2012 Polaris Produced Indian Motorcycles.

As I reported before, not much could be done by Polaris between April of this year, when the company bought all Indian Motorcycle assets, and today. The 2012 Polaris built Indians are limited to 3 models, The Vintage, The Classic and The Dark Horse. No radical changes, but all have received about 12 small technical improvements. They are all powered by the same 105″ (1750 cc) 45-degree Powerplus engine. Prices are unchanged starting at $26,499 for the Indian Chief Classic, at $27,999 for the Indian Dark Horse in matte black, at $35,999 for the Indian Vintage model in solid colors ($900 extra for 2-tone paint scheme)

The first 2012 Polaris Indian Chief carries Serial Number 000002 because Serial Number 000001 is kept for Polaris’ personal collection. Polaris confirms that it will take all time necessary to conceive and engineer a brand new Indian Motorcycle line up, but still hopes that the new Indians will be released as 2013-year models year. Indian Motorcycle.  

Correction November 2, 2011. 4 pm ET: It appears that I was not informed that Polaris has now estimated that it will take them a minimum of 2 years to be ready with a new Indian line up, which doesn’t surprise me. Below is the email that Robert Pandya from Polaris sent me as soon as I published the article above.

“Cyril, Thanks for your interest and reporting on the 2012 Indian Motorcycle Line-up. I would like to state clearly that it will be at least a couple (2) years from now before the introduction of anything significantly changed from the existing design, and most certainly will not be a 2013 year model. If you could make that correction I would appreciate it. I will also post to the blog if you wish. We do not want to raise expectations that we are either rushing the process or able to bend space and time to come to market that quickly. Thank you for understanding.” Robert Pandya, External Relations Manager Polaris Motorcycles

Zipper's

33 Responses to “2012 Polaris Produced Indian Motorcycles.”


  1. 1 Keith Stone & Kiki Nov 2nd, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Cool looking… I’m sure there are really cool things to come down the road from INDIAN ! $36,000-LOL Crazy like the band, LMFAO

  2. 2 sidewinder Nov 2nd, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    At that price point they are obviously not going for a mass produced market. Very specific buyers. limited production. Bad move IMO opinion given the economy & tight lending requirements.

  3. 3 Mr. Potts Nov 2nd, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I thought that price was one of the things Polaris was going to address. Unless the 12 small technical improvements are solid gold nut covers they will not sell very many!

  4. 4 Robert Pandya Nov 2nd, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Cyril, Thanks for your interest and reporting on the 2012 Indian Motorcycle Line-up.

    I would like to state clearly that it will be at least a couple (2) years from now before the introduction of anything significantly changed from the existing design, and most certainly will not be a 2013 year model when that happens. We do not want to raise expectations that we are either rushing the process or able to bend space and time to come to market that quickly. Doing it right takes time.

    Many enthusiasts personalize their hopes for this powerful brand, and when their desire is not immediately answered it feels offensive. Polaris Motorcycles handling of the Indian Motorcycle brand will be judged over the course of years, decades even. It’s a long arc to success, and chasing flighty short term goals is not the type of attention that the Indian brand deserves. Supporting the existing dealer base, developing a solid long-term strategy and engineering and designing quality desirable products is our path.

    Polaris will do it right – not just “right away”.

    Thank you for understanding.

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Polaris Motorcycles

  5. 5 Matt Nov 2nd, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Pricy indeed but when you consider how much the Harley CVO models cost and how many people are still willing to pay the substantial mark up to have that perceived “exclusivity” I don’t think it’s out of line to believe there is a market for Indian as well especially since they are much less likely to get “lost in the herd”. I do however hope that Polaris either leans the brand even more towards the premium side OR makes them more affordable and performance driven. Being in the middle I think is harder to do in this economy.

  6. 6 Woody Nov 2nd, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks for the info Robert. Glad it won’t be like my ’97 SLTX watercraft. All of us first year owners WERE the test program for that trouble-plagued machine 😉 Hope you realize how many of us are waiting for an I-4 machine……………………………..

