Indian Motorcycle lives

Dailies -

By

Indian-Motorcycle-Polaris

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” says Scott Wine, the CEO of Polaris Industries. After years of false starts and shattered dreams, it looks like Indian Motorcycle is really going to make it. The parent company of Victory Motorcycles just announced its purchase of America’s first motorcycle maker. So what kind of motorcycles is Indian going to make?

Polaris says, “Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.”

We expect to see Victory slightly re-jigged so that the two brands will complement each other. That brand will keep making the performance cruisers and high-tech tourers it’s become known for while Indian will likely pursue a more retro future.

Indian made its first motorcycle in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1901 and continued to do so with some success until after WWII, when model development stagnated and quality declined, the company went bankrupt in 1953. Since then, revivals have been attempted more times than we have fingers and toes. Unlike most of those stories, this time isn’t a case of little investors with big dreams, it’s a large, successful powersports empire with an eye on expansion. Who knows, if Polaris actually gives Indian an R&D budget we might see something of an arms race in the American cruiser market, something which could even force Harley start making decent motorcycles. We’ll find out more and report back.

  • Tim

    With Indian taking care of the traditional cruisers and touring bikes, I would love to see Victory widen their product line. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to buy an American made mid-sized standard bike or a dual sport?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Heresy!

      • Dennis

        Um, yeah. I bet a mid-sized standard or dual sport just what they’ll do. I for one can’t imagine for one second that Indian’s corporate masters at Polaris would dream of wishing to see yet another line of 900 pound motorcycles with ginormous fenders and boat-tails.

        Yep. Mid-sized standard. And a dual sport. That’s just what they’ll make.

        </sarcasm>

        • F

          I think Tim means let Indian make the hippos and re-imagine the Victory name into a line more akin with the Japanese companies offerings.

    • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

      I’d be lying if I said a few Victorys had never turned my head. The Hammer is an interesting looking bike. Some sportier suspension geometry and I bet it would be fun.

    • Myles

      It would be great, and you’d think Polaris would be able to do it (especially the dual-sport). They make a shitload of ATV’s and Snowmobiles and all that jazz, you would think they’d like to reach out to their current customers a bit.

      “Hey, Joe Six Pack, you know how you have a Polaris ATV and a Victory Motorcycle?”

      “Hell yeah, I love those things”

      “What if we COMBINED THEM!!!!!!!!!!!”

      “I need another beer, that sounds badass”

      “You could ride on the highway and the trails! One machine! All in one! A Dual-Sport motorcycle!”

      “Wait, that sounds like wunna them faggoty you-ro-pee-on bikes, no thanks.”

    • RMUT

      An american made mid-size standard would be a smart move. There’a a total hole in the market right now for that kind of bike. A bunch of my buddies just took the MC safety course and got their endorsements and are having the hardest time finding modern beginner bikes… and by hard time I mean finding beginner bikes that aren’t ugly and can hold a passenger that will help them get laid :)

  • Kirill

    Oh look, more $20k+ cruisers, just what we need.

  • Glenngineer

    I think this is great news…let competition is good, as is freedom for Victory to develop a broader range of bikes.

  • Deryl

    “something which could even force Harley start making decent motorcycles.”

    I love your eternal optimism toward H-D.

    That said, it is nice to see the Indian brand finally land at a place where it has a chance to succeed.

    • vegetablecookie

      “I love your eternal optimism toward H-D.”
      +1

  • http://www.amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

    Interesting …

  • Dan

    I guess, but, I’m REALLY rootin for Motus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

      Give Polaris a chance to snag them, too.

      Please don’t let Harley beat them to it.

  • Josh

    I don’t see it. What is Polaris lacking in Victory that they gain in Indian? The two brands seem like natural competitors in a boring, boring segment…

    • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

      One has even more chrome!

    • Dumptruckfoxtrot

      Indian has classically styled cruisers, Victory has a more modern custom inspired look. Essentially if you put the two together you get a real Harley alternative with a classic marquee to boot.

