Motorcycle USA Forums : Join the Revolution
  HomeLog InRegisterCommunity CalendarSearch the ForumHelp
   
Motorcycle Message Board - Motorcycle USA > MotorcycleUSA.com! > Custom/Cruiser > The Return of Indian Motorcycles  Forum Quick Jump
 
You cannot post new topics in this forum. You cannot reply to topics in this forum. Printable Version
881 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> | Show Newest Post First ]

Harley1
Forum Moderator



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 247
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 8:23 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
MCUSA got a chance to interview Indian Motorcycles Chairman Stephen Julius and hear first-hand how the company is developing as it prepares to re-launch the iconic American heavyweight cruiser. Let us know what you think about 'The Return of Indian Motorcycles.'
Back to Top
 

GeoffG
Instant Classic



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 10791
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 9:39 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
One hopes it's not just "Here we go again!" story. Stellican does have a pretty good track record with this kind of thing. I'd be a lot more excited about it, though, if they were resurrecting the Norton name with Kenny Dreer's 952...or hell, if they gotta resurrect Indian, why not do it with a longitudinally mounted inline four? (just as historically appropriate as the V-twin...).
Back to Top
 

louemc
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 17483
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 10:16 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good grief,

This promises to fail even faster than the last "resurection", because the last one sucked the "it ain't no Indian but I don't know any better" types out of the woodwork. When that supply was exausted, the money didn't flow fast enough to breath life into the name.


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

Back to Top
 

martinjmpr
08 Triumph Scrambler



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 4681
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 11:51 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

From the article: 

"We have a section on our Website where people can reserve a bike for 2008 and pay a $1000 deposit and we have received a number of deposits. Every week that's increasing. We are pleasantly surprised and pleased by the faith people in the market seem to be placing on our re-launch brands."

Wow.  I'm really just stunned.  shocked

There are idiots out there who will flush a grand down the toilet like that?  I can only imagine that they either have so much cash that $1000 means nothing to them or they're dumber than a box of rocks.  How many times does this have to happen before people get it?  Indian.  Excelsior.  Norton.  Now Indian again.  Oh, I forgot somewhere along the line there was someone who was promising to recreate Vincent using a VTR-1000 motor. 

When will these people learn?

PT Barnum was right.  A sucker is born every minute.  But a sucker willing to throw away a grand on a pipe dream?  I don't know if there are that many suckers in the world. 


Martin
 
Denver, CO

"They were long, and low, and sleek, and fast, they were Classic, in a word
Back in '55 We were makin' Thunderbirds" - Bob Seger

Back to Top
 

louemc
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 17483
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 12:20 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Better add in the suckers that think they are investing money (for a return of more money) in the manufacturing/sales company. It would be very interesting to know the amounts (both single investments and total of investment money raised).


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

Back to Top
 

bmadson
MCUSA Scribbler



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1039
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 2:05 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Maybe you guys are right, but Julius does have a track record of resurrecting brands. It seems silly with the popularity of motorcycles and the success of Victory and various smaller American brands like American IronHorse and Big Dog that the Indian name will stay unused forever.
Back to Top
 

louemc
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 17483
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 2:30 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
How many Motorcycle brands has he resurrected? Is he using his own money? or the money of people that think he can do it?


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

Back to Top
 

baldheadeddork
Registered Member

Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 3:03 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The reporter really dropped the ball by not asking Julius about the meltdown at the end of the last Indian resurrection, which left a lot buyers with orphaned bikes that had a bad habit of breaking. This isn't an exaggeration: Vioxx likely has a better reputation among its former customers than Indian motorcycles.

There was also nothing about the experience of the engineering team in designing engines, since design problems with the Powerplus were at the center of reliability problems on the last Indian. If Julius poached someone from Polaris or HD for the engine work, that would be a big deal. If they haven't, that's a big deal, too.
Back to Top
 

Harley1
Forum Moderator



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 247
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 4:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
So I see the naysayers are out early in the forum. Lou sounds like a disgruntled employee from the California Motorcycle Company that didn't get his last paycheck when they closed its doors. As far as how many motorcycle companies has Stellican Ltd. resurrected? None. Does this mean they are destined to fail? No. It all starts with capital, and Stellican has that. With the capital, they can hire the right people who have the knowledge and background to help them achieve their goals. Where do you find competent, skilled engineers and mechanics? Set up shop in the center of the nation's powersports industry for your labor pool.