  7. 7 Eric Maurer Nov 2nd, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    in this economy, that pricing model is crazy. It’s got what…. 8K in parts in it before marketing and related expenses get added? It’s still just a clone and the day of the overproced bike (actually selling) is long gone.

    But hey, business is business, I would think Polaris has done their homework and sees a market that us keyboard commandos don’t. So good on ya Polaris.

  8. 8 Paul Nov 2nd, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I like the style and the exclusiveness of owning one.

    Just way over priced for me.
    And I have a good paying job and consider myself middle class.
    So I guess this smart guy thats running this division knows there are enough people
    out there that have more disposable income than I have.

  9. 9 Gas Man Nov 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Price Price Price

    The market for $30k bikes is so limited I don’t see this going very well.

    Certainly as Eric said, their marketing sees something. However, I think HD does as well. What are they marketing the most? Low teen priced bikes. Oh about half the price of these indians. I wonder why…

  10. 10 Charles Nov 3rd, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Overpriced ? Technically speaking maybe but on the marketing side, it’s accurate. When Polaris bought Indian, they never told anybody that prices would be cut down. They have a brand to revive before selling mass produced models. So what early Indian owners and dealers would think if the price tag is down of 30% ? 2nd market would be killed for years. Taking care of your customer base, as small as it is, seems to be a great idea, isnt’t it ?

    Plus the fact that Polaris has been working hard on Victory to make products relevant. As an historic and iconic brand, it could make sense that Indian become the Infinity or Lexus of Victory, not a third player against H-D and Victory.

    Polaris has cash and time, there’s no need for them to produce thousands of Indians a year. Just a few and a great load of marketing is quite enough to keep the brand alive in the coming years

  11. 11 Bago Nov 3rd, 2011 at 6:52 am

    How do you expect Polaris to buy a company, move it to Iowa, setup new systems for inventory at dealerships, and then magically release a newly designed model all in the same year? C’mon it’s only been 6 months since the buyout. So the 2012 model is simply a continuation of what Kings Mountain factory was already producing plus some more technical tweaks. Those tweaks have happened every year since the 2009 first model year.

    Regarding price…………yes they are expensive. However after you add custom leather, custom chrome, custom engine work and custom paint to a base line Harley cruiser, you are at the price point of the current Indian linup. Harley CVO line is the same price 25K – 35K as an Indian and they sell thousands of CVO bikes every year.

    Remember Indian only sold around 750 bikes from 2009 – 20011 and some of those went overseas to Asian and Middle Eastern markets. These were bikes built by hand and were incredibly expensive to produce. Funny how price was justified when those chopper bikes built buy hand from the biker build off days sold for $35-75K.

  12. 12 Iron Horse Nov 3rd, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I’m glad Polaris is taking the time to engineer and build it right. Too many times we see things rushed to market only to be plagued by problems that may have been prevented by a little more time spent in R&D.

    Gotta agree with Bago about price. Take one of H-D’s baggers and throw a few options and accesories on it and you’re well into the low to mid 20k range…even more in the CVO lineup.

    Just my .02 cents to Polaris…Please don’t come back out with the ‘short fendered’ models that Kings Mountain made. Those just weren’t living up to the Indian name and iconic presence imho.

    Hopefully, when they are released, things will have gotten better economically…I’d love to own one.

  13. 13 sidewinder Nov 3rd, 2011 at 8:39 am

    You can get a 2009 Vintage model on ebay right now with 2300 miles. Absolutely perfect & he is asking $23k, $10k off what he paid. He even mentions “I’ve saved you 10 grand for break-in”. No offers.

  14. 14 Luis Nov 3rd, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I’m still hoping for the return of the transverse 4 cyl indian

  15. 15 Watson Nov 3rd, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Indian never made a transverse 4.

  16. 16 Dave Nov 3rd, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    You are correct Watson. Indian did have an inline 4 but they never attempted to mount it transersely, in fact it would have been virtually impossible to mount that particular engine in that configuration.

  17. 17 Brett Nov 3rd, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Anyone wondering about a market for the bikes just needs to visit http://www.indianmotorcyclecommunity.com
    & you will see there are ALOT of people who have already spent over $20K for Gilroy Chiefs & the current prices for the KM Chiefs & they are waiting on the Polaris Chiefs.

