If you are a fan of antique American motorcycles, you may be wondering, are Indian* Motorcycles still made? If so, you are not alone.
Indian* Motorcycles, a pioneer in the American motorcycle industry, soon established itself as a leader in both performance and quality. Although the company managed to survive the Great Depression, it was driven to cease operations in 1953 as a result of intense competition in the postwar period.
Initial production at the Hendee Manufacturing Company in Springfield, Massachusetts, was pedal bikes, which was founded by George M. HENDEE in 1901.
The next year, he formed a partnership with the technically skilled Carl Oscar Hedstrom to produce Indian* motorcycles, which were initially marketed to the general public in 1902. Early Indian single-cylinder machines were popular because of their dependability and toughness.
The firm had a number of victories in early American racing and endurance events, which accelerated the company’s technological growth. Jake de Rosier, a Canadian-born racer who had won several races on board tracks and dirt ovals, was one of the factory riders.
There were other riders who contributed to the development of Indian’s* durability and performance as a motorbike, such as Charles B. Franklin, who in 1912 rode 300 miles in 300 minutes on an Indian*. Cannonball Baker, an Indian rider who rode across North America in 11 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes in 1914, was another notable rider. All of these accomplishments were remarkable for a motorbike at the time.
Furthermore, placing first, second, and third in the tough Isle of Man Senior TT race in 1911 demonstrated that Indian* had established itself as a world-class maker of motorcycles. A V-twin engine was developed by Indian* in 1907, and it quickly became synonymous with American motorbikes.
“If you want the best performance from your 2016 Indian* Chief Dark Horse, you should use AMSOIL’S 20W-40 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil. It was developed exclusively for Indian* Motorcycles.”
In 1913, they introduced a 42-degree V angle and front leaf spring suspension with trailing fork links that would become trademarks of Indian* motorcycles. It was 1915 when side valves were used instead of inlet-over-exhaust on the 6l cu in, 1000cc, Powerplus V-twin, making it more efficient and less loud.
During World War I, the United States military acquired about 40,000 V twins. Launched during the early 1920s were the 45 cubic inch 750cc Scout, the 61 cubic inch 1,000cc Chief,
and the 74 cubic inch 1,200cc Big Chief. They were designed by Charles Franklin and were renowned for their high levels of comfort, performance, and dependability.
Indian* became the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer as a result of their success, manufacturing over 250,000 motorcycles each year. After purchasing the ailing Ace motorcycle firm, Indian* introduced a four-cylinder version of the Ace factory’s motorcycle in 1927, which become known as the Indian Ace.
Following that, Indian* engineers reinforced the frame and installed two more crankshaft bearings to make the first 77 cu in 1.265cc Four. The 101 Scout, one of Indian’s* most notable accomplishments, was launched in 1928.
It was a piece of durable and well-balanced equipment that was still in high demand for wall of death exhibitions. However, inexpensive automobiles such as the Ford* Model T were starting to undercut the motorbike business in the United States.
Due to DuPont’s* quick intervention, Indian* assets were bought up just before the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Soon after, they made a significant investment in the manufacture of motorcycles.
The architecture of the Four engine was developed throughout the course of the next several years. The decision to switch from an inlet-over-exhaust valve arrangement to an exhaust-over-inlet valve layout in 1936 proved to be a costly miscalculation.
After two seasons, Indian* restored to the former structure, but revenues had plummeted as a result. Indian* Motor Company hired former DuPont* Motors designer W. Briggs Weaver in 1940 so he could put his talents to good use.
The full-skirted fender bikes he developed have become iconic emblems of Americana culture and history. The plunger-type rear suspension was installed on the Chief and Four’s frames in the same year.
“Choose the best motor oil for your 2020 Indian* Roadmaster. AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin 20W-40 Motorcycle Oil ensures smooth shifting and solid clutch engagement. It regulates heat and prevents glazing.”
A revolutionary V-twin with transverse cylinders and shaft drive was created by Indian* during World War II when the United States joined the combat. In 1945, with the help of Atlas Corporation funding, entrepreneur Ralph B. Rogers seized control of the business.
Overhead-valve (ohv) singles and vertical twins built by Weaver were introduced, and the output of the V- twins was surpassed.
The company’s image was badly tarnished since they were sold without enough testing and development. Even the reintroduction in 1951 of the venerable Chief V-twin, which had a bigger 80 cubic inch, 1,300cc engine, failed to enhance the company’s image much. As a result of taking responsibility, Rogers resigned. The corporation was divided by financiers into two parts: a manufacturing operation and the Indian* Sales Corporation (ISC) (ISC).
It was the British Brockhouse Engineering that controlled the Indian* Sales Corporation (ISC). Indian* Papoose mini-scooters were manufactured by this company, which imported British motorbikes that were labeled Indian*.
AMC (Associated Motor Cycles) purchased ISC in 1960. The cessation of Indian* motorcycle manufacturing in 1953, marked the beginning of a 20-year era during which machines built outside of the United States were offered under the Indian* brand name.
Following AMC’s collapse in 1968, automotive publisher and Indian* fanatic Floyd Clymer sought to bring the company back to life. His V-twin, built using European motorcycle components, was a failure.
Italjet, an Italian company, constructed singles and vertical twins with Indian* insignia. They were powered by engines from the British companies Velocette and Royal Enfield. When Clymer passed away in 1970, the endeavor came to a halt. It didn’t matter what happened; the brand’s legendary position survived anyway.
Indian* branded products were a constant draw for operators looking to benefit from its iconic allure. Competitive trademark claims were made in the 1990s. There were various Big twins rumors that promised to bring it back into production.
Following a court judgment in 1999, the Indian* Motorcycle Company, located in California, began manufacturing the motorcycle. It purchased V-twin engines from a subcontractor, but they were plagued by technical difficulties, and the endeavor proved to be unprofitable and ultimately failed.
Indian* Motorcycle Limited (IML) was founded by a group of British private equity firms five years later. From 2009 through 2011, a North Carolina facility produced V-twins powered by patented engines. The Minneapolis-based Polaris Industries purchased Indian* Motorcycle Limited (IML).
Polaris* Industries is recognized for its off-road and recreational vehicles. They also own Victory* Motorcycles, which they operate as a subsidiary. On August 5, 2011, Indian’s* manufacturing facilities were relocated to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and the company started producing there.
“Summertime protection for your 2021 Indian* Springfield 1811 engine is essential. AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin 20W-40 Motorcycle Oil is designed to protect vital components from heat.”
Indian* debuted their new “Thunder Stroke” engine, measuring 111 cubic inches, in March of 2013. They started selling their newly designed bikes in August 2013. Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read our article Are Indian* Motorcycles Still Made? Indian* Motorcycles has, without a question, had a fascinating history over the years. They are a living example of how to rise from the ashes, much like the phoenix.
Their most recent chapter seems to be promising, and the hope is that the brand will be there for many more years to come. We intend to provide more material regarding more recent Indian* motorcycles in the future. Keep an eye out for further information…
*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.