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So, I've been reading some pretty negative comments from butt hurt "other brand" riders who say that Polaris has no right to advertise or use the "America's First Motorcycle Company" since the original company in Springfield went bankrupt in '53.

Sounds to me that "those" guys are pissed because they got beat on the nostalgia card. Damned whiners. :cool:

Do you think Polaris should use the "America's First Motorcycle Company" moniker?

What say you?

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Indian Motorcycles were born in 1901. The Company is still Indian no matter who owns them! I love the fact that Polaris has stepped up to the plate and decided to continue to manufacture this brand! I ride what i want, not what someone says i should! GFY
 
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Unless some other manufacturer can prove they they were building bikes earlier than that nothing wrong with it.It isn't like they said " Building motorcycles since 1901"...
 

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Bankruptcy means that the assets of, or the "entity itself" are insolvent and afforded protections under the law. In many cases the entity is purchased at a discount by a suitor and continues to live and breathe. Many a company in America have gone thru the process. K-Mart, Automobile manufacturers etc...........that are now alive again. It is a finances and debt issue. Sometimes a company is liquidated but that never happened to Indian that I am aware of.
 

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It's kinda stretching the truth a bit, but we do have a fair amount of Texans on this site lol , on the other hand it's my understanding that Polaris bought all the rights to Indian, so in that light I would think it's reasonable to use the 1901 reference. Nothing changed that when Indian was under Duponts umbrella so other than a larger period of time passing after the bankruptcy I don't see much difference.
 

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If you follow the brand name through the years, you'll see there were other owners of the brand that made Indian Motorcycles. I have a 1956 Indian Tomahawk that was built in the UK. They continued the name under Brockhouse and Royal Enfield. There were other makers that continued making off-road bikes as well.
All of that does change the fact that the tag line they don't like is still true no matter if the original company failed or not.
Consider this: if Polaris, Girloy, and Kings Mountain had not restarted the Indian Motorcycle brand in the United States, the statement that "Indian is America's first motorcycle company" would still be a factual statement just the same as Harley Davidson was started in 1903.
 

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If you follow the brand name through the years, you'll see there were other owners of the brand that made Indian Motorcycles. I have a 1956 Indian Tomahawk that was built in the UK. They continued the name under Brockhouse and Royal Enfield. There were other makers that continued making off-road bikes as well.
All of that does change the fact that the tag line they don't like is still true no matter if the original company failed or not.
Consider this: if Polaris, Girloy, and Kings Mountain had not restarted the Indian Motorcycle brand in the United States, the statement that "Indian is America's first motorcycle company" would still be a factual statement just the same as Harley Davidson was started in 1903.
In any competition first is first, and the one that won. Second is the first loser
 

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In any competition first is first, and the one that won. Second is the first loser
And that is why the whiners are whining. They don't like being number two.
 
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Polaris is not saying it is Americas first bike. The Indian is the first American bike.
Is Harley 100 years old or has it change owners a few times also?

Sounds petty!
They're not even claiming that. They are claiming the America's First Motorcycle Company.
 

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Howdy Folks,
The Indian heritage stuff is fun and interesting, and I like the retro styling of the Chiefs, but no one is buying new Indians because of what the company was doing decades ago, though an appeal to the company's storied past is doubtless a good marketing ploy. The H-D faithful whine because an American-made Indian can't be dismissed and ignored as up-start brand Victory was, and the vintage Indian guys don't like the commoners crowding into their exclusive and ever more expensive club. And that's what I think about that.
--- Randall
 

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Howdy Folks,
...no one is buying new Indians because of what the company was doing decades ago, though an appeal to the company's storied past is doubtless a good marketing ploy.
I beg to differ with you on your first point. Both designs of the Chief and the Scout hearken back to the designs of what Indian was producing decades ago. That has been the main attraction behind a lot of people buying the motorcycles: their look. If this point was not important to Polaris or the buyer, Polaris could have produced motorcycles that looked nothing like what Indian produced in the 20s through the 50s...you know, something like Victory. They didn't start off with clean sheets of paper. They started off with the history books and took their ideas and designs from what Indian did in the past.
 

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I beg to differ with you on your first point. Both designs of the Chief and the Scout hearken back to the designs of what Indian was producing decades ago. That has been the main attraction behind a lot of people buying the motorcycles: their look. If this point was not important to Polaris or the buyer, Polaris could have produced motorcycles that looked nothing like what Indian produced in the 20s through the 50s...you know, something like Victory. They didn't start off with clean sheets of paper. They started off with the history books and took their ideas and designs from what Indian did in the past.
Yes, there is a stylistic link, and its a big part of why I'm riding a Chieftain rather than a Vision, I like the retro styling of the Indian, but it is very superficial. The new Chiefs and Scouts don't share the same kind of throw-back engineering still visible in H-D's engines, and why would we want them to? The skirted fenders and War Bonnet running lights are great fun, but, for most of us, plunking down $10,000 to $25,000, we want a thoroughly modern machine with all of the reliability, power, handling, and brakes that modern engineering can give us. I dig the look and the history, but not enough to lay out that kind of cash for a 60 hp side-valve with a 3-speed crash gear-box and barely any brakes.

