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2 min read

Polaris Revives Indian Motorcycles

Polaris Revives Indian Motorcycles

In 2011, Polaris made the decision to revive the iconic Indian Motorcycle brand. This move was met with interest and skepticism from both motorcycle enthusiasts and industry experts. However, Polaris has proven to be a capable steward of the brand, producing a range of high-quality motorcycles that pay tribute to the classic Indian designs while incorporating modern technology. The revived brand has quickly gained a loyal following, and it will be interesting to see how Polaris continues to evolve the Indian Motorcycle line in the future.


The Iconic Indian Badge Has Risen from the Ashes, Thanks To Polaris

Conquer the road with the black and chrome Indian Chief - a powerful motorcycle with stunning mountain views in the background


The Revitalization of the Indian Badge

Indian Motorcycles has had many revitalizations but unfortunately, most were from small companies hoping to make a profit off the shear respect the Indian brand carries. After many years of failed attempts, they would all inevitably sell the rights to this iconic and historic brand with the hopes of breaking even or at least not losing out too bad.

Under the guise of the Indian Corporation of America, they began to revitalize the brand by bring in a larger cubic inch motor (100 and 105) but their main focus was on the Chief model: a dressed-out bagger way above the price point of most people who weren’t lining up to by Harley-Davidson touring models. So, it came at a surprise when Polaris, the parent company of the successful Victory brand, acquired the rights in 2011.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand. 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” said Polaris CEO Scott Wine.


Indian Scout with wilderness backdrop - adventure and style in the great outdoors


Upping the ante, they introduced a brand new 111 cubic inch “Thunder Stroke” motor, guaranteeing this Indian could bite. Also reintroducing (or rebranding) iconic name plants such as the Chief, the Springfield (named after their birthplace) and the Scout using the lighter 69 cubic inch motor. Not to mention their ridiculously popular Flat Track FTR-750. In the beginning, Scott Wine was hoping that the Indian brand would just be a V-Twin complement to their Victory. However, after starting with just seven models, they have grown the brand to 18 models and counting in just six short years. Indian now has motorcycles for everyone. For those new riders or those looking for that vintage ride, any of three Scout models will fit.

For those looking for that cruiser or dressed bagger with chrome, you have nine Chiefs to choose from and two Springfields to choose from. Looking for a comfortable long ride, try one of three touring models. Want to rip a little dirt, and have $50k? Then snag the instant collectible, FTR-750 which just swept the podium for 2017 American Flat Tracking racing series.

Stability and Growth of the Indian Motorcycle Division

With such an expansion, it is only natural to worry about the stability and longevity of the business model. But since the Great Recession, the Indian brand is one of the few motorcycle companies that have seen a profit.

In fact, in 2016 Polaris released their earnings showing Indian Motorcycles with a 20% increase in profit from 2015. Thus, leading Polaris to discontinue the Victory brand so they can focus on their growing Indian Motorcycle division. And by the summer of 2017, Indian Motorcycles showed a 17% increase compared to the same time frame in 2016.

Why Indian Motorcycles are Here to Stay

For this iconic brand that sold its first motorized bike in 1901, to their closing in 1953 and the many failed attempts at rebirth, they are well on their way to taking a bigger market share of the motorcycle industry. All thanks to the vision of Scott Wine and the Polaris team. Who saw the huge potential as others, but had the capital to make that dream a reality.

You would be mistaken if you are in the market for a new two-wheel oil burner if you don’t at least consider an Indian Motorcycle. The recent dirt and road success, along with the closing of the Victory brand, shows they are here to stay!