As far as baldheadeddork's statements, Stellican is more than aware that the former owners of the marque produced an inferior product. What can be done to right somebody else's wrong? Stellican had nothing to do with the California Motorcycle Company and its affiliated investors' failure. Do they feel bad about it? Yes, Julius even mentioned that in the piece. About all they can do though is make sure there are replacement parts and services available for those model years, but beyond that they are not responsible for somebody else's mistakes. All they can do is to find out what those previous mistakes were so they avoid repeating them.

As far as engineering goes, 27-year industry veteran Nick Glaja has been named as VP of Engineering for Indian. You've heard of him, right? He was the Victory Motorcycle Engine Group Manager who spearheaded the Freedom V-Twin Project. Victory Motorcycles is owned by Polaris, so there's the big deal you were looking for. Sorry I omitted it.

One thing I did glean from my conversation with Mr. Julius is that he's a smart man. I was impressed that he has had success with a diverse assortment of investments, not only here but in the world market. He brings a lot to the table. I'll bet he's even smart enough to spell resurrection with two r's.

Post Edited (Harley1) : 5/16/2007 11:29:55 PM GMT

Back to Top
 

freebird
Registered Member

Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 93
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 4:53 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
It was clearly the correct decision for New-Indian to build their own engines. It is also good to hear that the "Indian" trademark was purchased by an actual company rather than a couple of guys who assemble custom choppers in a shed on their parent's farm (ala Excelsior-Henderson). I expect New-Indian decided to build a V-Twin rather than an Inline-Four because their target customers are Harley owners who want something Harley-esque but different - but not too different. That is also the Polaris-Victory target market, but Vic's recent foray into the Modern Touring segment indicates that Victory wants to be a true motorcycle manufacturer rather than be perceived as a assembling boutique like Big Dog.

What percentage of market share can New-Indian expect to nibble from Harley? How many units are required to actually be considered a success and to remain in business long-term? Victory manufactured and sold about 7,000 Harley-esque cruisers for 2006 while Triumph and BMW with a variety of motorcycle models had sales of about 10,000 and 13,000 units respectively in the USA alone (Honda sells over 600,000 motorcycles, scooters, and dirt-bikes in North America).

New-Indian isn't going to convince a 55-year-old guy buying his first motorcycle to buy anything other than a Harley and they won't be able to compete with the price-point or advertising of the Japanese manufacturers who also make retro-cruisers. And New-Indian is definitely not going to entice younger buyers with "old fart" cruisers. That means their potential customers are people who have already owned a Harley and now want something different, again, the Victory customer base. However, the "Harley but different" crowd is a limited market and what prevents Victory from creating an Indian-ish bike with similar stylized fringes and wheel-flares for those people who want that look... and how many people does that design actually appeal too? To be an actual motorcycle manufacturer, New-Indian is going to need more than one engine and more than one bike styled into several different versions.

Personally, I'm not interested in a cruiser and if I were I'd buy the Moto Guzzi Bellagio and my second choice would be a Victory. However, I am in the market for a scoot-about-town fun bike and would love a fuel-injected 500cc 50-HP V-Twin with updated modern suspension and clutchless thumb-shift (ala FJR1300-AE) for stop-n-go city riding - build a bike like that styled after the 1927 Indian Scout and I would buy it.

Post Edited (freebird) : 5/17/2007 1:51:34 AM GMT

Back to Top
 

martinjmpr
08 Triumph Scrambler



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 4681
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 6:06 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I think Freebird hit the nail on the head.  Who is the target market?  Does the "new" Indian have the ability to be anything other than a boutique-bike brand like Big Dog, CMC, Confederate, et al?  Building a good bike isn't enough:  They also have to have enough dealers around that people will feel confident laying down their hard earned cash.  Unless they are just a boutique bike builder with a historic name, they have to have the size that gives people confidence enough to invest in a motorcycle.  Because a motorcycle isn't an impulse buy (especially a motorcycle that costs upwards of $15k.) 
 
