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Indian Motorcycle's L.A. Grand Opening April 17

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Indian Motorcycle L.A. Grand Opening
Iconic American manufacturer, Indian Motorcycle, is set to open up its first dealership on the West Coast with a big grand opening party slated for April 17-18.
Indian Motorcycles is poised to make its historic return to the West Coast with the grand opening of Indian Motorcycle Los Angeles April 17-18. Seven years after the last Indian Motorcycles rolled off the Gilroy, California line in the last failed venture to restore the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer, the unmistakable styling of the classic-styled cruiser motorcycles soon will once again grace California roadways.

The first Indian Motorcycle dealership in California has a full-slate of activities scheduled for the weekend, including demo rides on all five of the 2010 Chief models, the Classic, Dark Horse, Bomber,Roadmaster and Vintage. From the deeply valanced fenders to its big V-Twin engine, the newest generation of Indian Motorcycles tries hard to stay true to the classic styling that has defined the marque.

Attendees will be able to compare the new Indians against the old guard courtesy of an antique Indian motorcycle show scheduled to take place. In true L.A. fashion, there will be live music to facilitate the celebratory nature of the event, with
We bellied up to the bar for a pint of sarsaparilla at Deadwoods infamous Saloon No. 10.
The new owners of the Indian Motorcycle has worked hard to retain the classic styling cues that defined the company.
the stand-up bassist from the famous band The Stray Cats laying down some licks on Saturday and Wild Child, a Doors tribute band, jamming on Sunday. A beer garden and food fair will help sate appetites and everyone in attendance will have a chance to win free Indian merchandise.
 
Indian Motorcycle's newest proprietors have a history of restoring iconic marques to their former glory, successfully resurrecting Chris-Craft boats and Italian yacht manufacturer Riva. Private equity firm Stellican Ltd. acquired the rights to Indian Motorcycle in 2004 and slowly set about testing and researching to bring a product to market instead of rushing the process so as not to repeat the same mistakes of its predecessors. The result culminated in the re-launch of Indian Motorcycles in 2009. Since then, the company has established a network of 19 dealerships, including two in Canada.
 
Indian Motorcycle Los Angeles is located under the same roof as California Harley-Davidson at 1521 Pacific Coast Highway in Harbor City, California. The grand opening event is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18. For more info, phone 310-539-3366.

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Comments
Pyrope Native -Connecting  April 12, 2010 08:41 AM
Some of us know, or have known for a while that riding a bike and making friends is one of the open known secrets. I have Owned a "Spirit" and when out riding, it does grabs more attention than a number of Harleys in a street line-up. Especially, when riders comment on the Gilroy repair/dependability track record. I'll say that riding an Indian 'IS' its glory and with it, mech problems. The part that i like is where the "ladies" enjoy the attention on the back of a Indian or next to a Indian & in my case, finding out that i am an "indian; Native American. Damn, that bike has open doors to a girls heart and other things for a night or weekend together.
Todd8080 -Brief hiatus?  April 10, 2010 02:27 AM
"Bentley, for one...they had a hiatus period, as did Triumph(albeit much briefer), but no one questions their brand legitimacy."

Springfield Indian was out of production for nearly half a century. That's a lifetime for some people.

But since you mention Triumph, they changed hands, names and locations so many times I do indeed question their brand legitimacy.

Guess where Harley's been headquartered for 107 years?
Plymus -Markus  April 9, 2010 12:22 PM
“you missed some... Miller-cycle, rotary, diesel, turbine, to name a few” Maybe you didn’t read the “etc.” after my list of engines, meaning it was just a partial list.

“You have accepted no explanations” You gave excuses not explanations.

“Well, well. Degenerated into personal attacks pretty quickly there, didn't we?” You said big man with a white beard and I pictured Santa, it’s not an attack it is an image that could reasonably fit your brief description.

“Yeah, and I got read the riot act for it, too. I have been advised that there is a very good reason that no one ever officially comes on these internet boards to defend themselves or explain the company position, and you, actually, have provided a most excellent example of why that is a good policy.” Wrong, you provided the reason for the policy in the first place. You made the ridiculous claim.

“called me a liar” Nope, I doubted your claim and asked you to back it up. Only fools will believe anything they read or anything they are told.

