Circle your wagons Harley, Indian is on the warpath

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That legendary American brand that just can’t seem to finally rest in the sacred burial ground of its ancestors is now set for archaeological excavation by those noble savages over at Polaris. The first all-new Indian has just lumbered off the assembly line at Polaris global HQ in Spirit Lake, Iowa. The smoke signals are all saying the same thing: this Chief definitely ain’t the last of the Mohicans and, in a very few moons, all you cowboys could be riding Indians! But, the question is: will construction workers, leather daddies and traffic cops be able to smokum this peace pipe too? How many trade beads will it take to mount this redskin? And what does this mean for those comatose Custers over in Milwaukee? Lets lift up the loincloth and have a peek at this all new Indian.

A visit to the technology teepee reveals a vast Paleolithic arsenal of features like front and rear suspension, disc brakes and chrome exhaust pipes. This honest injun even brandishes some real boom-stick tech too, in the form of fuel injection! Not going too far with all of that white man’s big medicine, Indian has decided to stay true to is heritage with a 45-degree, single-cam pushrod motor throbbing with an impressive 65 rear wheel hosepower (horses just being introduced, you see).

The fully loaded Deluxe weighs in at a warrior-worthy 753 pounds, so you can be sure that the engineers at the wigwam aren’t Indian givers when it comes to delivering the most motorcycle for the buck. This new Chief ain’t no papoose! I takes a real hunter/gatherer to ride this buffalo, and will definitely make Chief Little Horn feel like Chief Big Horn!

The first new Indian rolled off the Polaris production line this week.

No need to check those trade blankets for smallpox, this new Indian is what’s causing that unscratchable itch! And speaking of scratching, once you get your moccasins on those generous floorboards, you are gonna leave your mark on twisty roads all over the reservation! Just don’t be too brave, cause this bike was never meant for wounded knee dragging, it’s built for long distance comfort for both you and your squaw.

You had better start saving that wampum now cause all of those classic looks come with a hefty price, $25,000 to $30,000 estimated. A real poke in the hontas, but definitely worth its weight in war clubs. With unique, yet distinctly American styling and simply stunning war paint, this Crazy Horse shouts “Me scalpum big section of heavyweight cruiser market share!”

Will Indian finally end its trail of tears? Will this tribe finally get to tomahawk the competition? Will the medicine men at the helm of Indian successfully navigate the labyrinth of the motorcycle industry (or maize, if you prefer)? Only the Great Spirit knows, but one thing is for sure, this new Chief is doing one heck of a rain dance!

  • Christopher Owen

    This may be the most obnoxious article I’ve ever read. Gorgeous bikes though. Especially the Bomber editions.

    • Joe

      I believe it was sarcasm

      • valen

        It’s still obnoxious.

        I don’t care. It’s funny. More accurately, its punny.

        • slowestGSXRever

          There is such a thing as too many puns.

          • Joe

            How dare you

          • smoke4ndmears

            It’s your just reward for actually reading through an entire article about an Indian. A mental turd to match the one in the picture.

            • The other Joe


            • mugget

              I LOL’d.

  • BenP

    This article was almost funny enough for me to overlook this outdated pile of crap that Indian/Polaris is charging $30k for.

    Thanks Polaris, this is just what we needed.

    • Adrian

      Yup! +1

  • Patrick

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAH Sell your Polaris stock now!

  • Peter


  • nwdothage

    I pee’d a little reading this. Thank you.

  • Jesse

    This review is some karmic backlash, isnt it? Thie may bring JT back to the level of us mere mortals after designing and building that beautiful Magnolia.

    I’d still buy him a beer or two in exchange for some stories.

  • Justyn

    Wow, tassels are making a comeback, sweet.

    • the (unfortunate) roomate

      belly-button-baring jackets and pink 50cc vespas are too if the “well-informed rumor mill” is correct.

      • Wes Siler

        I knew I should have had you sign a non-disclosure agreement.

      • Sean Smith

        Sorry wes, i got too excited about the paint scheme we came up with and sent him a pic.

        • Sean Smith

          Whaaa?!?!? Since when do I have an evil commenter twin that links to @Wessilerfanclub?

      • Grant Ray

        You guys are idiots.

    • evilbahumut

      Nah, they never left, they just went to track days.

      Maybe they’re making a comeback to cruisers…

  • HammSammich

    You have acheived Shock & Awe levels of sarcasm and flippancy in this article.

