Breaking News. Polaris Buys Indian Motorcycle Limited.

After weeks of speculation and although Indian Motorcycle refused again to confirm my information last week, it’s now official. Polaris has bought Indian Motorcycle. Having met personally with Indian’s Chairman Stephen Julius in 2006 before the official launch of the new Indian Chief, I knew that his objective, like he did with his other ventures, was to sell the company as soon as it became profitable. Was it already? This afternoon at 5 pm, Polaris faxed to all its dealers to announce the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle Limited. I publish below the official statement.

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle. The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited (“IML”), a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”

With this acquisition, Polaris adds one of motorcycling’s legendary brands to its strong stable of Victory cruiser and touring bikes. Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian and managing director of Stellican. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”

Novator Partners LLP is a London based alternative investment firm founded and led by the investor Mr. Thor Bjorgolfsson. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Bjorgolfsson said “After a troubled past, our goal was to bring the legendary Indian bikes back on the roads. The initial phase of that project is done and now our great partners at Polaris will carry on the work to realize the full potential of this classic American brand.”

Conference Call and Webcast Presentation
Tomorrow, April 20th at 9:00AM (CT), Polaris Industries Inc. will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the acquisition, as well as the first quarter 2011 financial results. The call will be hosted by Scott Wine, CEO, Bennett Morgan, President and COO and Mike Malone, Vice President-Finance and CFO. A slide presentation and link to the audio webcast will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Polaris website approximately 30 minutes before the conference call begins.

To listen to the conference call by phone, dial 800-374-6475 in the U.S. and Canada, or 973-200-3967 internationally. The Conference ID is #36643140. A replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the call for a one-week period by accessing the same link on our website, or by dialing 800-642-1687 in the U.S. and Canada, or 706-645-9291 internationally.

About Polaris
With annual 2010 sales of $1.991 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® Side X Side vehicles, snowmobiles and Victory motorcycles for recreational and utility use and has recently introduced a new on-road electric powered neighborhood vehicle. Polaris is a recognized leader in the snowmobile industry; and one of the largest manufacturers of ORVs in the world. Victory motorcycles, established in 1998 and representing the first all-new American-made motorcycle from a major company in nearly 60 years, are making in-roads into the cruiser and touring motorcycle marketplace. Polaris also enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P MidCap 400 stock price index. Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime from the Polaris homepage

About Indian Motorcycle
Founded in 1901, Indian was America’s first motorcycle company, producing some of the industry’s most iconic models and becoming the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. In recent years, Indian has continued to produce these legendary motorcycles on a smaller scale. The company’s instantly recognizable badge is still associated with premium products and strong American heritage by casual consumers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. For more information on Indian, visit Indian Motorcycle.

About Stellican
Stellican is a U.K. Private Equity firm specializing in the purchase, turnaround and re-launch of iconic, heritage brands which have gone bankrupt. In the last ten years, Stellican has been particularly active in the power sport industry. It currently advises funds which own Chris-Craft Corporation, a premium boat and yacht builder based in Sarasota, Florida, which it acquired in 2001. Previously, Stellican advised funds which owned Riva boats in Italy.

133 Responses to “Breaking News. Polaris Buys Indian Motorcycle Limited.”

  1. 1 Danny Flucke Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Wow. Hopefully this will expand the Indian brand, enhance service and warranties, and bring prices down…

  2. 2 Troy Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    This should be a good thing for Indian lovers.

  3. 3 Hungouver Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I dont get it

  4. 4 Lyle Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I’m not a big fan of what I’ve been calling “fake Indians” but at least Polaris is a viable company and they could develop the Indian to use it’s own Indian designed drive train rather then a Harley clone. This will also offer another alternative to the over stylized Victory’s….It’s just my opinion. But what is going to happen to the dealers? Are they still going to keep them separate?

  5. 5 American-V magazine Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Should ruffle a few feathers in Milwaukee: Polaris and Indian are an excellent match with no conflicts in terms of models but plenty to gain in terms of building brand credibility, and Polaris are big enough, committed enough and forward thinking enough to take Indian forward alongside Victory.

  6. 6 IAMSWUTIAMS Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    This should be interesting.

  7. 7 golfish Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I can’t wait to see what Polaris comes up with. Good for them.

  8. 8 Ron Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Maybe the Indian prices will be a little more reasonable now. Considering the least expensive bike is 24K! Compare the 34K Chief to the Screaming Eagle Super glide at the same price and the Harley wins hands down. Don’t get me wrong I love Indian but I think they are way over priced.

  9. 9 Olfart Apr 19th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Excellent news.
    Maybe we will now get some Indians in Australia.

  10. 10 lonny Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Thought this would have happened years ago, Before Stellican bought it.
    Now do they but Victory engines in them.

  11. 11 Iron Horse Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Glad to see Indian owed by an American company again. Couldn’t agree more with American-V magazine that Indian is an excellent fit for Polaris. Here’s hoping for the best.

  12. 12 Eric K Olson Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    This is pretty cool and given the economic climate both general and with the motorcycle industry as a whole, very surprising. I wonder if they will have new model designs right off the bat or if they will use existing styles for a while.

  13. 13 Shooter Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    the name Indian has had to many chances harley has remained stable

  14. 14 DJ Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Lets see if the curse of Indian will follow to Polaris… Indian has brought down every venture capitalist it has ever come in contact with. I like what Victory is about and sincerley hope them the best. Victory has always been a superior bike to HD, just never had the name recognition..Well until they went all plastic anyway. Right side drive, always bigger CID then HD, better fuel managment, better brakes(Brembo) better everything really. So lets see what they do with Indian and the S&S mill

  15. 15 American-V magazine Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Personally, I’d like to see them continuing along their own paths in the main – and objectively, I think they’ll have little choice while they settle down into their new relationship – but I can’t help hoping we’ll see a production Vindian this time, borrowing a new ‘Vi’ … especially as Aerocharger are now building a variable pitch blower for the 106/6 engine. Styled by Roland Sands?

  16. 16 Blackmax Apr 19th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Holy Moley, I agree it’s a good fit. the iconic Indian with Polaris backing. I just hope you don’t see a blending of the two. Victory has created it’s own niche and it’s a up and coming brand. leave it along & just share technology and maybe they can do something with the
    Power Plus 100 / Bottlecap motor

  17. 17 Sheridan Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I’m with you Olfart, hopefully in time this could mean Indian’s being sold through the Victory dealer network, which would hopefully see that expand to export markets like Australia.

  18. 18 Jose Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Hey Cyril. After Big Dog and Indian and Polaris. What is the big scoop for next week? Keeping you busy, on alert 24/7.