Instead of asking how many other companies this guy has "resurrected", I'll ask this question:  How many motorcycle brands - of all types - have been "resurrected" or created in the last 20 years?  I can think of two:  Triumph and Victory.  In the case of Triumph it took a huge investment upfront and the willingness to break the mold of the previous company's history (if Bloor's "new" Triumph had insisted on making only air-cooled twins like the 60's era Bonneville, they'd certainly have gone out of business within a short time.)  And as for Victory, they were built up on a solid foundation of Polaris' previus motorsports business making snowmobiles and ATVs, so they weren't exactly starting from scratch. 
 
Furthermore, both Triumph and Victory launched their new businesses right at the time when motorcycle sales were rocketing upward.  Now that everybody and their brother makes a big, v-twin cruiser, how is Indian going to stand out by selling a big, v-twin cruiser?
 
I've said before, and I still believe, that the only way the Indian name will ever be successfully resurrected will be if another, already existing,  motorcycle company buys it.  This isn't the 1920's where two guys with a machine shop can create a new brand overnight.  The market is already saturated, which means that the only way a new company can break into it is to either have a really big backer (like Polaris/Victory) or be really small and specialized (like the boutique builders.) 


Martin
 
Denver, CO

"They were long, and low, and sleek, and fast, they were Classic, in a word
Back in '55 We were makin' Thunderbirds" - Bob Seger

Back to Top
 

Copper Pin
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 143
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 7:55 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I think the Indian resurrection could be successful if they took a page from Triumph's book:  drawing some from the nostalgic side of the company's history, while also breaking the mold with some modern designs.  Making yet another cookie-cutter V-twin cruiser isn't going to be enough.  Like everyone has said, that market is already saturated, but some fresh bikes could bring younger riders into the fold.


Nothing is inevitable but defeat to those unwilling to fight.
 
2006 Buell XB12Ss Lightning Long
1998 Honda CR250

Back to Top
 

jboland
Registered Member

Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 90
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 10:24 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
That was a great article and very encouraging. Sounds like the new guy knows what he's doing. Avoiding overblown hype is a good move. And with his emphasis on long term viability, I don't think he's in it just to make a buck while the motorcycle market is still hot. I hope the new 'new' Indian is successful. One of the critical things that put Victory over the hump was their collaboration with Arlen Ness. A similar arrangement with a well known custom builder would be a boon for Indian too, I think. Might I recommend Indian Larry Legacy, who is not only already associated with the brand, but is probably the foremost shop in the country designing the "old school" style bikes that would mesh with Indian's own image. Roland Sands would a great choice too.

Two things I would personally be looking forward to with a revitilized Indian. 1) Following shortly on the heels of the Powerplus V-twin Chief, they should introduce a longitudally mounted in-line four cruiser. That would draw heavily on Indian heritage while at the same time be "different" from Harley and Victory. That could set Indian apart from the competition. It could also provide the makings for a "WOW!" motorcycle that could do for Indian what the Evo Softail did for the post-buyback MoCo in the 80's. 2) Reinvent the Scout as a retro-sportbike more Ducati Sportclassic than Harley Sportster. It shouldn't be the introductory bike; it should be the barnburner. Get back to the orginial essence of the first bobbers, which Indian Scouts were prime examples of in the 40's. I'd make three styles - a "classic" base model, a bobber, and a boardtrack racer. If they would swing it with a springer front end, that'd be all the cooler.
Back to Top
 

GeoffG
Instant Classic



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 10791
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 11:46 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
martinjmpr said...
Instead of asking how many other companies this guy has "resurrected", I'll ask this question: How many motorcycle brands - of all types - have been "resurrected" or created in the last 20 years? I can think of two: Triumph and Victory. In the case of Triumph it took a huge investment upfront and the willingness to break the mold of the previous company's history (if Bloor's "new" Triumph had insisted on making only air-cooled twins like the 60's era Bonneville, they'd certainly have gone out of business within a short time.) And as for Victory, they were built up on a solid foundation of Polaris' previus motorsports business making snowmobiles and ATVs, so they weren't exactly starting from scratch.

Don't forget Buell. Although now owned completely by H-D, Buell started out as one guy designing and building race bikes in his garage, and existed for almost a decade AFAIK before any Harley money came its way in the early /mid 90s. Say what you will about the bikes, but Erik Buell is the real deal.

