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I have a 2017 Roadmaster,and it’s funny,I get comments ,mostly “beautiful bike,love the thing on front fender” …and that’s cool,love the bike too .No complaints.But……what do you guys use to diffuse the arguement…” well it’s not the original company like Harley” which I have heard.I I have said….well didn’t HD get bought by AMF in times past….which breaks the “line”.lol.Plus I have named my bike the “ Lone Indian” because the group I am with is the far superior HD,nudge nudge,wink,wink.If I knew the name to Tecumsehs horse I would use that,lol.Just wondering.Thanks.

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Most any person who rides a H-D motorcycle or an Indian motorcycle already knows the facts. Indian Motorcycle founded 1901, Harley Davidson motorcycle founded 1903. It's not like there exists an award, it's just simple facts. If you want to diffuse an argument, point them to any Internet website - Wikipedia is a good starting place.
 

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2019 Indian Chief Vintage Icon (Black/Yellow)
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I counter with Buell. A new idea/concept that Harley shutdown. Polaris took a time-honored brand and revived it with a mix of history and modern concepts. I believe as a group of Indian owners, we encourage all of our models. Indian/Polaris is flexible and adaptable and that creates a wider marketing strategy.
 

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I have had people ask what it is and make comments on it's most excellent appearance. I have a 2019 RM. One woman in a parking lot liked it a lot. Asked how much it cost lol. And wanted to take a picture of it. Sure it's in public, feel free. Get a lot of compliments on it. Haven't been asked yet what kind of Harley it is... :ROFLMAO: Thumbs up in traffic. The manager where I bought it said you'd get a lot of comments on it when out riding. And it's not even got the vintage bags and leather and tassels and stuff. Was driving my friend around the city today and I spotted a gorgeous RM cream green and white down town Philadelphia and had the leather tassels from the grips and really nice brown leather seats.
 
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2019 Roadmaster
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I bought an Indian just because I didn't want a Harley. thats what I always say - and its the truth. I had a very elderly woman say to me one day "that's a really nice Indian". Dont know her age but assumed late 80's. Honestly, I appreciated that single compliment more than any other, and there's been many.
 

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When I bought my RM, in early 2015, I had some hard looks from some HD riders on the road and some grousing at group events. Over time that has pretty much gone away as the amount of Indians has grown and Polaris has proven that it is in for the long haul. Mine is the red/cream paint and is pretty uncommon as I only see one or two a year and it still turns heads. I get a lot of positive looks and feedback from riders of all brands who comment on the vintage look. One lady at a stoplight asked if I rebuilt it myself! This was followed by a forehead slap by her husband and a 'thanks' from me.
 

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I was once asked by some HD riders if I was a disgruntled Harley rider. I said no, I just like the looks, styling of the Indian. I used to ride Harley and I know the history, "buy anything but an Indian". That said I went on to point out how Polaris didn't try to copy Harley including the sound. I mentioned I thought under certain circumstances that it sounded like a Jacobs radial airplane engine. Turns out all 3 of these guys were airplane mechanics. We got along just fine!
 

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Out for a lengthy ride on Saturday with my '17 Silver Metallic/Crimson Burgundy Springfield and my first run in was with a guy on a '18 Fatboy. He mentioned exactly why I purchased the Indian in the first place, 'it looks like a motorcycle should look like', in particular he loves the chromed out Thunderstroke engine. Later on the ride, an older woman waiting in her car while her daughter was shopping asked about the bike, and then a few guys in the parking lot came over to gawk, and finally when I stopped for a small pizza at Serious Pizza in Ilwaco, WA I picked up a few more gawkers and compliments on the 'look' of the bike. After lunch, I decided I needed to practice riding in 700 mph crosswinds, so I motored across the Astoria/Megler bridge down to Cannon Beach, and then turned around and headed back up the coast home. Jeez, that bridge. Anyway, with so many bikes looking the same these days, kind of like it seems all cars have the same shape anymore, people really notice and like the look of the classic valanced fenders, shiny chrome and clean lines of the Springfield, and Vintage baggers.
 

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I've heard it all, since I started out on a Honda Shadow, and currently ride a '17 Willow Green/Cream Roadmaster.

Shadow- "That's a girl's bike"..."when are you going to get a bigger bike?"..."when are you going to buy an American bike?"...on and on...

Indian- "Nice POLARIS!"..."You know that's not a REAL Indian, right?"...some HD riders won't even acknowledge me when I say "Hi", but their buddies on metric bikes will. Ride to the CVMA Nationals, and Indians made up maybe 10% of the bikes there.

My standard replies vary... "what do you ride...wait, let me guess... a black Street Glide?"..."you know AMF bought HD back in the day, and they were making snowmobiles long before Polaris came along"..."you're just cranky because your bike spends more time in the shop than on the street"..."hey, man, that's a nice FLXHLGBTWTFBBQ you got there!"

What's funny is that, no matter where I ride, my bike gets all the attention, especially when I was stationed in Germany. I had the only WG/C Indian Roadmaster in Bavaria. When I went to the Indian Rider's Fest in Czech, I was one of three WG/C Roadmasters, and the fest had riders from all over Europe. When I walk out into the parking lot, I can always tell where my bike is, even in a sea of other bikes.
 

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Neither the HD or Indian companies of today are in any way comparable to what they were 100 years ago, 75 years ago, or even 20 years ago. (Other than HD still being head-quartered in Milwaukee.) Both brands have their own storied past. Both have had ownership and management changes. Both have had good times and bad times.