  19. 19 JSDiamond Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    This is a bizarre turn of events. I have to believe Polaris either preserves Indian as a high-end motorcycle, reducing production levels to individual orders only. Or they trim down production costs to go the other direction. Interesting any way you look at it.

  20. 20 2Low Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    It’s great for the industry. Cyril, you know more?

  21. 21 rogue phil Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Sounds promising to me

  22. 22 bigwave916 Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    This is great news. Polaris will run Indian as a subsidiary and not just a novelty. The Indian brand will be available through the strong Polaris/Victory dealer network. Indian buyers can be confident that the company they buy from will still exist when their warranty runs out.

    Polaris/Victory will be able to add the Indian models to it’s line up to offer high end motorcycles to compliment the rest of their line up.

    I don’t see a down side to this bit of news.

  23. 23 Chief Waldo Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Ha ha! Maybe I’ll get less comments about wearing my old Indian Motorcycle leather jacket while riding my Victory…

  24. 24 Boomer Apr 19th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I’m sure they will keep the Indian look and improve the engine to be bulletproof like the current Victory engines.

    It’ll take at least 2 years before any real changes can occur. That’s about how long it takes to engineer and tool up changes or for new models. Sometimes much longer but there’s a base to start from with Indian.

  25. 25 duphuckincati Apr 19th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    The reason the various other attempts to revive the Indian name have failed is bad karma. All these groups have tried to say things like “Indian is back” when there is obviuosly no connection to the true firm from 1901-1953. Tired of explaining to well-meaning individuals that tell me “they’re making Indians again” when I’m out on my ’48 Chief that it’s just some suits trying to cash in on balony. I for some reason have some faith in Victory doing the brand some justice. I respect what they have done so far, would like to see something modern-sporty though. (And I don’t mean “Sportsters”)

  26. 26 kc cheef Apr 19th, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Did I just see a post from Indian Bob disappear?
    Looks like good news for Indian Motorcycle.
    Maybe not so good news for the dealers who invested for “The Long Haul”.
    Might also get a bit tricky for the folks who invested $30 to $40 thousand for their Stellican Chiefs.
    I still believe George Hendee himself cursed Indian when he felt forced out by investors he didn’t agree with.
    One day I’ll share Hendees little jewel.
    One thing abut Polaris owning Indian.
    Polaris can AFFORD to own Indian.

  27. 27 Markus Apr 19th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Excellent news for both Indian and Polaris.

    Not so much for Harley.

  28. 28 Bradley K Apr 19th, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Sounds good to me.

  29. 29 David Nelson Apr 19th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I think I’ll buy a “NEW” Indian jacket to wear while riding one of my two Victory motorcycles. Not the whole time, just some of the time.

  30. 30 cooldaddy51 Apr 19th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    An excellent business move on Indians part. Especially in an industry that is weining itself away from the 25 to $35,000 cruiser.I’m sure Indian sales were anything but stellar. Stellican can now move onto its next venture with hopefully a sizeable amount of happy happy, joy joy in its pocket !

  31. 31 Drake Messmer Apr 19th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    And the winner is…Stephen Julius and his partners at Stellican. His declared objective has always been to sell as fast as possible for a big profit. Ask Cyril. He knows.

  32. 32 Russ Apr 19th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Very good deal for Victory too to acquire a legendary brand like Indian. What Harley is thinking?

  33. 33 dannyb Apr 19th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Bring on an affordable Sport Scout!

  34. 34 kc cheef Apr 19th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Wasn’t Julius’s mantra to the dealers he recruited to be ready to be in it for the long haul?
    Got to feel sorry for the folks who invested all that money in what appears to be empty promises by the Steves.
    And got to feel sorry for the folks who bought the KM bikes.
    Could be hard to find spare parts VERY SHORTLY.
    Oh well I’ve always said.
    Indian Gilroy, and now Indian KM will still be able to get some support via Crazy Horse Motorcycles.

  35. 35 Woody Apr 19th, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I think Blackmax hit it on the head. Hope they don’t even THINK of blending the thought process. That flyscreen nose on the bike pictured looks bad enough, one or two “Vision” touches would really put a fork in it. Victory gonna buy Chris Craft next? 😉

  36. 36 cooldaddy51 Apr 19th, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    When you really ponder this deal you start to come up with all sorts of questions about Polaris intentions on buying Indian. Either the deal was too good to be true or they determined that starting off with a already established prototype for what will eventually have to be retooled and plasticized to lessen the price to a more competitively priced model ? The “legend ” of Indian will never really be resurrected .Old timers that rode “the originals” back in the day don’t and never will recognize any new models to compete on an iconic level with Indian Motocycles of the past. I ran into this alot when I was a Gilroy era Indian dealer from 99′ to 03″ . Clone bike comments were the norm and still are. Now if Polaris came up with a completely new motor Like maybe an Inline Four rebirth !
    Now that would get my attention. Not practical,but cooool as hell !

  37. 37 Bigalyts Apr 19th, 2011 at 10:33 pm


  38. 38 bulldogusmvmc Apr 19th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    They need to be careful not to integrate Indian into the Polaris design mindset. The market for the new Indian is the same as HD is penetrating from the FLST series to the FLH series and Indian needs to focus on ust stick to the original american motorcycle theme.

  39. 39 Rider2 Apr 19th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Hopefully they will clean up all the really bad dealers they have, especially in the midwest.
    Be careful HD… Polaris is coming….

  40. 40 David Apr 19th, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Dont you remember MV Augusta…..Will Indian go to India? Just a couple of thoughts.
    Made in India by real Indians !

    SSDD; David

  41. 41 Art Welch Apr 19th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    This is good news for both Indian and the Motorcycle Industry. Competition is good. And this will give any cruiser company a run for their money. The clothing line will be stronger. Parts will no longer be back ordered 4-8 weeks, customers will once again be happy with their purchase. Indian owners will be even MORE proud of their investments. This is all good news. Indian Motorcycle of the Twin Cities, MN is currently a very happy place to be!

  42. 42 Dave Blevins Apr 20th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I gotta say, I never saw this one coming.

  43. 43 Art Welch Apr 20th, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Sadly, I knew about it two weeks ago. I don’t quite know if I wanted to believe it, But I can say that, I’m happy it happened. It needed to happen. I think the brand will be better understood than it was previously. This is great news for everyone. This will also create more jobs.

  44. 44 Wiz Apr 20th, 2011 at 2:03 am

    “Ma, Git the gun, the Injuns are ‘a comin’ back to Iowa!!’ YUK-YUK!! Wiz

  45. 45 Jim Apr 20th, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I wonder if they will start using some of the Indian Styling on Victory bikes?