Like I said Markus unless the engine is nuclear powered or something it won’t be “mind blowing” it will just be the same as something already on the market or something that was done years ago like Honda’s and Kawasaki’s inline six, which YOU forgot to mention. Now if you had said Indian has a new engine coming out that is “in house” and has some innovative technology I would not have given you the third degree. Yamaha makes an inline four for the R1 but uses proprietary technology with the cross plane crank shaft. I would say the engine is innovative and offers some unique features but I don’t think anybody would say it is unlike anything out there or mind blowing. Maybe mind blowing is relative to the mind that is getting blown away. An inline 5 may blow some people away. For others it may take a 1.2 liter V12 with pneumatic valve actuation.

"A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things."
“Carlyle opposed analytic reasoning and quasi-scientific treatment of social questions by the rationalist political economists, and advocated the more emotional and intuitive approach of the 18th and 19th century German thinkers like Richter and Goethe”. (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/carlyle.htm)

I guess it makes sense for why you quoted Carlyle; you don’t use any practical or analytical thought before you state something. Your passion for Indian is based off emotion and touchy-feely stuff. Which is just fine but I save that part of my soul for my family and friends but when it comes to business it’s just that business so I will debate issues and ask questions? “So believe what you know and know only what you are told, fear to ask as to avoid the pain of discovering the truths of your beliefs”.- Plymus April 9, 2010.
Markus -Beating a dead horse.  April 9, 2010 07:24 AM
Todd: As per usual with many media outlets the NYT article is erroneous on several counts and was also written in 1998, prior to the final iteration of the company in Gilroy. Ultimately, the main portion of the money invested came not from the Canadian group, but from a capitalization firm in Boston. That means that the majority ownership/stockholder of IMC (Not IMCOA...that was a different company, and a precursor to IMC) was U.S. based. I agree that the majority owner in Indian this time around, Stellican, is British-based, but the company is half-owned by an American, Steve Heese. Make of that what you will.

As far as 'where the money goes', being your criteria for a company being 'American', the majority of it will end up here, since the entire workforce is American, and half of the profits will also end up here, since they will go to the American who owns half of Stellican. That means that FAR more than half of the money generated by Indian will stay in the U.S.

As far as your anger at them for saying Indian has been around since 1901, I can do nothing for that. I suspect no argument would convince you, although there are other prominent examples. Bentley, for one...they had a hiatus period, as did Triumph(albeit much briefer), but no one questions their brand legitimacy. Oh well... You feel how you feel, and that's your opinion. Obviously, I won't be changing it. It's a free country and you certainly have a right to it.

Plymus: Well, well. Degenerated into personal attacks pretty quickly there, didn't we?

OK, so I misspelled 'proprietary'...big deal. I was typing fast.

"That’s pretty lame for Santa Clause to be hanging out with a girl who is paid to show up."

Oh, ouch. You cut me to the quick. If you reread my post, I'll be WORKING at the display, not 'hanging out'. You either missed (or intentionally ignored) the part where I was actually associated with the company, and therefore might really KNOW something. (My wife did, however, get a great big laugh out of that. At least your post accomplished something positive, even if it was unintended. When I said 'big' I meant "large", not fat. As in: 6'4", 255.)
Oh yeah, also, you misspelled "Claus".

"So you can’t say how many pistons the engine will have because of a non-disclosure agreement yet you are blabbing about a new “mind blowing engine” on a public forum…"

Yeah, and I got read the riot act for it, too. I have been advised that there is a very good reason that no one ever officially comes on these internet boards to defend themselves or explain the company position, and you, actually, have provided a most excellent example of why that is a good policy.
Nothing good can come out of a flame war.
Indian also rarely (read: almost never.) officially releases information on products in development until said product is ready for sale to the public, and is a done deal. HOWEVER...Most all of what I have already stated on here, though, has already been announced (or intimated) publicly by various Indian management members, including Stephen Julius, so I have not, technically, violated my NDA.

"Nothing I have posted indicates I won’t listen."

Really? You could have fooled me. You have accepted no explanations, brooked no opposition, called me a liar, and resorted to personal attacks in nothing flat. Oh, yeah. The picture of polite discourse, you are.

All that arguing with you has done has raised my blood pressure, and gotten me in hot (well, OK, sort-of-lukewarm) water. (Although, to be fair, technically I guess I got MYSELF in hot water, for shooting off my mouth.... Er... keyboard.)

Good job, sport.

