Indian & Harley Davidson 100 years of motorcycle legacy
Indian Motorcycle ®
Indian was established in 1901 in Springfield, Massachusetts by former bicycle racers George M. Hendee and Oscar Hedstorm. The design, performance and technology of those early machines were second to none, and in just a few years the company became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.
Indian was not only dominating the public market, it was also one of the pioneers, along side Harley Davidson, in motorcycling sports such as flat track, endurance race, hill climbing and land speed. Indian Motorcycle claimed record after record and success after success, like first three places in 1911 Isle of Man Tourists Trophy, which is still the oldest and most dangerous motorsport race in the world.
During WWII Indian devoted a big chunk of production to the allied forces, starving the network of local American dealers. This patriotic gesture heavily impacted the company structure and unfortunately, this great chapter of motorcycle manufacturing came to an end in 1953, leaving Harley Davidson leading the market for the decades to follow.
Despite this, Indian motorcycles were still well renown for their unbeatable performance and widely used on race tracks by private racer teams till the late 60s.
In 1967, on the Boneville Salt Flats, 67 year old New Zealander Burt Munro set the world record for the fastest streamliner motorcycle at 183.586 mph on his highly-modified 1920 Indian Scout; an under 1000 cc multi-class record that still hasn’t been beaten today.
We had to wait over 60 years to see a pure breed Indian rolling out the production line and today, after the rebirth in 2013, this iconic brand is once again celebrated all over the world for being the original and most traditional motorcycle company – one synonymous with American culture.
In 2017 the official Indian team went back to flat track racing after over 60 years from their last appearance. In less than a year Indian designed, build and launched on the dirt track the Scout FTR750. Incredibly, the Indian Team dominated the Championship on the debut season placing five podiums sweeps and on 11 occasions, at least two team riders have stood together on the podium.
This flared up the hundred year old rivalry between Indian and Harley Davidson and once again, the battle goes from the race tracks to the their stunning showrooms, and we have to admit, we are pretty excited to see what comes next.