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First Indian Motorcycles Hit Dealerships

Monday, January 12, 2009
2009 Indian Chief Tank
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.

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Again? -wrong path  October 4, 2009 08:26 PM
The definition of insanity is trying the same thing expecting diferant results. Indians first comeback faled because nobody is going to spend $30k on an Indian ( at least not a new one ). I admired them when they returned to the market, but like everyone else I know, looked at the price tag and shook my head. If Indian could produce a Scout cheaper than a Spotster, or a Chief the undercut a Comparable Harley, the younger market would be more inclined to throw money down on a name they've only ever knew from old motorcycle books and a few old timers telling tales of days gone by. The youth market is the only shot, old timers are stuck to the brands that have always been here and not enough will buy in to make this attempt by Indian amount to a flash in the pan.
Springfielder -For full nostalgia  July 28, 2009 08:40 AM
For the full nostalgic effect they should have actually built them in Springfield- the city's economy could certainly have used the money. And the prices are outrageous, and the only non-nostalgic aspect of this charade. But hey- good luck anyways guys.
Mona -Go Indian!!  June 26, 2009 03:04 PM
It's a shame to read any negative comments against Indians attempts to return and reestablish themselves in the motorcycle industry. Any TRUE motorcycle enthusiast would support the icon instead of bashing it. Indian was the innovator for motorcycles and some very distinctive looks that have greatly contributed to the styles of today I say, "Go Indian"
omegarun -bikes  June 16, 2009 02:30 PM
harley looks are fine , indian looks are fine , the problems here are price and reliability. american'S build dependable american v twinns every day , now if some one would teach HD how. 80 to 90 mph is more than enough for people who ride for fun and scenery. bike companies" HARLEY YOU LISTENING" should use value and rock solid dependability to get people to return to the dealerships- not mechanical problems. I already asked the new indian for a shop manuel to buy. I want to see what they are doing- the search for plastic parts. A- were not selling them at this time.OH and by the way 30 G's for a motorcycle? how many ex US politicians are working at your comany? with those prices you need to push sales to the military and NASA.
Gypscrew -Indian Motorcycles  June 1, 2009 01:53 PM
While I like the look of the bikes, I will be surprized to see them in business 5 years down the road. For the guy running Indian Motorcycles, I just have to say, your bikes are in no way worth the pricetag you slapped on them. I posted something in another area similar to this, I must say it again...(good ol American scam artist at his best. Nice barebones Motorcycle you pushed out the door to give it a $30,000 pricetag you morons. Please, shut down your stupid, overpriced, rich bs company. If I see someone down the road riding one of these indians, I am going to sigh and shake my head for someone that just got scammed.
hkroadhog -New INDIAN  February 21, 2009 12:17 AM
I have a newer Road King Classic but I admit the Indian is alot sharper and you won't see one at every corner bar, If they would get the price down I would love to get one. I wish the company lots of luck, Beautiful AMERICAN Bike
Charles Moore. cmoore0924@aol.com -Indian Motorcycle's  February 13, 2009 01:40 AM
Please send me full pitures of the new 2009 Indian chief, and what the price will be.Also the nearest dealership to marion county florida.Thank You For Your Time In This Matter... Sincerely Charles Moore
Mark -Time to let it go  February 6, 2009 02:18 PM
I bought into the comeback a few years ago and was dissapointed then. At that time the price was under $20,0000. Then they closed without any warning or warranty. Here they come again different company more money but again not enough money. 30k for a Harley clone? I just bought a Road Kind for $16,900 and I have 8k miles on it. Good luck Indian, I'm a Harley guy from now on
Racer1 -and...  January 23, 2009 09:38 AM
Just to inject a much needed reality check into this discussion, let's remember that you could buy a Harley Davidson Road King ($17,000) AND a Suzuki GSXR1000R ($12,000) for LESS than the base price of the cheapest Indian being offered ($30,000+). Harley and Suzuki have huge dealer networks, rock solid warranties and make reliable, well put together, current motorcycles. Seriously, who would drop $30K+ for this thing?
Racer1 -Sigh...  January 23, 2009 06:50 AM
Yes, I've seen the bike.. yes it's a rehashed museum replica - a few modern parts, but basically a warmed over Chief.... I'm glad you think that nostalgia is a big enough market and a good enough reason to build these bikes, unfortunately history has shown otherwise... Triumph was, and is, a British icon - they just see fit to make modern motorcycles (which is what Indian used to do back in the day, when they were successful), I would LOVE to see Indian make modern, cutting edge bikes - it isn't going to happen though, and I will not be happy to see this go down the pan (again) - but it will.... George Clooney can only buy just so many overpriced baubles.
Fan -Icon  January 22, 2009 11:43 AM
Indian Motorcycle is an American Icon...PERIOD. You can say what you'd like, you’re entitled to your opinion, but Indian is still an American Icon. They were the pinnacle of motorcycling for 50 years and developed technologies that got us where we are today. Why not welcome back a brand as great as this and give them the opportunity to shine bright once again? As for statements like "warmed over" or "museum replicas", I'll ask if you've seen the new bikes? Riden one? If you haven't or don't plan to, then why comment on something you don’t know much about? Ignorance is not a valid excuse. Once you see the new Indian in person and have the chance to ride one as I have, you'll realize that it does justice to the name and will allow the company to be around for a long time to come! Nostalgia is huge in our culture, so what’s wrong with producing something new that is based on something that is old? Mustang? Challenger? Camaro? Do these names not look familiar, just to name a few?