    Maybe the Indian name? The Kingpin could certainly be rebadged as an Indian Spirit. Maybe the Vegas as an Indian Scout?

  46. 46 Sad America Apr 20th, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Real story here is that Julius has burned his fingers playing at motorcycle manufacturing and wants out fast ; if the re-launch phase had been successful there is no way Stellican would be selling Indian at this point – there’s no Added Value to capitalise on yet.

    He’s just another VC who has failed, but been lucky enough to find Polaris, and intelligent enough to cut his losses before it becomes terminal.

  47. 47 Polished Aluminium Apr 20th, 2011 at 2:29 am

    I was a teenager when the last original Indians rolled off the assembly lines in the 50s, I have always been an Indian fan, and I am sure this is a great development. Everyone can stop worrying about Polaris turning the new Indians into Victory bikes. They want the seperate identity of Indian to be what it is and what they WILL do is add production, design, and manufacturing capabilities they have acquired to the Indian products. This is good for everybody, H-D included. About the only companies that are not going to be happy are the Japanese cruiser makers. They certainly didn’t want another American icon strengthening and locking them out of sales and marketshare. Oh well, too bad, so sad! They are way better at plastic anyway.

    And finally, for all the above commenters who still don’t know, Indians use their own proprietary engine the Power Plus. It is not a Revtech or an S&S Harley clone. It is their own design and has been produced since the latter part of the Gilroy Indian era. Long Live Indian!!!

  48. 48 Hungouver Apr 20th, 2011 at 5:18 am

    @sadamerica,,,,,you hit the nail on the head!

  49. 49 Seymour Apr 20th, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Have to agree with Sad America. Lucky lucky Julius. Must not be much of a cost to Polaris. Maybe they figure the old timer Indian guys will all be dead soon enough.

  50. 50 klong Apr 20th, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Being a proud owner of a 2009 Road Master I can say that I am happy the Indian Brand didn’t die. It is a great motorcycle and it is set apart from all the Harleys on the road. I can’t go anywhere without having a 20 minute conversation about the bike with anyone and everyone. I have a feeling this is a good marriage … they sold to another American company, that knows the motorcycle market, that has their own existing distribution network and that builds a brand (Victory) that enjoys a good reputation. Long live Indian.

  51. 51 Rick Lossner Apr 20th, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Always enjoy reading these threads….

    @DJ … S&S Mill? You do realize those are ’02/03 engines on the Gilroy’s right? LOL .. The KM Indians use their own PP105.

    @duphuckincati too bad you haven’t ridden the new Indians (?) .. Bigger than the HDs and Victory’s… Park it between the two, and the line starts in the center for viewing 🙂 That all being said, Victory’s are awesome bikes (on my radar) and my next bike is a late 40’s or early 50s Chief …. But don’t’ see myself putting a lot of miles on it…. the frame on it is too small for my taste

    @KC Cheef … I own an ’09 .. You’re post have always cracked me up… Rides better than my Gilroy’s and is Bigger… Parts issues? They didn’t go bankrupt like your favorite.. They are moving up ….. lol

    I’m with Art.. this is great news. My ONLY concerns are the established dealers don’t get screwed with somehow by Victory dealers in the same vicinity. Hell, maybe Victory will improve their styling now and I can get a 106 powered bike that looks nicer, and a new Scout that is lower priced (that’s 2 bikes, not 1 combined).

    Go Indian!

  52. 52 Rick Lossner Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Always enjoy reading these threads….

    @DJ … S&S Mill? You do realize those are ’02/03 engines on the Gilroy’s right? LOL .. The KM Indians use their own PP105.

    @duphuckincati too bad you haven’t ridden the new Indians (?) .. Bigger than the HDs and Victory’s… Park it between the two, and the line starts in the center for viewing 🙂 That all being said, Victory’s are awesome bikes (on my radar) and my next bike is a late 40’s or early 50s Chief …. But don’t’ see myself putting a lot of miles on it…. the frame on it is too small for my taste

    @KC Cheef … own an ’09 .. You’re post have always cracked me up… Rides better than my Gilroy’s and Bigger… Parts issues? They didn’t go bankrupt like your favorite.. They are moving up ….. lol

    I’m with Art.. this is great news. My ONLY concerns are the established dealers don’t get screwed with somehow by Victory dealers in the same vicinity. Hell, maybe Victory will improve their styling now and I can get a 106 powered bike that looks nicer, and a new Scout that is lower priced (that’s 2 bikes, not 1 combined).

    Go Indian!

  53. 53 Jo mama Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I think this is Awsome news! I looooooooove my Victory… I agree on keeping the two seperate. But with the Engineering at Victory things can only get better.

  54. 54 LENNY SINNET Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:08 am

    The only real Indian built true to original Indian standards is the Kiwi Indian. Victory is a great company and should bring the Indian name back on the map with a quality motorcycle.

  55. 55 Down&Out Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:10 am

    What about the Indian Dealers? I can’t imagine the dealers are happy. KM Indians are going to be expensive merchandise in the very near future. It looks like most of the Indian dealers including the one “happy” one posting here has several bikes from previous years. Are we to assume the Indian sealers will be given a phase out time and asked to go back to the custom shop they were before?

  56. 56 fluke Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:15 am

    I assume both parties think this deal is good for them. I don’t know enough about either’s goals long term to make a value judgement. But more dealers in euroland for both Victory and Indian would be nice to see.

    But one thing I don’t get, and maybe someone could help me out. Crazy Horse (or whatever it is called this week) in Oregon sell bottle cap Power plus 100 engines that look and seem the same as the Indian Power plus. What is the difference and how can both companies make the same engine yet claim it is proprietary to themselves?

  57. 57 Jerry Drexter Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Fluke, this company calling itself Crazy Horse is just a couple guys, part time, in Washington state who bought a few engines of the Gilroy Indian company when it went bankrupt. Then they tried to copyy it subcontracting everything (S&S or and TP Engineering, I heard) and seem to have run out of money very fast. The KM Indian Motorcycle Co. took the Gilroy Indian motor and completely redid it from top to bottom. Only from outside it looks a little bit the same but the KM Indian engine is way superior and much better looking. I understand that Crazy Horse “gave away” its few engines to some custom builders because I guess nobody was buying them. In this blog they spent their time bashing the new KM Indian engine…

  58. 58 Rick Fairless Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I think the boys in Milwaukee are having an emergency meeting today! YAHOO!

  59. 59 MDK Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Good to hear I have a lot of respect for Polaris and as others have stated maybe we will see a reasonably priced Indian in the near future.