    • http://pics.zenerves.net/index.php?gallery=vehicules tropical ice cube

      Slap an Indian badge and whitewall tires on your victory cruiser; sell it 10k more. Let marketing drones pretend it’s an entirely different bike from an independent unit. Gain.
      Who seriously thinks Polaris is going to task a new team with re-inventing the wheel? Buying Indian is a cool move for them to up the ante on the Victory brand – if not ditch it entirely sooner or later. As for actually _inventing_ something… I’m still waiting for Wes and Grant to honour us with a Harley/Victory Extreme Cruiser Bullfight article. Hey guys, when are you doing, dunno, Expedition Texas On Cruisers, ya know, after the Labrador thing, would kinda fit wouldn’it.
      Good to be a paid subscriber; I _think_ they can’t throw me out. Or can they?
      :P

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        I’ve done I-10 from border to border enough times to know we’d never make it across west Texas without an air conditioner to keep the engines from over-heating. At least if we go in August, that is.

  • Tony

    I’m not a fan of cruisers, but there’s always been something about the indians I’ve liked. They have a unique personality. I wonder if Polaris has made any advances toward Fischer, Motus or EBR. I think they’d be making a statement if they picked up any of those.

  • wwalkersd

    Heh heh. You said “a more retro future.”

    I think the main thing this gets Polaris is a brand name with some history behind it. It’s a rather checkered history, but it’s history nonetheless.

    Maybe this will free up the Victory brand to collaborate with, oh, I dunno, Erik Buell.

    • Tony

      I’ve been hoping for a Can-Am/BRP Erik Buell partnership since Harley shut them down. It would be interesting if this move gave BRP more motivation to move on such a deal. It almost seems though that EB might want to just go it alone, but I’d like to see him have the kind of resources and dealers that BRP could offer. If Polaris did make an offer I wonder if the BRP engine would be a problem.

      • Mr.Furious

        BRP use Rotax engines (actually Rotax is a subsidiary of BRP). EBR used a modified Rotax engine.

  • JT Nesbitt

    Dear God, Please, Please, ENOUGH!!! It’s like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster!! Can’t somebody prevent the re-animation of this dead corpse?
    Indian is a brand of motorcycle that has a SPORTING heritage. Yes they built touring motorcycles, but they built their brand by building faster motorcycles than Harley, not by copying them. Shit. This sucks. “Cruisers” suck. Fat stupid American motorcycles suck. Why can’t a cool motorcycle brand buy the Indian name and FINALLY get it’s dick out of the dirt by doing justice to the brand. Fuck. I am so sick of seeing the once proud Indian name on the gas tank of a drag queen motorcycle.
    I am drunk and mad. — JT

    • JT Nesbitt

      P.S. Before any of you armchair bloggi’n motorcycle C.E.O. wannabe’s start maki’n ANY comments about “market share” or “economic viability” – go fuck yourself, and shame on you for perpetuating the myth that people in this country should accept anything less than a true sporting motorcycle that bears the INDIAN name. — JT

      • Jens

        Amen.

        • markbvt

          +1

      • http://www.amarokconsultants.com michael uhlarik

        It’s all about market share, man. branded T-shirt and golf bag market share.

        M

    • Daniel

      Mr. Nesbitt makes an excellent point. (Cheers, sir!)

      The reborn (undead?) Indian company emphasized repeatedly that their focus was on the luxury market, and that their competition was H-D’s Custom Vehicle Operations division — i.e., built-to-order-from-a-catalog bikes at more than $30k a pop.

      I want to see the American industry succeed as much as the next guy, but I doubt that the Polaris-Indian merger is evidence of progress. More likely: the all-new-for-2013 Indian Kingpin.

    • T Diver

      You are correct my friend. “Shit. This sucks.”
      I am going out on a limb but I believe they are going to regurgitate the same $20K garbage motorcycles they have made in the past. So now what? Are they going to make one with treads? I too am mad. However, I am not drunk because I am still at work.
      They should make a bike that someone other that Shovelhead can enjoy.

  • Kevin

    Sure, I get that these cruiser things are popular… but are they seriously all that America is capable of making? And we need three different brands of them?

