Motorcycle Types Cruiser Indian Motorcycle Finds a New Home

Indian Motorcycle Finds a New Home

2011-indian-motorcycles-finds-a-new-home 1

American Motorcycle News

Indian, America’s oldest motorcycle brand, has been acquired by Polaris Industries.

Polaris, a Medina, Minnesota manufacturer of snowmobiles and ATVS, as well as Victory Motorcycles, purchased the famous motorcycle company last week.

Polaris plans to move Indian’s current headquarters and operations from its North Carolina address, into the Polaris plant at Spirit Lake, Iowa.

At press time it wasn’t clear if Indian’s 25 employees will be asked to make the move as well. Polaris has said that it intends to keep the two brands as separate entities.

Indian was started in 1901 and enjoyed early racing success, as well as establishing two iconic models, the Scout and the Chief.

Under steadily increasingly pressure in the demanding market of motorcycle production over the following years, Indian was forced to close it doors in 1953. Since then there have been several serious efforts to bring the brand back to life.

The most recent one showed promise but, as it has been in the past, fought to find funding and a reliable production schedule and distributorship, resulting in the resurrected company officially closing its doors in 2003.

Next up, the company that had brought life back to ChrisCraft boats tackled the Indian brand. After establishing the current North Carolina plant and securing a handful of distributors, the new owners launched some revamped models.

However, timing was against them, and the slowing economy and the market didn’t bode well for a relatively pricey motorcycle. Indian was back on the auctioning block.

Enter Polaris. With the technical and production know-how under the auspices of Polaris, combined with their financial backing and proven dedication to driving brand awareness, Indian is in good hands.

Whether Victory dealers will want to dilute their showrooms against the steadily growing Victory name with another large-capacity V-twin motorcycle, remains to be seen. But, that said, motorcyclists are unpredictable. There’s never any telling what will click.

But I will say this. In this day and age of international buy-outs, where iconic brands are often confused as to what their heritage is, it’s refreshing that Indian, an American brand, was bought by another American company, keeping the bloodline a patriotic red, white, and blue.

It’s nice to see Indian at least being courted by the kind of callers that can do justice to the legendary name.2011-indian-motorcycles-finds-a-new-home 2

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2022 Triumph Bonneville Bobber First Look (11 Fast Facts)

The 2022 Triumph Bonneville Bobber enjoys a wide range of updates that include functional and aesthetic. The changes are, in part, to meet Euro...

2021 MV Agusta Dragster RR SCS RC First Look (9 Fast Facts)

The 2021 MV Agusta Dragster RR SCS RC is the new flagship of the urban-brawling Dragster lineup. The RC stands for Reparto Corse, and...

2022 Triumph Bonneville T100 First Look (9 Fast Facts)

The Triumph Bonneville T100 gets a more powerful and higher-revving motor for 2022,  along with a lighter chassis and upgraded suspension as the British...

2022 Triumph Street Twin First Look (7 Fast Facts)

The best-selling Triumph Street Twin is back with motor changes to meet Euro 5 standards, upgraded styling, and a classy new variant. Let’s take...

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250: 150 HP ADV [17 Fast Facts]

Harley-Davidson officially unveiled Monday its all-new adventure touring motorcycles, the 2021 Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special. The Motor Company released all the...

Story of Warner Riley’s 200+ MPH Run Aboard a Sportster 50 Years Ago!

50 years ago Warner Riley began working toward having the World’s Fastest Conventional Motorcycle. With help from S&S Cycle in Wisconsin, topping 200 mph...