    Many have even defended the $26,000 starting price…..I too,being an owner of an HD & Gilroy Indian, feel about $10K should be chopped off each models price, but we’ll see. Maybe 700 bikes a year will be enough for Polaris in the 1st half decade.

  18. 18 bigalyts Nov 3rd, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Brett, you got it right again. 10 Grand chopped off each Model and then they got something. I don’t believe it is a 35% or 40% more Bike than a HD If it is than, I would love to know it or see it or feel it. Honda Built a Bike as a LTD Production and it was $25 to $26 Grand depending on the Wheels. The refinements and the fit and finish was wonderfull. The Ride and feel of the Bike spread sheer Quality and refinement. They Built about 2500 as a 1 per Dealer Production. My point is that, even if they were a $35,000 Motorcycle/………This “Robert Pandya” or “Suit” admitted your Bike will be entirely redone and retooled in 2 more years. So go buy a overpriced Indian and keep it parked next to your Excelsior Henderson.!!!!!!!

  19. 19 Pedro Nov 3rd, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I fail to see how anyone could compare the fit, finish and/or features of a CVO against the Indians.
    The CVO motorcycles are the most superior Cruisers on the market bar NONE.
    Ride a Indian and you’ll soon get the picture.
    Bang for Buck, they are leagues apart.

  20. 20 Smittydog Nov 3rd, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I`m glad to see Indians back on the road. Good luck Polaris.

  21. 21 LoneStar Nov 3rd, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Pedro,
    Go test ride a Victory Cross Country and let us know if you still say they “are the most superior on the market bar NONE”.

  22. 22 Bago Nov 3rd, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Go drive a Goldwing. Then go drive the new BMW 6 cylinder touring bike. Both of these bikes are a better ride than HD or Indian. But hey, they aren’t American cruisers so they must suck. Fact is, everyone makes damn nice bikes nowadays. Between the various brands, there are pricepoints to satisfy what you crave. Indian will have the lower priced model out some day but like all good things in life, you have to wait for it, wait for it. About the only thng everyone agrees on is they are glad Indian is back.

  23. 23 bigalyts Nov 3rd, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Bago, come on, are you kidding? Compare a Goldwing and the new BMW K 1600 GTL with a New Victory Cross Country, Indian or a CVO? How the Hell could you compare the Wing or the K 1600? They both have 6 Cylinders and cost around $22,000 and they also can be bought discounted for even less! They can also do the 1/4 mile in 2 seconds less! That just aient fair to ask HD, Victory or the Indian to waste $4 a gal competing against those American Bikes??%$#@!@#$%^!!

  24. 24 HockeyPucker Nov 3rd, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    From a Harley owner that has ridden all the new Victory Motorcycles. Please Pay attention Harley Davidson! Victory is nipping at your heels. The Victory is a better Motorcycle. The only thing they haven’t achieved is the Heritage of Harley Davidson.

    And that is just a matter of time!

  25. 25 Rick Lossner Nov 4th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    If you don’t have the $ you can find Gilroys for $7-$20k all day long. These ’12s are worth the money. But if you can’t afford one, continue to bitch about the cost

  26. 26 Bago Nov 5th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    The old saying back in 2001 was if you can’t afford the Harley, buy the Honda. Now 10 years later it’s if you can’t afford the Indian, buy the Harley.

  27. 27 kc cheef Nov 5th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    What makes them worth that kind of money Rick?
    Those bikes are a basic stripped down bare bones motorcycle compared to a CVO or the BMW 1600 or the Wing.
    Hey Rick.
    Afford one?
    Matter of perspective I guess.
    Value for the money seems to drive a lot of people.
    Value for the money isn’t there on the KM bikes yet.

  28. 28 kc cheef Nov 5th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Excuse me.
    I said value for the money isn’t there on the kM bikes YET.
    KM production is gone now.
    Value for the money took them down.
    Maybe the Polaris bikes will fare better?

