First Pics of Polaris 2012 Indian Chief Released

August 30, 2011
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

The Spirit Lake production team with the first Indian produced in the Polaris factory. - Courtesy of Indian Motorcycles
The proud members of the Spirit Lake production team who worked on the first Indian Motorcycle to be produced in the Polaris factory pose for a picture with the 2012 Indian Chief.
The first Polaris-Indian will be subjected to extensive testing and evaluation to ensure the quality meets all Polaris quality standards. - Courtesy of Indian Motorcycles

The Indian Motorcycle Company posted pictures of the 2012 Indian Chief on its facebook page today, the first Indian to roll off the Spirit Lake, Iowa, production line since Polaris acquired the company back in April. The Polaris – Indian Bike #1 is shown with proud members of the Spirit Lake production team responsible for its creation.

As mentioned in our “Polaris Comments on Indian Motorcycles Future” article, the 2012 Indian Chief gives no indication of the direction its new owners will take the company. Polaris’ influence will not be seen until the 2013 Indian models roll off the production line. The 2012 Chief’s design is a carryover from the engineering and styling teams from Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
A quick peek reveals its signature traits – deeply valanced fenders, a wide tank with a chrome instrument console, a beefy chrome headlight housing and cruising lights, wide-set cruiser bars, leather trimmed saddle and bags, and the Chief cloissone peaking over the front fender. It continues to source a Power Plus 105 V-Twin, a 45-degree, pushrod-operated, air-cooled V-Twin with closed-loop fuel injection. A shiny two-into-one stainless steel exhaust streaks down its right side. The only noticeable difference we noticed is that Polaris did away with the chromed lower fork tubes. No price has yet been given, but the GM of Indian Motorcycles Charlotte mentioned in his newsletter “pricing structure for new Indians will be the same.”

Polaris-Indian Bike #1
               Polaris-Indian Motorcycle #1!

Here’s what Indian Motorcycles had to say about the first production Indian Motorcycle to roll out of Spirit Lake.

“Friday, August 5th, 2011, marked a new chapter in the long history of the Indian Motorcycle brand – the first Polaris built Indian rolled off the assembly line in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Polaris is honored and proud to have hit this milestone, and continues to gear up for full production it the Spirit Lake plant.

This significant first bike will be subject to considerable testing and evaluation to ensure it meets all quality standards and Indian consumer expectations, and Polaris Motorcycles production. Production for dealer-available units is still scheduled to begin October 2011. Things are off to a great start, and the Indian Motorcycle teams in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Osceola, WI, Wyoming, MN, and at the Polaris Headquarters in Medina, MN, are working hard to deliver the best Indian motorcycle yet.”