  60. 60 Barry Brown Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Will they be made in Mexico? Pancho Villa had the right idea all along! Let’s hope they keep the ” has been chopper stylists” at bay.

  61. 61 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Hey Rick Lossner.
    Your KM is a better ride than your Gilroy?
    Better get that Gilroy looked at.
    Pretty well know fact that the KM bikes have surging problems.
    Pretty well known fact that kM was working on a STAGE 1-2-or 3 kit to sell you to fix it.
    IF cheap chrome-cheap leather, and cheap hardware satisfy you on a $30k plus bike?
    My one thought is?
    I wonder if Polaris is aware of the fork lug issue that has been kind of a thorn in the side.
    Maybe Art Welch can comment on that one.
    Seems a shame that there is a good chance if you lay a KM bike down it’s going to need a new frame to fix it when that fork lug pops off.
    Hey Rick Lossner.
    No I don’t OWN an 09.
    But I have ridden one almost 10,000 miles.
    Wouldn’t trade my Gilroy in for 6 of them.
    I’m not ICONIC though.

  62. 62 Hunters Friend Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Having just read a couple of weeks back about Big Dog bikes going out of business along with several other high end customs, it is evident to me that KM had something desireable for Polaris. Overall, it appears that both sides come out of this happier and in the end it can only be good/great for the riders. (hopefully)

    There were a LOT of great people working for KM and I do hope they find immediate employment equal to or greater than what they had.

    Best luck to all, long live Indian.

  63. 63 rebel Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    i would like to see them FREE THE INDIAN from another tortured reinvention

  64. 64 Art Welch Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Whatever issues there were on the bikes, rest assured Polaris, will fix them. About a month ago, Polaris came into our dealership and bought a bike. It was a sure sign that this was in the works.
    Their plan? Take apart the bike, reverse engineer it, and fix the problems. I have no doubt that they will exceed expectations and give competitors a run for their money. The only part I would worry about, is #1, how they will treat their existing dealers, #2 how will they treat their existing customers and #3 Will they make it so everyone and and their mothers start riding an Indian? Well, everyone and their mother rides a Harley. People buy Indian because it sets itself apart from other brands. Its a bike now days that makes a strong statement. It means “I worked for this” Indian I believe should remain exclusive, but also not so far out of reach, that the true AMERICAN worker, can’t afford it. The justification of a “Classic” with a long fendered GAP in price range between that and the “Vintage” needs to be closed. KM did not get the pricing right. This was a grumble amongst the dealer network. It wasn’t even understood by us nor explained to us. But I can tell you, 99.9 % of our customers are great people. They never haggle over price, and many even when we offered discounts on things here at the shop, didn’t take the discount. Proud to be an Indian Dealer, proud to be an Indian Owner, and very happy that the right company came along to hopefully make things even better.

  65. 65 Art Welch Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Things can only get better from here on..

  66. 66 DK Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Strong, well run, well financed, profitable companies buying iconic brands is never a bad thing.

  67. 67 Mr. Potts Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I’ve always wanted an Indian. I’ve never wanted a Polaris Victory anything. This is NOT good news.

  68. 68 Iron Indian Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    If Victory can produce an Indian Scout model in the area of $9000 with all the styling cues of the 30s Scouts.

    Then get a skirted Chief base model out for the same price as a Fat Boy.

    This will be a winner for them. Indian has a strong following.

    There are hundreds of thousands of us Milwaukee Iron riders looking for a viable alternative.

    Victory is not it. Making an expensive bike with a small market at that expensive price was not going to be a winner.

    I don’t think Harley makes it’s profit off selling the individual bikes. The real CASH comes from their clothing and accesories sales.

  69. 69 Blackmax Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Here is one more thing that people ougth to think about, considering the Ness family’s close association and design input into the Victory line. What kind of input do you think they could have on the Indian???? Me, I continue with the thought that I’d like to see it like the auto line with an “everyman’s” product (Victory) and a “Top Shelf” line (Indian) sort of like Toyota/Lexus, Ford/Lincoln, Chevy/Cadillac, etc. Technology shared but each with their own individual styling cues. Either way, Yes, I think both all the metrics guys and H-D are looking over their collective shoulders from here on out!!! Imagine, if they had not been in such a hurry to get the “High Ball” out, that might have been your new Indian Scout? Hmmm, just a thought ?????

  70. 70 Sid Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Ohhhh! It is so nice! remind me an aeroplane of WW2 times

  71. 71 KC Cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I’m wishing the best for Indian.
    If Polaris “re-engineers” a KM bike it will be the second reincarnation of a Gilroy bike.
    No future there for Indian.
    Gilroys were at least an honest attempt–KMs were a joke.
    Going to take some real passion for the brand to bring it back.
    My dream for Polaris/Indian would be to get Kiwi Mike HEAVILY involved.
    There is a man with the knowledge of Indians history, and a genuine love that could help make Indian name welcoming to a lot of Indian generations.
    IF Polaris/Indian doesn’t draw on the knowledge of Kiwi Mike?
    Well they leave a lot on the table same as Kings mountain did.
    Hey Kiwi Mike we haven’t seen your take on all this yet.
    You’d be the guy that would have a pretty big opinion on all this is what I’m thinking.

  72. 72 Jeff Nicklus Apr 20th, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I agree with Rick Fairless ….. the corporate boys at HD are burning the midnight oil over this event! AHHHH Polaris tightens the noose around Harley’s neck even further! As I have said before, and I will say again, Polaris will end up being the big dog on the block in American Motorcycles. Say goodnight HD!

    This is a great move by Polaris and couldn’t be better for the industry as a whole.

    Over & Out,


  73. 73 Paul Sheraz Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    As always KC Cheef, your analysis are dumb and prove your bias against KM Indian. And we all know why. Write under your full name so that people know that it comes from somebody who didn’t succeed at anything in the MC industry. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

  74. 74 Grayhawk Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    KC I hear what your saying but one might surmise Mike already makes a modern version of the original Flathead real Indian, not speaking for Kiwi of course but he could forseeably get with Lang or others or develop it himself if he wanted to do an OHV version and he would be there without teaming with any conglomerate.

    All these old Indian guys lack is the rights to the name, “Indian”, and heaven forebid Polaris has an issue with all the stuff the old guys that have kept the old iron living in their use of, The name, in decals, parts, etc. of original or reproduced items, etc., etc. for all these years.

    Of course there is still the inline 4 but doesn’t someone in Europe still have that naming right?

    Another way of looking at the Polaris aquisition is maybe they just needed a write-off,LOL. Ok just a bit of humor, wish them well.

  75. 75 Greco Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Wondering if Stephen Julius had discussions with Harley and if he was turned down?

