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As Indian has begun coming out with more models, there has been the inevitable talk about many of the shared looks between the newer models and some HD models.

I suppose it is as much about form following function as it is anything else, but ultimately, the type of bike you want to ride is only going to look and feel a certain way.

For me, it was the Road King and the Heritage Special. Those are the type of bikes I am drawn to. I was getting ready to purchase a Road King when I stumbled upon an Indian Dealership four years ago in Northern Washington. The Chief Vintage blew me out of the water. I knew what I wanted. It had the style I had longed for since I first saw my first Indian way back when.

The Chief Vintage became my Chief King. Other than that small connection, Indian was Indian and HD was well, HD.

All was great until the FTR came out. I went up to see Travis make the three jumps in Las Vegas. Over and over again, it was drummed up about how the FTR was the only bike worthy of those jumps because it was reminiscent of the type of bike Evel jumped. You guessed it, the XR-750. And while there were many, many differences, form followed function and yeh, it kinda reminded you that there was a bit of a connection.

Then, it was the new Chieftain, dubbed the Chief Glide by so many Indian enthusiast.

Now, we see Indian has gone one step further and come up with a fixed fairing cycle and folks are already calling it the Road Chief.

The only bike to not seem like it has any connection to HD is of course the Scout. It truly is in a league of its own. A Sportster it ain't.

As for the Chief and its brothers, the Vintage, Chieftain Classic, and the Roadmaster, well, they really are their own bikes in most ways that matter.

But, with a little imagination, it is easy to see that Indian is well on its way to building a motorcycle for HD lovers everywhere.

What do you think? Should we be upset that there seems to be a connection in form between the two companies?
 

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You forgot the Springfield.
It's one of the best Indian offers.

I had the Scout, the SF, & now the New Design Chieftain.. love them all, & if my house was paid for, I'd have kept the Scout & SF.
I understand about not wanting Indian to drift too far from the retro look that drew us all to it.. well the Scout & my gramps in line 4 drew me to Indian.. but change is always good. Drives innovation & broader customer range. I don't want to see Indian lose the classic look.. don't care for the New Road Chief, but I didn't care for my new Chieftain when I first saw a pic of it either. Once the bike is in front of you & you are cruising down the road, it's hard to give a true assessment.

I do wish Indian would step out of the box a bit more, look at the Motto Guzzi MGX-21.. that's stepping out. Though understandably Indian needs to draw the customers that are teetering between the big 2.
If Indian can keep just enough of the heritage look but draw enough people in that appeal to HD they have accomplished the goal... IMO
 

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My frustration with Indian's new styling direction is it seems to be a mix of Harley, the metrics, and their own now defunct Victory with no distinct personality or brand identity. Look at any Porsche ever made. Without any badges you can immediately tell it's a Porsche. Even now they don't only make sports cars and have added crossovers, sedans and wagons to the mix, they still all look immediately, distinctively Porsche. They have a distinct styling language. Same goes for Jeep. Harley's style has evolved over time, but still has a family look, for the most part.

Indian's styling language was always Art Deco. That's partially because of the era they came from and then initially stopped production, but even in the 20s and 30s, before the valanced fenders, Indians styling was more flowing and swoopy (IE art deco), like a Jaguar E type or Delahaye 135, while Harley was more blocky and industrial, like a 1970 Chevelle.

If you are designing a fixed fairing bike, where by definition the fairing is connected to the bodywork, why not have it flow smoothly and beautifully into the body like an Indian should? Even though fixed fairing bikes weren't around in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, it seems like translating that new body style into that timeless design language should be an easy enough job for any competent designer, since, by its nature, it already lends itself to it.
 

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The Polaris goal is to mine HD market share..
What were you expecting?

The initial art deco Indian styling cues where to get brand recognition.
Now it’s just a outright attempt to out HD, HD.
Personally I don’t see it yet.

This new Indian RoadGlide is a once tried Cruiser attempt by Yamaha with the 60 degree motor.

If Indian goes really big cube with it.. They will be breaking new ground. (A original direction)
I’m very interested in experiencing the characteristics of this new power plant.

We’ll see if their on to something or not.
 

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I don’t care what they do. I bought a motorcycle. My only criteria is it be an American brand. I honestly don’t think much about image, history or identity. I just love to ride and riding is Good on an Indian.
 

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Are you describing the Vision?
The Vision fits the description and looks more like an Indian than the spy photos of Indian's new bike. I don't like the Vision's headlight shape and I think they overdid it a bit on the bags and tour pack, but that's basically what I'm talking about, yes. It's design all flows together from tip to tail in a single cohesive design.
 

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The Vision fits the description and looks more like an Indian than the spy photos of Indian's new bike. I don't like the Vision's headlight shape and I think they overdid it a bit on the bags and tour pack, but that's basically what I'm talking about, yes. It's design all flows together from tip to tail in a single cohesive design.
I agree with you. I'd like the fairing to blend with lower fairings, then the saddle bags and trunk following the art deco styling. Sort of like an Indian version of the BMW K1600 America.
 

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As Indian has begun coming out with more models, there has been the inevitable talk about many of the shared looks between the newer models and some HD models.


All was great until the FTR came out. I went up to see Travis make the three jumps in Las Vegas. Over and over again, it was drummed up about how the FTR was the only bike worthy of those jumps because it was reminiscent of the type of bike Evel jumped. You guessed it, the XR-750. And while there were many, many differences, form followed function and yeh, it kinda reminded you that there was a bit of a connection.
This is not correct. The famous Caesars Palace Jump and Crash that made Evil famous was on a Triumph Bonneville 650...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is not correct. The famous Caesars Palace Jump and Crash that made Evil famous was on a Triumph Bonneville 650...
Yes, Evel did use other bikes, but it seems to me as a kid the only one I really ever associated him with was the HD.
 
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