American motorcycle companies: the best of 2023

American motorcycle

American motorcycle companies: the best of 2023

American motorcycle companies in the early years of the 20th century were flourishing. It was a melting pot of design, engineering, and innovation. Unfortunately, a lot of these companies could not compete with Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. Nowadays American manufacturers are cutting edge and there is plenty of motorcycle company that produce incredible vehicles. Let’s see the best of them.

American motorcycle: Harley-Davidson

We are not going through its history, but we could not leave Harley-Davidson out of the list. It cannot be denied that Harley-Davidson is the longest running and most successful American motorcycle company to this day. While it is true that they have been slow in evolving the technology and engineering of their traditional models, it is also true that they realized they needed to diversify. The fact that the Pan America is doing so great and that their electric motorcycle branch – LiveWire – are doing so great is the proof that they are good at what they do. I am eager to see what the future holds for their traditional models: I hope to see some tech and some upgrades in their near future line-ups.

Indian Motorcycle

The Indian Motorcycle we know today is not the original Indian Motorcycle Company that existed between 1901 and 1953. Polaris took it and made it shine again. Polaris did an amazing job, by bringing back heritage models names like Chief, Scout and Roadmaster, provided a link with the company heritage. Needless to say, the engines are all large-displacement V-twins. Polaris, with Indian opted for a traditional, almost retro styling route that hides a highly evolved technological package. Heritage is very important in the American motorcycle market, and Indian has walked the extra mile establish links back to the original company.

Arch Motorcycles

It would be easy to think of this company as just another vanity project by a celebrity, but the company was founded in 2011 and Keanu Reeves is a real motorcycle enthusiast. The models produced by him and Gard Hollinger are impressive pieces of engineering and are already in the American motorcycle history. Everything started when Reeves approached Hollinger – a respected builder – to customize his Harley Davidson. Reeves was so enthusiastic about the build that he insisted it should be put into production for sale to private buyers who shared their design philosophy. ‘A production custom motorcycle you can ride,’ was the brief Reeves gave to Hollinger when they were planning the first ARCH model. Design, fit and finish all had to be of the first order, while it had to ride as well as it looked and retain as much American flavor as possible.

The first model, the KRGT-1, was a true American performance cruiser: it had all the traditional elements of an American motorcycle, including a large displacement V-twin engine and cruiser ergonomics, and the performance and handling of a sports bike. Elegant and innovative design, precision engineering, a hand-built process, and close work with customers has ensured ARCH the fame it deserves.

American motorcycle: Confederate/Curtiss

Seeing a Confederate motorcycle for the first time is like falling in love for the first time: it is something impossible to forget. We are talking about a premium American motorcycle brand that produces motorcycles of ultra-modern design made using premium materials. The price tag does not go below 100,000 USD but it is worth it: Hellcat, Wraith, and Combat are ma and very distinctive. The first Confederate rolled off the production line in 1993 but, by 2001, the company was bankrupt. It recovered and production continued up to 2017. At that point in time, owner Matt Chambers announced that the name of the company was changing to Curtiss (after motorcycling and aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss) and that, going forward, they would be producing electric motorcycles in partnership with Zero Motorcycles. In typical fashion, the Curtiss One electric motorcycle is as distinctive as the Confederates had been.


Retro style is super popular at the moment and Janus Motorcycles knows it well. Therefore, they decided to build a rage of 250cc and 450cc motorcycles, becoming really unique among the American motorcycle manufactures.

Founded in 2011, with the first models were delivered in 2013, Janus was specialized in 50cc, two-stroke-engined motorcycles with a distinctive retro flavor. Apart from the engine, forks, and wheel hubs, Janus supported local industry in Indiana for the manufacture of the motorcycles’ components. In 2015, the first 250cc model was introduced after difficulties meeting pollution limits with the two-stroke 50cc engine. The 250cc engine was a four-stroke design and the models included road and nominally off-road versions. In 2021, the first 450cc model appeared to enhance the range and the company is going from strength to strength. Not bad for retro motorcycles.

American motorcycle companies: our conclusions

Our trip into the coolest American motorcycle companies of 2023 ends here. We picked the ones that we like the most. Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle, had to make the list, and the others…Well, Confederate and Arch create incredible motorcycles, and Janus is simply brilliant. What do you think? Is there any other company you think is brilliant as the ones we listed? Let us know in the comment section.

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