    I’d love to buy American, just start building something I’m remotely interested it. Go, Motus…

  • Robert

    JT – Polaris announced the buy at 5:00 central time. Give it a bit man… Engineering will move to the same place that developed the Polaris RZR series. There is certainly pride in low volume high art motorcycles. There is in every level of riding from drag queen to scuzzy moped. Have pride in whatcha got and whatcha want. And if you hate someone else for their bike, their choice of ride and their perspective – well, who cares.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

      As Luke Skywalker once said, “I care.”

      • JT Nesbitt

        I care too. That’s the whole point here. It’s about passion for OBJECTIVELY good motorcycles. I think that the disconnect here is that you don’t believe that there is such a thing as a bad motorcycle. — JT

        • Robert

          For every bike there is the ideal rider. When I was in high-school I lusted after a QA-50. Elevate motorcycle art to an unreachable ideal, and you will only alienate the next generation that can’t touch cool – and dry up the volume in the market that allows for elite product to exist. And being objective about motorcycle design may be impossible for anoybody.

        • Dumptruckfoxtrot

          By which objective standard do you propose a bike is judged by?

          • Mattro

            there is no fully-quantifiable objective standard for consumer product. there are, however, objective standards for capabilities and there is quantifiability of user base.

            so, i can objectively say that bloated cruisers are much heavier than standards, sport bikes, etc. i can objectively say that motorcycles with engines based on mid-20th century design are slower and perform less efficiently. i, objectively, can say that these bikes have a lower degree of aesthetic variance among their kind, that they are less capable of performing certain tasks motorcycles are expected to do — like corner, accelerate, and brake, and i can make objective statements about the average age of people who buy the product.

            then the comparisons of the objective, quantified points can be made to those of other motorcycles.

            no one’s saying don’t build cruisers, they’re saying please, for fuck’s sake, build something else, too.

            • Robert

              So you have a Highland in your garage then? Deposit on a Motus? An ATK Dirt bike? Restoring a Cannondale perhaps? Spooning new tires on the Buell trackday bike? Perhaps saving up for that Roehr?

              In the world of Heavy Cruisers – indeed the mass of the market, thus the area of profitability – there is solid business reason to be in this market – one that you may not wish to participate. Victory has brought innovation and quality to the class. As consumers grow in appreciation of the qualities of that product (a demo ride helps – but only if you have experienced the other brands in that class) there is the opportunity to add to the segments. Victory is an eleven year model brand backed by a 55 year old powersports company – there will be more to come. But selling heavy cruisers is what allows the designs to com off the shelf and into your garage. To sell most segments successfully, you need a decent and profitable core product and a reasonable dealer base. Victory is getting there – Polaris is there.

              Get back to me in five years or so and let’s have this discussion again – I’ll help you part out that American Iron Horse Chopper to get the deposit money on the vew Victory Turbo Adventure Touring, Sidecar with optional JATO acceleration assist and satellite based auto ride feature. That would be something else – will you buy it?

            • Dumptruckfoxtrot

              I also think people should build something else too, but I understand if a company doesn’t want to risk breaking into that market.

              The point is that I think people are saying that cruisers suck, and that they shouldn’t be made. Cruisers as a form need innovation and higher technology.

              Victory as brands go is far better at pushing both the design and technology. Even if I do think that the design is being pushed in a crappy direction.

              My cruiser weighs less than some standards, it weighs more than others. It uses a liquid cooled V-4 engine, hardly a mid 20th century engine. Cruiser engine for the most part are no more 1950′s based engines than sportsbikes have 1970′s engines.

              I have never had a problem with it’s acceleration, braking, or cornering. I also don’t ride it outside of mine or it’s abilities. I could point out that sportsbikes have a fatality rate that is over three times higher than cruisers, despite their amazing handling characteristics.

              Comparing these performance standards is like comparing a sportscar to a economy sedan. At a certain point one should realize that people aren’t buying cruisers because they want to race around on them.

              I’m 26, so maybe I’m not the average age of a cruiser owner. Of course I’m not the average age of people who are buying motorcycles at all in the US. I’d also argue that aesthetic variance between sportbikes is not anymore drastic than what can be found for cruisers.