By the way, in your oh-so-comprehensive list of potential engine types, you missed some... Miller-cycle, rotary, diesel, turbine, to name a few. Yeah, I know there are a couple of diesel and turbine bikes, but they are not mass production.
Although Norton, Suzuki and Hercules all made them at one time, there are no current rotary bikes in production.
And neither are some of the engine types you listed currently in mass production. Yeah, there have been prototypes, or very limited production models with all sorts of engines, like you mentioned, but most of them are NOT production motorcycles.
The Tomahawk is a V10, for example, but it's far from a production bike. When I said "on the market". I meant something you can walk into a showroom somewhere in this country and BUY one new, right now.
(You missed boxer-four, too, but obviously a couple of companies have that pretty well covered, I think...)

You know, I really MUST love banging my head against a brick wall, since I seem to be hooked on what is for me, not even a zero-sum, but rather a lose-null situation. There is no way to win this argument, and I CAN lose.

It's just that I have many really good friends at Indian and I get sick and damn tired of hearing all the sh*t that gets talked on the internet about them. So I jumped on here to defend my buddies. If I stepped in sh*t, so be it.

Here's another quote for you:

"A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things." -Thomas Carlyle

I know and believe in what the guys (and a few women, too...) at King's Mountain are trying to do: revive a legendary American motorcyle marque... one I happen to have loved for nearly 35 years, since I was about 19.
If you knew them like I do, you would understand, I think... well, maybe not Plymus or Todd. They really DO think in more than just bottom-line terms. They are all riders, and they passionately believe in what they are doing, and intend to do it to the best of their ability. That's why they were hand-picked by the owners. They are good people, and there are only about 40 of them total at KM, including front office, management, administration, engineers, and the guys crafting the bikes.

And I was serious...if anyone wants to talk Indian, and not just diss them for the sake of argument, look me up in L.A. next weekend.

Over and out.
Todd8080 -"Canadian consortium"  April 8, 2010 09:59 PM
I guess you didn't actually follow the link, Marcus. IMCOA Licensing America Inc. was doing more than selling T-shirts.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/15/automobiles/revival-of-indian-cycle-runs-into-a-new-barrier.html?pagewanted=1

"Mr. Block contends that Eller missed a deadline for obtaining financing and failed to meet the terms of its obligations. He now says that the interests of the Indian Estate claimants would be better served by a new investor group, Imcoa Licensing America Inc. That Canadian consortium would finance the building of a completely different cruiser designed by the California Motorcycle Company of Santa Cruz, Calif., using off-the-shelf parts."

Gold Wing riders used to claim that their bikes were more American than Harleys because Honda had a plant in Marysville, Ohio. It's not the location of the plant that matters, it where the money comes from and where the profits go that matters.

Those "furriners" were careful to use American front men so as to seem as American as possible, just as it was with IMCOA and just as it is with Stellican Limited.

I can appreciate that you want Indian to make a comeback at any cost; so do a lot of people, for varying reasons (mostly financial). But they got off on the wrong foot back in '98 and everyone looking to profit from the Indian name has continued down a shady path right up until today.

As long as they keep claiming they're the same company that was building Indian motocycles in 1901 and as long as they keep copying Harley's designs they're never going to be successful. That's the not-so-instant karma to which I earlier referred.

The "history" page at the "Indian" website is a joke:

http://www.indianmotorcycle.com/history/historyhome/tabid/78/default.aspx

The Springfield Indian's past has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with either the Gilroy or Kings Mountain companies and both should be ashamed for trying to pretend there's even a remote connection.
Plymus -Markus  April 8, 2010 09:16 PM
“As a part of that, I signed a non-disclosure agreement which limits the proprietay information I can disseminate”. Cliché Cliché…what is “proprietay” anyways does it have anything to do with proprietary maybe. So you can’t say how many pistons the engine will have because of a non-disclosure agreement yet you are blabbing about a new “mind blowing engine” on a public forum…

“Make a bit more sense now?” Yes, I realize you are more full of s**t than I thought you were in the first place.

“If you would like, I would certainly be glad to elaborate further”. Further on what? According to you “I have shared as much as I can”.

“I'll be the big guy with the white beard, working in the display with the Indian pin-up girl. How lame is that?” That’s pretty lame for Santa Clause to be hanging out with a girl who is paid to show up.