    I’m picturing Wes editing this and calling up JT for some clarification. “Hey, this is supposed to be sarcastic right?” After an awkwardly drawn out pause…JT responds tentatively, “I think so…I…I’m not really sure anymore…”

    When Indian’s resurrection was announced, I kept thinking of a phrase my dad used to say, “If you hope for the best, but expect the worst you won’t be dissappointed.” Polaris has proven the value of that statement.

  • Beale

    Wow, that was bad. Stink up the room bad.

  • Deryl

    How about throwing in Nigger, Wop, Spic, Gook, Jap, Kike, Kraut, Limey, Sand Nigger, and Polack. Just for a little more sarcasm.

    • a hipster

      leave sarcasm to us professionals and stop looking for something to bitch about.

    • Wes Siler

      I apologize that we chose to publish article the same day that your humor detection unit malfunctioned.

      While it’s out of service, allow me to help:

      New Indian is a farce. Articles written about Indian in other publications tend to rely on cliches playing off the name. This particular article plays on those cliches and the universal positivism with which a clearly unambitious product is too often treated.

      But don’t worry, you remembered to purchase the extended warranty on your sense of humor, right?

      • Thom

        Now thats some classy sarcasm .

        10 points

      • Scott-jay

        Crap, Wes. We must read other moto articles in order to appreciate yours?
        I don’t think so.

        • Wes Siler

          Yeah, sorry, we ask a lot of our readers. Unless you’re reading the schlock that passes for motorcycle media elsewhere, I don’t think you’re fully capable of appreciating how hard we work. Get to it.

      • Thomas

        No, that article was offensive, and not even that funny. “Don’t you have a sense of humor” is not a very good defense of the inherent racism in the article. I’m sure JT did not intend it to be so, but it is.

        • Wes Siler

          It’s satire dude, pull the stick out of your ass.

          • Thomas

            I get what JT was trying to do, and I’m not saying that he is actually a racist, but he missed his mark here. I enjoy reading his stuff (as I do most of the stuff here on HFL), but here he just kinda misses.

          • tonup

            There is good and there is bad satire. This is bad satire.

    • Thom

      You forgot Chinc , Hebe , Mick , WASP , Slut Monkey , Towel Head , Cheese Head ( lets not forget our CDN brethren ) and White Trash.

      There . I think that about covers it :o)

      • Deryl

        Thorm, thank for for covering those I missed. Wes, don’t deal in sarcasm unless you can take sarcasm. a hipster, fuck you. Love you guy keep up the good work.

        • Thom

          And a double thanks to you for this one . I’m still laughing

          A Gotcha if there ever was one !

          20 points

          • Deryl

            Thank you for the points, even though I ride an old (’84) BMW on the long straight roads of West Texas, I like reading what you plastic wrapped curvy road riding guy write.

            • Thom

              Me thinks you’d find me to be a bit more on your side of the fence there Deryl . Aint no plastic ( or carbon fiber ) to be seen on my ride , and I leave the hard core Boy Racer twisty stuff to the Testosterone bunch .

              Its not cruisers in general I dislike ( actually I had a R1200C and loved it ) its this travesty of an Indian I despise .

              West Texas eh ? You may know a few of my VOC mates down your way .

        • a hipster

          you made my morning, thanks buddy :)

      • muckluck

        Theres no negative connotation to cheese head, I’m from Wiscoinsin. Wes the article was hilarious as it was intended, I don’t believe they changed anything from the old company to the new one especially the price. Just more fodder for the ever aging baby boomers. If I wanted fender valances i’d get a kawi drifter for a fraction of the price!

      • robotribe

        What is this “slut monkey” and where can I learn more?

        • HolyHandGrenade!

          I too want to learn more about the Slut Monkey.

      • ike6116

        Slut monkey?

        • Thom

          Slut Monkey = A UK insult aimed at women of Indian ( the country ) and Pakistani descent .


          If you noticed I did say the Cheese Head insult was for our Canadian brothers and sisters .

          It may be OK in Wisconsin , but call most CDN’s a Cheese head and well ………. please …….. duck or run . I hate gratuitous violence

    • Von Scotch

      Deryl, I bet you’re a real fun guy. I’d like to go out for a pint with you. Really.

