Indian Motorcycle, the brand that bills itself as “America’s First Motorcycle Company,” has announced its new model lineup. For 2019, Indian Motorcycle breaks its lineup into five categories: FTR 1200; Midsize; Cruiser; Bagger; and Touring.
FTR 1200 is the newest addition to the lineup. Starting at $12,999, FTR 1200 is a flat track-inspired street bike with a 120-hp liquid-cooled V-twin engine. Indian has dominated the new American Flat Track Racing series with its FTR 750 race bike, and FTR 1200 is designed to pay tribute to that bike and Indian’s racing heritage.
Three Scout models make up the Midsize category: Scout Sixty (starting at $8,999); Scout (starting at $11,499); and Scout Bobber (starting at $11,999). Scout uses a liquid-cooled V-twin engine, and is a pretty direct competitor to the Harley-Davidson Sportster lineup.
The Chief Dark Horse is Indian’s Cruiser model. Starting at $17,999, it uses the air/oil-cooled Thunder Stroke 111 engine rated at 119 lb-ft of torque.
The Bagger category is made up of seven models: Chief Vintage ($19,999); Springfield Dark Horse (starting at $21,499); Springfield (starting at $20,999); Chieftain (starting at $21,999); Chieftain Dark Horse (starting at $25,999); Chieftain Classic (starting at $24,999); and Chieftain Limited (starting at $25,999). All of the Baggers have either a windshield or fairing and hard saddlebags, except the Springfield Dark Horse (no windshield or fairing) and Chief Vintage (soft bags instead of hard bags). Chieftain, Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Dark Horse received a major makeover for 2019, with new sheet metal, bags and fairing designs.
The Touring category is comprised of one loaded luxury liner, the Roadmaster (starting at $28,999). Roadmaster comes with a full fairing (upper and lower), hard bags, plush pillion seating and a trunk.
Indian Motorcycle was originally founded in 1901, predating rival Harley-Davidson by two years. Indian thrived through the first part of the Twentieth Century, then stumbled in the post-World War II years, ultimately caving to bankruptcy in 1953. Multiple attempts were made to keep the brand alive over the next seven decades, with the Indian logo appearing on a variety of motorcycles during that period. In 2011, Minnesota-based Polaris, parent company to the Victory Motorcycle brand, acquired the Indian brand, quickly assembled a team of engineers and designers, and developed an all-new Indian Chief and Indian Chieftain, which debuted as 2014 models. In 2017, Polaris announced that production of Victory motorcycles would cease, and that the parent company would instead focus its energies on the future of Indian Motorcycle.
Polaris has expended considerable energy and resources to launch Indian, expanding the dealer network, adding parts and accessories for the lineup, and producing a range of clothing and lifestyle items. Indian has gotten deeply involved in American Flat Track Racing and Hooligan racing, both of which are popular with a desirable young demographic. They have also launched the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group (IMRG), a factory-sponsored community of owners, riders, passengers and non-owners who want to ride and be affiliated with Indian owners. Similar to Harley-Davidson’s highly successful Harley Owners Group (HOG), the IMRG is designed to serve Indian owners while binding them to the brand and to their local dealership.
Indian’s output of bikes is a fraction of Harley-Davidson’s massive tally, but the bikes are highly competitive, beautifully designed and built. America’s oldest motorcycle brand is back, and it looks like it’s here to stay this time.
More Info: forbes.com