There are also Fischer and Roehr, but neither of these brands is really off the ground yet (if they ever will be). And thene there are some small Euro makers, such as Ghezzi & Brian and Sachs...
Back to Top
 

GeoffG
Instant Classic



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 10791
 
   Posted 5/16/2007 11:52 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
jboland said...
...they should introduce a longitudally mounted in-line four cruiser. That would draw heavily on Indian heritage while at the same time be "different" from Harley and Victory.

Exactly my thinking when I suggested the same in my first post. The longitudinal inline four is an iconic American design, as much so as the 45 degree V-twin. Definitely different--which is what the market needs IMO, not just another "cookie-cutter" big twin cruiser...

Back to Top
 

martinjmpr
08 Triumph Scrambler



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 4681
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 8:06 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Geoff:  I still wouldn't include Buell in the category of "new brands" because even at the beginning Buells used HD motors.  IOW, Buell couldn't have existed without HD, which makes them pretty much the same as the "chopper" builders who use HD engines.  They're not really building their own motorcycle, they're building a modified version of someone else's motorcycle. 
 
And as for the I-4 idea, I agree 100% but I also think it won't happen.  For all the talk about "uniqueness" and "individuality" the "cruiser market" is more conformist in their taste than any Ivy League fraternity.  Anything that deviates from the large displacement air-cooled, V-twin, fat-tired icon is either viewed with suspicion or shunned outright.  Hell, even the HD V-rod is often considered not to be a "real Harley" by the devoted Motor Company fanatics. 
 
Note that Triumph's first bikes after their resurrection looked absolutely nothing like the 60's classics:  The Trident, the Daytona, and the Trophy were modern bikes front to back, with not so much as a single styling cue that harked back to the glory days of Triumph.  Bloor was smart enough to realize that the "nostalgia market" would only get him so far and that if he wanted to compete with the big boys he had to produce machines that were their equal or their superior in every way.  Hiding behind the "classic" label wasn't going to let him break in.  That's why the retro-styled Thunderbird wasn't introduced until 1995 and the retro-copy Bonnie wasn't introduced until 2000.  By that time Triumph had plenty of "street cred" with the Daytona, S3, TT600, Sprint, etc. 
 
Unfortunately, I just don't see that kind of intestinal fortitude coming from designers in the land where Harley is king, and in some ways I can understand it:  If all you make is vanilla ice cream, but people buy every quart you make, why should you take the risk of making chocolate or strawberry?  Over in Europe, where they are not slaves to V-twin worship, a new bike has to be able to compete with the likes of Ducati, Guzzi, BMW, and of course the Japanese Big 4. 
 
One of these days, maybe some inventive American company will stop drinking the V-twin kool aid and make a truly revolutionary bike.  But if all they continue to do is make Harley clones, they'll continue to fail. 


Martin
 
Denver, CO

"They were long, and low, and sleek, and fast, they were Classic, in a word
Back in '55 We were makin' Thunderbirds" - Bob Seger

Back to Top
 

GeoffG
Instant Classic



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 10791
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 10:06 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
martinjmpr said...
Geoff: I still wouldn't include Buell in the category of "new brands" because even at the beginning Buells used HD motors. IOW, Buell couldn't have existed without HD, which makes them pretty much the same as the "chopper" builders who use HD engines. They're not really building their own motorcycle, they're building a modified version of someone else's motorcycle.

Not at all, Martin. The first Buells ever made (the RW750) did NOT use H-D power, they used a British square four (Barton?). In the beginning, Buell had no professional relationship with H-D, beyond the fact he'd worked in their engineering department as an employee (before quitting to start Buell Motorcycles).

And while it's true that Buell did move on to using H-D engines (he bought all the original VR1000 engines H-D had after they cancelled the VR1000), and it's true that Buell is not an engine company, I'd hesitate to say they're "the same as the "chopper" builders who use HD engines." A Buell is a well-engineered machine which happens to employ an engine made by a different manufacturer. Yes, H-D eventually bought Buell, so now they are forever joined at the hip, but it wasn't always so.

