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Which Dirt Bikes Are Made In The US?

Which Dirt Bikes Are Made In The US?

In this day and age, it has become increasingly difficult to find products that are made in the United States so if you are the patriotic type and in the market for a new dirt bike this may be one of your concerns. You may be wondering if any dirt bikes are being made in America or if that is just an idea of the past.

Although the market is dominated by other global competitors, there are a few companies that claim to be producing American-made dirt bikes. The three main manufacturers discussed in this article are listed below:

  • ATK
  • Cannondale
  • KTM

To learn more about American-made dirt bikes and other helpful information continue reading.

What Classifies A Dirt Bike As Being American Made?

Before we begin it is important to understand what it means when a product is “made in the USA”. As mentioned above, it is difficult to find anything that is truly made in America and dirt bikes are no exception.

In the sixties, the Japanese began dominating the dirt bike market making it hard for American companies to compete. Other countries also became known for their dirt bikes and other components. With so much global competition the definition of an American-made dirt bike changed.

US-based dirt bike manufacturers generally source their parts and other components from other countries and then assemble them in the states. So when you see a dirt bike that claims to be made in the USA you can likely bet that the parts came from somewhere else like Japan or Austria for example.

If you truly want an all-American made dirt bike you will likely have to do some serious searching through some old barns or collectors shops.

Continue reading to learn which manufacturers are considered to make American-made dirt bikes.

Here’s a cool video showing the inside of a Yamaha motocross factory:

American Made Dirt Bikes Manufacturers

The following list represents manufacturers and some examples of bikes that use parts from other countries but are advertised as American-made in the world of dirt bikes.

ATK – Austrian Roots Planted In The USA

ATK was created when Austrian-born engineer and adrenaline junkie Horst Leitner moved to the United States in pursuit of a dream like so many others have done. In essence, he was the godfather of American motocross.

Leitner’s dream was to create a dirt bike with a sleek timeless look that was less expensive to produce, lightweight, and had better handling. He also designed the bike in a way that it was easier to work on so less time was wasted fixing things and more time could be spent ripping and romping.

The ATK 560 was manufactured for the first time in 1985. Originally specializing in four-stroke engines the company expanded to include two-stroke engine dirt bikes in their inventory after many persistent requests from their customers.

Other popular models included the ATK 406 and the ATK 605. Thousands of these bikes were sold over the year and were said to be considered the epitome of luxury for dirt bikes at the time of their original introduction to the public market.

Cannondale – Pursuing The American Dream

Cannondale is the most recent company to take a stab at the American dream by creating a dirt bike that was truly made and assembled in the US without the help of parts from other countries. But even they had to source some parts from other countries like the suspension which came from Sweden.

Unfortunately for the big dreamers at Cannondale, there is such strong competition from other manufacturers that production was delayed and many issues prevented them from rising above their adversaries.

An example of one bike Cannondale produced is the E440 which when compared to other major dirt bike brands like Yamaha or Honda is fairly akin as far as speed and handling are concerned but lacking in other areas.

The makers of the E440 were overly optimistic about the quality of their electric starters which became a problem when starters or batteries failed because they did not include a kick starter on this bike.

KTM – Winning With Top Power, Handling, And Speed

KTM is one of the leading American-made dirt bike brands; they offer some of the most powerful dirt bikes on the market designed to be lightweight and built for speed and handling.

These bikes are designed to make the riders’ life easier with shocks that can be adjusted by hand according to the terrain and speed they are riding on. That handy feature eliminates the need to carry tools and saves time on the trail.

The frame and components are designed and assembled to give the rider the best control possible no matter how rough the trail may be. Specially designed and placed foot pegs increase handling and control for the rider as well.

KTM is still one of the leading dirt bike manufacturers today and plans to continue its mission to put out the baddest bikes on and off the pavement. KTM is known around the world for its quality, high-performance dirt bikes.

Races are being won and records are being broken in multiple motocross categories which makes these bikes even more appealing. Examples of their dirt bikes are listed below.

Two-Stroke Engines

  • KTM SX (125/250/350)

The new and improved two-stroke models are available and better than ever with an upgraded fuel injection system and a stronger electric start and electronic power valve.

Four-Stroke Engines

  • KTM SX-F (250/350/450)

KTM has taken their already popular four-stroke bikes and made them even better by reducing the weight of the engine and increasing the power.

Are Dirt Bikes Made In The USA Anymore?

This article was intended to help clarify what it means for a dirt bike to be made in the USA as well as give some examples. It can be difficult for some to accept that much of our inventory comes from other countries and is assembled in the US.  

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