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.
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700
The relaunch of Indian Motorcycles continues to be a resounding success for Polaris Industries, helping the company report a 107% increase in second quarter revenue from motorcycle sales. Polaris reported revenues of $103.1 million in the quarter ended June 30, more than double the $49.9 million in revenue reported over the same quarter last year. Polaris continues to see strong demand for Indian, which relaunched last summer, while demand for Victory decreased by the mid-single digits.
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, announced today in a sneak preview of its model year 2015 lineup that the new model year would also bring a return of the classic two-tone paint scheme the early Indians were known for. The much anticipated vintage paint palettes were on-display over the weekend for fans of classic motorcycles at Vintage Motorcycle Days 2014 in Lexington, Ohio. The iconic two-tone schemes will build on the overwhelmingly positive response to the current 2014 Chief range, known for its hi-torque Thunder Stroke 111 motor and precise handling, thanks to Indian Motorcycle’s sand-cast aluminum frame technology.
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700
From custom café racers to beautifully restored Bridgestone motorcycles, a full range of motorcycling interests will be represented at BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Indian Motorcycle, July 11-13 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Classic Clubs that will be located on Championship Row include the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, Louisville Vintage Motorworks, Café Racer magazine and Bridgestone Motorcycle Club. The Club Corral, across from Championship Row, will include the Indian 4 Cylinder Club, the Kawasaki ZL Owners Association and the Cincinnati Classic British Motorcycle Owners.
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Indian Motorcycle made a splash at last year’s Sturgis Rally, making its rebirth under Polaris Industries and revealing its Thunderstroke 111 V-Twin powered 2014 lineup. It should come as no surprise then that Indian announced it will reveal its all-new 2015 model lineup at this year’s Sturgis Rally. Although Indian makes the “all-new” claim, we expect a similar lineup to what’s currently available (Chief, Chief Vintage and Chieftain), perhaps with a revision or a new spin on an existing model.
Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700
In the early 1950s, three underdog riders were winning AMA Grand Nationals against their better-funded factory rivals out of Europe and Milwaukee, Wis. Whether it was the Springfield Mile, the Charity Newsies or Daytona, Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman put their Indian motorcycles on the top step of the podium. Known as the Indian Wrecking Crew, Tuman, Hill and Beckman made an indelible mark on the history books and solidified Indian Motorcycles’ reputation as one of the 20th Century’s greatest marques.
Fri, 02 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Saturday, May 3, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of Erwin “Cannonball” Baker‘s epic voyage from San Diego, CA to New York City. The goal was to beat the existing record of 20 days. Not only did he beat it, but he smashed it, going coast to coast in just over 11 days.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Polaris Industries reported a 52% increase in motorcycle revenues over the first quarter of 2014, thanks in large part to the addition of Indian Motorcycles. Motorcycle sales generated $78.9 million in sales revenue for Polaris, compared to $51.8 million in the same quarter last year. The key thing to remember however, is Indian Motorcycles wasn’t relaunched until late summer, so last year’s first quarter sales were made up almost entirely of Victory Motorcycles.
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
That other big spring motorcycle gathering in Florida may get all the press, but that doesn’t mean that other rallies aren’t going on there. Case in point, Panama City Beach Motorcycle Rally gets under way just about three weeks from today. The April 30th – May 4th, 2014 event kicks off with a party at the Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort and Tiki Bar, featuring the bands Mustang Sally and Big Engine.
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
BikeBandit.com will once again be the title sponsor for this year’s AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. The 2014 event features Indian Motorcycle as marque of the year, and is scheduled for July 11-13 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is the country’s premier gathering of vintage bikes and the people who love them, attracting tens of thousands every year.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Metzeler is partnering with custom bike shop Indian Larry Motorcycles to build a priceless custom motorcycle, uniquely built with input from motorcycle fans via the Metzeler USA Facebook page. The entire event will be documented on Facebook in a web series starting March 17 and ending with a lucky fan taking off on a “Follow Your Dream” ride vacation on the custom bike. Fans get the chance to win by sharing why they deserve the “Dream Ride” at facebook.com/metzelerUSA from March 10 through June 6, 2014.