Look I’m glad you are happy with your Indians but you started with the hype about the “an absolutely mind-blowing engine, unlike ANYthing else on the market” and I called you on it. You know as well as I and all the other readers of this web site that there is no engine Indian can come out with that is not already on the market. Anything from a V2 to V10 can be found in a motorcycle inline 2,3,4, single, etc.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see." At least my quote was relevant because I justified my belief of Indians imminent failure based off its troubled past. What is it that I won’t see? Certainly you can’t be implying I’m blind because I don’t see Indian in the same way as you do because that would only show that we have a difference in opinion. You made a very bold statement and I asked you to back up your statement and you can’t/won’t. If you did in fact sign an agreement with Indian then why even bring up the subject with such hype and enthusiasm? Nothing I have posted indicates I won’t listen. I have asked reasonable questions in regards to your claims. Now since you allegedly can’t follow up on your claim is your problem. Intelligent minds are curious and ask questions when they hear such bold statements.

Maybe in a few years you may pass me by with a new Indian that has a radical engine…maybe. But, to me, I think the most likely outcome will be me passing by the last Indian dealer closing its doors, again.
Markus -Actually, Plymus...  April 8, 2010 01:11 PM
I have more than TWO Indians in my garage.

I have six, and only two of them are modern-era, the '02 and the '09.

I can't tell you any more about the engine, or the bikes in development for two simple reasons:

First: No, Indian does not share proprietary secrets with "just anyone who owns an Indian". I know considerably more than the average Indian owner... because I am not the average Indian owner.

I am surprised you didn't figure that out.

I have done some work with Indian, and I know quite a few of the folks at King's Mountain personally, including Chris Bernauer, who is the General Manager. As a part of that, I signed a non-disclosure agreement which limits the proprietay information I can disseminate. The number of cylinders in the new engine (or, more accurately, ONE of the new engines) falls into that category, but I CAN tell you that particular engine will not be a V-twin.

Second, because there is really a limited amount that I actually DO know about the bikes in development, and I have shared as much as I can. There are prototypes, but only about a dozen people have actually seen them, and all those people are either in management or engineering at Indian. Many of the front office staff have never seen them, either.

Make a bit more sense now?

If you would like, I would certainly be glad to elaborate further. Look me up... I'll be at Indian L.A.'s grand opening next weekend. I'll be the big guy with the white beard, working in the display with the Indian pin-up girl. How lame is that?

Now, since you seem to be fond of quotes, allow me leave you with one:

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
-Jonathan Swift, 'Polite Conversation', 1738
Plymus -Markus  April 8, 2010 11:24 AM
Bang…”The engine in that bike will be very unlike anything CURRENTLY in production and use in any CURRENT production model of motorcycle on the market”. All of the motors I listed are CURRENT and don’t leave too many if any options for Indian to use. Give us a hint, something as simple as how many pistons. You can’t and won’t because you are talking out of your a**. Saying how many pistons won’t give much away and your “knowledge” of the new top secret engine must not be very top secret because if it was you wouldn’t know a thing that is unless Indian likes to share its secrets with just anyone who happens to own an Indian.

Bang Bang…”Wish I could predict the future that well. My 401K would look one hell of a lot better right now...” Winston Churchill once said... The further backward you look, the further forward you can see…

Bang Bang Bang “I doubt I accomplished much here” No, you just proved why you have TWO Indians in your garage.

I have no problem with your interest and passion for Indian but making statements that you can’t back up is lame.
Markus -Sigh.  April 8, 2010 05:29 AM
As I said earlier, I doubted there would be any changing minds that are already made up, but I was going to try anyway. Maybe I just like beating my head against a brick wall.

Allow me to indulge my hobby once again, then:

First, Todd, The company from Canada that you referred to was one that produced Indian-branded clothing. IMC was the company formed by the merger of IMCOA and CMC, and it was California based. The Canadians became minority stockholders in that company. That entity was who was awarded the IP by the trustee. The majority owner was actually from Boston. Stellican IS based in London, but there are two people who are partners in it, Steve Heese and Stephen Julius. Steve is American, and lives in the U.S. Indian was financed by Stellican, but is incorporated in the U.S., and the only member of the board of directors of Indian who is not a U.S. citizen is Stephen Julius.

Not that this will make any difference to people that are determined that Indian is 'owned by furriners', but there are the facts. At least it's not owned by a company from Malaysia, which is where Gilroy would have been had Proton not pulled out in 2003.