Polaris is doing a masterful job of reviving the grand old marque, and I'm having huge fun with it, but I don't see how you can say there is anything more than style, paint, and marketing linking the new bikes with the old. Are they Indians? Of course they are, built under the legally purchased rights to the Indian Motorcycle brand name, fair and square!
--- Randall
 

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Are they Indians? Of course they are, built under the legally purchased rights to the Indian Motorcycle brand name, fair and square!
--- Randall[/QUOTE]
You are correct, and they have the right to use the moniker "America's First Motorcycle Company" .
Although various companies purchased the rights and went bankrupt or sold out doesn't change the fact that they started in 1901.
And unlike HD none of the prior companies nor Polaris as far as I know, have taken any goverment bailout money.
 

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Yes, there is a stylistic link, and its a big part of why I'm riding a Chieftain rather than a Vision, I like the retro styling of the Indian, but it is very superficial. The new Chiefs and Scouts don't share the same kind of throw-back engineering still visible in H-D's engines, and why would we want them to? The skirted fenders and War Bonnet running lights are great fun, but, for most of us, plunking down $10,000 to $25,000, we want a thoroughly modern machine with all of the reliability, power, handling, and brakes that modern engineering can give us. I dig the look and the history, but not enough to lay out that kind of cash for a 60 hp side-valve with a 3-speed crash gear-box and barely any brakes.

Polaris is doing a masterful job of reviving the grand old marque, and I'm having huge fun with it, but I don't see how you can say there is anything more than style, paint, and marketing linking the new bikes with the old. Are they Indians? Of course they are, built under the legally purchased rights to the Indian Motorcycle brand name, fair and square!
--- Randall
I am definitely not saying there is much more to the look than the styling. That's my point: they went to that styling because no one wants the outdated mechanics of a 50+ year old motorcycle. Well, I do, but I have been told other people don't. ;) Besides, HD engineering doesn't throw back 50+ years either so that's not really a fair statement. The difference between HD & Indian (or any other motorcycle maker) is engineering and style. If you can't use one, you have to lead with the other.
Polaris did take design elements to make the new engine look like the old machine including creating an engine with a downward firing exhaust. Even the cooling fins are fake on these new machines but they look like modern version of the old engines. They also returned to the combined engine/tranny make up of the old bikes rather than stick with the HD separate components which are easier to part out and modify. In the original run of Indians, they were modern, reliable, and engineering forward for that time. All those aspects play in Polaris' favour. The Springfield days were about the engineering and the styling. Polaris had to dump the engineering as it was outdated. All that was left was the styling. Polaris has combined that style, with a modern twist, and some modern engineering. I, for one, am hoping they return to mission of the Springfield days where they make engineering improvements on the bike that aren't already out in the world. If Polaris had released the engineering that went behind these new motorcycles without the styling of Indian, they could have been released as a Victory. The fact that they didn't do that speaks to the history and legacy of the brand which brought us this amazingly styled motorcycle.
 

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Wasn't harley owned by Italians in the 80's ,my first bike was a 250cc 2 stroke harley it had harley on the tank but is was build by cagiva ( if i am correct it is a long time ago) made in italy not many harley owners wanna know about that
 

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... Besides, HD engineering doesn't throw back 50+ years either so that's not really a fair statement...
Loki, I think we agree more than not, but I maintain that there are elements of the H-D Big Twin and Sportster engines that trace back to the early days:
tapered pin bolt-together crankshaft w/ knife & fork rods running in roller bearings
45 degree cylinder V-angle
the XL's 4 cams and roller lifters
chain primary
the pushrod covers have hardly changed at all since the '30s for the Big Twins and the '50s for XL

A mechanic from 1957 would find relatively little, outside of the electronics, on a modern Sportster that would puzzle him; that would not be the case for for a '50s Indian mechanic examining a Polaris-built Chief or Scout.
--- Randall
 

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So, I've been reading some pretty negative comments from butt hurt "other brand" riders who say that Polaris has no right to advertise or use the "America's First Motorcycle Company" since the original company in Springfield went bankrupt in '53.

Sounds to me that "those" guys are pissed because they got beat on the nostalgia card. Damned whiners. :cool:

Do you think Polaris should use the "America's First Motorcycle Company" moniker?

What say you?

.
Polaris has done their homework and created a modern Indian motorcycle with advanced features and a killer power plant. This is only the beginning, especially for the folks who will do the mods. It was disheartening to hear the tour guide at the Springfield Indian museums in Springfield MA refer to the new Polaris Indians as "not Indians"during the last Indian day in 2014. I heard this from other Indian riders that were pissed to say the least and the guide is the guide. The guide was lucky not to get a knuckle sandwich for his ignorance. Maybe the historian/guide should ride an old Indian and the new before spouting off. Of course the new Indians are not the old Indians. The new Indians are 61 years newer (2014) than the old failed Indians that were managed out of existence by the upper management. The new Indians are better with ABS etc. and still have many of the fine old design features. Yes, Polaris should use the moniker because the motorcycle and riders deserve it. Can't say how many people have looked at my bike and said "I didn't know Indian was still in business" Here's to the next 114!
 
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