There is some discussion about whether it was Gottlieb Daimler or Nicolaus Otto who buil the first European motorcycle. But the first of American motorcycles was for sure made by Sylvester H. Roper.
The motorcycle was dubbed the steam velocipede. And Roper hand-built this prototypical motorcycle at his workshop in Roxbury, Massachusetts in the late 1860s. Since that time, multiple improvements have evolved Roper’s original design, but you can still see the historic old american motorcycle in all its glory in the Smithsonian Institution today.
Toward the end of the 19th century, a guy named George Hendee founded his own bicycle company in Springfield, Massachusetts. Here he hand-built bikes branded Silver Queen, Silver King, and American Indian. Then when Oscar Hedstrom joined the company, the pair started work on what would soon become the world-famous Indian motorcycle.
It didn’t take long before the Indian Motorcycle Company was turning out V-twin factory race bikes in addition to their standard 1.75 bhp, single-cylinder engine motorcycle. Indian dominated the racing cycle market for decades before retiring the company in 1977.
Today, California-made Indian motorcycles are enjoying a well deserved a resurgence in popularity. And in 2011, Polaris Industries acquired Indian Motorcycles.
No name in American Motorcycles is bigger -or more respected- than Harley-Davidson. William Harley and the three Davidson brothers founded the company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. And H-D’s only serious competitor at that time was Indian. In fact, Harley and Indian were the only two American motorcycle makers to make it through the Great Depression intact.
By the time 1910 rolled around, numerous employees were brought aboard to produce their signature 45-degree air-cooled V-Twin engines. The 1930s saw the debut of the famed Knucklehead. After a few valve-train kinks were worked out, the bikes were deemed so reliable. And now the US and Canadian military contracted with H-D to provide tens of thousands of wartime motorbikes.
In the 1950s and 60s, Harley debuted their signature Sportster, Ironhead, Soft-tail, and Electra Glide motorcycles. And these remain some of the most popular production motorcycles at every biker store today. Harley-Davidson also makes a range of racing and touring motorcycles that bikers enjoy all around the world. And today these are seen on the streets with all kinds of great customizations. For example, custom motorcycle wheels or custom motorcycle seats as two very popular options. Anything is possible.
If you are considering renting a Harley Davidson for your next motorcycle adventure, check out this post on Motorbike Hire.
The updated Indian Scout motorcycle offers a beefed-up suspension along with a more powerful engine than the original. The new version also sits a little lower to the ground. So all these features makes the Indian Scout Bobber one of the finest bikes on the road today, advises Money Inc. Next time you see a Scout at your local biker shop, be sure to take it for a test ride.
The Zero electric motorcycle is made in Dulles, Virginia and it takes you places without spending a single drop of gasoline. In fact, motorcycle enthusiasts can enjoy up to 223 miles of roadworthy ergonomics on a single battery charge. American made parts are one reason the Zero is so popular with riders.
Everything you’ve come to expect from Harley, plus over-the-top aesthetics that make this American motorcycle shine. A bit sportier than other H-D models, the Street Bob sits a trifle lower to the ground than other Harleys, too. Many members of the American Motorcyclist Association tout the Street Bob as one of the most comfortable machines for long road trips.
If you’re looking for a high-performance motorcycle that looks as good as it rides, the Motus MSTR may be just the American custom motorcycle for you. It’s made from composite materials that are durable yet lightweight. Built by hand as each order comes in, Motus motorcycles are exceptional in every way and have the price tag to prove it.
We’re as excited as you are about American and foreign-made motorcycles. Whether you prefer street cruising, off-road riding, or zipping around a professional race track, we invite you to come back any time you want to learn something interesting about the wonderful world of motorcycles.
Reading about American Motorcycles means that you are passionate about your bike or bikes in general. If you are looking for that special someone who is as passionate as you. That is, someone to share this passion, and the experiences that follow, with, then have a look at our post about Biker Dating Sites.