Indian Motorcycle News From Outside The Reality Distortion Field

Since 2004 Stellican’s acquisition of the Indian Motorcycle brand, and until now, we heard nothing from its executives. No information can lead to widespread rumors and distortion. Add to this the fact that Indian Motorcycle is an iconic brand over charged with a mix of nostalgia and emotion, that most of us have witnessed several attempts and failures to resurrect the brand, that a group of passionate Indian Lovers carry the Indian torch since 1953 but always felt ignored by those who got a chance before to re-launch new models, and you arrive at a situation of mistrust, skepticism or at least doubt towards the Indian name new owner. As Chairman Stephen Julius stated in my Blog a couple of days ago “it’s better to speak with the results of our labor rather than to generate a lot of media and consumer hype about work yet to be done”.
Last week, I got a chance to visit the new Indian Motorcycle factory, spent 11 hours with the executive team listening to business plans, to results of product testing and development, to dealers requirements and marketing strategies. I also saw the new Indian Chief, the assembly line being prepared, talked to some employees that I have known before in other functions, watched some engine and suspension tests. As I stated briefly in another post, I take responsibility for publicly stating that at this time I feel confident that the Indian brand has found the team and expertise it needs to belong again to our motorcycle daily landscape. I list the reasons why.
Competence Of The Executive Team: Stephen Julius, Chairman Of Indian Motorcycle (picture right) is the founder and managing director of Stellican Ltd., a private equity firm based in London. The firm focuses on investments to re-launch bankrupt companies. Stephen has been very successful with well-known brands, among them, Riva and Chris Craft (where he is still Chairman of the Board). Steve Heese is Indian Motorcycle President (and also of Chris Craft Corp.) and has worked closely with Stephen Julius during many years in several re-launching ventures. Chris Bernauer, General Manager (picture left), is an 11 years Harley-Davidson veteran. He started as a power train development engineer and 8 years later was the Platform Director for the Sportster line. Melissa Jones, Program Manager is in charge of overseeing all of Indian’s marketing, licensing, and trademark issues. They are all very approachable, humble, very aware that they have “to do it right the 1st time”, have done their homework by studying all mistakes of their predecessors (they got, read, studied absolutely all the Gilroy archives). With the help of Gilroy Indian bike owners they also found out all problems and weaknesses (25, to be precise) buried inside the bikes of the defunct company, have fixed them and in addition have brought to the new Chief many new technological and cosmetics improvements.
A Very Pragmatic And Conservative Approach And Philosophy: They are in Indian for the very long term, are extremely conservative, don’t burn money (used office furniture) but invested heavily in tooling, technology, building and testing (in final stage) a new very good looking fuel injected 105” Power Plus engine (saw it being tortured again and again, but I am not yet authorized to publish pictures). Chris Bernauer is obsessed, as he should be, with the reliability of all the bike components. It’s the reason why the official launching date will not be confirmed probably before end of May. They still shoot for this coming Sturgis. Stephen Julius is obsessed with details on the bikes (many new good looking parts), with his dealerships architecture, stores design, with merchandising and clothing style. The Indian management stated several times that they are not in a hurry, and that they will postpone if any facet of the launch is not perfectly in place. Because of their conservative approach, delaying doesn’t seem to involve any serious financial issue for the company. Their objective is to sell a modest (by industry standards) 750 bikes in 1 year through only 15 to 25 dealers. They assured me that this low sales number will already make the company profitable. As the opposite of Gilroy Indian, they don’t target in several 1000’s units sold every year and don’t dream at all of becoming public.
An Experienced And Passionate Factory Crew: Since I know some of the 30 people or so involved in the launch, I can tell you that they are some of the best at what they do. It was nice to talk to them, feel their excitement at this time of pre-launch. There is an evident intense focus on engineering with a craftsmanship mentality. Parts are in-house designed and tooled.
The Bike. Not A Gilroy Warm Up: For the 1st year, only the Chief in 4 versions: Standard, Deluxe, Roadmaster and Vintage. Fenders in 2 different styles, long or short, but still with the very recognizable Indian look. Many options from solo seats to 2-up, in 10 to 12 bi-colors combinations. After-market parts will also be available. Frame is e -coated with rear mono spring suspension, dual front brakes. Engine is 50-state compliant Power Plus EFI 105” with nicosil plated aluminum cylinders and light forged pistons to minimize vibrations. Transmission is Baker 6-speed LSD. Gas tank is one-piece containing 5.5 gallons with integral fuel pump. Beautiful new tan gauge and dash options. Rear tire is 150 mm to stay closer to the retro style. It’s a high style bike with a price in the low 30’s.
Few Dealerships. But The Best In The Top Markets: The strategy is not to sign as many dealers as possible. As the opposite, for the 1st year, they want a limited number of dealers devoted to the brand in an Indian only location of about 10,000 square feet. The investment can go from 1 to 3 million dollars. Some exceptions and some transitional status of multiple brands can be accepted for 18 months, for example in big cities where land is not easily available or too expensive. I saw the dealer corporate identity designed by a Seattle Design Firm in burgundy and silver/brushed aluminum, and it’s quite beautiful.
Respect For The Old Indian Motorcycle Crowd: On this subject, I asked Chairman Stephen Julius how he intends to connect the dots with all those who kept the Springfield bikes on the road since 1953. It was acknowledged to me that some misunderstandings happened, that any issue will be fixed and that he wants all bikers to be involved and support the return of Indian. For this, special events may be organized to acknowledge their devotion to the brand, maybe starting with a pre-launch factory tour just like the one I did.
In conclusion, I left Kings Mountain convinced that Stephen Julius spending his own money with no venture capitalist behind him, and adopting a strategy of long term organic growth focused on engineering will probably succeed where others have failed. I know for sure that Indian riders or not, we all have a special attachment to the name Indian Motorcycle. It’s a love story that never stopped, one that needs a few new models to reinforce and perpetuate.