  76. 76 morpion Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    i hope not to see a victory engine in it

  77. 77 BOBCAT Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Hmm… I guess its one of those wait and see moments.

    Indian has had a rough history but they manage to survive through the years.
    I am still in the process of getting my 09 Chief. This does not make me want to stop the process. It makes me want it more. Indian Motorcycles will always be a legacey to many including myself . I dont care if Polaris bought it or not. At least Indian will continue to make motorcycles; which is my biggest concern. I am glad it had been bought by an American company instead of some one else overseas as many of our companies had done. Let’s keep this one home.

  78. 78 Stephen Apr 20th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I have had a 2009 Indian Chief since March of that year. It is a great motorcycle and was well worth the money. I think Polaris will start being a great competitor of Harley Davidson. The Indian / Harley war will be back on where it left off in the 50’s.

    Go Indian!

  79. 79 hoyt Apr 20th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    This is good news.
    Indian needed higher volume & more distribution to sustain over the long haul.
    Victory gets a vintage brand in return that will really match-up against & take sales from HD.

    Remember Victory’s original marketing message of a “modern cruiser” ?
    They’ve executed very well to that end with the Ness-era Victory. Now, they are better positioned to cover both styles of a cruiser (modern & vintage)….all the while HD tries to figure out what to do with the Revolution platform.

    Keep in mind:

    Indian’s history is as rich in racing as much as it is in skirted fenders of the Chief. So, Victory could begin to develop a performance bike as well (in time)….or buy another brand such as EBR if they don’t get purchased by Bombardier first.

  80. 80 Down&Out Apr 20th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Polaris On Road Sales $44.9mm v. HD $1.08b. Still hard to compare these two companies. I like the way PII is moving, but still not a buyer……yet. PS. I’m not sure the buys at HD loose much sleep over anything. Doubt if they even knew about the pending transaction.

  81. 81 Rick Lossner Apr 20th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    @bobcat you will LOVE the bike. They’ve got some fixes in there ( computer downloads ) ,etc. Rolling Art baby….
    @KC Cheef I’ve read most of your posts over the last several months, here and elsewhere… I don’t buy in to your slant…. enjoy

    Look me up a the Rally next month….. you’re one I’d love to meet … or not

  82. 82 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Paul Sheraz.
    You will have to excuse me for the lack of superior intelligence you obviously have.
    I’m kind of guessing a lot of folks on here DO know me by my riders name.
    As for my bias against KM Indian?
    Well I don’t believe I have ever tried to hide that.
    Funny thing is I rode that 09 KM, and reported on it honestly.
    Now it seems 90% of what I reported and was called a liar for is being proven true by other riders.
    MY BIAS against KM?
    Might be you’d be a touch biased also if you’d been the one dealing with the KM factory trying to get resolution to issues the bike was having.
    Example of that?
    I rode nearly 6,000 of the nearly 10,000 total miles on that bike on a seat from my Gilroy Cheef because the factory couldn’t seem to come up with a replacement for the factory seat that had gone to pieces.
    Rode a $39,000 KM Chief with out saddle bags on it because 2 sets gave out while riding it, and the factory couldn’t figure out a fix for cheap hardware on them.
    Porous Engine cases, and bad oil pump replaced before the 300 mile mark. (Yes–documented by the factory, I still have the paper work from KM confirming both problems.)
    Was out of pocket $200 for a tow charge (dead battery–sound familiar to any other 09 riders?)that should have been covered by warranty KM paid me 6 months later.
    If it is my analysis of the KM bike being a “reengineered” Gilroy you are pointing out as being dumb?
    Well you need to go take a close look at the KM bikes, and a close look at the Gilroy bikes.
    As for me not succeeding in the motorcycle industry?
    I’ve never even considered being IN the motorcycle industry.
    I just like to ride them.
    I’m really hoping Polaris can bring the Indians back.
    If they do I plan on being one of the first Indian Riders to join up with the IRG.
    It’s way past time, and I’m more than ready to add another Indian to go along with my Cheef.
    Happy Trails to You Paul Sheraz.

  83. 83 Finally.... Apr 20th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I wonder if a Indian 4 is on the horizon

  84. 84 Rick Lossner Apr 20th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    @kc cheef… this is my last reply on this subject… you tell my i need to check my Gilroy???/ Yet.. you wrote:

    “The bike is way more manuverable than the Gilroy bikes.
    I have my Gilroy Cheef set up REALLY nice for the hiway–but the 02-03 Gilroys could never keep up with this one in the city.
    Way more nimble.
    Can’t figure out why though.
    Same frame as the Gilroys.
    Swing arm has changed but it has on it what Gilroy had on the 04s.
    I’ve been as fair as I can be to the bike–it is a good ride.

    You REALLY need to keep your stories straight… a quick google shows you are always dying to throw your 2009 experience under the bus… from the very beginning of your posts, anyone can see through the story … way too funny…

  85. 85 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    @ Rick.
    No slant here Rick.
    KM Chief I rode is what it is.
    Others are discovering the same problems as time moves on.
    As for you not buying my “slant”?
    Something I can make you feel better about believing?
    I do have some interesting email correspondance, and documentation from the factory to back up all I say about the KM.
    Hey–if you can’t believe email documents from the General Manager at Indian — who can you believe?
    Oh–I’m still waiting to get the news on the first KM PP to be rebuilt by other than factory mechanics.
    I’m still very curious as to what will be found inside.
    I have an email from KMs GM–but I’m kind of doubtful at this point that he was telling folks the truth.
    No IIRA Rally for me.

  86. 86 big al Apr 20th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Hey KC tell everyone about taking the new KM apart and then whining about it. Tell them about how you supposedly xrayed the oil tank to see the inside. I see you are still as hateful as ever.

    I wish Indian and victory well I just hope they stick with separate bike’s and don’t just rebadge some victory’s.

  87. 87 uplander Apr 20th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    C’mon we all know they will never make a bike!
    So much for the “when they go out of business they will become based in Washington”

  88. 88 John White Apr 20th, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Thor got his money back. Polaris has a brand name. Julius gets credit for bringing Indian out of the ashes and building it up enough to hand off. This is such good news for Indian lovers.


    I think the Gilroy/Stellican engine and frame design is history now. King’s Mountain is history. Did anyone listen to the formal conference call? What happens if this is an asset purchase? All dealerships will be in question.

    Many of these acquisitions are in the form of an asset purchase. That means everything must be transferred to the new company. Will Polaris take those Stellican made bikes and parts or will they auction them off? This is all very interesting.

