The INDIAN brand has seen a lot of turbulence in its history and went into bankruptcy after the Second World War. Many companies took notice of this American brand, but no real plans were made to revive Indian Motorcycle Thailand until they met Polaris Industries.
In 1897, George M. Hendee founded his own motorbike manufacturing company under the name “Hendee Manufacturing Company”. The company later changed its name to “INDIAN Motorcycle”.
History of INDIAN in the 1990s
In 1901, Mr Hendee recruited Oscar Hedstrom to tune the engine system of his motorbike and in February, Hedstrom began work at a repair shop in Middletown, Connecticut, where he continued to work on motorbike engines. Three months later, he completed the first construction and delivered it to Hendee in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Hedstrom made a name for INDIAN by developing this engine and two other bikes that demonstrated excellent power and stability during the product launch.
A few years later, the first motorbike factory was established in Worthington Street, Springfield, and the first INDIAN motorbike was sold in 1902 with a single-cylinder engine made by the Aurora Automatic Machinery Company, which won endurance races from Boston to New York at the time.
Thanks to Hedstrom, INDIAN achieved the fastest speed of 56 mph (about 90 km/h) in 1906. In the same year he continued to compete in endurance races from New York to Springfield, and the cars were changed from their original dark blue paint to black and dark red.
In 1907, the company moved to State Street in Springfield and began producing its own engines, ending the contract with Aurora.
1910s – Innovation and renewal
In 1910, some INDIAN models were equipped with a 2-speed powertrain and carried the INDIAN logo. By 1913, INDIAN had sold 32,000 vehicles and in 1916, the company’s founder, Geogre Hendee, became chief executive officer. Also this year, INDIAN launched the Powerplus, one of its legendary engines, with a 1000 cc 42° V-twin.
In October 1919, the first INDIAN Scout was powered by a 606 cc engine, a V-twin that attracted many customers and was trusted for its ease of handling and speed, and its reliability in demanding conditions. It was not until 1922 that the INDIAN Chief was launched as the 1000cc-engined ‘Scout’, and in 2013 the INDIAN Chief (Indian Big Chief) was launched, making it INDIAN’s best-selling motorbike.
The 1920s – a motorbike legend
In November 1923, Hendee Manufacturing Company officially changed its name to the Indian Motorcycle Company, known as INDIAN. Production of motorbikes and some parts.
1950s – The Decline
The INDIAN brand was acquired by a British company called BrockHouse in 1950 and merged with the British AMC group. But it was not until 1998 that INDIAN was truly reborn and returned to the world of motorcycling.
In 2008, the British Stelli Organization acquired the company and officially re-established INDIAN Motorcycles in Kings Moutain, North Carolina, a place that would revive the historic INDIAN symbol.
In 2011, INDIAN was sold again to motorbike manufacturer Polaris Industries, which moved all its operations to factories in Minnesota and Iowa. Since August 2013, INDIAN Motorcycles has been back on the motorbike scene with its iconic products. These include the Chief (from 2014 to the present), the Scout and the Roadmaster (from 2015 onwards). In particular, the “Dark Horse” model was launched in 2016; since meeting Polaris Industries, INDIAN has been constantly evolving.
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