65 Responses to “Indian Motorcycle News From Outside The Reality Distortion Field”

  1. 1 homer Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I got the same feeling from the Stephen and Steve, and the others from Indian I have met.. Where others found fault, I liked their approach..I remember a conversation with SJ where he agreed the approach was “deliberate”..not slow..
    I can’t say I’ve agreed with every decesion, but I surely agree with most, and think the longevity approach they have is the way to go; I feel more confident that the brand I have a great passion for is in the right hands..
    I hope eventually we can get the Springfield crew in the fold also…

  2. 2 Steve Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the report.

    Good to hear someone outside the company who has seen the inside is able to come away with a positive outlook for Indian’s future.

  3. 3 Mike Racliff Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Wow. I am getting excited by this Indian story.

  4. 4 Donnie Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Great report, Cyril. I learned a lot. But now I want to see the new Chief. When?

  5. 5 2CHFSinAR Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Looks like I might have to change it to 3CHFSinAR.

  6. 6 ANT Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Respect for the Springfield crowd? Why then have they been so aggressive in dealing with those who make parts and service them? For all the mistakes that Gilroy made, at least they recognized the benefits of cooperation instead of confrontation. There’s no showing of love for the Gilroy bikes, they’re in a bind here as they need to distance themselves from the liability that’s attached…if they get too close to that flame they’re gonna get burnt. Bankruptcy (and time) are the only things that would remove the liability, seeing as how Gilroy never declared bankruptcy (re-read that), what they’ve been banking on is time.

    Melissa Jones…she (or her firm) allowed the Chief trademark name to expire, oopsie.

    I wish them luck as I love the brand, and the team they have looks great, but am not still convinced that the owners should be the ones in possession. As bombastic as I am, I pale in comparison.

  7. 7 Reaper Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I wish so much for Cyril to be right (I think he is). Want to see more Indians on the road, whatever the birth date of the bikes. It’s a great report like no other I have read before on a ny motorcycle brand.

