A Future Indian? RideApart

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Indian Scout Cruiser

Hell For Leather. HFL — 8, 2013

As Moto Sapiens. we a great pantheon of gods, heroes, and nymphs. Speed, of is the chief of our Olympians. There are others, including Lean, Stink, the Torque Twins output and bolt tightening), Luck, and Rollie Free.

And Today we’re visiting the of Design to ask the oracle for some news.

If you’re like me, hungry for modern, innovative in motorcycles. Yes, there are new things happening, but it’s at the fringes of the industry, while the of the motorcycle market seems in predictable designs and putting new on old hogs. Are we on the brink of an age of innovation, or by cautious marketing departments?

was the question we brought to the oracle. Of oracles never give answers, but she uttered an incoherent and pointed us to the Bright Design .

The Bright Design Challenge is an student design competition by the National Association for Surface and the College for Creative Studies in CCS is one of the leading design schools for design and a major feeder for the industry. It’s a great to go to find eager, creative people who are passionate about design.

The NASF is an industry organization promotes education, advocacy, and in the area of material finish Think anodizing, plating, painting, and so on. Cool technical

There is also a corporate for the Bright Design Challenge. year it was Polaris Industries, and were tasked with a new Indian motorcycle. They had to rider demographics and create a that would “embody the DNA of and understand that “the of Indian products will be a input in the research and resultant The design could be a sport dual sport, scooter, or a for the venerated “Scout.” Plating or finishing had to be addressed in the design, Now, if you think that all talk of DNA, heritage, and the means we are trying to re-create here, just take a at the winning entries.

Design are meant to showcase excellent that might not otherwise see the of day, and I think this one it.

First-place winner James Yu ’s sporty electric … is lean, clean, and full of details. I love how he makes a design element out of the electric something current electric don’t do (yet?). Check out the rear swing-arm.

I’m not sure how or if works (we have to give students a little practical on some engineering matters for concept sketches), but he uses it to a great visual symmetry the Wraith-like front forks, the whole frame an arched like a sabertooth tiger The hand grips alone are a Why-didn’t-I-think-of-that. The subtle Indian is a nice touch; if this were actually made, the of the design would be branding

Andre Ayala ’s second-place is the only winner to feature much-hyped Thunderstoke engine. (If I more cynical, I would’ve that the corporate sponsor have required using engine, but no, the designs could be or internal combustion.) Imagine a compact torque monster that engine in a light, nimble frame. Nellie, be home late! Ayala’s is my favorite, in that it’s the one I want to own.

I guess I’d call this a cafe racer. This me a little of Roland Sands’ BMW Concept 90. The tiny flares on the are a very clever, updated nod to distinctive bell-bottoms.

I think one really nails the “DNA” – it’s not retro at all, but you see this as the heavily mutated of a real Indian Scout (it has lace wheels!).

James ’s electric bike took This is what I would the most “stylized,” with a form brought together by that almost looks Art It is sophisticated, not as raw or guts-out as Ayala’s with some innovative for battery access and integrated storage.

I like the combination of leather and straps with modern shapes and surfaces.

Charest took an honorable with his straight-on, no-… bike. The mill appears to be a but not the Thunderstroke. Aggresive and pouncy. you tap that? Yes, you would.

Indian Scout Cruiser

Wouldn’t you just love to see the logo on a world-class sport like that?

The first-place gets a $2,500 scholarship, gets $1,000, and $500 to the third-place winner. The panel of was Mike Kuntz, Vice Sales — Marketing, Electroplating, NASF Representative; Brew, Director of Industrial Polaris Industries; Ryan Industrial Design Project Polaris Industries; Michael Lead Industrial Designer at Industries (Victory Motorcycle Cameron Fisher, Lead Designer at Polaris Industries; and Christoph, Senior Industrial at Polaris Industries. So kudos to for A: sending in their big dogs to at student work, and B: selecting terrific and unexpected designs to Indian.

Now, I don’t these designs to be the fully output of a professional team of – these guys are juniors in after all – but I was impressed with how and pulled-together these designs These aren’t outlandish robomonsters that you might from “kids these If the industry wants to attract riders, these should as inspiration. Young people to lean forward in the saddle, not

They are hot for new tech (duh), electric bikes (almost all my are very interested in electric They are open to new shapes and They – we – need fresh as much as heritage.

Now, competitions are great, but reality is else. Remember the New York Tower” design competition? And what we got for that. Ugh. not like these students’ are being handed off to engineers to on setting up the machining.

It’s a long way from inspiration to my but I think it’s important we do look at designs like as inspiration, not just a fun exercise. The of these designs need to into motorcycle design If this is the kind of thing turns on Indian’s new leadership, they don’t need to be “the other Harley.”

So I the oracle if this is where going. Will the rising of designers turn our dinosaur into hyperevolution? She bent she turned around, she gave me a She shrugged and muttered an incoherent

Stupid oracle. All I really to know is, when can I pre-order my cafe racer?

Who is Carter An architect and writer in Cleveland. He “Motorcycles and American Culture” at Western Reserve University. He is an ordained minister in the Universal Church and can perform marriages in the of Ohio and at sea.

Carter a modified 2008 Triumph

Indian Scout Cruiser

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