  89. 89 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    eh big al eh?
    YOU tell the folks about me taking the 09 apart.
    That’s your STORY–not what actually took place.
    Yes I did trade bits and pieces from the 09 to the 03, and the 03 to the 09.
    Cosmetics, seats and cowlings, and it seems KMs story did a pretty quick change from “virtually nothing will interchange” to admitting it would.
    big al.
    Are you one of those boys who actuall believe I disassembled the engine and made the cases porous, or took the factory oil pump and rebuilt it out of spec?
    As for X-Raying the oil tank?
    Yes–that did happen.
    Learned a lot from it also.
    Since you seem in the mood for story telling?
    Let’s tell the folks some things that are actually PROVEN on the KMs shall we?
    Poor fuel injection.
    Poor ignition timing.(Unless you LIKE the feeling of riding through a parking lot like a wobble head doll>and LIKE the feeling of having a motorcycle decel you when you aren’t expecting it)KM Indian was going to SELL the owners the fix for that with the Stage 1 Stage 2 or Stage 3 upgrade.
    Poor quality control.
    Cheap saddle bags. (Leather and hardware.)
    Cheap seats.
    Rust in the gas tanks from being improperly or not completely coated.
    Charging problems. (blamed on faulty batteries–now the concensus is it MIGHT be a faulty charging system,- and that screw being tightned into the stator kind of messes things up doesn’t it.?)
    Fork lugs with improper welds. (When we found that one out it upset KMs General Manager so bad he refused to talk about it.)
    big al–chill out BRO–it is what it is, and it’s not going to change.
    History my friend.
    I have quite a bit of the 09 I rode history saved up through correspondence from the factory.
    Except for that danged old fork lug.
    KMs general manager REFUSED to even discuss that over the phone.
    Course I got the pics and there are a number of KM dealers aware of the problem now so I guess that part doesn’t matter.
    Happy Trails to You big al.

  90. 90 Paul Sheraz Apr 20th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    KC Cheef. The guy who predicted that KM Indian will not be able to produce 1 bike, will not be able to open 1 dealership then will not last 1 year. All wrong. S. Julius made a lot of money, like he wanted to, in the shortest time possible. And you? Loser. All your statements are BS with an agenda. Indian & Victory don’t care your non-expert observations. You understand?

  91. 91 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Predictions are what they are Paul.
    Yep–I was wrong.
    Actually looking at it I was also a little right.
    Stellican did not build a bike–they reverse engineered a bike that had already been built.
    Are you certain Julius made a lot of money?
    Or is that a prediction (speculation) on your part.
    Maybe you are an insider and know things others don’t.
    As for Indian/Victory not caring about my observations?
    Good deal–I’d be a little worried if they did care.

    Now–as for the FACTS of what I posted on the 09 I rode?
    FACTS ARE FACTS–and the facts are getting out there.

  92. 92 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Rick.
    Sorry I missed your post.
    Yes I did write that the 09 was more nimble in town than the Gilroys, and I did enjoy the ride when the ignition wasn’t busy trying to dump the bike in corners.
    The ride did change after an Indian Dealership finally got the suspension set up right–not qute so nimble afterwards.
    It has always amazed me that I pulled into an Authorized KM Indian Dealership to tune up the rear suspension and they had no adjustment wrench.
    Indians Dealership adjusted the rear shock with a set of water pump pliers.
    Water pump pliers kind of leave a mark on a $39,000 motocycle.

  93. 93 kc cheef Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Happy Trails to you all.
    I’m going to go talk to my local Indian/Victory Dealer, and see when I can be looking at adding a bike.

  94. 94 Art Welch Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    The good news is.. Indian IS back, and with the backing it has now, it can only make the bikes better, right? Lets focus on the positives. No need to bash anyone.. the bike is back, the name is back, the brand is back, and back-ing is what someone thought was a good idea to do. Why? For the love of the brand. At least people can express both sides.. but it shouldn’t matter what was done, who owned it, and who messed it up before.. whether it was back in the 40’s 50’s 90’s and now.. Everyone who LOVES Indian, should know that all brands go through a RE-evolution. All in the name to always make things better.

  95. 95 1550tc Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    those gilroy indians were just shit bikes with decent lined saddle bags…..that rick doss front headlight fugggggly

    Jeff what are their production numbers now ?? 3k for indiam and 5k of bikes, if that?

    Going to be a while before they get to 200k sales like HD sells…..

  96. 96 Hamilton Apr 20th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I agree with 1550tc. My neighbor who is a long time biker, has owned like 25 bikes, had a Gilroy Indian. He describes it as the worst POS he has ever owned. Rotting in the corner of his 3-car garage because he finds no buyer!

  97. 97 BS Apr 20th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    And so Art Welch wants to be the peace maker. After all the hate you’ve spread over the other brands you’ve carried, your last post had me on the floor. LMAO.

  98. 98 1550tc Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I feel for those buyers and dealers……basically they were built from the cci and s & s parts bin….

    now its like the polaris and indian mice eating away at the big hd cheese brick………should be great for non hd dealers like RF

  99. 99 Art Welch Apr 21st, 2011 at 12:21 am

    BS.. you picked the best name for yourself, because The “S” from the “BS” that comes from your fingertips as you type is exactly what your comment sounds like. I’ll ignore you after this response because afterall, thats what you want.. …a response. Say what you may with your hidden name (which I think is funny when people want to post a challenging comment without stating who they really are) but I know where I am, and I know where you’re NOT. Peace maker / Hate Spreader, whatever you want to call me… Go for it. You have no impact… you REALLY have something to say? Call the Dealership. 651-765-998.. or stop in and visit. Lets go out for lunch, and bring your sister.. or momma.. I’ll take them for a Ride on an Indian. =o)

  100. 100 jatinder pal Apr 21st, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Now you will see a really Nice Indian in future.

    Polaris is great company,look what they done with Victory Motorcycles.

    Good move by Polaris.

  101. 101 Walter L. Apr 21st, 2011 at 6:48 am

    The last thing I have ever known Art Welch to be is a ‘hater’. Although I may not personally like the idea of the merger, he is right on the money with this one, and in my experiences, has always been pretty open minded to other riders. I call BS on BS!!!

  102. 102 MDSPHOTO Apr 21st, 2011 at 10:25 am

    While I totally understand the historical significance of the Indian Brand & legacy, this is a poor business decision on the part of Polaris. Indian’s on the market/off the market history is not all do to poorly managed business plans, but rather the fact that this is a niche company that appeals to a minute segment of motorcycle buyers.