  8. 8 Power Stroke Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Give it up ANT. They win, you, JW, KC and the rest of the CH crew lose. Accept it and move on.

  9. 9 ANT Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you, I humbly accept your apology.

  10. 10 Harleynot Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    With all the negativity ( see Ant’s army ) floating around for the past few years, it is very cool to read Cyril’s blog. Gives me goosebumps.
    I will own and Kings Mountain Indian and a 29 Scout,,,,,,,,,,hopefully soon!

  11. 11 Fred Garrison Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Me too, I am getting excited at the idea of a new reliable Indian soon to be available. Cyril’s report is very refreshing, very detailed and I trust him. He is a great custom builder and understand very well his industry (refer to his other posts where he analyses motorcycle trends). A new disappointment with the new Indian would be the worst one, but because of past failures a success will overjoy not only all Indian lovers but also all the industry. Harleynot, you got goose bumps after reading? Not the only one..

  12. 12 Mike Dreon Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I was asked to visit Kings Mountain along with IRG National President Ron Pitchford. Upon seeing the engineering effort and the tour of the factory and then the bike itself, I was totally blown away.

    They are also setting up a program at the local junior college to train technicians.

    The bike is absolutely gorgeous. This is what the Gilroy PP100 should have looked like.

    GFone is the hideous dull primary cover. All aluminum parts have been chrome plated. The dual chrome Brembro brakee and floating rotors are beautiful. The wheel hubs are also chrome and the laced wheels are a new and better looking design.

    Another nice touch is the rear caliper is easily accessible now.

    These guys did their homework.

  13. 13 Rollin Apr 15th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Congratulations to the crew at Indian, it’s nice to see so much hard work and dedication paying off. Any word on demo rides at Sturgis??


  14. 14 Cyril Apr 15th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    To Rollin. I asked the question to the management. If they are ready on time, yes, demo rides in Sturgis.

  15. 15 maninbox Apr 15th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Enjoyed the article very much. I am looking forward to the release of the new Chief. It would make a nice compliment to my Gilroy. Seems pricey but lets see how the value stacks up in the final product. I wish them the best of luck.

  16. 16 Neil Cavin Apr 15th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    It’s awesome. Thank you Cyril for this great report. One more good reason to go to sturgis.

  17. 17 Woody Apr 15th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    You can have a great product and Indian is “the great product“ at the same time you have to have an accounting, financial team if not you all know the rest…………Call me crazy, I do belive that this time will work(I hope)

  18. 18 Nicker Apr 15th, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Sounds like a well organized effort.
    If the quality of the logo on the building is any criterion they’ll be successful.

    Man, wouldn’t it be cool if the old Indian-Harley rivalry could be rekindled…?!

    Thanks for the report Cyril.


  19. 19 Dave Apr 15th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks Cyril. It is nice to have a respected independent observation. Some of us met “the Steve’s” nearly a year ago and your report confirms for me that they have stayed the course. I am looking forward to the release and the rollout of their plans. Especially the “third bike”. We have been told that is where they may begin more in the way of “innovations”. For now it is very exciting that they are taking what I think is the most beautiful stock cruiser to reliability. Can’t wait to ride one.

  20. 20 Danny ( Fugdbdt ) Apr 15th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Great to hear about the progress – Time will tell in this fluctuating economy – But I sincerely wish KM all the best. As for replacing my Malfa’d 03 Chief – Never say never – But that would be a difficult choice to make. So to have any chance – That new KM Chief better rule the world…

    Thanx, D

  21. 21 Ed Apr 15th, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Give us a reliable Chief and Scout and we will come back to Indian.

  22. 22 Art Loomas Apr 15th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Great and detailed info. If you think that “Yes, They Can”, I believe you. Will be in Sturgis and hope to test ride one.

  23. 23 Eraserhead Apr 15th, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Great article. Don’t forget us women riders!

