It is official - Polaris Industries, maker of the Victory Motorcycle has purchased Indian Motorcycles. Will Polaris be successful in taking this once great brand to new heights?
Or is this brand jinxed? Let's look at it's history...(Many sources were used to find it's history including Wikipedia, Indian Motorcycle dot Com)
In 1901 the Hendee Manufacturing Company started building what would in 1928 become known as the Indian Motorcycle Company. In 1945, under the control of Ralph B. Roger, the Scout was discontinued, and Indian began to manufacture lightweight motorcycles such as the 149 Arrow, the Super Scout 249, both introduced in 1949, and the 250 Warrior, introduced in 1950.These bikes suffered from poor quality and a lack of development. Production of traditional Indians was extremely limited in 1949. In 1953 the company went bankrupt.
Brockhouse Engineering acquired the rights to the Indian name after it went under in 1953. They imported Royal Enfield motorcycles from England, mildly customized them in the US depending on the model and sold them as Indians from 1955 to 1960
In 1960, the Indian name was bought by AMC of England. Royal Enfield being their competition, they abruptly stopped all Enfield-based Indian models except the 700 cc Chief. Their plan was to sell Matchless and AJS motorcycles badged as Indians. However, the venture ended when AMC itself went into liquidation in 1962.
From the 1960s, entrepreneur Floyd Clymer began using the Indian name, apparently without purchasing it from the last known legitimate trademark holder, they sold minicycles made by ItalJet.
After Clymer's death in 1970 his widow sold the alleged Indian trademark to Los Angeles attorney Alan Newman, who continued to import minicycles made by ItalJet. The right to the brand name passed through a succession of owners and became a subject of competing claims in the 1980s, finally decided in December 1998 by a Federal bankruptcy court in Denver, Colorado.
The Indian Motorcycle Company of America was formed from the merger of nine companies, including manufacturer California Motorcycle Company (CMC) and IMCOA Licensing America Inc., which was awarded the Indian trademark by the Federal District Court of Colorado in 1998.The new company began manufacturing motorcycles in 1999 at the former CMC's facilities in Gilroy, California. The Indian Motorcycle Corporation went into bankruptcy and ceased all production operations in Gilroy on September 19, 2003.
On July 20, 2006, the newly-formed Indian Motorcycle Company, owned largely by Stellican Limited, a London-based private equity firm, announced its new home in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. And the newest page in the history of the troubled but much loved Indian Motorcycle is being written now.
Will Polaris succeed where everyone else who has tried to resurrect the brand has failed?
Will Polaris have the magic formula for removing the jinx that history apparently reveals?
Time will tell.
I have spoken to a few Indian owners who are very unsure of this move but hoping that Polaris will return this brand to it's iconic status.
In other news:
In Bathurst NB loud motorcycles are being banned
In southern AB, the Hot Rods & Harley's event has been recognized for it's fund raising efforts
In ON, the rider killed in a Sarnia crash has been identidfied.
In Los Angeles and NY City you are going to be able to hail a motorcycle cab!
Have a happy hump day and if you are fortunate enough to be riding today, PLEASE - ride like everyone around you is blind, can not see you and IS out to get you.