The production of motorcycles has always been on a good level in the United States. The industry began to develop at the beginning of the 20th century and unlike many other countries, in America, there are still a lot of bike brands with loud names, some of them have already become iconic. Motorcycles from the U.S. have taken a very prominent place on the market. They are renowned for their reliability.
The first motorcycle was created in Germany, but the modern look of motor vehicles began to acquire in America. It is noteworthy that only two brands that turned into a global biker legend were present on the market of this distant country. They also influenced the development of the motorcycle industry.
Founder: George M. Hendee; Oscar Hedstrom
Headquarters: Medina, Minnesota, United States
Parent: Polaris Industries
One of the most famous and iconic motorcycle brands, ever existed, was established in 1897 in the USA and was originally engaged in the production of bicycles. The first Indian motorcycle with an engine capacity of 260 cubic meters was created three years later, in 1900. And already in 1903 one of the company’s owners and at the same time its chief engineer, sets a new world record for motorcycles in Indian. It was 90 km/h.
The company was growing and progressing, introducing new models almost every year the classic Indian period lasted until 1953. After that, the brand passed from company to company, the production of motorcycles was resumed and then phased out.
In the first decade of this century, the Indian brand was revived in Great Britain, and finally, in 2011, the brand was acquired by the Polaris Group, which has extensive experience in producing a variety of mechanical vehicles, including motorcycles.
Founder: William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson, Walter Davidson, William A. Davidson
Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Parent organizations: Harley Davidson Motor Co Group LLC, Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, Inc
Harley-Davidson is perhaps the most famous motorcycle manufacturer in the world. The company, which has become legendary, has managed to create a separate culture, in the epicenter of which stand its reliable and, in many respects, revolutionary motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson is based in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Its story began in 1901 when 21yo William Harley designed a small motor for a bicycle. For two years, he and his friend Arthur Davidson worked on the development of a motorized bicycle, which came out under the name Harley in 1903.
In 1904, Harley-Davidson opens its first store, which at once sells 3 motorcycles. In 1905, William Harley wins the 15 km race in Chicago, drawing the attention of motorcycle fans to their brand. The same year, the company hires its first employee. One year later, Harley-Davidson Company builds new production facilities and hires five more people. In 1909, Harley-Davidson presents the first motorcycle with a V-shaped 2-cylinder engine – 5-D.
Today Harley-Davidson can not even be called a brand, as it is an icon in the world of motorcycles. In 1983, the club Harley-Davidson Owners Group was founded. In just six years of its existence, the number of its members has grown to almost a hundred thousand people. And it keeps growing today.
Founder: Erik Buell
Ceased operations: October 30, 2009
Headquarters: East Troy, Wisconsin, U.S.
Parent organizations: Harley-Davidson, Harley Davidson Motor Co Group LLC, Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, Inc
Buell’s first motorcycle, the RW750, was created in 1983 specifically to compete in the AMA Formula 1 motorcycle championship. Eric Buell, the company’s founder, was one of the strongest independent riders in the championship at the time. In the beginning, only two bikes were created, one of which was sold to another racing team. However, the AMA Formula 1 racing series soon ceased to exist and the newly born company Buell switched to the creation of sports street motorcycles, using Harley Davidson engines for this purpose.
In 1993, Harley Davidson buys a 49% stake in Buell m and invests heavily in production. That means, Buell becomes part of Harley Davidson, maintaining a large degree of independence. Five years later, Harley-Davidson buys a controlling stake of the company.
Headquarters: Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA
Parent: Polaris Industries
In 1997, the large American concern Polaris, specializing in the production of snowmobiles and ATVs, decided to try their hand at designing motorcycle technology. Today the company’s motorcycles are in demand all over the world.
The first model Victory, which saw the light in the distant 1997 was called V92C and had an engine capacity of 1507cm3. The motorcycle was introduced by the two-time champion of the Indianapolis 500, Al Unser Jr. Production of the model continued until 2003. In 2011, one of the bikes was frozen in a huge block of ice, as an exhibit at the Ice Hotel in Sweden. After spending 4 years on the ice, the motorcycle was thawed out, drained, filled with fresh fuel, and started up without much trouble. This was a clear demonstration of the reliability and durability of Victory motorcycles.
Founded: 2006, Santa Cruz, California
Founder: Neal Saiki
Headquarters: Scotts Valley, California, United States
Zero is a brand known all over the world and has earned a good reputation. They are electric motorcycles, assembled according to the latest technology, providing maximum comfort and convenience. At the same time, some models will satisfy both fans of high-speed riding, and those who need to move on bad roads, and those who take it as the main transport for moving around the town.
Zero electric motorcycles are high-tech electric motorcycles for adults, developed by NASA engineers for true motorcycle gourmets.
West Coast Choppers
Founded: 1993, Paramount, California, United States
Founder: Jesse James
Headquarters: Garland, Texas, United States
West Coast Choppers, or simply WCC, is a brand that produces iconic and exclusive choppers and themed apparel with a company logo, taking its inspiration from the Iron and Maltese Cross.
The company’s founder is famous TV host Jesse James, who has hosted such programs as Motorcycle Mania, Monster Garage, and others on the Discovery Channel. Jesse James founded the company in his mother’s garage in 1992. Since then, the company focused on custom bikes has produced more than 200 choppers. A lot of world-famous celebrities own West Coast Choppers motorcycles and are proud of it.