You say "They're not really building their own motorcycle, they're building a modified version of someone else's motorcycle." I really gotta disagree. A Buell like nothing else, it is designed from the ground up to be what it is. A Buell is NOT a "modified version" of a Harley. Yes, Buell engines are made by Harley (to Buell specs). So what? They use Showa suspension components and Nissin brakes; so do many other brands, and no-one faults them for it. No one faults Aprilia or BMW for using Rotax engines (as will Buell in some upcoming models). An engine is only one component of many in a motorcycle.

Anyway, enough of that. The reason I was checking back on this thread is because I found, on another site, an already existing company building longitudinal inline four Indians: Indian Dakota Motorcycles. These guys look like another of the very small volume "boutique" builders (kinda like Kenny Dreer's Norton), and one wonders if they'll survive--but it would seem to me that maybe Stellican should amalgamate them into their new operation, because their bikes seem more what I'd expect the "New Indian" to be:

Back to Top
 

OhioSteve
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 876
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 11:43 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Julius is correct to focus on actions not hype. But EVEN if he has good intentions, reviving Indian will be difficult. When you say the word "Indian" many motorcyclists think about the terrible product made in the late nineties. So his primary "advantage", brand identity, is tarnished. And if he plans to provide an American-made alternative to Harley....well that already exists.


I am the foremost expert on my opinion.

Back to Top
 

martinjmpr
08 Triumph Scrambler



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 4681
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 12:04 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Geoff: Perhaps I was overstating it a bit in comparing Beull to the chopper builders (who are really just parts assemblers), obviously Buell has put together some outstanding products, and their bikes are famous for their handling, but I also think it's a stretch to call them a truly "new" motorcycle company (as Triumph and Victory were) because Buell only achieved success by, as it were, standing on the shoulders of HD. Or, to put it another way, if HD hadn't existed, Buell wouldn't exist today, either. Obviously, all of the MC companies outsource some of their products, but Triumph and Victory both make all of their major components (engines, frames, body parts, etc) themselves. The same can't (or couldn't, at least at the outset) be said for Buell. In the interest of fairness, I would say the same thing about MC "manufacturers" like MV Agusta, who, AFAIK, assemble motorcycles that use other company's engines as their main component. They may do a fine job of it (indeed I've heard they do) but I don't think you can put them in the same class as a company that produces all of their own major components in-house.

All that aside, the Indian Dakota link you provided was fascinating. To me that would be a truly revolutionary new bike. I only spent a few minutes at the site, so I didn't look into it, but are there details on the engine? Is it an adaptation of somebody else's engine or is it one they make? I also thought there were cooling problems with longitudinal in-line engines - it seems like such a design really calls out for water cooling. Final point, if the "New" Indian that we've been talking about indeed holds the rights to the name and trademark of Indian motorcycles, then I can't understand why Indian-Dakota hasn't had a visit from Indian's lawyers, since they seem to be copying the name and the trademarked logo. What I'm wondering is whether Indian-Dakota holds the European or English rights to the name while this Indian holds the US rights? If so, there's going to be a very limited export market since they won't be able to export it into anyplace where someone else holds the right to the trademarks. Just more debris to get in the way of the "indian" name, and to make it more difficult to bring it back to life.

To use a medical metaphor, this patient's been dead for years. Maybe it's time we stopped performing CPR and just buried him?


Martin
 
Denver, CO

"They were long, and low, and sleek, and fast, they were Classic, in a word
Back in '55 We were makin' Thunderbirds" - Bob Seger

Back to Top
 

EdbearNZ
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1190
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 12:53 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
GeoffG said...
jboland said...
...they should introduce a longitudally mounted in-line four cruiser. That would draw heavily on Indian heritage while at the same time be "different" from Harley and Victory.

Exactly my thinking when I suggested the same in my first post. The longitudinal inline four is an iconic American design, as much so as the 45 degree V-twin. Definitely different--which is what the market needs IMO, not just another "cookie-cutter" big twin cruiser...

A guy tried that in Europe a few years ago, the bike looked really nice, but I don't know what happened to it. Used a Volvo car engine as the base with a finned block.


They say you're only young once! I'm trying to make it last...

Back to Top
 

GeoffG
Instant Classic



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 10791
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 3:09 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
martinjmpr said...
All that aside, the Indian Dakota link you provided was fascinating. To me that would be a truly revolutionary new bike. I only spent a few minutes at the site, so I didn't look into it, but are there details on the engine?

