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Indian Motorcycle History
At least Know Your Bike Brand !

Indian History - The Quick Version


Indian Motorcycle History,
Knowing your ride has never been so easy!

An icon on the road and for a few years the leading manufacturer of motorcycles world wide. However the strong racing wins and famous loved road style could not save Indian from doom and life just ran out of the brand. A few enthusiasts are trying to revitalize the Indian that once was.










Quick Guide to Indian Motorcycle History


Started in 1901 by two bicycle racers George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom who produced a small bicycle / motorcycle with a top speed of 50 km/h (30 mph). The first bike was a huge success and pickup up very well and by 1913 - 32000 motorcycles were being produced annually. Indian brought out their bikes in a deep red color which later became one of their trademarks.

In 1907 Indian built a v-twin engine which later made way for the Powerplus in 1916. This model had a more quite engine and remained a success and only had minor changes done to it until 1924.

Indian had both engineering success and racing success which saw the company grow in a tremendous rate during the early 1900�s . And by 1920 Indian could say it was the largest motorcycle manufacturer.

The most popular models of the Indian company still had to be introduced and by 1922 the most famous Chief model was introduced. Together with the Scout these models became the icons of the Indian brand.

The Chief�s design was based on the powerplus from the years before but quite a few improvements were made to the chief original 1922 model. In 1927 the Scout was also introduced.

By this time Indian was a well known brand (the factory was known as the wigwam). All models got the classic large skirted fenders, the cool Indian head logo on the tank and together with the dark red color an absolute icon on the road.

Indian was producing beautiful bikes in the 1940�s and offered a more comfortable ride than big rival Harley Davidson due to the sprung frames of the Indian bike.

Indian bought the Ace firm in 1927 and produced a series of Indian four models. The model was very famous and recognizable but no real success to the company. Problems with the �four� seemed to put extra pressure on the Indian firm who was already having a hard time toward the end of 1950�s.

Indian tried to survive by selling other bikes with an Indian logo on it (matchless & Enfields) but by 1970�s Indian had died away. There are still attempts to restart the brand but so far only a few �new� Chief have been developed



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