  • Thom

    Don’t need to be no freakin Great Spirit / Medicine Man to know the answers to JT’s final questions ;





    Rain Dance ? Its more like the folks at Polaris/Victory are pissing with all their might on the name and legend of Indian Motorcycles while aiming their flow right into the mouths of any fool dumb enough to pay this kind of money for the Indian Travesty .

    Chief my ass. More like Papoose with its head up its Ass

    Oh and by the by Victory ( assuming that fellow from Polaris/Victory might be looking in )

    Tell me . What part of your so called High Level Business Brain is missing out on the fact that Harley Davisons Big Cruiser market is dying a slow and painful death ?

    Brilliant time in History to bring out ANOTHER Fat assed over priced under performing Cruiser . Just when nobodies buying them . Yup…. you guys at Polaris/Victory are truly a bunch of geniuses . In your own deluded minds

    ( there .. that should take a bit of heat off JT , not that he needs my help )

    FYI Hammsammich your dad got that quote from Agatha Christie , but you bet its a good one .

    The original quote goes ;

    ” I always expect the worst from people and I’m seldom disappointed ” AC’s moms favorite saying .

    • a hipster

      worst* not worse

      • Thom

        Fixed it . Molto Grazie !

    • HammSammich

      Thanks for the background Thom. Doesn’t surprise me that Dad quoted Agatha Christie…he was a detective when he retired early from the P.D. and he always loved mystery novels.

  • Kirill

    That has to be a record for most stereotypical references against one particular race in a single article

    • The other Joe

      Polaris is a race?

  • Kevin

    How the hell does retro kitsch capture so much market share? I don’t begrudge anybody their ride or how they spend their money, but it’s a mystery to me why underperforming, overweight bikes are so damn popular.

  • GT

    “A real poke in the hontas.” Now that is funny. Maybe now Polaris can focus on some actual real bikes and leave the cruisers to Indian.

    • HammSammich

      ““A real poke in the hontas.” Now that is funny.”

      Sure it is…until it happens to you!

    • Thom

      So maybe the ;

      Indian Spokahontas as the next model moniker ? Assuming they survive long enough to get to the next model

      • Wes Siler

        Robert, Thom has a great idea here. Hire Danica Patrick as Indian spokesperson and label her “Spokahontas” in TV ads.

        • Thom

          Another Ten for Wes !!!!

          But Robert , if you do make sure you ladle on the makeup , hairspray and softening filters on her as without it Danica does have that PetSmart thing happening .

          Spokahantas Patrick . I love it !

          • a hipster

            Thom – the official point giver outer for HFL comments.

            • Thom

              oh hell A Hipster I was just in a weird n loony mood that day

              • a hipster

                i never said i was against it. i just noticed multiple comments where you awarded someone points for the their comment. i actually kinda think you should keep it up.

                • DougD

                  +1—wait, can I do that?

  • Mr.Furious

    Is the bike supposed to be sarcastic as well?

    It causes me physical discomfort to look at that thing.

    I am saddened.

  • Audun

    oh my G! Not another fat, overweight, underperforming American! Well at least there is not another contester for the Italians! Thank God! Indian, rest in peace!

  • jason McCrash

    For those that don’t know, this is the exact same bike that was being made in NC by the company Polaris bought. It isn’t all new, or new at all. They moved the tooling to Iowa and are making the same bike as a 2011.
    The question that all of this hints at is “why is there still no clear cut Vision for Victory/Indian? (pardon the pun Vic owners). On Vic forums the ‘word’ is that Indian will stay top of the line cruisers and Victory will be…. some other type of cruiser. “Custom or Performance” Cruisers I guess.
    The voices I hear on other sites ask for a throw back to Indian of old, where performance and a varied model line (Big/mid size Vtwins and 4 cyl bikes along with the military Guzzi style Vtwin) were the main things Indian was known for.
    The name that keep popping up in these posts is Triumph. A company that was gone, living on only on tshirts and with die hard fans of the brand. Polaris has the chance to be the next Triumph. Let Victory be it’s whatever you call them cruisers and let Indian offer a couple of versions of the Vtwins (preferable ones not based on HD designs…..) a Chief and Scout while also looking at the rest of the market out there. Indian “bought” it’s old 4cyl bikes when it purchased Ace Motorcycles which were actually started by Henderson when they got bought out. So look to the rest of the industry and come up with a plan for Indian Polaris and let that plan be known to the public so that they can start to WANT one of your bikes. One that doesn’t focus on Sturgis and conchos.