(Bang! Bang! Bang!)

"Really, will it have a V4, v-twin, parallel twin, in-line 3, inline 4, single cylinder, opposed twin, opposed six, air cooled, air and oil cooled, liquid cooled, oil and liquid cooled, 800 cc- 2300cc, V-8, Supercharged, 90 deg. Twin, …unless the engine is nuclear powered there will be something else on the market that is like it."

The engine in that bike will be very unlike anything CURRENTLY in production and use in any CURRENT production model of motorcycle on the market.

Is that better?

(Bang! Bang! Bang!)

"Indian won’t be around in 4-5 yrs. from now."

Wish I could predict the future that well. My 401K would look one hell of a lot better right now...

(Bang! Bang! Bang!)

"What series would they race in and what would they race?"

I assume that will be determined by the displacement of either the new Scout or the as-yet-unnamed bike that they are developing that is neither a Chief, Scout, or the touring bike.
Needless to say, racing the Chief is not likely.

(Bang! Bang! Bang!)

"I’d very much like to accomplish winning multiple tour de France races like Lance Armstrong but it isn’t going to happen no matter how much I desire it."

True, perhaps, but that has nothing to do with whether Indian will attempt a return to racing. I simply said they are enthusiasts and want to get into racing at some point. Again, they are very aware of Indian's storied racing history, and if you knew or had met some of these guys...and I have...you would understand that they are very fired up about bringing Indian back to prominence, one small step at a time. They had to start somewhere, so they started with the Chief. To them, producing the touring bike, and the racing bikes will be the sign that they accompished that goal.

(Bang! Bang! Bang!)

I doubt I accomplished much here, but at least I tried, which is what the guys at King's Mountain are doing: trying, and in a most hostile environment...as evidenced by some of these comments, not to mention an economy that is, shall we say, nonconducive to a business venture of this type.

I think I'll go have some Tylenol with my morning coffee now.

Ouch.




Plymus -Markus  April 7, 2010 07:22 PM
“and an absolutely mind-blowing engine, unlike ANYthing else on the market”. Really, will it have a V4, v-twin, parallel twin, in-line 3, inline 4, single cylinder, opposed twin, opposed six, air cooled, air and oil cooled, liquid cooled, oil and liquid cooled, 800 cc- 2300cc, V-8, Supercharged, 90 deg. Twin, …unless the engine is nuclear powered there will be something else on the market that is like it.

“There is a new touring bike planned, still around four to five years out,” Indian won’t be around in 4-5 yrs. from now.

“the top brass at Indian has made no secret of the fact that a return to RACING is very desireable, and something they would very much like to accomplish”. What series would they race in and what would they race? I’d very much like to accomplish winning multiple tour de France races like Lance Armstrong but it isn’t going to happen no matter how much I desire it.
Todd8080 -Misconceptions indeed  April 7, 2010 04:18 PM
First of all, not only was the Gilroy company foreign owned (IMCOA of Toronto, Canada) so is the current Kings Mountain company (Stellican Limited of London, England).

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/15/automobiles/revival-of-indian-cycle-runs-into-a-new-barrier.html?pagewanted=1

Secondly, there are so many parts on both the Gilroy and Kings Mountain "Indians" that are 100% interchangeable with Harley Softails that it's difficult to even list them all. Yes, they changed the shape of a few parts solely to make the bike look less like a Harley, but the only people who are fooled are those blinded by their infatuation with those big, swoopy fenders.

Is the "Indian" motor an exact duplicate of a Harley Evo? No, neither is any other Evo clone, like S&S or Ultima. But like them it's a 45º pushrod-operated single-cam air cooled V-twin that will bolt directly to a Harley frame. The transmission will fit a Harley, too. So will the primary drive. For that matter the entire front end or any of its individual components will fit any Softail of any year. How can a "totally new and original" brand of motorcycle be made with components that are interchangeable with Harley components?

Concerning the frame, no, it's also not an exact duplicate of a Softail frame, but it's more like a Softail than any other type of frame. They took the Gilroy/CMC Harley clone design and made just enough changes so that proponents can claim it isn't a clone. But if you remove the fenders from any of either the Gilroy or Kings Mountain "Indians" most people would have to look long and hard to conclude that it's not a Harley.

