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, 29 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Get the Flash Player to see this player. Filmed at the 2013 Progressive International Motorcycle Show in New York City, the “Indian Motorcycle Summit” press conference featured celebrity panelist Mike Wolfe and top executives from Indian Motorcycle including Steve Menneto, Gary Gray and designer Michael Song. Moderated by Robert Pandya, panelists discussed everything from Mike’s favorite picks to the company’s exciting plans for the upcoming launch of the all-new Indian Motorcycle – one of the most anticipated and historic events in motorcycling history.
Fri, 25 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
FED up of your commute? Check out Indian motorcycle journo Aneesh Shivanekar's average morning, filmed as he rode his KTM Duke 200 between the Mumbai suburbs of Andheri and Bandra (a distance of about 7 miles, or half his one-way journey). And no, he's not Jesse Mach; this GoPro footage is sped up 8x.
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Indian Motorcycles is continuing its rebirth under new owners Polaris Industries with a big showcase at the New York City stop of the International Motorcycle Shows, Jan. 18-20 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Indian website Powerdrift has uncovered photographs of what it claims to be a Bajaj Pulsar 375, a faired sportbike based on the KTM 390 Duke. A Bajaj-branded version of the 390 Duke should be no surprise. The Indian company, after all, owns a 47% stake in Austrian-based KTM, and it released its own version of the 200 Duke in the 2012 Bajaj Pulsar 200NS.
Tue, 08 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Piaggio launched its Vespa scooter brand at last January’s Indian Auto Expo to much fanfare but sales have fallen short of expectations. The Vespa LX125 launched in Indian showrooms in April as the first new Vespa scooter offered in the country in 13 years, but Piaggio has only sold about 25,000 units. That might seem like a lot, and would be, for the U.S.
Fri, 04 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Whenever we publish stories about the motorcycle industry in India, we still get comments from readers surprised at how big a role that nation’s market plays, and perhaps more poignantly, how small it makes the U.S. market look. The latest sales numbers from Hero MotoCorp, India’s market leader, should further highlight the importance of India’s motorcycle market.
Mon, 10 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800
Polaris Industries offered the first preview of the next generation of Indian Motorcycle, releasing an audio clip of the new engine that will power an all-new model. Indian is offering a a line of 2013 Chief models but all of them are continuations of models offered by Indian’s owners. The new Polaris-era Indians are still a year away, but Polaris decided to start promoting the brand and teasing the new models ahead of a 2014 re-launch.
Thu, 06 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800
Polaris Industries has acquired motorcycle and snowmobile gear manufacturer KLIM. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The KLIM brand will continue operating as a standalone business alongside Polaris’ existing apparel labels.
Thu, 29 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800
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A little while ago, we published a review of a motorcycle Honda produces for the Indian market called the Unicorn Dazzler. Yes, that’s the actual name of a production motorcycle designed by Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, a Honda subsidiary. In his review of the 150cc motorcycle, Rajeev Gaikwad said the Honda Unicorn Dazzler was “a handsome commuter with an enthusiastic and proven engine” though it was underwhelming in terms of performance and handling as the higher-priced successor to the regular Honda Unicorn also sold in India.
Wed, 28 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800
Mark your calendars for February 5 and 6, 2013, as those are the dates when Bonhams — one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine arts and antiques — will put for sale two motorcycle collections which include some incredibly rare and historic machines. The Grand Palais in Paris, France will play host to the auction, which includes the entire Garelli Grand Prix collection as its headliner. Founded in 1919, many famous Italian racers got their starts on Garelli motorcycles.