Indian Motorcycles Ups the Ante
America’s first ever motorcycle company, Indian Motorcycles, has decided to take the fight to rival Harley-Davidson. They took the first major step down that path on Saturday, August 3rd, by unveiling 3 new Indian models, rather fittingly, at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.
Attempting to capture Indian’s iconic look and history and combine it with new modern features like the new Thunder Stroke 111 engine, keyless ignition, Bluetooth and electronic throttle, Indian left no stone unturned in this latest effort. The monumental 27 month long task to revamp, redesign and redefine the Indian brand cost parent company Polaris $100 million dollars but, judging from the resulting new models, it all looks like it could be worth it—and they have their sights clearly focused on Harley-Davidson.
Polaris also put a large focus on price point. Often considered over priced in the days preceding Polaris’ ownership, pricing for the new models should be considered much more attractive to an everyday motorcycle buyer. Instead of looking at machines in the $37000 range, as had happened in the past, Polaris’ starting price for the Indian Chief Classic is a relatively modest $18,999.
The new Chief Classic is a pure cruiser. Sporting valanced fenders, leather saddles, tank mounted instrumentation, tear-drop fuel tank design, and sculpted and lighted front fender war bonnet. All of this comes in addition to keyless ignition, anti lock brakes, cruise control, throttle-by-wire and dual exhaust.
At a bit of an upgrade, the Chief Vintage offers all of that plus soft sided leather saddle bags, leather fringe, chrome fender tips, vintage chrome badging on the front fender and a quick release windshield for easy installation and uninstallation; all for $20,999.
The high end Chieftain is the first Indian to offer a molded front end with integrated driving lights and a power windshield. Standard features include everything on the other two models, as well as hard saddlebags with remote locks and quick release anchors, tire pressure monitoring system and a high output audio system with Bluetooth capabilities.
These bikes will be on the market this September, but will they take a piece out of Harley? Time will only tell, but one thing is for sure. Indian has stepped up to the plate.