    And I owned a Kingpin for over 3 years. 18000+ miles, 3 cross country trips. i liked the bike, wouldn’t buy one again until they come up with something I want, not something I bought and spent time and $$$$$ on making it into what I wanted.

  • super20

    65 HP? Really, at that rate the world’s fastest Indian is some dude on a Royal Enfield.

    • Kevin


    • BMW11GS

      hahah awesome! Im going to try to use that sometime

    • stefano


    • carcanal

      that was great. Replacing the 7eleven indian for the casino indian.

      • super20

        Actually I was referring to the country of origin of the Bullet, not the rider,

        • The other Joe

          That’s ok, It’s funny either way.

  • stefano

    i like their color choices. that’s all im saying. please don’t hurt me

    (except for the horrible black one)

    • Mark D

      Amen. If only I lived in a world where modern sport bikes came in cream and surf green…

  • Coreyvwc

    Some poor suckers with a fetish for leather and americana will buy them, but will there be an offering for the rest of us in future?

  • Daniel

    Fucking died reading this.

    Extra points: “Just don’t be too brave, cause this bike was never meant for wounded knee dragging…”

    More like this, please.

  • Dumptruckfoxtrot

    So when BMW had an ill-thought out ad campaign with a few caricatures that was in bad taste but when you publish an article consisting entirely of thinking up racist puns and illusions and that’s alright?

    • Wes Siler

      It’s the intention that differentiates the two. Satire has always been an important tool for breaking down reprehensible social movements.

      • ursus

        double bandaid all-the-way.
        what does it mea…

      • Dumptruckfoxtrot

        Fair enough, the point probably could have been made in a paragraph though. The article comes across as more of a mockery of Indian as a brand using offensive stereotypes rather than a mockery of the use of offensive stereotypes .

        • Wes Siler

          It’s a mockery both of the hokiness of the brand and the way it’s been treated in the media for the last 40 years or so.

          • Von Scotch

            Fuck off man, it was funny. End of.

          • Thomas

            Wes, this is my last comment on this. You can take it for what it is, which is the constructive criticism of a fan of HFL. What JT does here is not sarcasm. Sarcasm employs irony. There is no irony in this piece. JT directly mocks Indian (the bike) by invoking racist stereotypes of native Americans. It’s obvious what JT was targeting (which is why this article isn’t funny – JT’s beating a dead horse), but he causes some collateral damage here. I’m a fan of this website, and I’m still a fan. You can tell me to remove the stick out of my ass all you want, but all the HFL nuthuggers notwithstanding, you guys fucked up on this one.

            • JT Nesbitt

              powWOW does Thomas have an indian burn! Sounds like you got more than a stick in your pooper, more like an entire totem pole! Let me help un-”lodge” it. So I was having fun at the expense of others, Soux me. Thomas, stop being such a hating heathen and join the rest of the tribal elders by realizing that I am making fun of the media coverage of this, and all of the stupid quips that they use to cover up what is essentially a non-event. Journalists have been paddling on the same side of the canoe for so long on this subject that it has worn a hole in the water. You may commence the eating of your Crow now, and hopefully we can once again be blood brothers at the end of the trail. — JT

              • ike6116


                Seriously Polaris, we have enough expensive but provably worthless motorcycles, let’s try and keep America beautiful eh?

              • Thomas

                Hi JT. OK, this is REALLY my last comment on this.

                1. JT, I enjoy your articles and look forward to new ones. Even though I often find myself disagreeing with you, your stuff is well-written, intelligent, entertaining, and thought-provoking. It’s because of contributors like you that I’m happy to pay my $2 every month to read HFL. I’d like to think that we can still be “blood brothers” notwithstanding disagreements.

                2. Because I have come to expect only good stuff from you, I was quite surprised by this one.

                3. I can’t comment on whether you were on target if you were aiming at media coverage of Polaris/Indian. I
                am only vaguely aware of the general media coverage
                of this issue. I don’t find this topic particularly exciting or interesting, and therefore I don’t actively follow the coverage.

                4. What I CAN comment on is what I read in your article, because, well, I actually read it. Your article here was not particularly informative, intelligent, or thought-provoking (at least on the topic of motorcycles). There was no irony in your words. It was a straight-up exercise in mockery. Just personally, I didn’t find the article funny or entertaining because I’ve already read your opinion on this topic and this one seemed like a piling-on or the beating of a dead horse.

