (Starting at $35,999)
Indian eFTR Youth Bike (Starting at $529.99)
Indian eFTR Hooligan 1.2 (Starting at $3,599.99)

4. Zero Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles

Photo Credit: Motorcycles Data

Zero Motorcycles is another popular American motorcycle brand that produces electric motorcycles for daily use. It is a versatile electric motorbike manufacturer that produces dual sports bikes, sports bikes, and standard motorbikes.

Zero Motorcycles currently offers nine motorcycles covering almost every motorcycle type. The Zero SR/S has a top speed of 104 mph, a charging time of 1.4 hours, and a range of 169 miles. Other electric road bikes developed by Zero Motorcycles include the Zero SR/F, Zero SR, and Zero S. Dual-sport and adventure bike variants are also offered, including the Zero FXE, Zero DSR/X, and Zero FX.

Electric motorcycles are considered the future of the motorcycling industry. However, the biggest problems electric motorcycle brands face today are the long charging time, low mileage, and high price range. Zero Motorcycle has addressed these problems by developing practical and affordable motorcycles. The company is actively involved in several electric motorcycle projects and has made it its mission to improve motorcycle technology.

Zero Motorcycles
Founder Neal Saiki
Founded In 2006
Headquarters Scotts Valley, California, U.S.
CEO Samuel Paschel
2023 Zero Electric Motorcycles
Motorcycle Type Model Base Price
Electric Street Motorcycles Zero SR/S $23,995
SR/F $23,795
SR $19,995
S $12,995
FXE $12,995
DSR/X $24,495
Electric Dual Sports Bikes DSR $17,995
DS $12,995
FX $12,995

5. Lightning Motorcycle

Lightning Motorcycle

Photo Credit: Business Insider

Lightning Motorcycle, an American electric motorcycle manufacturer, has been producing the fastest electric sports bikes capable of beating gas-powered sports bikes. Founded in 2006 by Richard Hatfield in San Carlos, California, this company initially experimented with different technologies, including lithium batteries, and then used the Yamaha R1 race motorbike as a base model to develop an electric sports bike. After much experimentation, Lightning Motorcycle was able to develop an electric motorcycle that could reach a top speed of 173.388 mph. In 2013, while competing against the fastest gas-powered sports bikes at Pikes Peak, it set a top speed record of 218 mph and won the race. This was considered one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of electric motorbikes. The Lightning LS-218 Superbike is one of the fastest electric sports bikes, with a powerful motor capable of delivering a horsepower of 244 hp and a torque of 298.28 Nm. On a single charge, the Lightning LS-218 Superbike can cover a mileage of 188 miles and can jump from rest to 60 mph in less than two sec. Only three motorcycles have been produced so far by Lightning Motorcycle: the Lightning LS-218, the Lightning Strike R, and the Lightning Strike C.

Lightning Motorcycle
Founder Richard Hatfield
Founded In 2006
Headquarters San Jose, California, U.S.
Region Served North America
2023 Lightning Electric Motorcycles
Motorcycles Base Price
Lightning LS-218 $38,988
Lightning Strike R $26,998
Lightning Strike C Sold Out

6. Arch Motorcycle

Arch Motorcycle

Photo Credit: Rocket Garage

Arch Motorcycle is a bespoke American motorcycle manufacturer that produces high-end handmade motorcycles. The company was founded by the famous Canadian movie actor Keanu Reeves along with Gard Hollinger. Reeves had the utmost passion for motorcycles and always wanted to create something extraordinary. Following his passion, Reeves approached Hollinger to customize a Harley motorcycle. At that time, Hollinger ran a motorcycle customization business. Reeves convinced him to start a business venture together and create a legacy.

In 2014, Arch Motorcycle introduced its first motorcycle, the Arch KRGT-1. The Arch KRGT-1 was powered by a 2032 cc fuel-injected V-Twin engine, and fitted with fully-adjustable ARCH/ Öhlins front and rear suspensions, BOSCH ABS, and Michelin Commander II tires. Then came the Arch 1s, a performance cruiser like the Arch KRGT-1. The Arch 1s has similar specs and parts as the Arch KRGT-1, except for the styling and aerodynamics to ensure powerful performance. The Arch Method 143 is a high-end café racer-style cruiser powered by a large engine, built with aluminum, carbon fiber, and high-quality leather to create a slightly bulky look, and offers an aggressive riding style, advanced air intake, and racer-style tires.


Arch Motorcycle
Founder Keanu Reeves
Gard Hollinger
Founded In 2011
Type Bespoke Motorcycle Production Company
Headquarters Hawthorne, California, U.S.
2023 Arch Motorcycles
Motorcycles Base Price
KRGT-1 $85,000
1s $128,000
Method 143 $78,000

7. Buell Motorcycle

Buell Motorcycle

Photo Credit: The Knee Slider

In 1983, Buell Motorcycle was founded by Eric Buell, a former Harley Davidson engineer. In 1993, Harley Davidson decided to buy half of the company as part of their brand. When Harley Davidson decided to part ways with Buell to focus more on Harley motorcycles, Buell Motorcycle established itself as a leading independent American motorcycle brand. However, when the company began to fail, Buell formed an independent motorcycle company, Eric Buell Racing, to focus on motorcycle brands.

Since 2021, Buell Motorcycle has been developing motorcycles suited for all riders. The Buell Hammerhead 1190 Sport is one motorcycle in the 2023 lineup.


Buell Motorcycle
Founder Erik Buell
Founded In 1983
Headquarters Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
2023 Buell Motorcycles
Motorcycles Base Price
Buell Hammerhead 1190 $19,995
Buell 1190SX $18,995
2025 Buell Motorcycles for Pre-Order
Buell Super Cruiser N/A
Buell Baja Dune Racer $19,995
Buell Super Touring $21,995

8. Takeaway

Several small-scale American motorcycle manufacturers disappear shortly after launch due to high saturation and tough competition. Only a few American motorcycle brands became top sellers and are recognized worldwide, such as Harley Davidson, Indian Motorcycles, LiveWire, and Zero Motorcycles. The American motorcycle brands mentioned in this article, particularly Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, have a strong presence in the American motorcycle market. These two brands specialize in producing motorcycles popular among most American riders, including cruisers, touring bikes, and baggers. However, as the number of young riders is increasing, the top American motorcycle brands have to readjust the focus of their marketing and production to accommodate the interest of young riders.

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