But probably the thing that annoys me most about both companies is their deceptive practice of claiming their product is America's oldest motorcycle and they've been around since 1901.
Brett -Hello?  April 7, 2010 01:33 PM
Bob must not have read anything that Markus guy wrote. Sounds like they are trying to evolve to me.

Since they will be into their third model year this fall, with all the new dealers opeining up, I think they probably sold a couple more than 20 already. LOL!
Bob -Evolution?  April 7, 2010 01:17 PM
If someoneone wants a 70 year old motorcycle, that's exactly what they should buy. If Indian had never gone out of business the first time, it's very likely their designs would have evolved with the times, not just technologically but aesthetically. There is no evidence of evolution with any of the newer Indians. There's no evidence they want to evolve either.

So, a few people actually like the valanced fenders. Plenty of people will admire the look but how many will actually buy them for the asking price? Why not just look in the big book for a set, bolt them onto your harley and have money left over for your kid's college tuition?

This will likely be the shortest lived Indian yet. I predict they'll sell 20. I'd say let the name die with it's dignity still attached but I think it's too late for that.
Mark -Harleybots  April 7, 2010 10:37 AM
Harleybots are threatened by anything that REALLY is original and individual
Markus -So many opinions here, so few actual FACTS...  April 7, 2010 09:57 AM
I cannot for the life of me fathom why it is that Indian seems to bring the haters out of the woodwork.

Good grief.

There are so many misconceptions and fallacies here, I barely know here to begin.

Sigh.

OK, not that it'll convince you pack of naysayers, but let's take it from the top anyway...

First, Todd... I actually have to agree with you on the original ownership issue (i.e., the shady dealing in the receivership court that screwed the Eller group out of the IP, when they were obviously the better steward of the name at the time.), the court order settled the ownership of the IP, for better or worse. NO... it wasn't fair, or right, but it is what it is. Most of us, at some point, take issue with something done in our legal system, but you just have to get over it and move on. (I personally think the Eller bike was gorgeous, and would have been great.) What happened in 1996-98 had nothing to do with the current owners. Purchasing the rights was what had to be done if they wanted to revive the name. What were they supposed to do? Rewrite history?

Unfortunately, I disagree with almost everything else you stated. First, only the 1999 to 2001 Chiefs, and the Gilroy-era Scouts and Spirits were softails. The current model uses a monoshock swingarm, similar to most superbikes. It's no softail, by any stretch of the imagination. The handling is superb. I can sling it through the twisties to the point of sandpapering my footboards off. Gilroy's '02, '03 and the very few '04 Chiefs were made used a near identical frame and suspension, but the guys at King's Mountain did a makeover on it, and the frame is now manufactured by the same company that makes all the frames for Ducati. Big improvement.

Second, the Gilroy Powerplus 100 engine wasn't actually a direct ripoff of the Evo. Extremely similar, yes, I grant you that, but if it HAD been an identical copy, it'd have WORKED BETTER. Unfortunately for Gilroy, the design of the innards wasn't the best: The connecting rods scissored, the original gerotor oil pump didn't work well from the get-go and failed at an astounding rate, the OEM starter was worthless, they went through three different foundries before they got any decent engine cases, the flywheel, etc., etc., etc....
Well...
You get the picture.
Happily, the engineers at Indian... and yes, Virginia, there ARE real engineers at Indian (as a matter of fact, there are some of the original designers of both the Evo and the Victory engines that were hired by Indian, from HD and Polaris!)...have spent the last 4 years trying to address those very design flaws. The new 105 is a vast improvement over the 100. It's smoother, more powerful, and most importantly...RELIABLE. My brand spanking new 2002 Chief broke down ON THE WAY HOME from the dealership! I've had my 2009 for a year now, with no significant issues. I could not say that about my Gilroy Indian. It's taken 8 years and about 20 grand to iron out it's issues. Before, it was just a nice LOOKING bike. Now, it's a nice bike. Not, however, as nice as my 2009 Vintage. It looks great, (the comment on the fit and finish being bad is just silly. Even Cycle World, who typically hates Indian, commented on how superb the fit and finish were on the new Indians.) handles great, stops great, and is a really comfortable all-day ride.
Don't get me wrong, I love my '02, just like I love my old Springfield-era Indians...I just wouldn't take any of those for a putt over two or three hours long.

