The Japanese may make tons more of them, and the Italians may make ones that rev like a coked-up dog on a tail chase, but when it comes to motorcycles, America has its own share of iconic iron. We didn’t invent the motorcycle, that honor goes to the British. Nor were we the first to establish motorcycle production, as the Germans beat us on that count as well. However, when it comes to motorcycles, what America does better than anyone else is make big pot thumpers and twins the size of a double-wide trailer.
America has seen a number of bike manufacturers come and go – and like Indian, come back again – but the marque with which the nation seems most enamored, and the one that is perhaps most emblematic of the American motorbike ideal, is Milwaukee’s own, Harley Davidson. For over 110 years, Harley has fueled the passions of rebels, outlaws, and yuppie scum alike, and is still going strong today, despite a few lean years there in the middle.
My favorite American bike is a bit of an anomaly, and it’s the one up there in the lede shot. The Harley XLCR was the marque’s only attempt at a cafe racer, but at 515-lbs and with a low-revving 998-cc 45° V-twin, it wasn’t going to impress any one on the track. Man though, does it look good, and it’s a ball to ride too. Are you also a fan of the XLCR, or do you have another American bike that you call dearest? What is your favorite American-made motorcycle?
Image source: Classic American Iron