Racer1 -I'm not convinced...  January 17, 2009 08:50 AM
I'm not sure my antipathy to this rehashed Indian has anything to do with sports, tourers or cruisers. I have nothing against cruisers - motorcycling is a big tent and I welcome everyone in it. My problem is seeing this warmed over brand, producing a museum replica of what Indian USED to be. How big is the market for nostalgia? There may be a niche market for that- and Triumph, Harley, Ducati et al, pander to it to a greater or lesser extent - but they all offer modern, functional, cutting edge bikes too, with extensive dealer networks and a developed client base. We have been here before with Indian, with awful results (and that was in a better economy and before the V twin cruiser market was saturated). The Indian name (like the Triumph name) used to be synonymous with producing up to date, fast, modern motorcycles and that what they should be doing - not producing Neiman Marcus, retro museum pieces for the Hollywood elite and few blinkered nostalgia buffs.
Dave -They are doing it their way - seems about right so far  January 15, 2009 09:11 AM
I have seen and ridden the bikes - they are very nice. I can't afford one now because I have too many in my garage, so I am cash poor at the moment. But if I could afford it - that is where my heavyweight cruiser money would be. I am told they chose the Chief as their first - because it is the flagship - representing where they came form - at least stylistically. If you ride only sport or tourers you probably won't like it. If you ride only cruisers - you may. They have already announced a few diffferent directions they will go with future models - but for now it is one model at a time. Their parent had great success turning around Riva boats and then Chris Craft and now they are working on Indian. Great track record doing it their way so far - despite all the armchair bike builders - LOL Best of luck Indian - keep up the good work.
JSH -We will see  January 15, 2009 07:17 AM
I'll be curious to see how they do. The new owners of Indian recently bought and turned around a bankrupt Chris Craft boats so they do have some history. Personally I would have liked to see Indian bring back a modern version of the Indian 4 cylinder instead of yet another V-Twin. Triumph has been successful because they played on their heritage but also launched a unique product.
Tom -New revived Indian Motorcycles  January 14, 2009 11:18 PM
I don't know but it looks pretty cool to me. Of course I would have to see one up close to really judge fit and finish. Victory has sure done a nice job and has a great dealer network so I would be looking to see what they have done to get it right. I would love to see this American company make it but of course only time will tell.
Racer1 -How can they not get it?  January 14, 2009 06:28 PM
Seriously, what have we here? Oh... an overweight, "classic styled" V twin, covered in chrome, a goofy "indian head" light on the oversized front fender - essentially a warmed over, rehashed, "me-too" version of the classic, dead and defunct Indian motorcycles. Throw in a patchy dealer network, a record of closures and disappointments and a glut of V twin cruisers and it's not really a recipe for success is it? No. For a REAL relaunch of a brand look at Triumph. REAL modern motorcycles, the Speed Triple, 675, Sprint, etc.- innovation, new technology, competitive pricing and fun to ride. This is a sad, dumb money pit. Save one for George Clooney, real riders will stay away in droves.
Tim -Some Things Just Aren't Right  January 13, 2009 09:44 AM
The global economy saddens me. An American company that is legendary is now owned a European-based company. Another American icon, Budweiser, is no longer owned by us. It's sad that this country is losing so many things, especially when they're so historical and so unmistakenly American! I'd much rather see the brands die off than to be sold abroad. "Early signs indicate that the premium motorcycle manufacturer is likely here to stay." How many times have we heard that before? If I had a dollar for every time... I just pity people like Mike Smith who will suffer if this attempt at revival fails yet again. He must be a gambling man. I'd like to have seen Indian die off and stay dead. The numerous attempts at its revival have tarnished the image and the legend in my opinion. A new Indian will probably never mean much to me or my generation unlike the old Indians that mean a lot to people even as young as my father.
edpix -Indian: How to pass the torch  January 12, 2009 05:42 PM
I so wish that John Britten had been able to continue his work and carry on with the opportunity he almost had with the Indian brand with his innovative engineering, unique perspective and relentless passion. There is a HUGE hole in the American built motorcycle market that Indian could easily fulfill if it had the vision and nerve to be as innovative as as Hendee and Franklin were almost 100 years ago. That all said, the reality is the passion, vision and direction of the new Indian doesn't seem to be breaking any new ground and is just a faint shadow of it's former self. Still, I hope Indian will build something innovative and high quality in the future and return Indian to the top of the motorcycle industry. It doesn't hurt to dream and it certainly worked for Burt Munroe!
Take a Guess -Lame&Sad  January 12, 2009 09:55 AM
Wow, 600 people walk through but no mention of how many if any units sold. Also, no current pictures of the bike or the momentous occasion. Awful car wrecks and train wrecks have the same affect of drawing crowds. Like most things I read from the media or internet, I have to see it to believe it. The only thing I see or should say read here is a bunch of sales puffery.