                5. Plus, the fact remains that your method of mockery involved the use of offensive racial stereotypes. If you had some witty and intelligent reason for doing so, general readers would have no way of knowing from your article. You say that that you were making fun of general media coverage of this “non-event” but I still don’t know what racial stereotypes have to do with how other media oulets have covered this Polaris/Indian thing.

                6. If I am really failing get it, how about explaining the issue? I don’t mean this in a you-need-to-explain-yourself sort of way. I would, very sincerely, like to know how the general media coverage of Polaris/Indian rationally or intelligently warranted the stereotypes that you utilized in the name of being “sarcastic.” And by the way, I’m not being sarcastic here.

                Still a big fan of yours.

                • rohorn

                  Am I the only one who sees this bike as a mockery of “new” and a disgusting collection of offensive design cliche’s and stereotypes? I would think that the only offense one could find on this page is having one’s intelligence insulted by having that pointed out right here in this post.

                  In the mean time, it looks like my first guess elsewhere was correct…

                • contender

                  Can we elect to pay an extra quarter a month and ban or at least silence this dude? This is exhausting and is spoiling my fun.

  • jonoabq

    So it’s priced by the pound right? Maybe if it managed to lose about 50% of the weight it would then become affordable…and more fun to ride?

    btw, yeah, funny. Probably took longer to write the article than come up with the concept sketches for the bike.

  • jason

    God help us, another geriatric kiddie ride that will be fucking loud and obnoxious as it scrapes by my house. Why oh why. This kind of goes with Ashlees’ article: If you have a fat ass: buy American. It is soo sad. What happened?

  • Scott-jay

    JT, compare & contrast: retro design/style of subject Indian and your roadster?
    Both feature beautifully formed sheet metal, leather trim, and modern versions of traditional power.

  • UrbanRider

    That is one fugly bike. Lame.

  • paul

    I feel a little dumber for having read that.

  • ike6116

    CCW and EBR are the future of American motorcycling.

    Shame, I thought Polaris was going to do something different with Indian.

  • slash5alive

    I feel like that Indian in the old anti littering commercial…standing on the side of the road with a tear rolling down his cheek. Ugggh.

    • Dumptruckfoxtrot

      That was a Sicilian, not an Indian.

  • rvltng_bstrd

    This launch got the HFL welcome that most of us expected and enjoyed; but than did any of you really expect significant changes (if any at all) in the “new” Indian’s very first offering?

  • ak

    what a waste.

  • Campisi

    Considering Polaris said it’d be a few years before they really got going with Indian and considering that this bike is identical to the pre-Polaris Chief, isn’t it a bit early to be panning Polaris’s handling of the Indian brand? All they can really do with Indian for now is let it continue on with legacy product while they decide what they’re going to do with it.

    … The shtick in this article made its point about one paragraph in.

    • The other Joe

      What point is that, “hosepower”?

      • Campisi

        I figured the point of it was to mock the whole “they’re name is Indian, so plenty of cowboys-and-indians references will be clever writing” thing that rag writers indulge in regarding Indian, especially when the bike itself is in no way or shape new or interesting.

  • CG

    Actually, I thought that was the exact copy of the article introducing the 1948 Indian muttersickle in Motorcyclist magazine. It is the 1948 one right? I mean, they didn’t just bring out that thing right now? Perhaps Polaris is in some alternate dimension where people have jobs and stuff to blow on this kind on thing.

  • Gregory

    Let’s all play nice and go ride bikes.

    It may be a wise business-move on Polaris’s part. A lot of people (I wouldn’t call them motorcyclists; I’d call them poseurs) spend a lot of money on leather chrome land-barges. It might work.

    On the other hand, “CG” said it right: it’s not always the wisest move to release luxury goods when the economy is doing bad. Will foreclosed-house dude be able to get credit for this?

    I think “ike6116″ was correct: Cleveland Cycle Works and Buell are the future of the North American motorcycle industry.