  24. 24 Canuck Apr 15th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Low 30’s ‘eh? Roughly 50% more (at ~MSRP) than the Gilroy run. That clarifies which market they’re after (in the US). Somehow I’m not surprised that 750 bikes will make them a tidy profit. Good on ’em I suppose. The upside is, with the current state of the Candian dollar, the prices will be the same for us as they were last time (assuming no bonus fees tacked onto CDN-spec bikes).

    I’m also thinking some of my (dis)respected old friends are going to experience deja vu all over again. Will the new righteous slogan be “Flip the Bonnet” as their favour with the new Indian is eclipsed by those with 50% more disposable income?

  25. 25 BMotes Apr 15th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Didn’t Gilroy sell the CMC’s with skirts for $25,000 in 1999?
    Just over 1,000 if I remember.

    10 years later and what appears to be a much better bike and company.

  26. 26 Charlie Apr 15th, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Excellent presentation and explanation. Hope it works as projected.

  27. 27 John White Apr 15th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    They are spending money and announcing bikes. In this weak motorcycle market that takes guts and courage. Good Luck and Best Wishes

  28. 28 DJ CHOPPER GOD Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:20 am

    A good look at a revamped classic brand. Kudos for a great post.

  29. 29 BOBCAT Apr 16th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    If you don’t succeed … Try , try again.
    I really enjoyed your artical here about the Indian Motorcycle. I am in question of a price since everyone has neglected to say.

    I had met Juiles at IIRA IRIP last year.
    At this meeting I had asked about the price of the new Indian which he had failed to answer my question. And responded by saying It was not an “ENTRY BIKE.” and left it at that, which IMPO did not give me an answer related to my question.

    My question remains unanswered until the day Indian releases the motorcycle to the public. Will the average hard working Biker be able to afford one?

  30. 30 KC Cheef Apr 16th, 2008 at 1:56 am

    I ride a Gilroy Chief, and that’s the only Indian I’ll ever ride.
    Good luck to KM, and I wish them well.

  31. 31 TKO Apr 16th, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for the info – have my deposit down on a new chief, so looking for all the info I can get. Unfortunately I live in Canada, and as of now the 09 Chief isn’t on Transport Canada’s List Of Admissable Vehicles From the US. So bottom line – it can’t be imported to Canada. KM is looking into it, but the dream seems to be fading!

    Cyril, do you have any experience in this area with your builds?

  32. 32 Marilyn Stemp Apr 16th, 2008 at 8:49 am

    I asked about rekindling the Harley/Indian wars – the people at Indian smiled, said they’d like that to happen. Sounds to me from some of these posts that the war’s still going on, though.

    Ergonomics have been altered from the Gilroy bike – still an upright seating position but the bars are moved toward the rider and not as wide a reach. They claim lower center of gravity, too, to aid handling. All good for women riders.

  33. 33 J Apr 16th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Looks good- all I was concerned about was another “smoke and mirrors” act, but this enterprise appears to be legitimate….. As to the pricing, that’s not really an issue- 50% higher than the Gilroy ’03? What isn’t? I’ll happily pay for quality.

  34. 34 Dr. Mark Apr 16th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    As a long-time Indian enthusiast, from way back, before a relaunch was even a gleam in Mr. Ray Sotelo’s eye, I can tell you that I’m thrilled that Indian finally has the stewardship it deserves, and respect for the previous incarnation of the marque in it’s heyday.
    I really think that somewhere Oscar Hedstrom and George Hedee are smiling.
    (And somewhere, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson are saying: “Oh no. Not again…” )

  35. 35 Dr. Mark Apr 16th, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Oops. Geroge HENDEE, LOL!

  36. 36 Kevin Powers Apr 16th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Thank you Cyril for giving us info outside the reality distortion field. After reading I have the feeling that this new team is going to make it. When can we see pictures of the Chief with a full tech sheet and price?

  37. 37 homer Apr 16th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    i’ll post a pic of the left side of the bike (pre-production) on my site…it’s from the “chief’s” club members email from yesterday..

  38. 38 Doug Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Very good teaser. Cyril, I guess you know more…Right? I want more.

