Thursday, August 8, 2013

Another chance for Indian Motorcycles

The new owner of Indian Motorcycles shows off three models as it aims to go head to head with Harley Davidson.  Since Indian’s founding in 1901 and bankruptcy in 1953, about 10 owners have attempted to revive the brand, only to abandon the effort or declare bankruptcy themselves.  Polaris Industries became the latest owners in April 2011 looking to bring the oldest motorcycle manufacture back to life.  Known for speed and innovation Indian Manufacturing Co. introduced many items we still use today -   Floorboards in 1913, passenger seat in 1915 and the round electrical headlight in 1923.  In the 1910’s Indian was the largest motorcycle manufacture in the world but after WWII the company went bankrupt due to the fact that the management decided to move from the heavyweight V-twin format and began making lightweight machines which the public did not want.  Polaris is a powerhouse pulling in 3.2 billion in sales last year and giving hope that the new Indian revival could actually stick.

Chief Classic
Chief Vintage

The display was set up in Sturgis South Dakota just in time for the thousands of bikers that attend the event and consisted of 3 model releases.  The Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and Chieftain all draws inspiration for the iconic Indian Chief introduced by the original manufacture in 1922.  One of my favorite features that were left on the bike is the Indian head ornamentation and the new 111-cubic-inch engine that still looks like a vintage 1950’s Indian V-twin but with the modern technology.  Starting in at around $18,999 to $22,999 for the base models, Indian could be the real deal  at least that is what Polaris is counting on. 

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