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.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0800
The rebirth of the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company continues with the unveiling of the first new custom model under Polaris Industries ownership at the New York City International Motorcycle Show. Dubbed the Indian Big Chief Custom, the one-off special is a showcase for the brand’s Genuine Indian Accessories, offering a glimpse of the possibilities for customization. The Indian Big Chief Custom was created by a crew led by the head of Polaris’s Industrial Design team Greg Brew from a 2014 Chief Classic.
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Indian Motorcycles is donating a 2014 Chief Vintage to an auction benefiting Operation Ride Home, a campaign helping U.S troops travel home to spend the holidays with their families. Organized by Jack Daniel’s and the Armed Services YMCA, Operation Ride Home has assisted in bringing 802 service members and their families travel home from their base of deployment during the last two holiday seasons. In a nod to Jack Daniel’s, the donated 2014 Chief Vintage is No.
Wed, 04 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Indian manufacturer Hero MotoCorp is teaming up with electronic fuel injection expert Magneti Marelli in a new joint venture. Hero will hold a 60% share in the company with Magenti Marelli controlling the other 40%. The two companies are initially investing a combined US$8.5 million into the joint venture, with a planned investment of US$27 million total over the next ten years.
Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Polaris Industries topped the $1 billion mark in sales for the first time in company history during the third quarter. Total sales revenue totaled $1.1 billion in the quarter, up 25.3% from $879.9 million reported in the same quarter last year. “Our record third quarter results reflect both the ongoing demand for our existing products and the potential contained within the initial shipments of our model year 2014 vehicles, the largest new product introduction in the company’s history,” says Scott Wine, chief executive officer of Polaris Industries.
Mon, 09 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700
In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the midst of the biggest creative boom centered around motorcycles since the 1970s. The massive, youthful rise of moto-mania has excited big motorcycle factories to collaborate with rising garage artists, and has inspired professional filmmakers to produce that long-dreamt-about motorcycle feature film. Every customizer has an in-house photographer and a YouTube channel; media platforms from magazines to television shows are swamped in advertisements featuring riders and bikes; and biker fashion is all the rage on the streets, sidewalks and runways from Venice to Williamsburg.
Fri, 30 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Transport Canada has announced a recall on various Indian motorcycles from model years 2009 to 2013 because of a risk of the rims cracking. All of the recalled motorcycles were from the old Indian designs before the storied brand was acquired by Polaris Industries. But as the new owners of Indian Motorcycles, Polaris is left with the responsibility of correcting defects from previous designs.
Thu, 22 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Polaris Industries continues to throw more support behind the revived Indian Motorcycle brand with a new customer incentive it calls the “Indian Motorcycle Assurance Program”. The new program receives the support of Polaris’ financial, engineering, manufacturing and service resources to support Indian’s new 2014 lineup of the Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and Chieftain. “The Indian Motorcycle Assurance Program sets a new benchmark in the motorcycle industry for warranty coverage, service and support,” says Steve Menneto, Polaris vice president of motorcycles.
Wed, 14 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
The 2013 World Superbike Championship season will end about a month earlier than scheduled, with the cancellation of the Nov. 17 round at India’s Buddh International Circuit. The Indian round had already been moved from its originally scheduled date of March 10 but the extra few months do not appear to be enough to get the circuit ready to host WSBK in November.
Thu, 08 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
We’ve previously written about Allstate‘s efforts at advancing motorcycle safety and awareness, from its “Watch for Motorcycles” sign campaign to its Rider Risk Map app on Facebook. Today, the insurance provider announced another new initiative in its Good Rides Grant program, offering $25,000 in grants for new ideas to advance motorcycle safety. Allstate is asking people to send their ideas on how to improve safety to the company’s Facebook page.
Tue, 06 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0700
This is a small sample of the participants in Monday’s annual Legends Ride from Deadwood to Sturgis. Hundreds of bikes thundered through the Black Hills toward Sturgis on Monday afternoon, creating a cacophony not heard in these parts since, well, last year. The sixth annual Legends Ride draws thousands of riders, spectators and celebrities to the historic city of Deadwood, South Dakota each year on a charitable pilgrimage to the Buffalo Chip Campground, and organizers said Monday’s edition was likely the largest ever.