  39. 39 Power Stroke Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:11 pm


    You know as well as I do that my bar and shield is flipped because of what H-D did to it’s core riders in the ’80s.

    The motor company was kept alive by the common blue collar man in it’s darkest hours, and even in the best of times in it’s early days was viewed with a suspicious eye by all but the common blue collar man.

    When fortunes began to change for the company, myself and many others like me were no longer welcome, the motor company also came extremely close to saying they had no intention of selling us motorcycles, as more money could be made in other markets besides the U.S and frankly they crapped on the american market until they saw it would be to their benefit monitarily, until then it was all about geegaws and trinkets.

    IMC and IMI have never pretended to produce for the masses or the common man, they didn’t have BS slogans like “Motorcycles for the people by the people”

    I could not afford a new Powerplus Chief from Gilroy much as I can not afford a Powerplus Chief from Kings Mountain, but since I loved the scoot so much I eventually found the means to purchase a used one AFTER Gilroy was already gone.

    Will I flip my

  40. 40 Power Stroke Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:14 pm


    Will I filp my Indian patch? No.

    Neither of the modern Indian motorcycle manufacturers have or had me as their target market, so I feel no anamosity towards them.

    But you knew that already, right?

  41. 41 Rodent Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    oh hum, remember Wayne Bachman, Ray Sotelo….let”s wait and see……my bookie ain’t changed his odds on failure of another pretender to the Springfield Crown….A very good friend of my mine rode 101″s on the vertical wall and set 2 LSR’S At Bonneville on real Injun’s….Indian is dead but the name keeps getting reinvented.

  42. 42 Bob Woods Apr 16th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Glad to see new blood.
    Seems like they are trying to do it right.
    Baker trans, dual discs.
    Tired of the harley dominance,
    35000 ultras Ridiculous.
    Hope they make it
    Most harley shops sell Chinese t-shirts, overpriced jeans and Chinese boots.
    Not necessary,it is still possible
    to buy American equivlivnts.
    $80.00 an hour labor, poor mechanic gets fifteen.
    Older harley dealers are being forced to spend millions for glorified shirt shacks.

  43. 43 hoyt Apr 16th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    There still is an open market now and in the next 15 – 20 years for an American-made sport tourer.

    I know most of Cyril’s readers are dedicated to the cruiser/chopper market, but there are also riders from the whole spectrum. These riders are also willing to support an American bike that is not a cruiser. Hundreds of thousands of us domestically have been ignored, not to mention the international riders that will support the unique styling and performance coming from America.

    HD has been missing/ignoring the sport tourer market entirely. (only recently has HD spent money on the sportbike market via the new Buell, using an Austrian-built engine.)

    How many American 20 – 30 year olds are riding sportbikes now? Huge numbers.

    What will those riders want after their kids have grown in 15 – 20 years? Some will migrate to a cruiser, but many others will want something that harkens back to the handling & performance prowess of their first bikes – the current sportbike capabilities.

    For example, HD realized a resurgence of sales in the early 1990’s when the baby boomer crowd became empty nesters with their kids gone. The boomers wanted something they started out on back in the 60s and 70s and Harley benefitted. I believe the same will be true in 15 – 20 years, but many of those 45- 50 yr olds will want something more than a cruiser.

    I like the Chief angle…it makes sense because there still is a market for that genre. However, I hope Indian taps into its performance heritage as well. Eller Industries (remember them?) had the right idea….they had planned to come out with the Chief, a power cruiser, and a sportbike.

    The sport tourer market has been painfully bland until recently. It also has a gaping hole, waiting for an American entry. An Indian sport tourer roaming the back roads and open roads has a nice sound & look to it in my mind…hopefully in Kings Mountain, too.

  44. 44 Pop Apr 18th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Heartening to see a mostly positive attitude about Indians return. Pop recognizes many of the names of posters here.

    No matter what roads we have found ourselves on, it’s good to see the name Indian alive and being spoken of as something coming. It’s been too many years talking about something that was.