              No matter what points you want to bring up, buying a motorcycle is not really a rational decision and objective standards don’t really apply. I suppose if someone wanted to ride a Sportster like a GSX-R then maybe what you’re saying would make sense. But its more likely that a person who would choose a Sportster over a GSX-R did so because riding around on a GSX-R is like riding a tribal tattoo.

              • Robert

                What everyone must realize that as devoted enthusiasts, we measure ourselves against the “average” motorcycle guy who only has one bike and is (given the data) a cruiser / touring guy. I have seven bikes at home – of many brands and types – I’m hardly the average motorcycle guy. But probably pretty close to the average HFL reader.

                But – the average motorcycle guy measures himself against an average American world of mini-vans, 9-5 working hours and 2-week vacation allowances. For him, getting on a simple air-cooled bike that does not overwhelm him with tech, power or twitchy handling IS enough of an escape from that average American life.

                That is the volume of the market (averaged of course) – like it or not. This is the motorcycle business – not an experiment in producing everything for everyone. That’s a recipe for failure if you move too fast. Development costs big bucks – a failure is not as easy to absorb these days.

                Victory – at eleven model years of production – is at a point of being established as a viable alternative on the market place. Indian has its own heritage that spoke to the generations it sold new product to. It’s not a mystery that nostalgia bikes are the direction taken by both pervious versions of the “modern” Indian. That is the volume in the market.

                So in a nutshell – I’m looking forward to Victory and Indian a few years from now, and enjoying the variety of bikes and styles available to me now – and building what I can’t buy or afford.

  • Archer

    On a slightly related matter, who wants to wager that there will be civil action over the classic but oh-so-politically-incorrect logo?

    • robotribe

      Too little too late. This zombie brand has dodged that bullet long enough; tribal nations ignore it. Besides, it’s easier and more lucrative to build a casino.

    • Kirill

      The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians get away with it, no reason why Indian can’t.

  • Beale

    I guess it’s time to invest in tassel and conch futures.

    • Brad

      “Like”

    • HammSammich

      Brilliant!

  • Richard

    Wouldn’t it be great if an American motorcycle company looked forward instead of backward…

    I guess that’s a silly pipe dream. Or I just save up for an EBR.

    • Robert

      Cannondale did that.

  • Clay

    It is going to be impossible to bring back Indian as it was – bikes based on sporting heritage. No one is going to buy an American sport bike with an Indian badge on it because the perception of what an Indian bike should be is wholly consumed by what Indian bikes WERE. The only way this brand can be successful, at least initially, is as a retro brand. They could go as far as Ural and Royal Enfield with barely updated and modernized versions of classic Indian bikes from the past or they could go the Triumph route with aesthetically faithful modern recreations of classic Indian bikes.

    • Ilya

      I’m having hard time understanding the difference between “barely updated” and “modern recreation” in this particular context.

      • Clay

        Sorry, let me clarify. The Ural motorcycles you can buy today are essentially the same Russian copy of the old BMW R71 that the company has been making since the communist days with a few tweaks made over time, but essentially the same bike. The Royal Enfields you can buy are essentially the same bike that has been produced since the company was moved to India with the main change being the addition of fuel injection. Both of these brands are building bikes that were designed many many moons ago and have only been improved. Triumph on the other hand is building its Bonneville and Scrambler models as tributes to the 70s hey-day bikes, however these are ground up completely re-engineered bikes to the best of my understanding.

        • Ilya

          Well, the thing is that all of these are well crafted marketing legends, and nothing more. They work pretty good, though.

          • http://www.xenophya.com Xenophya

            To a certain extent. The current Royal Enfields still use some parts off the orginal 1955 tools.

            I see what Clay is saying. Put a 50s RE next to last years bike and yes you could spot the differences in some components which have been altered over time, but it’s pretty damn close. An original Bonny, however, shares absolutely nothing with the current bike.

            Indian could look at a ‘replica’ of the old bikes (getting more difficult with noise & emission regs these days) or do a Triumph and create a new bike which is an ‘homage’ to the old bikes.

  • Beale

    What I’d really like to see someone bring back is Henderson Motorcycles. An aircooled North/South inline four.

