Ask the average rider to name an American motorcycle and you'll probably hear "Harley-Davidson." But if you're looking for something different, there are other ways to fly the flag on two wheels.

If you still want a classic American bike that traces its history to the early 1900s, look to Indian and its reborn Scout. When the company brought the Scout back in 2015, it was a shot across Harley's bow. The Scout has changed little since its introduction, so you can save by going used. Go with a 2016 model, because that's the first year ABS was offered as an option. MSRP for a new Scout starts at $11,499. You should be able to find a 2016 model with ABS for about $7,000 dressed to the nines in classic Indian motorcycle red. Just like the original, the new Scout's handling and braking are quite competent. With such well-rounded performance, it's hard not to think of the Scout as an American cruiser for sportbike riders.

Buell Lightning

Buell Lightning
Buell focused on a “trilogy of technology”: mass centralization, frame rigidity, and unsprung weight.Buell

The words “American” and “sportbike” rarely go together, but Erik Buell tried hard to link the two. His partnership with Harley-Davidson resulted in a multitude of technologically innovative machines powered by classic American V-twins. The XB series was the right combination of performance and made-in-America charm. Better to ride than the previous tube-frame bikes, the XBs were still powered by a Harley-derived motor rather than the Rotax engines of later models. The XB-R Firebolt is the choice if you want to look like you belong on a track, but the XB-S Lightning stands out if you’re spending most of your time on the street, thanks to upright ergonomics and wider handlebars. Reviewers liked to complain about a lack of power compared to the competition. Still, if you can’t have fun with 103 horsepower (and more importantly, a hefty 84 pound-feet of torque), the issue may be with you and not the bike.

Look past the motor, and the technology of the Lightning was impressive. Fuel was stored in the aluminum-beam frame, oil was contained in the swingarm, and the front brake was a perimeter ZTL (zero torsional load) unit. The Lightning was available in Low and Long versions to fit riders of all sizes. You should be able to find any of the XB options for around $3,500.

Rokon TrailBreaker

Rokon Trail-Breaker
It can pull its weight—literally, not figuratively.Rokon

While Buell’s production run with Harley lasted only 16 years, Rokon has been quietly making motorcycles in America since the early 1960s. The brand’s focus is on getting to any destination, no matter how improbable, with appropriately named models like Ranger, Scout, and Trail-Breaker. Rokon’s main feature is a robust two-wheel-drive system paired with gearing that allows the bike to climb a 60 percent incline. With a top speed of 35 miles per hour, Rokons aren’t for everyone, but for those of you who want to explore America’s backcountry, even a 20-plus-year-old Trail-Breaker will take you where you need to go.

Need to cross a river? No problem, the Rokon will float. Want to carry fluids with you? Each wheel carries 2.5 gallons of water, fuel, or whatever you want. Factory accessories include a tow bar, sidecar, or even a log skidder. And $3,000 will buy you a nice five- to 10-year-old example with low usage. Those of you who also need to be able to ride on pavement should look at the Ranger model, which is a couple hundred dollars more. The big question for prospective buyers is if they want a model dating before or after 1999, when the Trail-Breaker switched from a two-stroke to a four-stroke motor.

Zero FXS

Zero FXS
If silence is golden, the FXS is 24-karat.Zero Motorcycles

While the Rokon hasn't changed much for half a century, there are some American companies that ride the cutting edge. The future of motorcycles seems to be electric, and Zero is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. If covering as many miles as possible is the goal, then you'll want its SR with a claimed range of 223 city miles. But if you want the most exciting option Zero offers, you should be looking at the FXS. A silent supermoto, the FXS is all about "twist and go." There's no clutch lever or shifter, just a throttle that Zero had to tone down at low speeds to prevent you from looping the bike; 70 pound-feet of torque are theoretically available at 1 rpm to move a bike that weighs less than 300 pounds.

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You can save some money by going with one battery pack, but do yourself a favor and get both. It doesn’t affect power, it just doubles the range. Expect to spend about $6,000 to get a ’16 model with both batteries, and then forget what it’s like to spend money at the pump. Plus, the FXS has a small stars-and-stripes logo on the tail that you can show to anyone you dust off the line. What’s more American than that?