    Indian never died. Not in ’53 or ’03. It was always alive in the guts of most of these people and Stellican is just carrying on what has been kept going by these people and others like them.

    Those of you I have the privilege to have shared the road with, I’m proud to have gotten the opportunity.

    Indian forever.

  45. 45 Tyler Williams Apr 18th, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Cyril. Your article gives up hope. Always loved Indian. Want it back with more than 1 model. The Scout. Tell them we want it back.

  46. 46 Grizz Apr 19th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Visited the plant on Wednesday,did not get a tour,but we did get to inspect a pre-production bike and ask questions.We were treated very well and throughly enjoyed our visit.Our opinion…Indian is back! Better than ever…..Mr&Mrs.Grizz

  47. 47 homer Apr 21st, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Tyler….next up on the block is a Scout with a PowerPlus in it…that’s gonna be a screamer…

  48. 48 Kc Cheef Apr 23rd, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Thank you for the report.

    Seems to me you have for the most part just condensed what we have been hearing from Stellican for the last couple of years.

    One question I would have for you.

    Were you compensated for your visit and observations of the new KM attempt?

    That is a question that interests me–but it is also a comment that I have seen posted on numerous other forums and blogs.

    Did your friendships with members of the KM staff influence your opinions of what you were shown?

    Yep I’ll agree with Pop.
    Indians Forever!! (The Gilroy Version!!!!)

  49. 49 Cyril Huze Apr 23rd, 2008 at 9:32 am

    To KC Cheef.
    Like very few other members of the press/opinion leaders, I was invited to visit the new Indian Motorcycle. I knew nobody from the upper management. I am not compensated to write anything about this company. I knew in advance that a lot of people were skeptical on their chances of success, Because of what I saw/heard/observed, I really think that Stellican is doing the right thing. And I just stated it publicly. Is it a guaranty of success? Of course not. In business, nothing is certain. As a matter of fact, I think that to bet on the failure of the New Indian Motorcycle company just because of past failures of other individuals or corporations, without knowing the facts, visiting them, asking the management tough questions like I did, is quite a ridiculous approach. As you stated “Indians Forever”

  50. 50 Kc Cheef Apr 23rd, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I’ll sincerely thank you for the response and clarification.

    As for the tough questions?
    Can you expound on the tough questions you asked?

    One question that has been raised on a number of forums–by a number of people concerns the Safety Recall Issues, and whether The Stellican Group (Indian) has any responsibilities to the riders of the Gilroy bikes.
    Has Stellican addressed these issues–and if so how have they addressed them.
    Still some talk out in the Riders world of a few NDA settlements that Stellican has agreed to settle silently with Riders who have been affected by these issues.

    I’m still going to have to agree with some of what I have read on other blogs, and say that I saw nothing more in your assessment than what has been released in the past.
    Information that has been released by Stellican themselves, and information that has been “leaked” by another SUPPOSEDLY unbiased Indian Motorcycle Public Forum.

    Another thing that interests me is.
    KM Indian has always stated that they would not rush their bikes to production.
    Now we see them hinting that they are close to accepting orders, and are close to production–yet we also hear that the assembly line is not complete, and there are approximately 30 employees in the plant.

    All very confusing to the general public who tries to keep track of the promises–and press releases.

    Thank you once again for your response–and understand–questions asked honestly are not antagonistic.

  51. 51 Cyril Huze Apr 23rd, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    KC Cheef.

    1- I don’t know about anything that has been officially released by Indian Motorcycle before my visit. See article “Breaking The Silence” from chairman Stephen Julius in my Blog, just after my visit, by going to: :

    2- They accept order deposits (see their website).

    3- They started their assembly line.

    4- There are about 30 people working on the pre-launch.

    5- My “tough” questions were about products/reliability/marketing/strategy/financing/profitability/dealers, etc

    Other questions should be addressed to Indian directly, although they may decide to answer here.

  52. 52 Kc Cheef Apr 23rd, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Again Cyril — thank you for the reply.

