US Highland: American Motorcycles
Highland motorcycles came into being 13 years ago in Sweden. The small motorcycle manufacturer, founded by a former professional motorcycle racer, operates with the mandate of developing cutting edge performance technology. In the years since its inception Highland has earned market share in Europe, especially in the off-road segment.
The Swedish company has sets its sights on America, with focus on developing their own product line for the U.S. market. The company has moved its manufacturing to Tulsa, Oklahoma, which will serve as the company’s new base, with engineering and development work continuing in Sweden.
Highland, operating Stateside as U.S. Highland, Inc., will offer a range of machines, from 250cc to 1050cc engine platforms, with a single-cylinder engine to power the 250cc to 500cc machines, and two-cylinder, V-Twin engine for its 750cc to 1050cc machines.
On-road and off-road models will be represented, with U.S. Highland, Inc. planning to hit the market in late summer. Thus far the company has already sold out some of this year’s models.
Driving the Highland name is a well-earned racing history in off-road over the past few seasons, winning the 2009 Swedish open class championship. Highland anticipates becoming a player as the only U.S. manufactured motorcycle, a business strategy that has already garnered the company positive press and a solid foundation of curiosity and anticipation to launch from.
One of the hot press items is Highland’s announcement regarding development of a green version of its V-Twin engine, a "flexi-fuel" option allowing use of ethanol, diesel or gasoline.
Highland will offer a range of machines, from an entry level dual-sport bike powered by a 350cc single, to MX and Enduro / Cross Country machines saddled with 450cc and 507cc motors. There is a wicked looking V-Twin-powered desert machine (in either a 750cc or 950cc configuration) as well as Supermotard machines available in both 450cc and 507cc versions.
Perhaps most striking (and borrowing heavily from American flat track roots) is the Street Tracker, which will be available with either the 750cc or 950cc V-Twin powerplant. Rounding up Highland’s offerings is the Viking, a kind of hybrid naked, sportbike available with either the 950 or 1050cc V-Twin.
Keep a lookout for when Ultimate MotorCycling can get the various U.S. Highland bikes out for testing and a full pictorial and technological review.