Martin, there ARE some engine specs on the site (be aware their dyno graphs are staggered--that is, hp and torque are scaled differently). They claim 74 hp and 117 lb-ft. of torque, with a redline at 4400 and a very flat torque curve. It is an air-cooled OHV I4, which IMO is about as historically correct as you're gonna get.

I've heard of these guys before, and I believe you're correct, they've got the rights to the Indian name outside North America only--which is another reason I think Stellican should be approaching them, to amalgamate them with their American operation and re-create a single Indian Motorcycle Company worldwide. I really think the market would accept an I4 like the Dakota--sounds like the things got tons of torque, kinda like the Triumph R3, but it has the Indian name which Triumph simply doesn't have. And it's definitely NOT a H-D clone.

And oh, you have to forgive me, I do get a bit reactive when anyone comments about Buell. I understand what you're saying, but knowing what I do about Erik Buell, I believe there would be a Buell Motorcycle Company whether H-D was around or not--it might just have someone else's engines in it :-) Unlike some other American motorcycle innovators like Roehrich, Fischer, and Czysz, Buell is actually in production and in the market with competetive, affordable motorcycles...
Back to Top
 

Smitty
Registered Member

Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 22123
 
   Posted 5/17/2007 7:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Freebird your Indian Sport Scout in the print is REALLY a Junior Sport Scout 30.5"SV & so 500cc. The regular Sport Scout was a 45SV & so 750cc. A friend of mine had a Jr. Sport Scout------reason I got to know the bike for often we had to get parts from the Indian dealer & believe me Andy, the Indian dealer, knew his bikes as he was with the Indian m/c shop in the 20s. Many a night we would be at his place with him having his one beer of the night while I had my tea & we talked about m/cs of the past, at that time, & what was about to come plus both of us were flat trackers in the comp world.
 
Of interest at the different circuis events, like the Wall of Death riders basically use the Jr. Sport Scout you mentioned to even the dual top frame with the petrol tank in between & yes that was even back in the early 50s.  Yes they would allow me to ride them for one to several others would be flat trackers I use to compete against or in one case a dirt hill climber I was lucky to stay close to the height & time.


Remember all the others on the road are crazy & out to kill you.

Post Edited (Smitty) : 5/20/2007 8:14:03 PM GMT

Back to Top
 

martinjmpr
08 Triumph Scrambler



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 4681
 
   Posted 5/18/2007 9:13 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Here's why I think these efforts are almost always doomed to fail: They're going about it backwards. Instead of starting off with an old name and an old bike design and then trying to cash in on the nostalgia market, why not start off with a great bike, and then build on that until it has a great name?

I think it was Harry Carey or someone who once said "nostalgia is not what it used to be." Here's what I mean: How many of you may have remembered some old movie or TV show from your youth, something you thought was very funny, or very dramatic, or very entertaining. All through the years you carried that memory with you. You compared the current shows and movies and said "man, they'll never be as funny/original/exciting as ________ was!"

Then, you discover that _________ is being released on DVD. So you rush down and buy it (or order it off the internet), you eagerly pop it into your DVD player, start watching....and they you realize, with disappointment, that it just isn't all that good! shakehead

IOW, when it was unavailable, you idealized it in your mind, but when you actually saw it, you realized that it wasn't that funny, or that dramatic, or even that interesting. So you put the DVDs away and probably never watch them again. I know I've had this experience and I'll bet most of you have, too.

This is the problem with "resurrecting" a brand like Indian, or Norton or BSA. In the minds of the devoted fans, they have built up such an idealized picture that no motorcycle could ever live up to it. Combine that with an exorbitant, highway robbery price, a con-artist sales technique and spotty reliability, and you have a recipe for failure.

If you want to make a great bike, then just make a great bike! Do what Triumph did in 1989 and look forward, not backwards. At 45 I'm certainly not old enough to remember the glory days of Indian (a company that went out of business 8 or 9 years before I was born) but I'm old enough to remember the early Japanese bikes of the 70's, and although I might have a soft spot for those old irons, I sure as hell wouldn't lay down 20 grand to buy a modern replica of one. I, for one, don't miss kick starters, leaky motors, hand shifters, failure-prone electrical parts or bikes that weighed 500 lbs and put out 20hp. Some may call them the "good old days" but when you look closely, you'll see that they weren't all that good!