    For CCW, a bike’s only ~$4’000, you get a top-tier manufacturer (yes, Chinese), American entrepreneurial know-how awesomeness, great styling and it’s all put together by a few kids in Ohio. It’s a win-win for everyone. Ride it like you stole it! My next bike is a CCW~

    Portland, OR
    2008 Kawasaki KLR 650

  • DoctorNine

    Well, despite the claims of ‘sarcasm’, it read like something I might hear in a high school parking lot, late on Friday night, after a couple cheap beers. Not impressed.

    The bike though…

    What we have here, is a well thought out method of relieving dentists and bankers of that extra cash money that they have to spend on something, to impress other members of their herd. There will always be a market for luxury goods, even in an economic downturn. So that doesn’t surprise me, really. Polaris hasn’t missed this. Of that I am certain. They may not make money on it for a couple years, but if they push the marketing in the right way, and go low volume, they’ll be ok.

    Would I ride it? Hell no. I’m more interested in higher power-to-weight ratio machines. But then, I’m not their target demographic, and likely no one else here on HFL is either. So, like, WHATEVER man. To quote the Dude.

  • Will

    Are folks really worried about racist remarks after reading this article? Or am I missing some sort of weird internet meta-irony that’s just completely gone over my head? Either way, “a real poke in the hontas” is fucking funny to me.

    But yeah, too bad Polaris took this opportunity to chase the same dying, $30k tugboat market that’s killing Harley.

    • robotribe

      It’s Polaris making a last-ditch effort to cash in with a shrinking segment. Any money is good money, as long they have a good exit plan.

      I moved from SoCal to Central Florida and have been here a few months now. I have a fresh understanding of said “$30k tugboat market” you mention: it’s formidable, it’s part of the social fabric in certain regions, and yes, it’s absolutely relevant to a certain age and group of riders of whom I’ve observed to be REALLY into their lifestyle. How else does one even explain the relevancy and viewership of shows like “SONS OF ANARCHY”? And please, don’t anyone waste my time telling me it’s because the writing and acting are at the forefront of its appeal.

      I’ve got a sinking feeling that the industry at large is looking to milk every last drop of income from these boomers who may still have some actual liquidity to their wealth while there are still enough of them around; the manufacturers have probably figured out the GenX-ers (like me) and beyond don’t have much faith in future earnings or incomes to provide for that eventual mid-life crisis trophy purchase (and a polite “fuck you” to those who still believe mid-life is at 40).

      One more anecdotal note: I’ve got a buddy who’s dad is in his early 60s who, sadly, can’t ride his Harley super-mega-wonder-glide anymore because of a stroke he had last year. This dad has been trying to give my friend his motorcycle non-stop ever since to “keep it in the family”. My non-rider buddy, who’s actually interested in riding, can’t imagine himself on that “boat” (his words, not mine) and has mentioned to me that if he were to inherit when his dad passes away, that he’d likely sell it and buy something in the class naked bike or sport bike range instead.

      Today’s fat-boy cruisers are tomorrow’s Oldsmobiles, Buick Regal hot rods and Cutlass Sierras with DUBS. That said, there are still many businesses out there making money on air filters, racing trannies and chrome bits for said vehicles.

      • Will

        I don’t disagree, it’s just unfortunate.

        • robotribe

          Absolutely unfortunate. Makes one wonder what Harley and Polaris have planned long-term; I’m not pretending to be the first one to ask wonder that, either.

  • oldblue

    My eyes! My EYES!

    Make the bad people at Polaris stop!

  • HolyHandGrenade!

    What is really surprising is that the bike is not even competitive in it’s own segment. The Road King looks less ghay (no tassles and fringe), actually produces more HP and TQ, and costs $5-10K less. Not to mention the in house competition from the Victory Crossroads which also puts out way more HP and TQ, looks much better, and costs way less. Not sure who will buy this bike, even within the target audience.

  • Brammofan

    I traveled about 1400 miles this weekend across Kansas and Colorado and back. Saw (noticed) probably 1,000 motorcycles on this trip. 95% of them were heavy cruisers, mostly Harleys. The riders were mixed ages – from 20 year olds to 60+ year olds. Despite the opinions expressed here, I think the heavy cruiser (with tassels) market is alive and well, at least in fly-over country.

    • HammSammich

      Sad, but true…Even here in Eastern Washington State, slow, lumbering, Heavy Cruisers are seen by most as the pinnacle of motorcycling.

    • Ben Incarnate

      Definitely alive and well here in Texas, too.

    • HolyHandGrenade!