  103. 103 John White Apr 21st, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    keep seeing the following phrase in various press releases: “The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited (IML), a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms.” What the hell is this advised nonsense? They owned Indian flat out so why the subterfuge? Never heard of Novator until now, check out the supposed Russian mob connection: Check out the section titled “Owners” Also see

    The interesting thing is that Noator is owned by Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson who is the feller who bought the Sniper bike from Thunderstruck Customs in Medford Oregon (this is the bike with the CH engine with inside out intake/exhaust ports)

    Question: Is the Gilroy era (and its copy cat Stellican Indian Chief) dead? I cannot see Victory selling those bikes. Just asking? Does anyone know? What are they telling the dealers?

  104. 104 1550tc Apr 21st, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    John White

    thanks for that link on the sniper ………nice low life chassis bike

  105. 105 rdawsoniii Apr 22nd, 2011 at 11:55 am

    If this means Indian is here to stay, with reliable, lower cost bikes and a widely available dealer network….then that is a good thing.

    What’s past is past….don’t mean a thing anymore. Let’s see what Polaris does with this.

  106. 106 Hondo Cat Apr 22nd, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Polaris spoke about Indian being their heritage line for die-hard bikers. But Indian wasn’t solely about swooping fat fenders. They were innovators! Indian was the USA’s first motorcycle company (1901) and introduced the first V-twin to the world (1907). They produced the first Big Twin motors, the first two-speed transmissions, first adjustable front suspensions, and first electric lights and starters. Also, the genuine Indian Motorcycle Company felt that racing improved the breed with one of the most comprehensive factory competition program in the business.

    I just hope Polaris has an innovative vision for Indian based on THAT heritage.

  107. 107 Hondo Cat Apr 22nd, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    By the way, racing doesn’t just mean sport bike road racing. Drag racing or Land Speed Racing (LSR) are just as valid.

    I like flatheads. Kiwi Indian Mike Thomas has engineered and produced a 42 degree, 84ci, V-Twin flathead engine that’s built for durability and reliability and would look great in an old school, skinny tire, production bobber or board track racer. That’s what I mean by innovation. It just has to be something that is new or different than the established way. That is only one model, say a scout model.

  108. 108 Hondo Cat Apr 22nd, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    That should read Tomas, not Thomas. Sorry, Mike!

  109. 109 Lyle Apr 22nd, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Indian was not the USA’s first motorcycle company nor the first American company to mass produce them. The Gilroy and KM era companies were lying when they stated they were “Americas First Motorcycle. The original company knew better and they were “America’s Pioneer Motorcycle,” which is still a stretch. Hopefully Polaris will turn the name into something that is respected as well as it was 60 years ago. And hopefully they’ll let all the original Indian parts suppliers stay in business.The problem with flat heads is they are not efficient and therefore run hot. I like and own them too but they are simply not suitable for high speed all day running on the Interstate. If Polaris re-designs the engine,(they should) it won’t be a flat head.

  110. 110 Bruce Rogers Apr 22nd, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Kiwi Mike makes fake old Indians. At least the new Indians are made by Indian.

  111. 111 Mark Apr 23rd, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I recently went to a demo ride that Victory had and I am impressed by everything except for their price and the constant heavy influence of Arlen Ness. Ness does great stuff, but his designs get tiring on an entire line of motorcycles. Hopefully, the Indian name will lead them in some other directions for design.

  112. 112 Hondo Cat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    From Lyle: “The problem with flat heads is they are not efficient and therefore run hot. I like and own them too but they are simply not suitable for high speed all day running on the Interstate.”

    In my view, if you feel the need to ride on the Interstate that means you are under time restraints and simply didn’t leave early enough……..I make it a point to NOT ride on the Interstate when ever possible. It defeats the whole ambiance and totality of the riding experience. Plus, you miss the small town stops along the way.

  113. 113 Terry Apr 23rd, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I own a 2002 Indian Chief. It still runs great, always draws a huge croud where ever I go and intimidates the heck out of Harley owners. Way to go Polaris.

  114. 114 Seymour Apr 24th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Terry, maybe they are intimidated that someone so dumb as to spend that much money on a nothing motorcycle is out there on the road with them. Safety, is what I’m getting at. Too subtle?

  115. 115 Lyle Apr 25th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Hondo Cat, I agree. But if I’m shelling out that kind of dough for a bike, it’d better damn well be able to run the Interstate all day. Sometimes, when you only have a week off, you need to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Most of us are not retired. Else, I’ll buy another original for less and have the real deal. I hope Polaris does something with the brand.

  116. 116 Ken Apr 25th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    There’s nothing left of the original Indian in any of this. Polaris just bought a name.

  117. 117 Lyle Apr 25th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Kiwi has used the name and had permission longer than Gilroy, or KM. His “Indians” although improved, retain the original design. In my mind they are more original than the modern OHV harley based design ones. I agree with Ken but I really hope Polaris makes the name respectible again.

  118. 118 Scott Apr 25th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Come on Bruce, what hole did you crawl out of?
    Don’t be rediculous. The Indian brand has been torn to shreds by garbage motorcycles, dirtbikes, and mopeds for almost 60 years. Remember the tiwan moped “Indian 4” for 4 stroke, JC’s, Royal Enfields, you name it. I asked an original Indian (Battle Creek, MI) dealer what his favorites were after they went out of business, he said the only bikes he enjoyed after they went out were the velocettes. Enfields? Total Junk.

    What Polaris bought was an american icon, a brand namelike chevy, budweiser, HD, coca cola, you name it.
    What they do with it may be exciting, but what does Indian bring to the table? Quality? Clearly, no. Original, creative design? No, it’s a copy cat “gilroy”, whatever you want to call it.
    I was in front of the Indian dealer in Daytona during bike week, it was like a trip to comedy hour. A gilroy chief wet sumped all over the sidewalk, while gawkers pointed out they were dropping oil. Two workers droped a Spirit off the trailer onto another mechanics head, promptly followed by a thorough shower of expletives by the owner. This is beside the point, the overall vibe I got from the place was not good. I was only there for an hour tops.

    What makes Indian unique is that to this day, there is a HUGE network of parts suppliers for the old bikes. I’m not aware of any antique bikes that have the same kind of network.

    What Polaris needs to do is take advantage of this somehow, not fight it, such as trademark infringement. Kiwi Mike, the Starks, Jerry Greer, are all potential PARTS SUPPLIERS for a vintage remake of the bike. I would go for a 101 scout the day it hit the floor. A ’48 Chief? A Four? Mike’s Board Track Racer? All sweet bikes, timeless designs. If they brought the price down I would be giddy as a school girl. The interest is there, I’m only 25 and I’m addicted to these bike. I would consider selling everything I have to own one.