  • michael

    JT- I feel you.
    I had several meetings/conversations with the CEO of Indian over the last few years, every discussion I had centered around a forward, leading, modern Indian… An Indian with the soul and determination of the original, not an antiquated outdated copy of such. I am truly saddened that I/MotoCzysz did/does not have the capital to secure and build upon the greatest of all American motorcycle brands. -what could have been…
    Michael Czysz

    • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

      Michael, that would have been something truly unique and worthy of your efforts. Don’t let the dream fade!

    • JT Nesbitt

      Michael- Just because you don’t own the brand doesn’t mean that Polaris shouldn’t be talking to you! Hell, They should be talking to alot of designers here in America. But no, you and I both know that they are going to bring in the crypt keeper (Arlen Ness) to “style” their motorcycle, and will wind up with exactly what they produce today- a shadowy copy of a Harley that offers no real substantive advances. If Victory motorcycles went out of business today, would they even be missed? What contribution have they truly made to American motorcycling?
      Every once in awhile I come across a Hanlon Excelsior-Henderson on ebay and I ask myself – what is the difference between that shabby, sorry, motorcycle and a Victory? If they stopped making Victory today, we would find them on ebay in ten years and say “yeah, they used to make those, then they stopped maki’n ‘em” and that’s it! That is the extent of their contribution. They made them, then they didn’t!
      It is a sad comment on the corporate culture at Polaris. So don’t wait around for your phone to ring, Polaris does not reach out to talent in this country. I DARE Polaris to get some real minds involved, and relish the idea of being wrong on this one. — JT

      • JT Nesbitt

        P.S. The 2012 Polaris line up will have the Victory Vegas “JACKPOT!” and the Indian Casino “BINGO!” Maybe they should also buy Big Dog so that they could also release “DOGS PLAYING POKER!” Now that’s a compelling brand portfolio!

      • Robert

        Arlen consulted on the design in simply expressing opinions from his well-respected and admirable past decades producing some awesome custom work that year’s later people would copy and “own”. Don’t sip the Milwaukee Cool-Aid on Arlen – he’s the first to credit Victory Industrial Design and Engineering. Visit his museum in Dublin and ask him yourself. Victory simply did not at the time promote the work of Michael Song, trained at the Pasadena Arts Center College of Design, in redesigning the core machine into the Vegas we know now. Many many custom bike builders and designers were given bikes to develop custom themes for the then new brand – Arlen and Cory responded in a professional manner and have helped shape the brands custom look for consumers – just as Roland has done recently.
        Other “professionals” sold their bikes on eBay and delivered nothing.

        Victory was a white board brand that started in the higher volume segment of cruisers over a decade ago when the market growth was of course based in heavy cruisers. Indian has decades of design and a century of heritage on which to reflect. How to approach each brand in the modern era of savage immediate communication, professional “armchair C.E.O.’s” (to borrow a phrase) have it make a profit and be a quality reliable and durable product is a big complicated art. Funny how so many people forget how close Polaris was to closing the KTM deal. Had that happened, and the global economic crisis and resulting business yo-yo not happened, and with access to smaller displacement KTM motors, we could be reading about the revision of the Victory adventure touring bike, or superbike, or by now. Big volume business steers a different arc than small business. It has to.

        To the heavy cruiser segment, Victory brought a quality reliable motor that makes more power in its cheapest bike than the major competitions highest zoot EPA legal bike, a cast aluminum frame that shifts mass in an intelligent manner to create better balance for touring bikes, a unique rear shock arrangement that lowers the seat while maintaining travel for comfort and stability when stopped, a tip-over system on the Vision that negates damage from the most common parking lot mistakes, and other details that the segment has never seen, with a warranty, decent dealer base, dealer support, military appreciation programs, six semi-trucks full of demos touring the country…

        The brand is not here to suck – it will grow and develop and gain the ability to introduce new segments when the potential of the heavy cruiser sales is realized. Pie in the sky dreamers of what an American bike could be should consider building their own, or going to work for Motus, Brammo, Confederate (you guys hiring?) – See – it’s easy!

        • JT Nesbitt

          Robert- Are you the CEO of Victory?

          • Robert

            I have nowhere near the skill for that job.

