The first Indian motorcycles were built in 1901, and bikes were sold to the public in 1902, making it one of America’s oldest motorcycle brands. Indian Motorcycle was once the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, and claims many firsts: production V-twin, fully adjustable front suspension, electric starters and lights, swingarm rear suspension and twist grip hand controls. The company was bought by Polaris Industries earlier this year, and the first Indians built at Polaris’ Spirit Lake, Iowa, plant bear special 110th anniversary badges.
For 2012, three Indian Motorcycle models will be offered: Chief Vintage, Chief Classic and Chief Dark Horse. All are powered by Indian’s proprietary Powerplus 105 cubic-inch air-cooled V-twin with closed loop sequential port fuel injection, six-speed transmissions and belt final drive. All have Brembo triple-disc brakes, 5.5-gallon fuel tanks, dual 12V accessory outlets and claimed dry weights around 750 pounds.
Based on the 1948 Chief, the Indian Chief Vintage’s chrome Indian tank badge and deeply valenced front fender pay stylish homage to the bygone, postwar era. Distressed tan leather with fringe covers the solo seat and saddlebags, and the 60-spoke chrome wheels are shod with classic whitewall tires. Standard equipment includes a windscreen, detachable passenger seat, chrome grab rail and chrome tips and shields on the stainless steel two-into-one exhaust. Available in solid ($35,999) or two-tone ($36,899) color schemes with a two-year warranty.
The Indian Chief Dark Horse’s matte-finish Thunder Black Smoke paint and rims, blackwall tires, blacked-out engine and chassis, and solo black seat live up to this bike’s ominous name. Even the trademark Indian head on the front fender and two-into-one exhaust are black. About the only color on the Dark Horse is the classic painted Indian headdress logo on the tank. MSRP is $27,999 with a two-year warranty.
Less flashy than the Vintage and less imposing than the Dark Horse is the Indian Chief Classic, which features a chrome engine package, chrome spoked wheels and solid red or black paint. It’s also the least expensive model in Indian’s lineup, with an MSRP of $26,499 and a two-year warranty.
For more information, visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.