Indian Motorcycles Returns…Again — Yahoo Autos

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Indian Chief Touring

Indian Motorcycles Returns…Again

the depressing case of Avanti. At one it was the future-forward, Raymond Loewy-penned. at things to come from The next thing you know, it was on its iteration as a half-put-together kit car, the share of which came the Corvette. The same thing with Indian Motorcycles, a American brand that had shipped around the world a shanghaied sailor.

Now, is poised to make a comeback yet another owner. Bold takes a look at its tumultuous and its likelihood for success.

1901 to – The Glory Years

Founded in Massachusetts, in 1901–two years Harley-Davidson–Indian began life as the Manufacturing Company. Its founders George M. Hendee and Carl Hedstrom, former bicycle who joined forces to build a motorcycle, a bike that be used to train bicycle Indian’s early 1.75hp, motorcycle gave way to Indian’s V-twin in 1907, which make the brand famous for the 50 years.

Introduced in 1922, the Scout–a 500cc V-twin the Chief, a true heavyweight, became the brand’s best-selling The 1922 Chief featured a (1,000cc) V-twin, which way to a (1,200cc) engine a later.

Unlike a lot of motorcycle and automotive Indian managed to make it the Great Depression, through the of E. Paul DuPont. In 1929, those DuPonts–became president of and marked the beginning of the company’s

In 1940, the Chief underwent a transformation, from mere to American icon. The frame was revised to include a sprung suspension that was vastly to Harley-Davidson’s rigid rear

That year, Indian just as many bikes as “Built like rocks to hard knocks,” said the adding “it’s the Harleys cause grief.”

And then it all wrong. World War II punched ticket, and sent it on a downward from which it would return. During the war, had the potential to make its fortune motorcycles, but there were missed opportunities. Following the DuPont sold Indian to Rogers, who dumped millions of his own into the company.

Rogers heavily in fresh, modern influenced by British and Italian and embarked on a family-oriented advertising that predated the “You the nicest people on a Honda”

It was largely a failure and by 1953, all Motorcycle production had ceased.

to 1962 – The British are Coming

For the 40 years – an amazing run, you think of it – Indian Motorcycles as nothing but a name that a of pitchmen, publishers and wingnuts apply to a chain of ever-lousier

A company called Brockhouse acquired the name after the demise in 1953. It began Royal Enfield motorcycles England, and with some customization, suddenly became the Trailblazer, Apache, Tomahawk, Westerner, Hounds Arrow, Arrow and Lance models.

In another British motorcycle – Associated Motor Cycles the conglomerate behind Matchless, Francis-Barnett, James and Norton – the name from Brockhouse The plan was to build a series of Motorcycles based on the Matchless and AJS but just two years later, AMC into receivership, and the name was up for

1963 to 1970 – Social

Floyd Clymer started out in the business selling cars, but quickly on to publishing, or more reprinting other peoples’ without their permission. His works – including the Indianapolis 500 – were nothing but a collection of articles from other for which he provided no attribution. he went on to build a small in publishing, eventually owning magazine.

In the 1960s, he acquired the Indian and set out to resurrect it with an all-new In 1966, he met Freidel Munch, who was on a wild NSU four-cylinder-powered motorcycle a light-alloy, modern chassis the Munch brand. Munch’s was in desperate straits, so Clymer off Munch’s debts and acquired the with the idea of resurrecting using Munch’s chassis.

The idea was that Munch build an all-new V-twin but that never materialized. appeared in a few examples in 1968 was an Indian scout, featuring chassis, built around an side-valve Indian V-twin. was eleven years after – not exactly known for fast-paced advancements – had moved toward valves.

In total, about 250 Indian Scouts were built. Clymer also a handful of Velocette-powered Indians before his … in 1970.

to 1977 – The Indian Minibike

In the minibikes were all the rage, and Clymer’s Los Angeles attorney Newman wanted in.  He the Indian name from Clymer’s widow, along the license to import Italjet from Italy.

Between 1971 and 1976, contracted with a Taiwanese of minibikes, and he began building minibikes between 100cc and Newman eventually bailed out and for the part of 20 years, Indian was as a motorcycle manufacturer.

1992 to – Things Get Really Weird

The between 1992 and 2011 the Floyd Clymer years like the Ford Motor circa 1964. For years, the had been transferred from manufacturers to private individuals. in 1992, Philip Zanghi as President and CEO of Indian Motorcycle Co.

Indian Chief Touring

Inc. of Berlin.

At around the time, a company called Motorcycle Manufacturing Incorporated a prototype of the Indian Century Chief. Neither Zanghi’s nor Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing ever built anything, and eventually went to … for fraud, tax evasion and money

The next attempt was by a company Eller Industries, which the name from the receivers of the owner. Roush was supposed to a completely new engine, and a production was supposed to be constructed on the Cow Creek of the Upqua Tribe’s land in Oregon.

A prototype of a cruiser was scheduled to be in November of 1998, but Eller flaked on all of its obligations, and the trademark for Motorcycles was sold to IMCOA America in December of 1998 Eller Industries ever a prototype.

IMCOA Industries merged with EIGHT companies to form the Indian Company of America. One of those companies was the California Motorcycle (CMC), which had been half-put-together bikes using SS engines in facility in Gilroy, famous for nothing but garlic

“Gilroy Indians” were here between 2001 and but the company quickly went during the dot-com bust, and the following 9/11.

Indian itself AGAIN in 2006, to London private equity Stellican Limited, in a facility in Mountain, North Carolina, using the same recipe for the Indian. A redesigned engine in 2009, featuring sequential fuel injection, and an improved system.

2011 to Present –

Canadian firm Polaris had success with its Victory brand. It purchased the rights to Indian from Stellican and moved all production to Spirit Iowa. In March of 2013, debuted an all-new 111-cubic “Thunder Stroke” V-twin, and off the sale of all-new Indians this month.

Three all-new motorcycles the Indian brand: The Indian Classic, the Indian Chief and the Indian Chieftain, a flagship motorcycle with a front and hard saddlebags.

Polaris has an amazing job developing the Victory brand since 1998. been profitable since and has sprinted to the number two position in 1400cc-plus displacement motorcycles, stalwarts like Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha out of the water.

It finally be the perfect time for Motorcycles to survive.

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