    Maybe the EPA would stand in the way with CAFE standards, but it would harness Indian’s all ready loyal fanbase to the antique motorcycle market. I keep up just fine on the highway with a stock scout, they’re pretty easy to fix and maintain, although they could use some updates like closed bearings and maybe EFI. But why water down a good thing, when the product is all ready there?

  119. 119 Fonte Apr 28th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I predicted it when Stelican made the move to acquire Indian; based on their history of re-establishing significant historical brands, they developed a respectable product and turned it Over to a big industry player for a profit. This is what they do. Just as GM MANUFACTURERS many brands, Indian will remain INDIAN. victory certainly has the acumen to recognize the value of the icon and will enhance quality and affordability.

  120. 120 IndianFan Apr 28th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    If Polaris knows what’s good for them and the Indian brand, they will consult Art Welch. He seems to know what he is talking about. Is he an original Indian dealer from the original company?

  121. 121 gene Whittier Apr 29th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I own a Harley but would buy the newest rendition if it was priced close to what Harley is .Indian built bikes in Canada before ww 1 . and the name is well known in Canada. Harley dealers will probably more competitive . Competiton is good

  122. 122 Buck Adams Apr 30th, 2011 at 3:48 am

    It’s true that Polaris bought an iconic brand name but they did get something else too, a look, a style that has been in the mind of motorcycle riders and motorcycle builders for some time. One of Victory’s few weaknesses was the lack of “heritage” and if the Indian brand doesn’t remedy this, it at least gives Polaris some leverage to pry its way into finding that kind of buyer. If Polaris continues the way it has been going eventually it will be on equal footing with Harley, if not a superiour position. The other thing Victory lacks is an entry level motorcycle. I don’t see Indian as a remedy for that. But who knows?

  123. 123 D. Presley May 4th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    To my knowledge the Harley clone “S&S” engined Indians were of the previous Gilroy, California manufactured Indians and ended in 2004. This new Indian never used S&S at all. It used the Indian developed re-designed “Power Plus 100” bottle cap head engine which thru R&D was greatly improved in many ways. This should dispel any association to a so called Harley clone type. It definitely has its own identity as it should, along with more modern technology Fuel injection etc.. This should be a viable alternative and give nostalgic motorcycle enthusiasts a real Historical American legend re-visited.

  124. 124 Bummer May 5th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I was very disappointed to find out that polaris bought Indian, a very sad day. I have had problems with my polaris and the dealer never rectified the issues. Too bad so sad was the attitude. I own Harleys, indian, polaris, and yamahas. I can speak on there quality and customer service. The Indian is not a Harley, from the engine and most all aspects. I do get great comments on the style and design of the Indian.
    Polaris has already screwed up, the current owners will not be getting a stage one upgrade for engine preformance (Indian was making these with no issue). Then I find out they are going to shut down there plant in North Carolina and move manufacture to Iowa or to one of the other Polaris plants.
    I thought the new Indian would make inroads with there new design.

  125. 125 SPyKER May 7th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    So, does that mean that we can expect a four-wheel Indian?

  126. 126 choppermike May 7th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    If anyone consulted art welch on what to do with a company… well, I’ll just stop there.

    The KM Indian is plagued with issues that have yet to be remedied. Sales are dismal, service is worse, and trying to get parts is as bad as it gets. There are a lot of things that keep this brand from being a major player. When someone buys a bike after researching the company, model, and dealer, the sale doesn’t end when they drive off the lot and neither does the buyerws experience. Polaris needs to tidy up a bit here, and get rid of a lot of .problems to get this company back on track. Problems from sourcing parts to getting rid of the.problem dealers that are ruining the customers experience.

  127. 127 Art Welch May 8th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Really Mike?

    Our sales have not been dismal. Our dealership is not struggling. Should we Consult YOU on what to do with Indian? Polaris will do just fine. And being that Polaris head quarters is now in our backyard.. well.. it just doesn’t get any better than that.

    By the way.. Read up

    Page 20 & 21 of the Mag.

  128. 128 G-Four Jun 7th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    The Indian name gets passed around again like a bottle of cheap wine. Only the bikes are not so cheap. Must be hard to be a loyal Indian fan. Sure hope Polaris can stabilize the brand once and for all, with tech and dealer improvements. Still don’t think HD has anything to worry about.

  129. 129 BirdsEyeView Jun 7th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Great interview in the mag Welch. If it weren’t for all your harsh responses on this site, I would think you were a good guy. Too bad.

  130. 130 Freddt Jun 10th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Indian came back in 2006 under the influence of some old, big v-twing, uber high end cruiser nostalgic high dreamers. From the get go, they passed up the opportunity to put an affordable motocycle into the hands of people who wanted to ride and put the Indian Logo on the road. They didn’t get their motorcycles out there on the road – end of story. In stead of going after “this American generation,” they went for $30K road jewerly and $500 motorcycle jackets.

    End of the story, you have to get people on your motocycle and you have to get your motorcycles seen on the road, seen at clubs, seen touring, and into peoples hands. Henderson did the same thing not all that long ago. They build a motorcycle that didn’t have a market. In the next 5 years Royal Enfield will sell more motorcycles than Indian will sell in 50.

    Beginning in 1901, Indian did not build it reputation by designing and building a motorcycle / Cruise Ship. Let’s see Indian build a hot red, classy looking thing with those round c-heads in the class of a Sportster 1200, or dare them, a 650cc single piston thumper that will blow the Enfield off the map, then take the American Indian to India and China.

    Indian, Polaris, it is a new world order, play to win.

    Me? Build me a bomb proof, 1,000 cc Indian, no bells, and no whistles, – period. In the history of Indian, when they haven’t done that, when have they ever, ever ever, been successful?

  131. 131 john oneill Jul 4th, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Great news – hope they will start selling in the UK at a realistic price and be a match for the niche market of Harley’s

    Good luck to Polaris with your new and exciting acquisition


  132. 132 john Aug 27th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    i have several original indians , i was disappointed in the over the top modern styling of the gilroy indians, most of the people who want an indian want an indian that really looks like an old indian
    with the modern stuff, mike at kiwi indian is repoping chiefs from the 30s thru the 50s, with modern stuff , even electric start.
    so i hope they restyle the line up, and drop the price , in 2003 a chief cost 24,900.00 today the same bike is 35k and it is still the same bike that was a tough sell at 25k. i sincerely hope the guys at polaris do it!!!

  133. 133 Daryl Sep 11th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Good greif . Polaris making the Indian motorcycle. There lack of mechanical knowledge and experience coupled with their poor machining skills and equipment will further degrade the great Indian marque.

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Cyril Huze