  29. 29 bshirk Nov 6th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    All I see if more of the same thing that put Indian in the position they are in. The market for a motorcycle that looks 60 years old is pretty narrow and that is all they are making and Indians are just plain ugly.
    The price is so far out of line it is unbelievable, how could anyone justify the price. Did the industry not learn anything from the demise of Big Dog??
    The quality of the bikes we see in our service facility is not comparable to HD in any area, (we are not an HD dealer) except the Indians with the S&S motors which are pretty sound mechanically.
    Unfortunately for the Indian owners in our area the dealer did not help the situation, it was owned by a car dealer who apparently did not know “come here from sic’em” about the motorcycle industry
    Until someone steps in and is willing to open the corporate eyes and see that the VAST majority of the buying public is not interested in all the nostalgic BS nothing is going to change for Indian.
    Indian will probably be for sale again in the not too distant future with even more debt..

  30. 30 Wampum Nov 7th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    It looks as if we have a bunch of haters on the site that have never riden an Indian or have no idea the history behind Stellican’s sale of Indian to Polaris. Stelican buys companies that are in finanical trouble and makes them healthy again(can say Chris Craft for instance) and then sells them. Kings Mountain Indian was not having finanical problems and Polaris did not buy debt. Polaris bought an American Icon and plans on devoloping the brand slowly and properly as it should be. Since their purchase of Indian the engineers at Polaris have stayed in contact with many of us happy Indian riders, questioning us and listening to why we love our Indian motorcycles and stay so loyal to them. if you ever have the chance to really ride one you will know why. I put about 7 to 9 thousand miles on my 02 Chief every year and love every minute. I just returned from a trip to Biketoberfest and once again the Chief shined. You cannot park an Indian anywhere without it attracting a crowd of admirers in the sea of black Harleys. If you were as lucky as I was and get to ride the mountains of North Carolina and experience the Tail of the Dragon, the Moonshiner 28, or the Cherocola Skyway you would know what it is like to ride 785 lbs of pure pleasure. The added lenght of the Inidan from axel to axel over the Harley and the superior balance is a feeling like none other, to feel that huge machine sink into the moutain curves and roll effortlessly over and around the mountain roads and curse is a pleasure the haters will never get to feel . The hand build, the quality and quanity of the chrome, real high quality leather seats and bags and the raw power of the Power Plus engine are unmatched in the world outside of Indian, worth every dollar they want to charge. Polaris, I believe wants to make them even better, not mass produce them but keep the heritage of Indian going. They are and will continue to be the class of the MC world, and I truly doubt you will see Polaris sell them anytime soon. Before you hate, reseach what you are saying and test ride what you have never riden, what a novel idea!

  31. 31 kc cheef Nov 8th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Hi Wampum.
    Yes agreed.
    Stellican DOES buy out Iconic brands and turn them around for a profit.
    BUT if you read your history you will find Stephen Julius making the statement many times that they were in it for the long haul on Indian.
    Seems that is how they attracted the dealers they brought into the fold that believed in Indian and believed what Stellican was telling them.
    I guess long term is a relative thing.
    I’m also guessing you are one lucky KM Indian rider.
    I know some folks who have been waiting on parts and support for quite some time now.
    If Robert Pandya reads this I’d like him to ask Cyril to send him my email address, and I’ll get him in touch with one rider I know who would REALLY appreciate some support.

  32. 32 kc cheef Nov 14th, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I guess Robert decided not to get in touch.
    Rider STILL needing some support from the factory.

  33. 33 Phil Nov 26th, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I get the idea of an exclusive bike and hope they continue making such a beautiful bike like the Chief. What I don’t get is why Indian never came up with a competitor for the Sportster. If Polaris wants to bring back the Indian name in a big way introduce an American made bike in the $7999 to$11k range. Something like a muscle cruiser would shake up the market and I think steel some audience from HD and the Asian market. Having recently sold a newer Triumph America I know it can be done. The Triumph America and Speedmaster are direct competitors to the Sportster and I think would be a much better seller if Triumph ever decided to advertise in the US. A nice entry level US made bike would be a winner in this economy.

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