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Indian Motorcycles

About Indian

Indian is an American brand of motorcycles.

The "Indian Motocycle Co." was originally founded as the Hendee Manufacturing Company by George M. Hendee in 1897 to manufacture bicycles. These were initially badged as "Silver King" and "Silver Queen" brands but the name "American Indian", very quickly reduced to simply "Indian", was adopted by Hendee from 1898 onwards because it gave better product recognition in export markets.

Indian motorcycles were manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, initially known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company but which was renamed the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company in 1928.

In 1901, a prototype and two production units of the diamond framed Indian Single were successfully designed, built and tested. The first Indian motorcycles, featuring chain drives and streamlined styling, were sold to the public in 1902. In 1903, Indian's co-founder and chief engineer Oscar Hedstrom set the world motorcycle speed record (56 mph).

The Indian factory team took the first three places in the 1911 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. During the 1910s Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world.

Indian introduced the 221 cc single cylinder two-stroke Model K "Featherweight" in 1916. The Model K had an open cradle frame with the engine as a stressed member and a pivoting front fork that had been used earlier on single-cylinder motorcycles but had mostly been replaced on other Indian motorcycles by a leaf-sprung trailing link fork.

The Model K was manufactured for one year and was replaced in 1917 by the Model O. The Model O had a four-stroke flat-twin engine and a new frame, but retained the pivoting fork at the front. The Model O was manufactured until 1919.

Indian's most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946, and the Chief, made from 1922 to 1953.

The Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt in 1953. A number of successor organizations have perpetuated the name in subsequent years, with limited success. In 2011 Polaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycles and relocated operations from North Carolina, merging them into existing facilities in Minnesota and Iowa. Since August of 2013, three motorcycle models that capitalize on Indian's traditional styling have been built under the Indian name.

Moto blog

Polaris Slingshot Production Begins

Fri, 10 Oct 2014

Polaris has begun full production of its new Slingshot three-wheeler at the company’s manufacturing facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa. 2015 Polaris Slingshot Review – First Ride/Drive + Video “We continue to introduce new, innovative products and technologies that create opportunities for growth here and around the world. Today, we are excited to celebrate the revolutionary 3-wheel, Polaris Slingshot into full production here in Spirit Lake,” says Bennett Morgan, President and Chief Operating Officer of Polaris.

Hero MotoCorp Trademarks 8 Models with USPTO

Fri, 03 Oct 2014

Hero MotoCorp is getting closer to launching its small-displacement motorcycles and scooters in America, recently filing trademarks for eight models with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. On Aug.

Matchless Making A Comeback With Model X, To Be Shown At EICMA

Tue, 09 Sep 2014

Legendary English marque, Matchless, is attempting to emulate another famous brand, Indian, by forming a comeback. After being purchased by the Malenotti family in 2012, the brand is now going through a revival. If you’re at all in tune with the fashion world, then the Matchless name might be familiar, as many A-list celebrities wear the Matchless-labeled clothing managed by Michele Malenotti.

Third Annual ‘The MEET’ at ACM

Tue, 26 Aug 2014

More than 2,000 attendees visited America’s Car Museum for its 3rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival ‘The MEET’ last weekend in Tacoma, Washington, where over 300 motorcycles and scooters were showcased on the Haub Family Field at LeMay. The event drew pre-1981 motorcycles and scooters from the U.S. and Canada, including an antique motorcycle display, swap meet, cruise-in and a 78-mile roundtrip tour from ACM’s Anderson Plaza to Mt. Rainier.

NHTSA Launches Recall Look-up by VIN Tool

Fri, 22 Aug 2014

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have launched a new free online tool that should make it easier for consumers to inspect their vehicles’ safety recall histories. The new search tool, available at http://www.safercar.gov/vinlookup, allows people to look for recall campaigns by entering Vehicle Identification Numbers.

“The Meet” Vintage Motorcycle Show This Saturday

Mon, 18 Aug 2014

The stage is set for ”The Meet at ACM” motorcycle show this weekend in Tacoma, WA. While festivities will begin on Friday evening, America’s Car Museum (ACM) will host the third annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Organizers expect 450 vintage motorcycles and scooters from all over the nation to attend.

Indian Announces Removal of Brake Throttle Override

Sat, 02 Aug 2014

Today, Indian Motorcycle Product Director, Gary Gray, told us that, because of feedback from journalists and the riding public, effective immediately, the Brake Throttle Override (BTO) system developed to prevent unintended acceleration in its ride-by-wire throttle system will not be installed on any of the 2015 Indian models. Additionally, owners of a current Indian who wish to have the BTO disabled on their motorcycle can simply take it to an Indian dealer to have its ECU flashed with the new software. Although the BTO has been present on all Indian models since their release last year, we first noticed its effects on a group ride at the Roadmaster’s introduction.

Indian Teases A New Model Announcement

Fri, 01 Aug 2014

Indian Motorcycles is big on history. So, if recent history is applicable, we expect to see a new Indian model announced tomorrow at the 74th annual Sturgis Rally. The clues are everywhere.

Indian Unleashes Sturgis Event Schedule

Wed, 30 Jul 2014

Indian’s recently introduced Roadmaster may be stealing all of the headlines, but the motorcycle company isn’t stopping there. The Indian event schedule for 74th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is packed with events designed to capture the attention of Indian owners and possibly create some new Indian owners. As one would expect, Indian will have its entire model line available for the public to lust for and fondle at the Indian Motorcycle Display at 3rd and Lazelle.

Built For Speed Art Exhibit To Be Displayed At Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Wed, 23 Jul 2014

“Built for Speed – Race Inspired Motorcycles and Art” is the title of Michael Lichter’s 14th annual “Motorcycles as Art” exhibition in Sturgis this August, which for the second year in a row, will be jointly curated by Michael and Paul d’Orleans of the Vintagent. ‘Built for Speed’ is sure to impress visitors with a beautiful and thought-provoking display of motorcycles and related art, the race-inspired theme making connections between motorcycle racing and custom bike designs inspired by racers. Each custom bike in ‘Built for Speed’ reflects a branch of racing; Speedway, Flat Track, Drag Racing, Board Track,  Grand Prix, Land Speed Record, and will be displayed beside the racing machines suggesting the origins of each style.