Now, as far as the issue of 'design originality'. A lot of us Indian enthusiasts happen to LIKE the classic design, the valanced fenders and the oversized headlight...besides, they had to start somewhere.

However...

There are, in fact, currently some profoundly different "clean sheet" bikes on the drawing boards at King's Mountain. Having met a lot of them personally, I can tell you they are VERY aware of the original companies reputation for originality and innovation, and are determined to bring that back. They consider themselves to be stewards of an American icon, and they take it very seriously.

There is going to be a new Scout: radically diffent than the Gilroy iteration, with a totally new frame, suspension, and a totally new engine that will be completely Indian-designed, from the ground up... not an Evo clone, nor even close to it. It should be out within the next couple of model years.

There is a new touring bike planned, still around four to five years out, that will also be radically different, and will feature a proprietary frame and suspension, and an absolutely mind-blowing engine, unlike ANYthing else on the market.

There is a third bike also, that very little is known about publicly, and the KM crew is being VERY closedmouthed about. Interesting.

And last, but certainly not least, the top brass at Indian has made no secret of the fact that a return to RACING is very desireable, and something they would very much like to accomplish.

So... I doubt that will convince too many of you doubting Thomas's, but what the hell. I tried anyway.

See y'all at the Grand Opening of Indian L.A.
SS -Facts  April 7, 2010 09:40 AM
Gilroy Indian was not foreign-owned in any way and had full rights to the Indian name and image based on a bankruptcy court hearing when they bought them. Yes the bikes were flawed and un-origninal in many ways, yet the folks in Gilroy managed to sell over 4000 per year. The main reason they went out of business was that the manpower needed to run a company selling 4000 bikes per year is almost the same as selling 40000 per year and the investment group that owned them decided to bail and cut their losses. They also were developing all new models and engine designs not based on Harley because they recognized that was the only way to grow, again the cost to do so was determined to be too high. Especially, since it would be at best 3-5 years until those model could be brought to the showroom floor. Running a motorcycle company is tricky because the engine means so much and is the most expensive to develop and make reliable, pass smog etc. You will notice that Chris Craft boats all use standard marine engines (Volvo, etc.) that are used in many, many other brands of boats. This new Indian is privately funded, so we will see how long they decide to burn through their own money.
Todd8080 -Not-so-instant karma  April 7, 2010 07:51 AM
What's it called when you buy something you know was stolen?

The foreign-owned Gilroy outfit had no moral right (and very questionable legal right) to use the Indian name and thus no right to sell it.

All of that could maybe be overlooked if this new "Indian" manufacturer wasn't yet again just recycling the same old Softail platform and Evo motor stolen from Harley.

And even that wouldn't be as bad if they weren't charging ridiculous prices for what amounts to a pair of reproduction fenders, which incidentally have been available for many decades and have been previously used numerous times on Harleys.

A lot of people, myself included, wouldn't mind seeing Indian resurrected, but not when it's based on trickery and unoriginality and certainly not when it's just about money instead of the love of the marque.
BRKNtibia -DevaVu  April 7, 2010 06:53 AM
Here we go again. Every few years some rich dumbass convinces a group of bankers to invest in this charade and buys the Indian name. We all know it's gonna fail so what's the point?
Tim B -How Many Grand Openings Have They Had?  April 7, 2010 03:19 AM
I think we've heard this story before. And really, what has changed with Indian besides the owner? RR is right in saying that Indian is making "me too" bikes, but they aren't executing it as well as the Japs or the Americans. The Indian bikes don't have the fit and finish, the reliability, or the styling that the competition does. I'm afraid this story is going to end the same way that it has in the past unless the powers that be at Indian go back to the drawing board and release a clean-sheet designed motorcycle.
RR -Do Over  April 6, 2010 10:15 PM
Its too bad the designers at Indian can produce nothing, if not more of the same tired HD clones with valenced fenders and oversized headlights. If you really wanted to stay true to tradition, Indian wasn't about copying. They actually innovated and gave all comers a run for their money on and off the race track. What is wrong with trying to innovate again?

Because Indian was in fact involved in racing, why not make something designed to actually be fun to ride? Something not just big to be big, but maybe with a frame and powerplant with a little spirit that was actually fun to ride. Harley has their Sportster, which in its day was a decent performer, but even it has been left behind years ago. Motorcycles are supposed to be fun to ride, not just pretty to look at. Somebody needs a "do-over".