There probably could be a successful "new" Indian, but IMO the only way it will happen is if an already existing company (HD, Victory, or maybe one of the Japanese big-4) buys the rights to the name and makes them in their facilities. That way you'd have the dealer network and the reliability of a known brand.


Martin
 
Denver, CO

"They were long, and low, and sleek, and fast, they were Classic, in a word
Back in '55 We were makin' Thunderbirds" - Bob Seger

Back to Top
 

POWER STROKE
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 7
 
   Posted 5/18/2007 12:15 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
All of you have made valid points, all of which have been made in the Indian motorcycle community for the past 3-4 years.
 
There are three camps, those who believe that IMI will be a failure, those that believe that it will be a success, and those that will wait and see.
 
I fall into the second catagory, as Stephen Julius and the IMI (Indian Motorcycle International) crew has done nothing to make me think otherwise, and believe me, I am far from being the eternal optomist.
 
In their Yacht and powerboat operations they do not build just one style, so to assume that will be the case with Indian is just simply foolish, given time I am sure we will all be surprised.
 
That being said, I would like to see a lineup similiar in diversity as that of Triumph.
 
As a Gilroy Indian owner let me say that I have a unique perspective of these bikes and it humors me when all I see is negitivity concerning them, mostly from non owners who read something, heard something, knew someone who knew someone, etc, etc.
 
These motorcycles were not perfect, but when it's issues have been addressed and sorted out, they are a hell of a bike that does all things extremely well, and unless you own one you simply cannot speak to it's qualities, just as I cannot concerning a Triumph, BMW, or a Honda.
 
If IMI builds on and improves the solid '02-'04 Powerplus Chief platform (And it appears they will) they will have a solid foundation from which they will be able to create some great motorcycles and have the flexability to produce more sporting designs that will attract newer and younger buyers.
 
I can't wait to see what the future will bring.
 
 


" You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.
With it, there is acomplishment.
Without it, there are only alibis."  Henry Ford
 
 
 
 
Proprietary '02 Indian Chief Standard - Not a HD Softail clone.
120HP, 118TQ, ILM front suspension, KW rear monoshock
Regularly ridden at speeds well over 100mph.
The only thing that slows me in the twisties is dragging my footboards.

Post Edited (POWER STROKE) : 5/18/2007 8:02:56 PM GMT

Back to Top
 

Copper Pin
Registered Member



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 143
 
   Posted 5/18/2007 5:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Seems like they're going to try to go directly head-to-head with Harley.  I would rather try to build the brand into an "American Triumph" because there's already an "Alternative Harley" in Victory, I don't think there's room for a third.  I hope they make something a more reasonable size than the last Chief, I think the "gargantuan luxury cruiser" market is saturated.
 
I'd be aiming for three different models, myself.  Cruisers are too popular to ignore, so you got to have the Chief in the lineup.  I'd launch the Scout as a modern sport standard/streetfighter, which would draw on the sporting traditions of the company's early days.  Finally, a third model in the street-oriented dual sport/lightweight touring style, along the lines of the V-Strom and Ulysses.  These two bikes could share components (and a modern, liquid-cooled engine) and development costs.  With a spread of models such as this, you'd be able to reach a wider market.
 
Well, I wish them luck.  They have a better shot than most at resurrecting Indian.  They have the capital and track record, and the right attitude when they say this is a 10-20 year project.  Keeping quiet is a smart move too.  Better than building up lots of hype that they could never possibly live up to.


Nothing is inevitable but defeat to those unwilling to fight.
 
2006 Buell XB12Ss Lightning Long
1998 Honda CR250

Back to Top
 
You cannot post new topics in this forum. You cannot reply to topics in this forum. Printable Version
881 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 
 
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, August 30, 2014 1:10 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 500,924 posts in 39,661 threads.
In the last 3 days there were 0 new threads and 0 reply posts. View Active Threads
Who's Online
This forum has 21237 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, whhhhhaaaat.
1 Guest(s), 0 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details