If you’re looking to buy a new motorcycle you might have a preference about just what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re looking for the most options or something high-end. Or maybe you’re looking for a motorcycle that’s made in the USA. If you are, then you’re in the right place, because we’re going to take a look at these motorcycles and your options.
What Means a Motorcycle is “Made in the USA”?
You may see a sticker that says that a specific motorcycle is ‘made in the USA’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. Rather, it means that the final components of the bike were brought together and then assembled in the United States.
If you’re interested in what really constitutes ‘made in USA’ according to the FTC you can check out this report, which will really clear things up. Or maybe it won’t. Because there are a lot of specific factors that go into deciding whether something is ‘made in America.’ In truth, very few items are 100% made in America and a sticker or notation that something only means that a portion of that product is completed in the US.
In fact, it generally means only that the final piece was assembled here. For example, a shirt may be made in America if it is formed into a shirt here, but the pieces come from elsewhere. A motorcycle is the same way, with the pieces coming in from many countries but the bike actually formed here.
What Brand of Motorcycles Are Made in the USA?
There are some very well-known motorcycle brands that are still made in the USA at least partially, but there is a lot that is starting to fall away as well. Still on the list are companies like Harley-Davidson, Indian, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.
- ARCH Motorcycles
- Boss Hoss
- Curtiss Motorcycles
- Lightning Motorcycles
- Zero Motorcycles
Harley Davidson has been around for quite some time and it’s probably the one motorcycle brand you know even if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle in your life. That’s because it’s a popular brand and one that’s long been touted as ‘All-American.’
Indian, however, has actually been around longer, though they haven’t been around continuously, which lost them the crown. They make American motorcycles and plenty of different options for riders as well.
Kawasaki and Yamaha are both Japanese manufacturers, but they still make the list because they have their own factories in the US, which means they are also able to use the label. You’ll also find several different boutique manufacturers available on our list, but you won’t find Victory Motorcycles, which actually shut down a few years back as a result of slow market growth. The company was originally owned by Polaris, which is another USA-based manufacturer.
Are Harley-Davidsons Made in the USA?
Harley Davidson is still made in the USA and they’re still allowed to use that notation on their bikes, but there is more to the story. That’s because Harley’s are assembled in the United States but the parts actually come from all over the world.
Harley is considered the largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles in the world, and they proudly bill themselves as ‘American Made’ but that doesn’t mean everything is American-made. Because of FTC rules, the company is able to use the branding if their final product is assembled in the United States. But they actually source their products and parts, like suspension, brakes, clutch, wheels, and electronics, from countries around the world. This includes parts from Japan, Italy, Mexico, China, Australia, Asia, and more.
They are also phasing in some new factories outside of the United States for the first time to help avoid tariffs, including some in China and the EU to make sure that they are getting better profits after those retaliatory tariffs from the EU.
Are Indian Motorcycles 100% American Made?
By now, you may not be surprised to know that Indian motorcycles also are not 100% American-made. These bikes are allowed to use the markings that they are American-made because the final bike is assembled here, but the parts come from all over the world.
Just like with Harley Davidson, Indian also gets their bike parts from all over the world and uses them to assemble their bikes in the USA. But that’s not all. The company has also announced that they will be moving some of their factories and production overseas because they are trying to combat the heavy tariffs imposed by the EU.
Are Yamaha Motorcycles Made in America?
Yamaha motorcycles are actually made in both Japan and America. While the brand itself is Japanese, the company built factories here, in the United States, which means you can still buy an American-made Yamaha in the same way as the other motorcycles we mentioned above.
Yamaha has actually celebrated over 30 years of their US manufacturing in Georgia and has become one of the top manufacturers in the state. They not only produce motorcycles but other off-road style vehicles like watercraft, golf carts, ATV’s and a whole lot more.
Are Kawasaki Motorcycles Made in the USA?
Kawasaki is another Japanese brand that built factories in the United States to produce more of their products here. In fact, the company was the first foreign vehicle manufacturer to build a manufacturing plant within the United States as a way to save money.
These bikes are similar to those you’ll find from companies like Harley and Indian. While the bike is actually assembled in the United States it’s not made with entirely US parts. Rather, the parts are sourced from all over the world and then assembled into the final form in a US factory.
Are Honda Motorcycles Made in the USA?
Honda is another Japanese manufacturer that did make motorcycles in the U.S. for a period of time, but that ended some years ago. In fact, the company started building motorcycles here in 1979 but stopped within only a few years.
There are plenty of other products being built and produced by the US factories of Honda motors. The company makes vehicles there instead, including cars and light trucks. These are actually produced directly in the old motorcycle plant while other vehicles are produced at nearby facilities for the company.
There are actually a number of motorcycles that are assembled in the United States but you won’t find one that is assembled in the United States with all American parts. It’s not the way motorcycle companies have ever done things and it’s unlikely to change. But what it means is, you know where that bike is actually coming from.