    As for the Orders/Deposits?
    They have been accepting them for the past couple of years.
    General buzz is 100 plus or minus a few takers on that.

    The assembly line?
    By started do you mean actual motorcycle assembly or do you mean they have started putting the assembly line together?

    Did you manage to get a tour of the new Showroom/Dealership?
    We were told Grand Opening in April, and it seems REALLY hard to find any info that fills us in on the progress.

    I think a lot of people looking at buying a KM were kind of counting on that dealership as a source for parts–apparel–and MOTORCYCLES!
    And we can’t even find a progress report on its construction.

    As far as addressing questions directly to Indian?
    They seem kind of shy about answering questions.
    If they do happen to answer–and we all know they are reading this–I have a few friends who would also be interested in asking a few questions of them

    Seems funny that the ICONIC BRAND would be shy about promoting–and marketing the product publicly–so far the best source of info comes from a Gilroy related Public Forum – we seem to get more information from that site than we get from the official riders group site of Indian (IRG)

  53. 53 Cyril Huze Apr 23rd, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    1- Assembly line being prepared.
    2- Yes, I visited the Flagship dealership. Still in construction. Supposed to be ready end of May? For sale. .

  54. 54 Cyril Huze Apr 23rd, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Saw also some engine and suspension testing.

  55. 55 Kc Cheef Apr 23rd, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks again Cyril.
    I’ll have to say–I wish them well–but I cruise a number of motorcycle boards, and except for the Indian Motorcycle Public Forum–which does not allow much criticism of KM Indian–there seems to be a growing feeling out there that KM is kind of shooting itself in the foot by being so secretive.
    Too many press releases and announcements then NO MEAT!!!

    One more question.
    Is the Moet Champagne Chief REALLY going to be built?

    It was introduced a while back at a Concours Event in California.

    DAMN–as far as I can remember–the Moet Champagne Chief was Stellicans first stab at publicly promoting the new Indian Motorcycle, and associating themselves with “The Good Life”.
    It would sure be interesting to be updated on that Champagne Chief.

    I’m going to make a prediction here–and I could be WAY WRONG.

    No Indian Motorcycles by Christmas.
    No Way–No How!!!

  56. 56 homer Apr 23rd, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    I can probably answer you on the moet chief…If I remember, the vintage car/bike show invited Indian and Moet is buying bikes from KM..i think it was free–well, actually “paid to” advertising…similar to gilroy and the neiman marcus bikes…
    I think you are off base KC…the dealership opening/clothing line official launch/Indian “grand opening” should occur sometime this summer..the 09 line should be introduced at that guess is you will see bikes before many remains to be seen..the local vo-tech school(s) are training workers…machinery and methods are being finalized..pre-production and final testing is in progress. all publicly available info..
    several media persons, irg reps, members of the imc public forum, potential vendors/dealers have been invited to the factory..the ones i know of do/did so at their own expense, and were for a bit under a NDA, but not restricted to say only good things. it seems the nda’s have been relaxed, with the exception of details about future bikes, etc.
    I think there are some that you are associated with that have an interest or at least a dream in seeing Indian not succeed–for personal reasons. I’m guessing those are the friends you mentioned…that’s too bad.
    I think Indian is on the right track and the train is picking up momemtum–and no amount of nay-saying will stop that. they do things at their pace and are their own biggest critics it seems–i wish them well. there is a torquise and white vintage like in ’04..that bike and the 210 scout would have saved gilroy—screwed up PP100 and all…KM will do wonders with these…

    i’ll post the latest pics of the new dealership progress on my site by the weekend maybe..the chief’s club pic of the left side of the bike is also on my site….the dealership–it’s being built, i guess that’s all the progress there is to report.

    can’t answer about the legal stuff…i don’t know any of that, except that IMI bought the IP only..not sure how much baggage (legal liability) came with that, and not sure when the statutes of limitatins would cease on anything they did acquire..i’d imagine the lawyers are abreast. As the owner of 2 gilroys, i however, don’t think i am owed anything…
    hanging out with 2 of your lw’s this weekend…tell the mrs hi, and i haven’t forgot about that tank bib..although, word is indian’s leather guy is pretty good, and there may be some offered by indian..

