Who owns Indian Motorcycles? The story of the Indian Motorcycle is a pure epitome of a rollercoaster, from humble beginnings to amazing breakthroughs that pioneered innovation, failures, and many attempts at revival. The company has now been silent, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are out of the motorcycle manufacturing game.
Certainly not! Indian Motorcycle is still well-recognized by motorcycle enthusiasts today, with some of its models becoming an extremely rare treasure in the motoring world.
Who owns Indian Motorcycles?
The Indian Motorcycle Company is currently owned by Polaris Industries, an American company based in Minnesota, USA.
This legendary tale dates back to 1897 when George Hendee founded Hendee Manufacturing Company while manufacturing bicycles such as the “Silver King” that was quickly rebranded “American Indian” and finally “Indian” as it was more commonly recognized as in foreign markets.
Production went on as usual until Oscar Hedstrom joined the company in 1900. Hendee and Hedstrom were both experienced bicycle riders and manufacturers but decided to reinvent completely how these two-wheeled machines worked.
The three previous prototypes resulted in a 1.75bhp, single-cylinder engine motorcycle. Their creation was an immediate hit, and sales skyrocketed during the next decade.
The next few years brought nothing but success. With two new diamond-framed Indian single units successfully designed, chief engineer and co-founder Oscar Hedstrom set the world record for the fastest speed on a motorcycle which was 56 mph to be exact.
The Indian Motorcycle company also saw the introduction of the iconic deep-red paint color that would become a trademark of the company. From there, it was all smooth sailing for Indian.
Motorcycle racing kicked off during the second half of the decade when Indian built its first V-twin racer to make a statement. Indeed, it made and created a well-respected name in the racing circle and record-breaking history.
Indian’s capabilities continued to gain recognition, notably when one of the company’s most world-renowned riders, Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker, set multiple long-distance records, most notably the ride on an Indian from San Diego to New York. The journey took a total of eleven days, twelve hours, and ten minutes.
Success in Motorsports played a considerable role in Indian’s growth and popularity over the years, with several riders such as Jake DeRosier winning over 900 hundred races on an Indian.
Who rides Indian Motorcycles?
The Indian Motorcycle manufacturing company have targeted a wide audience, bringing as many into the fold as possible.
You have a motorcycle like the Springfield that is very traditional and appreciated by those that love classic cruisers with a 50’s edge, then you have the famous Indian Scout and its various guises which hits at the heart of the youth and new riders.
However, it isn’t all clever marketing. Admittedly to take on Harley Davidson the Indian Motorcycle Company needed to build up a lifestyle brand that could not only mop up those less enamoured by HD but could actually steal some customers from them.
The marketing based on Indians legacy is backed up by class-leading performance with the bikes.
Are Indian Motorcycles good?
Yes. Overall, there are reasons Polaris ditched Victory in favor of Indian Motorcycles: its rich team of engineers utilize cutting-edge electric motorcycle technology (the Thunderstroke Motors, for instance, known for their innovative triple-cam layout for maximum power) and premium steel tubes that ensure impressive durability.
Plus, its aesthetic designs are to die for: whether you are a fan of vintage, nostalgic vibes or more modern looks, the brand has something for everyone.
At $9,499 to $38,999, Indian Motorcycles might strike some retail customers as a bit too expensive; however, considering its impressive commitment to quality, the pricing is justified.
Indian Motorcycles are made where?
Every Indian Motorcycles model is assembled at Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA. Their parts are sourced from other regions and companies to save costs. For example, their engines are produced at Wisconsin manufacturing facilities, USA.
And that is to be expected; after all, it is much economically wiser to buy important compartments like electronic devices, suspension, and brakes from companies with enough expertise in bulk-producing them.
Plus, the development and research stage for in-house manufacturing could cost millions – hence the brand’s decision to soften the blow by buying parts from other manufacturers.
How about the rumors that Indian Motorcycles productions were moved to Poland in 2019? They are untrue, but not entirely baseless – not when it was the Indian Motorcycles itself that started them.
More specifically, in 2018, Polaris (Indian Motorcycles’ parent company) released official press statements to announce that it planned to build a factory in Poland to enter the European market.
Still, for certain reasons, everything had gone quiet since then, and the story of Poland’s productions eventually slipped away without a second mention from Poris.
To this day, we are still unclear why it did not go through with this original plan, but several theories have been posed:
- The plan was made when the E.U.-U.S. trade wars were still at their peak. The backlash that Harley-Davidson had to receive – both from the government and the home fans – probably convinced Poris to think twice.
- It was probably just a scheme to get government support.
- The brand extension is no longer needed in Polaris’ marketing strategy.
Whatever the cause, most Indian Motorcycle sport fans in America are glad about this delayed production, especially those loyal to American-styled bikes. Long story short, Indian Motorcycles will likely remain America’s sweetheart for years to come.
Do Indian Motorcycles hold their value?
Indian motorcycles tend to retain their value better than many other brands. For example, compare the likes of an Indian Scout to a Harley Davidson Iron 883 of the same age.
Are Indian Bikes good for beginners?
The Indian Scout Bobber is an ideal first big bike thanks to its confidence inspiring low seat height, centre of gravity and smooth power delivery.
Are Indian bikes expensive?
Within the Indian line-up there is a wide enough range for most people to have financial access to own one with each model when compared to others in the same class being priced fairly, neither too high or low for what you get.
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