All that past history is cool to talk about, but what really matters is how their products compare at the time someone is looking to buy a motorcycle. If an HD owner gives me any guff, I just say that I test rode HDs and Indians, and I bought the one I liked best.

Come to think about it, that's also how I chose my wife!
 

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Been there, done that . . . the dumbest question is "What kind of Harley is that?"
Worse was when Gilroy was building them with Harley clone engines. I've actually had guys tell me that "Indians are built by Harley.
Of course I corrected them.
I've heard it all, since I started out on a Honda Shadow, and currently ride a '17 Willow Green/Cream Roadmaster.

Shadow- "That's a girl's bike"..."when are you going to get a bigger bike?"..."when are you going to buy an American bike?"...on and on...

Indian- "Nice POLARIS!"..."You know that's not a REAL Indian, right?"...some HD riders won't even acknowledge me when I say "Hi", but their buddies on metric bikes will. Ride to the CVMA Nationals, and Indians made up maybe 10% of the bikes there.

My standard replies vary... "what do you ride...wait, let me guess... a black Street Glide?"..."you know AMF bought HD back in the day, and they were making snowmobiles long before Polaris came along"..."you're just cranky because your bike spends more time in the shop than on the street"..."hey, man, that's a nice FLXHLGBTWTFBBQ you got there!"

What's funny is that, no matter where I ride, my bike gets all the attention, especially when I was stationed in Germany. I had the only WG/C Indian Roadmaster in Bavaria. When I went to the Indian Rider's Fest in Czech, I was one of three WG/C Roadmasters, and the fest had riders from all over Europe. When I walk out into the parking lot, I can always tell where my bike is, even in a sea of other bikes.
I'm on an '18 Willow Green/Cream Vintage and it never fails to turn heads.
 

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I've heard it all, since I started out on a Honda Shadow, and currently ride a '17 Willow Green/Cream Roadmaster.

Shadow- "That's a girl's bike"..."when are you going to get a bigger bike?"..."when are you going to buy an American bike?"...on and on...

Indian- "Nice POLARIS!"..."You know that's not a REAL Indian, right?"...some HD riders won't even acknowledge me when I say "Hi", but their buddies on metric bikes will. Ride to the CVMA Nationals, and Indians made up maybe 10% of the bikes there.

My standard replies vary... "what do you ride...wait, let me guess... a black Street Glide?"..."you know AMF bought HD back in the day, and they were making snowmobiles long before Polaris came along"..."you're just cranky because your bike spends more time in the shop than on the street"..."hey, man, that's a nice FLXHLGBTWTFBBQ you got there!"

What's funny is that, no matter where I ride, my bike gets all the attention, especially when I was stationed in Germany. I had the only WG/C Indian Roadmaster in Bavaria. When I went to the Indian Rider's Fest in Czech, I was one of three WG/C Roadmasters, and the fest had riders from all over Europe. When I walk out into the parking lot, I can always tell where my bike is, even in a sea of other bikes.
I'm on an '18 Willow Green/Cream Vintage and it never fails to turn heads. I'm retreading this reply that I left for another guy with the same color scheme on a Roadmaster.
 

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I have a 2017 Roadmaster,and it’s funny,I get comments ,mostly “beautiful bike,love the thing on front fender” …and that’s cool,love the bike too .No complaints.But……what do you guys use to diffuse the arguement…” well it’s not the original company like Harley” which I have heard.I I have said….well didn’t HD get bought by AMF in times past….which breaks the “line”.lol.Plus I have named my bike the “ Lone Indian” because the group I am with is the far superior HD,nudge nudge,wink,wink.If I knew the name to Tecumsehs horse I would use that,lol.Just wondering.Thanks.

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Here's the deal. Indian had a superior engine design right from the start, The reason the Gilroys failed left and right was because they were still using the inferior Harley after market engine design. Polaris recognized the clear superiority of the original engine and improved on it with modern head technology and manufacturing techniques. Let's compare. Indian: gear driven cams (3) allowing straight up push rod configuration. Harley: single, gear driven chain driven cam which explains the crooked push rods and sleeves that are leak prone or two chain driven cams. Indian: Gear driven transmission train. Harley: chain drive from primary to transmission. Indian: smooth at idle. Harley: shake your bones at idle. Indian: really cool, lighted war bonnet fender ornament. Harley:..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
 

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I own a 2021 Roadmaster. Get nothing but compliments by bikers and non-bikers, and heck even some head nods from Harley guys around here. Every now and then and old timer will have a double take. Then say "INDIAN!" "When did they start doing that?" Then I tell them about the Gilroy's and then the Polaris parent company. Then they will say "Wow, nice bike" and then "Puttin Harley in their place." as they walk off.
p.s. at least our C.E.O. isn't from Germany
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Here's the deal. Indian had a superior engine design right from the start, The reason the Gilroys failed left and right was because they were still using the inferior Harley after market engine design. Polaris recognized the clear superiority of the original engine and improved on it with modern head technology and manufacturing techniques. Let's compare. Indian: gear driven cams (3) allowing straight up push rod configuration. Harley: single, gear driven chain driven cam which explains the crooked push rods and sleeves that are leak prone or two chain driven cams. Indian: Gear driven transmission train. Harley: chain drive from primary to transmission. Indian: smooth at idle. Harley: shake your bones at idle. Indian: really cool, lighted war bonnet fender ornament. Harley:..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I read an article awhile back in which the designers stated that they wanted to "fix" that, but the die-hard H-D customers didn't like how smooth it ran when they did.
 
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