            I’m the PR Manager for the brand, after doing the same for Aprilia (when it was good) for five years and tapping into some Guzzi work while I was there. I was the Off-Road product manager for Piaggio when the SXV / RXV was to be brough in, and quit 3 months before they arrived for reasons well known to warehouse managers and dealer owners across the country. I’m very proud of the work I did with them. and the freinds I made in that time.

            I’ve dressed as Chuck E Cheese for my first job, sold motorcycles, been a working photographer, been a motorcycle service writer, threaded movie projectors, raced poorly, rand the Buell Inside Pass track day series, fallen for dirtbikes and adventure touring and miss messing around in my shed with a spanner in my hand because I truly honestly love the motorcycle business, the people involved, anything with two wheels and a motor, some things with three wheels and a motor, and most things that feature internal combustion engines with human controled throttles.

            I appreciate big brands, little brands, punk-ass opionators who stir up the mud, cranky old men who can ride those punk-ass kids into the dust, city riders, country riders, Italian culture vs Italian business, cool parts, fast racers, and the fact that computers and cell phones have power switches.

            I have records but no record player, I have an iPod but barely ever download squat. This year I’ll catch Daytona, Sturgis, WSBK, MotoGP, a week in Moab, a ride with my Brother, Sister and my Mom, and some other stuff that is nobodies business, and never will be.

            I’m the PR Manager for Victory – but I’m a motorcyclist first.

            • Robert

              And I will add – that I am extremely proud to work with my friends and compatriots at Victory and Polaris. This is a great American company that is full of smart, humble and hard-working people. I have met many of the same type of person at Honda, Harley, Yamaha etc.

      • Kerry

        JT, as much as I agree with your take on the flaccid American cruiser, I do have to point out that the Hanlons really did try to make a “real” evolved motorcycle under all that Harley inspired bodywork. The Super X engine was a Dual overhead cam 4 valve lump designed by Westlake (Remember Harry Westlake? the real inventor of the Hemi engine – for Jaguar long before Chryco ever “dreamed” it up). The Chassis was designed by Alan Hurd, the man responsible for triumph’s sporting models of the 1990s. And that 1/2 earls fork springer-draulic front suspension – an unfortunately heavy attempt to reinvent the wheel so to speak when it came to modern cruiser suspension. The Hanlons may not have made a contribution to American motorcycling, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

  • Dumptruckfoxtrot

    I hope the cruiser market can really be transformed by this acquisition. To be honest, the Blackhawk and Bomber chiefs aren’t awful looking motorcycles. I’m just hoping they retain at least the look of the engines and don’t get the lumpy Freedom V-twin.

    Of course it’d be great to have the brand resurrected in the vein of Triumph. I’d like to see an Indian Scout that could compete with anything in Triumph’s Modern Classic or Harley’s Dark Custom (lord that name sucks) range.

    • Roman

      That’s kind of what I’m thinking. It’s probably a long shot, but the brand obviously has the historical basis for making a lightweight standard motorcycle and it already has a great, evocative name for it. You’re telling me a well engineered Indian Scout wouldn’t sell? I’d look to the new Nortons as the model, build as many Chiefs as it takes to make it financially viable, but also build a modern Scout damn it!

  • Jens

    I like victory and the way they are going. Would be great if they would set up an innovative sportbrand, the resourches they have. Call it Indian -ok but treat that great brand with respect. Another Retro-concho-chrome-me-up-brand the world dont need.

  • Mauricio

    So Stellican is out? HA! Wonder if they ever made any money out of their motorcycle adventure. Didn’t they just spend a load of cash on a new facility in Kings Maountain, NC? Another load of money in ironing out issues with their dress up Evo Powerplus 100 motor? Is Polaris going to keep that mill alive, or are they going to power the New New New Indians with the Victory motor? Seems like the obvious way to save money is to consolidate production, kill redundancies, kill the NC factory. A bottomless pit swallowing all money coming its way, this Indian revival futility thing.

  • Scott-jay

    Kawasaki successfully built Indian and Triumph recreations in the ’90s.

  • Thom

    New Indian ? Again ? Damn thing has more lives than a cat , with a heck of a lot less content !

