The 2009 Indian Chiefs are arriving at dealerships, so keep an eye out for the newest motorcycle from the rejuvenated American V-Twin manufacturer on a road or show near you.
Indian Motorcycle, the company that gave America its first motorcycle in 1901, is now making a comeback, and early signs indicate that the premium motorcycle manufacturer is likely here to stay. Based in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, the first batch of 2009 Indian Chiefs have just now begun hitting dealership floors.
“The initial excitement here has been overwhelming,” says Mike Smith, CEO of Mike Smith Indian in Paducah, Kentucky. “We had well over 600 people walk through our doors during our grand opening last Saturday, and in this retail environment, I’d say that’s extremely significant.”
According to Smith, visitors came from all over – Arkansas, West Virginia, Indiana, and even one enthusiastic Indian fan who traveled all the way from Switzerland to see the new bikes firsthand.
Mike Smith Indian is the first Indian dealership to open up since the flagship store in Lowell, North Carolina, cut its ribbon in October, but additional Indian stores are not far behind. Indian has made clear its intention to have 50 dealerships in the U.S. within the next three years, a dozen of which have already been announced, including locations in Phoenix, Detroit, and Philadelphia.
In an economy where it seems everyone is scaling back, Indian Motorcycle Company breaks the mold. While it is still early to have any certainty about Indian’s longevity under its new owners, London-based Stellican Limited, the newly engineered Indian Chiefs are turning heads and impressing critics, leading many to believe that perhaps this time around, Indian motorcycles are here to stay.