      Here in PA as well. I dont see why this is a problem. Build a more appealing mouse trap and the mouse will buy it. I dont see why so many around here are bothered by what is popular when it differs from what they prefer.

    • DougD

      It’s a little different riding in Wisconsin, this being H-D nation, of course. But even when I get into western Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, all I see is cruisers, too. We can mock the cruiser market for all we want—it’s not going anywhere terribly fast. At least we (I mean people who ride motorcycles other than cruisers) have an ally in legislative matters.

      Personally, I don’t think Polaris will do anything too special with Indian. They’re not a company that you think of and immediately associate with brilliance (the way you could argue H-D has been brilliant in cultivating an image, for better or worse, over the past decades).

      It’s still the same Indian brand that has floundered over the recent decades while H-D has dominated the same market. Indian’s marketing budget is just slightly bigger now, that’s all.

  • Robert

    Well, gosh, you could always buy something else…

    • Thom

      @ Robert

      Thats it ! This is the best defense you can mount against all the criticism being leveled at what is in fact nothing more than the previous Indian Chief , albeit w/updated ( slightly ) motor ?

      Really ?

      So can we assume by your minimal response that you haven’t much more faith than we do on the quality or success of this travesty Y’all have on offer ?

      Well …… if thats the best you can do …… Oh well .

      But here’s a thought there Robert

      How abut Polaris/Victory coming up with a Cruiser with the Indian moniker on it that at least equals if not exceeds the technology of a 70 year old Vincent Black Shadow ?

      That too much to ask from your gang of brilliant minds ?

      If so Y’all might want to consider hiring a whole new gang of brilliant minds , cause the current crop has a bad case of Hyundai/KIA’itis

      e.g Stick someone else’s design in the copy machine . Wait till it comes out the other end and then Photo Shop your own badges on it .

      Think on that one a minute Robert when your P&L statements start looking like a graph for a Submarines decent into the depths of the Atlantic .

      • HolyHandGrenade!

        “Well, gosh, you could always buy something else…”

        “Think on that one a minute Robert when your P&L statements start looking like a graph for a Submarines decent into the depths of the Atlantic”

        Thom, no need to be a total douche nozzle. This was not really a review or something that could be rebutted. It’s like when you tried to correct the bully for calling you a fag in 6th grade. It really didnt matter if you enjoyed the cock or not, that was not the point.

        Personally, I think that is a horrendously ugly bike, but Im not in the demo for it. It’s not for me – so I move on to something else. The market dictates what gets made, things will change when consumer tastes change.

        I assume you will also be going short on Polaris?

        • Thom

          @ HHG

          One would think after Robert’s tirades from JT’s last rant on Indian , he’d ( Robert ) at least come up with something a little more insightful or clever than this ……. ahem ….. lack of response

          Seriously , either you believe in your product or you’re just doing a job and from the looks of it Robert is just doing a job .

          Going short ? Heck I wouldn’t go at all ( long or short ) when it comes to Polaris . I’d be better off gambling it away in Vegas … the odds are better .

          FYI my response to Robert ( he works for Indian BTW if you didn’t already know that ) hardly qualifies me as a Douche Nozzle . If thats supposed to pass as an insult these days .

          • Robert

            I don’t remember a tirade either.

            Good luck in Vegas. I hope you play like a kingpin and hit the jackpot. Slurp down an high-ball and think of that long cross country ride home. I’m having a vision now…it’s hammer time but you’re life is at a cross roads. Best thing you can do is pray to the stars you make it home.

            Or at least one star.

          • HolyHandGrenade!

            Wait, if you are so confident the Polaris P/L is going down the tubes, why would you hesitate to short the stock?

            And yes, you are a douche nozzle, actually the whole douche. You go after the guy for working for a company that happens to make something you don’t like. Your vitriol (in many posts) makes it seem like he violated your mom with a banana. I may not like the Indian above but I see no reason to deride Robert, Polaris, or Indian for that.

            • Robert

              For the record, I would not abuse anoyone with a fruit or veg. Thank you.

      • Robert

        You might give us more than six months to re-invent the brand. And even when that considerable work is done a group of people will be ready to pounce on whatever is the result.

        And you might want to look at the Polaris P&L. A lot more P than L.

        And I wonder in what situation you might be totally happy with Indian, and would you put your money where you keyboard is when that time comes, and would whatever that ideal brand model ends up being – is it a profitable business?