    Much as I’d love to see a Genuine Reborn Indian M/C Company I’m afraid this Victory chapter just won’t be it .

    More SSDD than Happy Days are Here Again .

    But seriously . Is Polaris/Victory successful enough at this point in time to be competing with itself with another brand ?

    I don’t think so .

  • http://www.smartcycleshopper.com/author/doug-dalsing/ DougD

    Does the Indian brand really need “engineering acumen and innovative technology”? I think not. But I guess Polaris might need a brand under which to sell old-timey motorcycles.

    You know, H-D should have bought Indian and quashed the brand’s future. That would’ve stomped out retro/domestic competition right there!

  • facebook.com/Cheese302

    this is weird news, i love how every few years, or i think this one was all of 1 year, Indian changes hands. I saw Indian in the last carnation at the NY Motorcycle Show. The last thing the american motorcycle industry needs is another chromed out cruiser brand.

    • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

      This seems different. Polaris is buying the fully functional current iteration of Indian, not the remnants of a bankrupt disaster. There’s a pretty nice showroom full of (overpriced) Stellican Indians at Wagner Motorsports in Mass right now. There’s at least some reason to be positive.

  • Brad

    Indian? How?

  • zato1414

    Dawn Of The Dead 2011. All the financial transfusion of dollars into another resurrection of Indian Motorcycle… I think I’ve seen one on the road in the last 5 years.

    • Mauricio

      Cool. I’ve seem almost as many.

  • moby grape

    JT Nesbitt for President! I’m no Harly fan, but at least a 2011 sportster is as “real” as a 1957 sportster. When is the new Brough Superior coming out?

    • Scott-jay

      Buell’s XB was really the modern Sportster.

  • GT

    More money thrown down a cruiser rat hole. They should have bought US Highland instead!

    • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

      that’s the best idea i’ve heard all day.

  • http://www.lloydvintage.com lloydvintage

    +1 on Highland

  • Brook

    I have a few new slogans for the Indian brand…

    “Upholding the Greatest American Tradition…the tax write off.”

    “From Rich to Poor in 15 seconds flat.”

    “Ride the Dream, (because all we sell are dreams).”

    “Bilking Investors One Generation at a Time.”

    I’d make a lousy PR guy. But, I can see where this is headed. Since Polaris is supporting them, I’ll give them 2 model years before the brand is resold again.

  • slowtire

    Didn’t Polaris recently move their ATV and side by side production to Mexico? Whats next? The New Pan American Motorcycle?

    • Robert

      Some production has moved – however ATV’s. SxS’s and Snow products are still produced in the USA.

      • slowtire
        • Robert

          That was the original plan (note the date), the latest is due to increased sales, SxS’s are built in Rousseau, MN, along with Snow and some SxS, with all Victory produced in Spirt Lake since day 1, plus SxS’s.The new (NEW) announcement is that victory and snow engines, perviously destined to move to other plant in the US – will now stay in Osceola.

  • Thomas

    The inside story directly from my source at P is that the company will skip the whole bike bit – too controversial, and move immediately into the novelty clothing phase. According to my sources, manufacturing will be in the Sultanate of Brunei, with company stores in Riyadh, Ten Aviv and Beverley Hills. Mall options in Damascus, Tashkent and Tripoli.

    • dux

      Ah ha! So that’s how they’re making money on the deal. Now it makes sense….

  • Oleg

    I think this is really good news. I hope Polaris will make the pirates consider HF vs. Indian, which will make both brand make better bikes.

  • Ed

    Note, the presser right before this announcement on the Indian website – “Indian Retail Sales up 80%.” http://www.indianmotorcycle.com/index.php?src=news&submenu=News&srctype=detail&category=Press%20Releases&refno=9 So somebody IS buying these pretty painted ponies. I think the bottom line is we’d all like to see:
    a) An American motorcycle company that makes something more than retro-garbage wagons.
    b) An American motorcycle company that takes on the Japanese, Germans and Italian bike makers on diverse fronts – standard, dual sports, sport-tourers… (BTW: when was the last time those three countries got together?)
    c) An Indian brand that builds on the sporting heritage rather than the legacy of a single post-war cruiser.