Ten bikes that have topped sales charts in the United States
The last few years in the motorcycle industry have been rather chaotic, to say the least. Here in the States, a pandemic, a struggling economy, and a shift away from riding among the younger gens has wrecked havoc on many motorcycle brands. Yet despite adversity, our sport continues to evolve, and us riders in the United States are spoiled for choice with a diverse array of two-wheeled moto-machines catering to every style and preference. In 2023, certain motorbikes have captured the hearts of enthusiasts and dominated the market here in the U.S. of A.
Let’s take a closer look at ten of the best-selling motorcycles across several categories in the United States so far this year, based on sales reports from manufacturers.
The Harley-Davidson Street Glide. Photo by Harley-Davidson.
A perennial favorite, the Harley-Davidson Street Glide continues to lead the pack with its iconic design, powerful performance, and a loyal fan base. The timeless appeal of a Harley combined with modern features makes the Street Glide a top choice for riders seeking a classic American cruiser. Phil owned a Street Glide before trading up to his current Road Glide, and loved it. What’s not to love?
The Honda CRF450L. Photo by Honda.
For those with a penchant for off-road adventures, the Honda CRF450L has become a go-to option. Known for its exceptional performance on rugged terrain, this dual-sport motorcycle offers a perfect blend of agility and power, making it a favorite among dirt bike enthusiasts. We thoroughly enjoyed the “little brother” CRF300L, and the 450 is even more bang for the buck.
The upcoming 2024 Kawasaki ZX-6R 40th Anniversary Ninja. Photo by Kawasaki.
Speed junkies and sportbike riders gravitate towards the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Renowned for its sharp handling and impressive power, this motorcycle seamlessly blends track performance with street legality, making it a top-seller in the United States. And in 2024, Kawasaki will pay tribute to the history of the Ninja line with special edition 40th Anniversary models. Nice.
2023 Indian Chieftain. Photo by Indian Motorcycle.
Indian Motorcycle’s Chieftain has established itself as a worthy competitor in the American cruiser segment. With a powerful engine, luxurious features, and a commanding presence on the road, the Chieftain caters to riders looking for a blend of style and substance. Joshua Placa toured a superb Super Chief Limited for several months last year (check out his series, “Haunted Highways“), and we hope to get our hands on a Chieftain in 2024.
2023 Yamaha YZF-R7. Photo by Yamaha.
Yamaha’s YZF-R7 has gained popularity among riders who crave a mix of agility and track-worthy performance. This middleweight sportbike offers cutting-edge technology and a sleek design, making it a sought-after option for riders who want a taste of the racetrack on the streets. In fact, the R7 has become the go-to “weapon of choice” by most teams running in the MotoAmerica Twins Cup road racing series. It’s that good.
The Ducati Panigale V4 in its natural habitat. Photo by Ducati.
Known for its Italian flair and high-performance capabilities, the Ducati Panigale V4 has a strong presence in the superbike category, even winning races in the MotoAmerica road racing series. With its powerful engine and advanced electronics package, this motorcycle is a top choice for riders who demand uncompromising performance and gorgeous Italian style.
Lyle’s venerable BMW R 1200GS. The epitome of adventure touring.
Adventure touring enthusiasts continue to be captivated by the BMW R1250GS. Renowned for its robust build, advanced technology, and comfortable long-distance capabilities, this motorcycle is a favorite for those seeking to explore both on and off the beaten path. Our friend Lyle recently picked up a R1200GS, and rode it with Rob across the South in their “Journey of a Thousand Miles” adventure. BMW’s GS bikes are the epitome of adventure touring.
Suzuki SV650 ABS. Photo by Suzuki.
The Suzuki SV650 has owned a sweet spot in the market for many years now, offering an enticing combination of affordability, versatility, and sporty performance. Its lightweight design and punchy v-twin engine make it an ideal choice for riders of all stripes in the world of motorcycling, as this bike can and will do it all. We rode one a few years ago, have owned a couple over of the years ourselves, so we might be a bit biased here. The SV650 is a perennial fave of ours.
The 2023 KTM Duke 390. Photo by KTM.
In the realm of small-displacement and entry-level bikes, the KTM 390 Duke stands out as a nimble and accessible option. Known for its sharp handling and stylish design, this motorcycle appeals to new riders, urban commuters and curve carvers alike, contributing to its strong sales figures. And that little 390 single just howls.
The classic Triumph Bonneville T120. Photo by Triumph Motorcycles LTD.
Embodying the spirit of the legendary Brit bikes of old yet sporting modern tech, the Triumph Bonneville T120 remains a popular choice among riders who appreciate timeless design and a relaxed riding experience. Triumph’s commitment to craftsmanship and heritage is evident in every detail of the Bonneville T120. The entire Bonneville line, in 900cc and 1200cc displacements still evoke a hooligan heritage like no other. Timeless classics, all.
The landscape of motorcycle preferences in the United States is as diverse as the roads that stretch across the country. These 10 top-selling motorcycles in 2023 reflect this diversity, offering something for every rider, whether they seek the thrill of speed, the freedom of the open road, or the joy of off-road exploration. As technology continues to advance and manufacturers push the boundaries of innovation, the motorcycle market is sure to keep evolving, providing riders with even more exciting options in the years to come. The moto-future is bright, in our estimation.
Road Dirt Crew