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An American Motorcycle Sportbike

Tyler Greenblatt

An American Motorcycle Sportbike


I was browsing our Harley forum today and came across a post about Motus Motorcycles, an American motorcycle company, producing an experimental V4-powered sportbike. I always wondered why there wasn’t more direct competition with Japanese and Italian sportbike manufacturers from here in the United States. Buell managed to hang in there for a long time, but unfortunately is now a part of motorcycle history. Harley itself even came out with the XLCR Cafe Racer back in 1977 and 1978 to compete with the Japanese, Italian, and British imports. The Motor Company stopped production after just two years, and today the XLCR is one of the most desired Sportsters ever made. I think it’s safe to say that Americans buy and enjoy sportbikes, they’re all over the place. But why don’t Americans seem to want an American-made sportbike? Is the V-Rod really as far as the limit can be pushed? I’d like to hear some input on this, especially from those who ride both a Harley and an import sportbike.



  1. Fat Bob February 16, 2011

    There is no reason Harley can’t develop a successful sport bike. The problem is not the name, but that they try to adapt current platforms and designs. Seriously, do any of their attempts really look or perform like anything the sport bike market wants?

    I have to say the decision to drop Buell was wrong and the result of old school thinking. Time and time again this has led to the decline and eventual loss of many one time succesful business. If Harley wants success in the sport bike market, bring Buell back and this time do it right.

    Also, where are their entry level bikes? 883 is NOT entry level. My son needs something to learn on that does not cost a fortune and is light enough for him to handle. Japanese bikes are my only choice for him.

    Full disclosure: I am a Harley rider and always will be. I am old school. But I know that not everyone thinks, looks, or acts like me.

  2. Harley cruiser February 15, 2011

    Tyler, problems with a Harley sport bike, is the target market. The younger market, the sport bike buyer is anti Harley like they are anti muscle car. They don’t want to drive there dads cars, or bikes. Just like when we were kids. The older sport bike rider, are just anti Harley, because they don’t want fit into the Harley profile.

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