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Anonymous

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MCN  says:

First ride: New Indians

Indian has launched three new variants of the Chief - an all-new 1819cc V-twin which MCN has been riding around the Sturgis motorcycle rally in America. After around 50 miles split between two of the three available versions MCN's Andy Downes said: "All of the bikes look fantastic in the metal with beautiful attention to detail and high quality build...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (05 August 2013 09:34)

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speedo007

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 508

speedo007 says:

So ugly and so sad to see such a nice engine being lost in such a lump of metal and chrome...I wonder what Indian will produce once all their customers are 95 years old...I just wish they would come up with something new with what looks like a very cool engine (something like a standard naked bike). Until then, these are just gigantic ugly paper weights to me.

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SHIVA_

Joined:

May 08

Posts: 221

SHIVA_ says:

I guess the Chief must look it

Interesting to read about ABS (my favorite feature on modern bikes), Bluetooth and Cruise.  But the looks of the bike is severely dated with white wall tires and all.  I am sure Polaris has done their market research and has found that the H-D riders would consider an Indian if it looked like the old Indian, but what about new customers.  Who would want this piece of WWII era American nostalgia? Outside of the 500 units a year I mean. 

People buy Harley's not because they think they are great engineered machines but because of two reasons only: (1) they make them feel like a badass, even if they are a 350 pound butt ugly monstrosity of a person that even their own kids shun them.  (2) And the H-D lifestyle and owners group.  You can't beat that type of consumer brain washing.

This is why Polaris' other brand Victory after so many years has failed to make a dent in the American cruiser market (read as H-D market).  Because it's not about the bike, it's about the lifestyle and what that bike projects in the mind of the consumer!  And it certainly won't be this bike to challenge H-D. 

RacingShiva.com

 

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SHIVA_

Joined:

May 08

Posts: 221

SHIVA_ says:

one more thing

In the last 15 years Indian has been bought and sold a few times and each time the new owners put out the same exact bikes with the hope of new resurgence.  That has caused consumer fatigue and lack of interest and certainly excitement for the brand.  The new Chief looks like the same exact bike that has been put out twice before in the past 10 years. 

I was hoping Polaris would change that, not just by introducing Bluetooth, but by re-envisioning the new Chief. 

Example: Chevy didn't being back the old Camaro or Ford the Mustang looking exactly like the 1960s models.  They re-envisioned them quite successfully for the 21st Century. 

To me this new chief is already a failure, sorry to say. 

RacingShiva.com

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snev

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 8428

snev says:

well

I love it........................just hope it's got .....folding mirrors............www.snevtalkingoutamyarse.co.uk 

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merv007

Joined:

Dec 07

Posts: 237

merv007 says:

new Indians

 I think they look beautiful, especially the 2 with the standard head-light, I think complaining about not looking forward in terms of the styling misses the point, these bikes along with Harley have now become timeless in their styling, in the same way a Fender Stratocaster guitar, a Morgan car, or a Dr Martin boot have. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the old iron 1930s look is beautiful I think, and such a nice change for the styling of most modern bikes and cars which resemble plastic kitchen appliances. 

The main thing I want up to date is the motor, brakes and handing and judging from the review Polaris have delivered for those who love low-end torque, tuned 4 pots in sports bikes these days have nothing low down. 

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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X2Glider

Joined:

May 10

Posts: 427

X2Glider says:

Same old same old...

Like others have said, no matter who breathes new life back into the Indian, they push out the exact same bike.  Half the reason the company has failed was due to being a small company trying to financially run as if they were a big company and bit off way more than they could chew.  The other half was the tired design.

 

Lots of people admired the bikes but no one actually wanted one in their garage because they were simply too old fashioned looking.

 

Anyone who ever had a romantic and emotional tie to Indian ownership is 6 feet under.  That's how long they've been out of business.  So, appealing to the old guard obviously can't work.  Valanced fenders and bulbous bodywork and styling reminiscient of the 1930's just won't bring in new blood.

 

If Indian had never gone out of business in the 1st place, surely the styling would have progressed far beyond this.  But I guess Indian styling had to be something as Victory is the one to lean towards more modern styling.  Can't have them overlap...

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preunit

Joined:

Dec 10

Posts: 12025

preunit says:

Alreet

 for a fat lass leik and the bloke who's pulled her seems happy enough :smile

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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ANichol

Joined:

Aug 02

Posts: 1002

ANichol says:

Indian

In many ways quite a cool brand. Like a Harley, but not a Harley, but not an immitation either. For someone who wants a custom but doesn't want to look like they've only heard of HD and know nothing else of bikes (but doesn't want a victory for whatever reason).

Retro-styling is popular - just ask Kwak (W800), Trumpet, Duke, Guzzi, Honda (CB11), and so on.

Indian riders of old may be a bit thin on the ground, but the likely audience of RUBs who are gonna buy these may want 1940s/50s style but they ain't gonna tollerate 40s/50s performance or ownership experience. This can only be good for the market, as HD are gonna have to up their game in terms of trimming the fat, tautening the ride and generally going better. This has already begun - journalists are getting a bit repetitive by saying "not like Harley brakes of old" over the last 6 or 7 years; HD HAVE upped their game. No, they're not sportsbikes, but they ain't supposed to be.

Sure the Knucklehead / Panhead / Shovelhead enthusiasts may not like it; but they are a literal dying breed of customer for HD - hence the Dark Customs range to attract a new audience.

What I really hope is that we start to see a propper era of different choice for customs. The range is still too heavy on the air-cooled V-Twin. Thanks to Duke for the Diavel to be at least a little different, and Yamaha for the VMax (how much?!?) for a V4 (even if they did kill the V4 Venture Star), and Trumpet for the Parallel Twins and inline Triples.

But Honda - why kill the flat 6 custom for a 750 twin as your only current option? Suzook - so many GSX engine based customs out there...make one!! And Indian...build a 4. Ok, they weren't the best bikes of their era, but the heritage can exist alongside a different option (I thought you wnated to play on the history of 'innovation'?)

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kl595

Joined:

Nov 03

Posts: 470

kl595 says:

raspberry ripple

I can't decide whether I like it or hate it.

I can see the attraction and  I admire Indian for doing what they do but I can't help thinking it's a two wheeled ice cream van for some reason.

 

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merv007

Joined:

Dec 07

Posts: 237

merv007 says:

new Indians

I'm 27, and I think the brand is strong, almost mythical, I remember being in the school library as a young kid, and reading big coffee table books like "Harleys and Indians" they were up there with ww2 fighter jets and steam trains as beautiful fascinating machines...  and hold a much bigger place in my imagination than "bland" Honda cbrs and their middle aged riders!

So I think along with the current interest in cafe racer style and custom jap 80s singles among the younger generation, Indian could offer an American alternative for those whoe feel Harley are too mainstream. Though without the modern success of Harley and their billion dollar profits - Polaris would never have bothered with Victory or Indian let us not forget. 

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