  57. 57 Kc Cheef Apr 23rd, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Actually Homer.
    The friends I associate with are VERY pro Indian.
    Almost everyone I ride with rides a Gilroy Indian.

    As far as the dealership in NC opening this summer?
    Didn’t Indian themselves set an opening date of April?

    Why would it be too bad to see peoples questions answered honestly and directly.
    Believe it or not–there are a lot of people out there who are beginning to question KMs direction–some are my friends–some I’ve never met or talked to.

    KM seems to want to hide behind the group of supporters they have built up on the Public Forum..
    You and I both know reps of KM read this blog–why won’t they step up and answer honest questions.
    It seems to me Cyril is well respected, and this blog has a very large following in the motorcycle community.
    Why would Indian hesitate to come on here and answer direct questions?

    Hey–send me your email address, and I’ll shoot you some pics of the Cheefs new skins.

  58. 58 Joel Apr 24th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Good Lord. It sounds to me like Kc Cheef is just a little upset that he is not involved with the new Indian. I’ve never read so much pointless pitty patty in my life. And as if he thinks we didn’t get it the first time, he has to repeat himself OVER and OVER. I seriously doubt that the King’s Mountain crew is busy reading this blog, worrying themselves over a few disgruntled blog boys with hastily-designed, sloppily-built Gilroys.

    It’s a private company. They will do things the way they want. If a few old farts get their feelings hurt in the name of progress, oh well. I think they are on the right track to erase the travesty that was the Gilroy-era Indian. The new Chief actually looks like a well-designed production motorcycle, rather than the pieced-together kit-like garbage we saw from 1999 to 2003.

  59. 59 Bruce Apr 24th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Joel, if I agree with you on KC Cheef, your remark about Indian not watching what is said below Cyril’s articles is incorrect. Explain how they would answer here to readers’s comments if they don’t read the blog? I doesn’t mean they have to take in account people ramblings.

  60. 60 homer Apr 24th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    KC…you can send pics to me at’ll get them on my site when i redesign..
    if anyone else has anything to share please send…

  61. 61 Joel Apr 25th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Bruce. I’m sure in a way they do read what’s important. Cyril seems to have pretty good contact with them, and my guess would be that he sends some of the more important questions their way and then they get back to him on it. I would hope that they are busier designing and building than going through each and every post here…

  62. 62 Blkhrtdog Apr 29th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    I`m very glad that the new bikes are comming out!! I wish them luck but I love my Gilroy bike.

  63. 63 Drifter2002 Nov 5th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    They look nice… I ride my Drifter daily and it always gets a lot of attention, more than my harley or goldwing by far. There’s something about the styling that attracts folks.

    The new Indians will get attention. But attention really doesn’t sell bikes. While someone will go out of their way to look at a custom, bobber, vintage Norton, Drifter or Indian – they end up riding something entirely different.

    Big fenders always attracted my attention, but for most of my motorcycling life I preferred the skinny fenders of my harleys. Only until I saw the Drifter in 2002 did I decide to give it a chance. And, the pricing allowed me to try it out for a while without losing my shirt. I have grown to love the big fenders, but it has been a process.

    I have come to realize the market for the “big fenders” is limited from the outset. Add to that pricing which makes this bike truly a “luxury” item and the market gets much smaller much quicker.

    While I truly hope they do well, I have to believe the price tag will dissuade many from moving away from their current rides, or adding to them.

  64. 64 Conrad Nicklus Nov 5th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    all I hear is blah blah blah..I never see Indians on the road…blah blah blah spending a lot of money and selling very few bikes. blah blah blah let a dead company rest in peace not revive them and fail revive them and fail revive them and watch fail.


  1. 1 First Official Pictures Of The 2009 Indian Chief at Cyril Huze Blog Pingback on May 7th, 2008 at 2:11 pm
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