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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Polaris has been doing very well with Victory, but the brand is almost unknown.

We know they've bought Victory for the name and history.


What significance does the Indian brand have for you?
 

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Not much, I don't get hung up on names, just bikes. Now an original classic Indian I could go for, but a new one would just be another cruiser.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Indian was never a part of cycling for me. My only connection would be the movie


Great to see Polaris take this on, and it looks like they are doing a great job, but the name doesn't carry connection for me. Dad had a Triumph Bonneville, but I don't know anyone that had an Indian
 

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There was a time when Indian was the preeminent bike maker in the world. They invented the twist grip throttle. But that was long, long ago.
 

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Polaris has been doing very well with Victory, but the brand is almost unknown.
What?!? Every single person that motorcycles that I know is familiar with Victory, and most anyone I know that is looking to get an "american" cruiser would prefer a victory to an HD because they are both beautiful machines, much more modern than HD, and do not have the same "lifestyle" stigma (yet). As a brand they've been growing very quickly the past few years; my main issue with them is that they do not provide an entrance-level bike that is A) $10k or less and B) Not 106ci. A slightly smaller bike with a smaller engine that could compete with the likes of a sportster or some of the Jap ~900cc bikes could do very nicely for them I think.

The main reason people don't see/know about indian as much is that they have had a ... temultuous history, and are friggin' expensive as hell. Sort of like how a lot of people aren't familiar with MV Augusta. My father has a Vision, and is now contemplating replacing it with one of the new Indians. The new engine does look pretty sweet, I must admit (though I personally dislike the look of indians and their trademark valance fenders)

 

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Isn't the new Indian engine an S&S Wedgehead? And why can't a big booming torquey 1800cc V-twin go into a light sporting chassis that actually goes around corners? Not everyone is interested in a screaming high-maintenance 4 cylinder just to go around corners on a country back-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What?!? Every single person that motorcycles that I know is familiar with Victory,

Polaris recognizes their Victory brand isn't well known, as stated in recent articles about the new Indian.

Just repeating their words


Isn't the new Indian engine an S&S Wedgehead?

Not the new one under Polaris. Clean slate, Polaris/Indian design
 

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Isn't the new Indian engine an S&S Wedgehead? And why can't a big booming torquey 1800cc V-twin go into a light sporting chassis that actually goes around corners? Not everyone is interested in a screaming high-maintenance 4 cylinder just to go around corners on a country back-road.
My 1800 requires as much motor maintenance as a "screaming high-maintenance 4 cylinder", more than most actually. Oil changes are extended by massive capacity but valve checks are every 8k. Its lock nut style, not bucket and shim, but its still a pain. Also, the transmissions are heavy duty, the cranks weigh a LOT, as do the flywheels. I think the crank in mine supposedly weighs 46lbs :(
Even with all that weight though, it would be a hoot in something with way more lean angle and shorter geometry.
 

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Indian is gone, long gone. All it is now is a name.
Wrong. Indian is now owned by Polaris (owners of Victory) and a new lineup is coming out for 2014 (predicted at being released late '13)

Indian has also been making bikes again since 2006, though in very limited quantities.
 

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Wrong. Indian is now owned by Polaris (owners of Victory) and a new lineup is coming out for 2014 (predicted at being released late '13)

Indian has also been making bikes again since 2006, though in very limited quantities.
They might make some awesome bikes, but its still an old name being used by a new company. They're even being made in polaris facilities. Sort of like how Marlin isn't Marlin anymore. Its Remington making Marlin designs in a Remington plant and putting a Marlin name on the box.
 

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I'm into vintage bikes, and have seen a lot of Indians, and even ridden a few. They were top bikes before WWII, but fell behind H-D technologically, and eventually in the market. H-D went to OHV in the late '30's with the Knucklehead, but Indian stuck with the sidevalve design on the big Chief right up to the end in 1953.

After they closed their doors in 1953, the history of Indian is 100% made up of people trying to cash in on the name. It has little or no real meaning now after 60 years of that crap. But some people do still remember the style of the big Chief with its full fenders, and they were pretty, so that's what Polaris has bought, and that's what they will be trying to capitalize on. You can see it in the new engine, which has ridges in the valve covers to sort of evoke the fins on the old Chief's flathead, just for the nostalgia of it.

Polaris does make good quality bikes, and if they can bring a competitive cruiser to market, with a fair price and some Indian style and flash, they may do well enough in the market. I don't think that Indian style and flash is enough to justify trying to make it an "upscale" bike and charge a premium over H-D, but if they make a direct high-quality competitor, the style and name might help people choose between them.

PhilB
 

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I think it's cool that Polaris has resurrected the Indian brand and knowing their history, they'll make a nice bike. This is no different than what happened at Triumph, and that turned out just fine.
 

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I had an Indian Dirtbike as a kid. I think it was 80cc.
 

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I had an Indian Dirtbike as a kid. I think it was 80cc.
But it wasn't really an Indian. It was probably a Benelli with a different badge. Clymer put the Indian name on anything he could import.
I think it's cool that Polaris has resurrected the Indian brand and knowing their history, they'll make a nice bike. This is no different than what happened at Triumph, and that turned out just fine.
What happened at Triumph is that Bloor lifted up the name and slid a full line of good motorcycles at competitive prices under it. And yes, that has worked well. And (as I noted above) I hope that's exactly what Polaris does with Indian. However, it's also not necessarily any different from what happened at Norton, Vincent, Indian, Excelsior-Henderson, Norton, Indian, MV Agusta, Benelli, Indian, Moto Morini, Indian, Indian, and/or Indian. Of which only MV Agusta has managed to achieve any viability at all, and marginal at that.

PhilB
 
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But it wasn't really an Indian. It was probably a Benelli with a different badge. Clymer put the Indian name on anything he could import.
What happened at Triumph is that Bloor lifted up the name and slid a full line of good motorcycles at competitive prices under it. And yes, that has worked well. And (as I noted above) I hope that's exactly what Polaris does with Indian. However, it's also not necessarily any different from what happened at Norton, Vincent, Indian, Excelsior-Henderson, Norton, Indian, MV Agusta, Benelli, Indian, Moto Morini, Indian, Indian, and/or Indian. Of which only MV Agusta has managed to achieve any viability at all, and marginal at that.

PhilB
Right. This was in the early 70's and I think Indian had gone out of business. I remember something about it being made by another company. It had a white gas tank.
 

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In my opinion there is a large amount of cognitive dissonance associated with brands in general. So the Indian brand is meaningless in the modern world because they happened to go bankrupt? The modern Indian bikes are all inspirations from different parts of Indians past. The same could be said of any brand, from Ducati to Harley. The Ducati founders are long dead, the company has switched owners way more times then Indian, and has been taken in a million different directions. Harley of today is along long way away from those tinkerers in the early twentieth century experimenting with mopeds. Harley as a brand has been largely co-opted by pirates and is run by white collar MBAs. How's that for cognitive dissonance regarding brand?

The bikes from all these companies are simply trying to capitalize on their own unique brands. Indian is no different. They are a storied American brand and they innovating and experimenting within our borders, so more power to them. I respect them as a brand just like any other, after all they have their own engineers, designers, factory workers, and executive team.

It always amazes me how people assign value to certain brands.
 
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