        Seriously, this particular bike may not be for you, so please – go buy something you like, build it, or just keep riding whatever old bike represents your ideal motorcycle.

        And the article didn’t really call for much of a response – it was destined to be a chest thumping poo-tossing exercise – no offense to our chimpanzee friends out there.

        By the way – we’re hiring, so if you are the savior for the Indian Motorcycle brand, by all means slap up your application and stand tall on your pedestal in Medina.

        Just be ready to dodge the poo.

    • aristurtle

      Sure will. Does your company make “something else”, or will I be buying “something else” from “some other company”?

      You have the institutional experience over at Polaris to build a full range of motorcycles, the way (for example) Triumph does. Instead you have a line of cruisers and now a second line of cruisers. Why?

      • Robert

        You may be buying something else – We’re not going to be the answer to all things motorcycling with either brand – at least not right away. It did take all the other brands out there awhile to get where they are.

        Personally I would love to see a thumper Triumph scrambler or what they would do with a competition enduro. But they don’t make that – so I’ll build my own scrambler and ride my KTM.

        The solve to whining about what one brand does, is to own several. My shed is that of a multi-biker – what are we doing? I have the tool(s) for the job.

        If somebody is banging away at a keyboard because Indian didn’t produce the bike they want – either keep waiting or buy the thing you want from the brand that builds the thing you want.

        What do you want anyway?

        • JT Nesbitt

          120 horsepower, 26 degrees of rake, 3.85 inches of trail, 58 inch wheelbase, 12 degrees of swingarm angle, 420 pounds. You know, a NORMAL street motorcycle from THIS century. I don’t even care what it looks like! — JT

          • Robert

            You don’t care what it looks like?

            JT – somebody hacked your account. Check your garage too – somebody may have snuck and R-6 with an Airtech body kit in there.

        • aristurtle

          It’s funny you should mention scramblers and enduros: you guys make some good ATVs, so why don’t you make a nice dual-sport? Something cheaper than a F800GS or Triumph Tiger but more well-equipped than a KLR 650, that would hit the spot. Brand it “Polaris” if you want; I don’t care.

          Look, I understand making cruisers. Everyone makes cruisers; even Ducati is doing it. It just seems off that you don’t make anything else, and your big brand expansion was… more cruisers. Is that really the only thing that the market will bear over here?

        • ike6116

          a cheap starter bike that’s fuel injected and isn’t a 250 and has an ABS option.

          Something to start a new generation of motorcyclists, targeted at Gen Y but not DJ Pauly D.

          Call it a Scout.

  • Charles

    JT – or they could do something completely different.

    I’m thinking 50 horsepower, 21 degrees rake, 3 inches trail, 53 inches wheelbase, 320 pounds as a naked “Indian Scout”.

    Share the development costs of a 600cc watercooled pushrod (or very compact/light OHC) v-twin that makes 50 hp with one of the industrial engine companies to get a new American engine – or maybe just buy in Suzuki SV650 engines, or use a Polaris ATV engine. An SV650 or V-strom is a seven grand or so bike that’s 372 to 400 lbs. Even at a hundred bucks a pound saved you could be selling a $9999, 320 lb streetbike that’s not a grenade of an Aprilia.

    • Robert

      Now that sounds like a fun bike – but it’s still interesting to see how the American buyer would react to an Indian with a Japanese motor in it. I would love to hear specifically from someone who spent their own funds on a Fischer.More than react – would they buy it?( The Fischer is like $8K, looks pretty damn cool to me, and looks to be quite a performer as well. I’ve met Dan, and appreciate his vision.

      I’ve had the pleasure of riding many Buell’s, and the last gen Rotax powered bike was a blast to ride. But the simple fact of adding a water cooled engine does little for the Harley loyalists who in general shun the V-Rod.

      The point was made that most of the bikes on the road are heavy cruisers. It seems to me that a smart business plan is to land some fish out of the big lake first, and that gives you the money to explore the surrounding ponds and worry less about those fish. That’s a plan for long term growth and profitability (brand stability). Many small brands have come and gone, Polaris is over a half-century old now, and is working for success in the long run.

  • Rick Delmonico

    Polaris builds ugly bikes and the new Indian is a Harley clone.
    No-one has an eye for detail.
    Look at photos of the old Indians.
    People loved them for their style.