Indian cruiser motorcycles are an American classic that has been revived and features classic styled cruisers like the Chief Vintage and Roadmaster. While the other Motor Company has become the defining American V-Twin manufacturer, Indian is the older marque claiming a founding date of 1901. Indian enjoyed success in racing as the fledgling motorcycle industry took root in the US and abroad. While Indian experimented with other engine configurations, like its American rival the company is known for its V-Twin models, like the Chief and Roadmaster. The only true challenger to Harley-Davidson, Indian fell apart in a post-war decline. Since its demise, two significant rebirths have been attempted. The first was the Gilroy, California-based Indian Motorcycle Company of America, which folded in 2003. The marque lay dormant for a number of years until a London-based equity firm, Stellican Limited, began producing Indian Chief motorcycles in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. While updates such as fuel injection and a redesigned engine were employed in the “King’s Mountain” models, reception was underwhelming. In 2011 Polaris Industries Inc. purchased the historic marque and in 2013 the Minnesota-based brand released a Vintage Final Edition, which paid respect to the Gilroy and King’s Mountain manufacturers to come before. For the 2014 model year Polaris developed a new engine, the Thunder Stroke 111, and revealed three updated models to the world at the 73rd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
It's a bagger battle royale as we pit the upstart 2015 Indian Chieftain against the 2015 Harley Street Glide Special in this comparison of American-made, V-Twin-powered motorcycles.