More Indian details

Indian motorcycle daytona
For the last few years, Indian built big, bloated cruisers. Will the new engine unveiled at Daytona be the start of a new era for the classic American marque?
The new bike from Polaris won’t be your daddy’s Indian. Hopefully, it’ll be more like your grandaddy’s – once upon a time, the marque was a racetrack threat.

Polaris’s new Indian motorcycles are going to be a hot story this year, at least for motorcyclists interested in cruisers. This month, Forbes interviewed some company bigwigs, and they had some interesting details.

Many onlookers are hoping Indian’s revival will take the bike past the rut the company’s been stuck in during recent years. Once upon a time, the company stood for performance, but lately, all they’ve produced is big, heavy cruisers with a big, heavy price tag.

Polaris CEO Scott Wine didn’t exactly promise a supersport machine in the works, but he did acknowledge previous bikes were too slow and expensive, without quality to back up that price. The new machines will have clear and obvious ties to the company’s heritage, but they’re aiming to compete with Harley-Davidson. Could that theoretically mean an Indian equivalent to the Sportster?

As well, the machines won’t be rebadged bikes from the Victory lineup, which is also owned by Polaris. Steve Menneto, the company’s vice-president of motorcycles (a pretty impressive title, we think) told Forbes they’re spending a lot of money to avoid that.

The existing Indian dealer lineup is getting pretty thin, so one of the company’s top priorities is to rebuild that network as well, says Menneto, as well as work on building a rider community focused on the Indian brand, just like Harley-Davidson has.

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