As the launch date draws near (although it is yet to be announced), more details about the renaissance of this iconic American motorcycle brand are being revealed.
1-Dealers: At present, Indian dealers are already staged for opening for Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, with an additional 12 applications being processed. Given the ultra premium nature of the Indian Motorcycle brand, Indian will be very selective in judging the quality and number of dealers. By the end of 2008, it is expected that no more than 30 dealerships will be in place, primarily in top motorcycle markets. Each major market will also have a new stand-alone flagship dealership of about 10,000 square foot. It is likely that these new structures will not be completed until sometime in 2009. 2-Merchandising: The emotional appeal, value and power of the Indian brand will soon result in the launch and merchandising of a high quality line of motorcycle apparel and accessories. Indian Motorcycle Apparel will launch the line this summer. Items will be available for purchase through dealerships, at specialty retail stores and of course on the Indian Motorcycle Website. 3-Strategy: Chairman Stephen Julius, President Steve Heese and General Manager Chris Bernauer, an eleven-year veteran of Harley-Davidson, reaffirm that the Indian Motorcycle team is maintaining a sharp focus on product development, design and engineering excellence. VP of Engineering Nick Glaja, a former Principal Engineer of Powertrain Technology at Harley-Davidson and his team have already logged thousands of hours developing, evaluating and refining each and every engineering detail. Rigorous testing continues until each component has proven its durability and performance. Mr. Glaja says “Our goal was quite simple: to focus on the premium nature of this brand and build the finest Indian motorcycle ever. We took a ‘clean sheet’ approach to the engineering of this world class American legend to ensure a solid engineering platform. Benchmarks were set high and we believe our customers will be very happy.”
I remind you that the 2009 Indian Chief features a redesigned 105 cubic inch PowerPlus V-Twin powertrain with electronic closed loop sequential port fuel injection. A new charging system provides increased capacity for the EFI. Engine cylinders are Nikasil plated, eliminating the need for cast-iron liners. A new crankshaft eliminates “scissoring”. The exhaust system is a new design with integrated 3-way catalytic converter and heated oxygen sensors. All body parts are e-coated and the frame and swingarm are e-coated and powder coated for enhanced corrosion protection. A six-speed transmission delivers power through the belt drive to a 16-inch wheel out back. Stopping is achieved via Brembo 4-piston calipers, with 11.5” dual rotors. For 2009, Indian will offer four Chief models: Chief Standard, Chief Deluxe, Chief Roadmaster and Chief Vintage. As befits these limited-edition motorcycles, base prices will range from $30,999 for the Standard to $31,999 for the Deluxe and$33,999 for the Roadmaster to $35,499 for the Chief Vintage. You can see all Chief models at Indian Motorcycle.