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Discussion Starter #1
I like Indians, they seem to be decent bikes.
What I don't understand is why do they say "Since 1901" and "America's First Motorcycle Company". When it isn't that at all?
Their website is where I got all this information from.

Indian started in 1901. They went out of business in 1953.
They go on to say someone started "the" company again in 1998 but used S&S motors in the bikes and called them Indians.
So they weren't even making Indian engines for their bikes, they just called them Indians because they had the rights to use the name.
Then in 2003 that company went bankrupt.
In 2008 someone again bought the rights to the name and started making bikes with the Indian name.
In 2011 it was sold to Polaris which makes the bikes now.
So it seems to me they haven't been "True Indians" since 1953. Only a bike with the Indian name.
What am I missing, or is Polaris, just trying to use the two slogans as a gimmick to get people to think they are a true American company that has been building motorcycles for 118 years?

This is all on their website...
https://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/history/
 

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Why does it really matter?? I traded an Indian on my Wing. Harley sold out to AMF in the 70s, I never hear that it's not a real Harley that started in 1903. They are great bikes, I owned 47 Harley's before buying an Indian. The Indians were totally trouble free, just neede to go no clutch or I'd still be on one.
 

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That is why Polaris purchased the brand, so they could make that claim. Even though the brand has went bankrupt a few times and ceased production. The claim that the brand was established in 1901 and is Americas oldest motorcycle brand is a true statement.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Why does it really matter?? I traded an Indian on my Wing. Harley sold out to AMF in the 70s, I never hear that it's not a real Harley that started in 1903. They are great bikes, I owned 47 Harley's before buying an Indian. The Indians were totally trouble free, just neede to go no clutch or I'd still be on one.
Willie G. Davidson and others involved in the pre-AMF days bought it back in the 80’s.

HD has legitimate ties to their own marque, albeit not continuous ties.

Indian is more like Royal Enfield. Both companies failed. The current users of the name are not tied to the originators, although the original Royal Enfield did spin off the operations in India around 1956 at the behest of the Indian government.

Royal Enfields were rebadged as Indians and brought into the US from England during the 50’s. Royal Enfield failed and went out of business in 1970. I had one of their last bikes, built in March of that year.
 

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Just marketing BS... some person in charge of marketing thinks making such a claim will sound cool... that some folks will be impressed... Wow, THE oldest AMERICAN motorcycle. I'll be cool if I ride that!... when in reality it means nothing and I would suspect anyone looking at an Indian is well aware of the company's history and knows this ain't your granpa's Indian or even remotely related to it.

How long a company has been in business means nothing... Boeing has been in business for over 100 years and man did they recently royally screw up...

Just ask IBM, Pan AM, Sears, Woolworth's etc how they are all doing..........
 

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Willie G. Davidson and others involved in the pre-AMF days bought it back in the 80’s.

HD has legitimate ties to their own marque, albeit not continuous ties.

Indian is more like Royal Enfield. Both companies failed. The current users of the name are not tied to the originators, although the original Royal Enfield did spin off the operations in India around 1956 at the behest of the Indian government.

Royal Enfields were rebadged as Indians and brought into the US from England during the 50’s. Royal Enfield failed and went out of business in 1970. I had one of their last bikes, built in March of that year.

I think the distinction between Harley and Indian is as follows:
Indian went out of business in the 50's.
Harley never went out of business. Harley was purchased as a company AND brought under the AMF conglomerate. If you purchased one of the motorcycles during the AMF ownership days of Harley-Davidson, It was still a HARLEY. Manufacturing of Harley-Davidson motorcycles never ceased from the start in 1903.


I think I have that right, but I wouldn't bet my house on it.:wink2:
 

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Actually (according to my google machine) "America's First Motorcycle Company" was the Orient-Aster, built by Charles Metz in 1898 at his factory in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The important thing is that the brand name "Indian" adds value in the market place, where as "Orient-Aster" does not.

I suppose to be technically correct Polaris could have named their new line of motorcycles "Orient-Aster".

Unfortunate for the descendants of Charles Metz, but no big pay day for you.:smile2:
 

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For what’s its worth. Beretta has been manufacturing firearm parts since the early 1500’s. That’s impressive to me.

As a customer I can't help but to believe they know a thing or two because they have seen a thing or two.

I think this is the premise for tooting your horn on maintaining a history.

Polaris did it the American way and just bought the right to toot their own horn with Indian. Smart move if you ask me.
 

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Actually (according to my google machine) "America's First Motorcycle Company" was the Orient-Aster, built by Charles Metz in 1898 at his factory in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The important thing is that the brand name "Indian" adds value in the market place, where as "Orient-Aster" does not.

I suppose to be technically correct Polaris could have named their new line of motorcycles "Orient-Aster".

Unfortunate for the descendants of Charles Metz, but no big pay day for you.:smile2:
I don't know, but it could have something to do with the fact that they started out using French engines. When they started sourcing American made engines it was after Indian had already started building motorcycles. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So now Oldsmobile was established in 1897 and went out of business in 2004.
I buy the name and start making cars and put that name on them. Can I say that we've been in business since 1897?
I could if I lied.
 

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So now Oldsmobile was established in 1897 and went out of business in 2004.
I buy the name and start making cars and put that name on them. Can I say that we've been in business since 1897?
I could if I lied.
The Indian brand actually have been established since 1901, they are not making the claim that they have been in continuous production since 1901. If you look at their history on their website it gives a timeline of that history. This practice is not unique, The Cleveland Browns makes the claim that they were established in 1944, but anyone who follows the NFL knows that there were several seasons that there were no Cleveland Browns, and now there is again.
 

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.......The Cleveland Browns makes the claim that they were established in 1944, but anyone who follows the NFL knows that there were several seasons that there were no Cleveland Browns, and now there is again.
And let us not forget that sniveling weasel Art Modell snuck the Browns out of town at 0300 in the morning back in the '80s to take them to Baltimore so they could be the Ravens. And the current 'Cleveland Browns' have no connection whatsoever. (rumour also has it that for nearly 5 years afterward, there was a standing contract out on Modell for doing so)


Anyway....

I could have worried about whether Indian or HD are or are not the originating companies and whether or not they deserve to put '1903', '1901', '1972' or 'sometime last wednesday' on their bikes. But, instead...I went out today and rode the Blue Ridge Parkway.


I am happy with that decision.






.....sT
 
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