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.
Mon, 20 May 2013 00:00:00 -0700
If you think the world’s best custom motorcycles are made in the good ‘ol U.S. of A., then you clearly haven’t taken a look in India’s direction. Yes, India.
Mon, 13 May 2013 00:00:00 -0700
The storied Indian Motorcycles brand will enter a new era this August at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with the debut of the 2014 Indian Chief. Powered by the all-new Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the new Chief will be the first new Indian motorcycle introduced after the company was acquired by Polaris Industries in 2011. To prepare for the launch, Polaris has released a new image and video of the new Chief, and announced it will be available in North American dealerships later this year with prices starting at $18,999.
Tue, 23 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Polaris Industries reported a 26% increase in net income over the first quarter of 2013, but a 2.9% decline in on-road vehicle sales (comprised almost entirely of Victory and Indian Motorcycles). The company’s first quarter filings report a net income of $75.5 million, up from the $60.1 million reported over the same period in 2012. Much of the increase can be attributed to a 217% increase in net sales from its snowmobile division, spurred in large part by increase in snowfall across many regions of North America.
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Polaris has added another brand to its growing list of acquisitions, buying out Aixam Mega S.A.S., a French manufacturer of light-duty commercial vehicles and quadricycles – small four-wheeled enclosed vehicles that can be driven, in some markets, without an automobile driver’s license. Aixam Mega joins Polaris’ portfolio which already includes Victory Motorcycles, Indian Motorcycles, electric vehicle makers Global Electric Motorcars and Groupil. Like GEM and Groupil, Axiam Mega produces small vehicles, though its products include both electric and diesel-powered vehicles.
Tue, 12 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0700
The simplicity of this 1916 Indian Board Track Racer is what makes it so beautiful. Board Track was popular during the early part of the 20th century where cars and motorcycles competed at these stadiums where the surface was composed of wooden boards. It was an idea copied from velodromes used across Europe for bicycle racing and ultimately led to the oval racing phenomenon - like NASCAR - that still captivates Americans today.
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Indian Motorcycle revealed its all-new Thunder Stroke 111 engine, the first engine developed under its new Polaris Industries ownership and the powerplant for the 2014 model year. According to Polaris, the Thunder Stroke 111 engine has already undergone over a million miles of testing, including thousands of miles of on-road testing. Polaris deserves some credit for developing an all-new engine for Indian Motorcycle instead of just re-using the 106ci Freedom V-Twin engine used in the current Victory Motorcycles lineup.
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0700
To mark the unveiling of its new Thunder Stroke 111 engine, Indian Motorcycle revealed a custom-built streamliner motorcycle dubbed the “Spirit of Munro“, equipped with the new Indian engine. The “Spirit of Munro” is a tribute to the Munro Special, the 1920 Indian scout that set a new land-speed record in 1967 at the Bonneville Salt Flats for under-1000cc motorcycles. The Munro Special was famously depicted in the 2005 film “The World’s Fastest Indian“, starring Anthony Hopkins.
Wed, 06 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800
It’s been a long, cold winter in most of the US, but it’s always sunny in Florida. And that’s why every year around this time tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts descend on Daytona Beach for Bike Week! Motorcycle.com will have our boots – and wheels – on the ground.
Thu, 28 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800
The government of India has laid out its budget for 2013-2014, increasing the import duty for large motorcycles. The news will impact several major manufacturers hoping to gain a stake in the world’s second largest motorcycle market. India has become the hotspot for manufacturers but one of the biggest obstacles they face is the duty India levies on luxury goods.
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
For the 2012 year ending December 31, 2012, Polaris Industries, Inc., (NYSE: PII) reported record net income of $4.40 per diluted share, a 38% increase compared to $3.20 per diluted share. For the fourth quarter of 2012 Polaris reported a net income of $1.24 per diluted share, up 38 percent from the prior year’s fourth quarter net income of $0.90 per diluted share. Reported net income for the full year was $312.3 million, up 37 percent from the previous year’s net income of $227.6 million.