A $19,000 Indian RideApart

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Indian Scout Cruiser
Indian Scout Cruiser

News — May 17, 2013

Motorcycle is back in business a new owner, ambitious business for the future including news week of a $19,000 all-new Chief V-Twin heavy due for launch this summer.

But why we care? After all we have this before. How many can you apply CPR to something that is and truly … before that it’s over, the has moved on, and finally do the decent and consign Indian Motorcycles to the books?

The problem is Indian is an iconic brand that everything that has happened to it the years it simply refuses to And now with multi-national Polaris at the helm could there be a real future for America’s motorcycle company?

Created in in Springfield, Mass. Indian was in its days not only the biggest manufacturer in the U.S. but also the It earned an enviable reputation for its and quality of its motorcycles and had big successes too it took its bikes to the race between the World Wars.

can also lay claim to have a lot of the enigmatic heavy cruiser cues for its motorcycles in the 1940’s, of which are still can be seen on modern cruisers. It also us sprung solo saddles, tassled saddlebags, whitewall art deco touches and chrome which you could argue its time rival Harley-Davidson took over and made its own Indian collapsed in financial in 1953.

A succession of owners tried to start the company over the but there was always insufficient along with trademark and issues hampering every to try and bring Indian back to it should be as an innovative, engineering-led that has great quality and designed motorcycles.

A 1940s era motor.

As the new owner of Indian Polaris Industries is recognized as the in the powersports industry around the It has interests in electrical/hybrid powered and bikes too, is a global leader for snowmobiles and ATV’s, the U.S. military with vehicles and owns a Swiss that provides engineering and support for Grand Prix One racing.

The new “Thunder Stroke

As Indian Motorcycle’s Robert explained: “Polaris has the resources, and experience in almost every of the transportation industry and it works in every area except the road cars.”

That industry know-how extends to motorcycles when in Polaris started building Motorcycles that over the has started to be taken seriously in the cruiser class, moving the number two sales slot in after selling more 13,000 bikes. That’s behind Harley-Davidson who dominated the with global sales in of 230,000, but Victory has fought for its reputation with some bikes in recent times.

The questions are does Polaris the drive to resurrect the Indian brand and can it really bring it as serious rival to Harley-Davidson, who by own admission has 85% of the market, a …-hard fan and essentially made the cruiser predominantly all of its own?

Unlike owners of the past there is no Polaris’s financial standing Last year alone its diverse interests around the it generated sales of $3.2

In just 18-months of ownership of Motorcycle it has generated hundreds of new in the U.S. specifically to work on new products, doubled the size of its development center in Wyoming, and introduced a new production line for Indian Motorcycle alongside Motorcycles at its facility in Spirit Iowa, with the capacity to the plant when the Indian increases.

But Polaris’s momentum has not stopped in its attempt to get Indian Motorcycle up and and back out there.

At the 2013 Bike Week in March, it the all-new Thunder Stroke 115 ft-lbs, V-Twin engine. It has designed in-house and is being at Polaris’s assembly plant in Wisconsin and will go into the Indian Chief due for launch August.

To turn around a new engine from scratch in today’s fast model and using advanced engineering CGI methods is nothing short of

Indian said it looked at a series of options for this bike, even revisiting the past and considering in-line engines, before deciding on a air-cooled V-Twin.

“Polaris is in for the long-run,” said Pandya. “We how iconic Indian Motorcycle is and we are serious about our role as of such a well-known and well-loved brand.

“What Polaris can offer aside from financial is a huge resource in terms of and engineering through all of the other within the group.

Indian Scout Cruiser

“Whilst Victory and Indian will the same production facility do not currently share parts. You cannot take a Victory and put tanks and parts on it. It wouldn’t be an motorcycle and we will maintain engineering integrity.”

With the this week of the Indian priced at $18,999, Polaris has it clear that this is the first of several types of a that it will be unveiling in the Whilst there are no specific yet about the Chief or any other Indian has hinted it will be to its sporting past for inspiration and not focusing on cruisers. Time tell.

However there is a lot of work to do with a national dealer network. When bought the company it inherited than 20 dealers in the U.S. Motorcycles has some 450 dealers in America alone many of sell other products Polaris but Indian Motorcycles have its own separate national network and corporate identity and are underway now to appoint new retailers to with the launch of the Chief summer.

In its golden years Indian was a of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle with a huge presence. the company’s first demise in it wasn’t long before both on the street and racetrack, quickly made the Sturgis its own.

In a provocative and some may say an move, Indian will be to the 73rd annual Sturgis on August 3-111 this to unveil its new Indian Chief in of a Harley-Davidson crowd.

“We looked at a series of ways of introducing the and the absolutely best fit we felt was We’ll be showing our new motorcycle to a and passionate audience,” added

So, back to our original question. actually anyone care there is now yet another iteration of the Motorcycle company?

Based on the promises of Indian’s past and pretty horrendous motorcycles were built to a price dubious performance and build we’d say a resounding no.

But full to Polaris. It’s keen to it understands the Indian Motorcycle and tells us it has spent time and talking to potential customers to that it’s going the right path with new for the future.

It has huge resources within the group from a very financial position to a pool of and technology talent that to cover nearly every for Indian to draw upon.

early days to pass any on the new Indian Chief as nobody has it yet alone ridden it. Price-wise at it’s up where we would a big cruiser to be but it’s going to be interesting too to see what else is down the line from under Polaris’s dynamic

But in the meantime, Harley-Davidson you may want to pay here, Indian Motorcycle is and as they say in the movies – this it could be personal.

Indian Scout Cruiser


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