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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy Folks,
A poster on one of the Scout threads asked, "Why all the interest in an in-line four, it wasn't even an original Indian design?"

I think that's a pretty interesting question; I've got some ideas on the subject and I'd be interested in hearing what y'all have to say. The rebirth of a great American motorcycle marque is an exciting thing.

Its true the the Henderson-4 was a design acquired by Springfield Indian, but how is that any different than the Indian brand being acquired by Polaris? Brands and designs for products are bought and sold all the time. The best, most valuable brands, develop a kind of family identity, which can engender an almost family-type loyalty from customers. That is what makes the Indian brand valuable and has kept the marque alive all of these years since the demise of Springfield Indian, despite the indignities heaped upon the proud old name.

The Polaris Indian wisely played the nostalgia card in designing the new Chief, offering a classically-styled up-date of the 1940's American Indian motorcycle that rumbles through our folk-memory.

I think they also made a wise choice in offering the Scout to appeal to the market for a thoroughly modern American motorcycle, and I think we'll see sport-bike and adventure-bike variations on that theme.

So, why an In-Line Four? Nostalgia sells, as Harley-Davidson has demonstrated for decades, and the Indian In-Line Four is too valuable a property to ignore. The originals, as produced by Springfield Indian, were beautiful, imposing machines, famed for smoothness, power, and speed. How can Polaris Indian not build a modern version of this bike?

They've even got an engine that could be adapted for the purpose, the aluminum-block GM four that's powering the new Polaris Sling-shot 3-wheeler, Imagine that mill in a Roadmaster-style chassis as a luxo-tourer. How about an automatic transmission option? Maybe a touring trike or sidecar model?

Any of y'all maybe got the skills to photoshop something like that up?

--- Randall
 

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Uh yeah but every year Harley Davidson does a complete retooling after extensive marketing research.
They don't settle for just one new engine or one new model.
They revamp the entire T-shirt line every year.

They also add at least one new color every year.

How do you think Indian can compete with a track record like Harley has built up over the last three decades?
 

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The introduction of an Indian four would be intriguing, but I don't think I want to look at the bare EcoTec bloc in my bike. They build those engines a short distance from me and I've been through the factory. It's an impressive engine, but not what I'd call a "beauty".

What I'd rather see Indian introduce next is a "light-heavy" weight cruiser. A bike sandwiched between the Scout and Chief/Chieftain. I've had motorcycles in that near 1/2 ton class and I just don't want to deal with that anymore. I think there might be another thread dealing with that idea, but wanted to react to Randall's question. Now if Indian can downsize an inline 4 or V-4 into a "light-heavy" cruiser, I'd be tempted...
 

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Uh yeah but every year Harley Davidson does a complete retooling after extensive marketing research.
They don't settle for just one new engine or one new model.
They revamp the entire T-shirt line every year.

They also add at least one new color every year.

How do you think Indian can compete with a track record like Harley has built up over the last three decades?
Very Interesting. I had no idea of the revamping T-shirt line. Now that's impressive.
 

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BTW. It would be great to see Indian come out with a Four. It would fit nicely in the line up between the Chief and the Scout
 

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Seriously, an inline 4 is the only thing that would make me look twice at a new Indian.
I'm so satisfied with my Vintage.

But close your eyes and think of a Chevy Vega with a glass pack muffler....
I'm thinking this is one engine ya might want to keep stock mufflers on
 

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Now Randall...I think you may have hit upon something that HD dropped in'09, that being a sidecar. There is a growing population of riders that will quite riding when they are too old because the legs, knees or ankles are not as apt as they used to be. Dropping your two wheeler once or twice will make you consider only three options...quitting, trike or sidecar. Keep in mind that more than just a few of us aging bikers will give the trike or sidecar options serious thought...I know I will.
For no other reason, the side car has been done by Indian and as such needs to be reintroduced much the same as our beloved Chiefs. Enter the in-line four. You are correct the in-line four is part of the Indian history albeit brief. The trick is for Polaris to decide if there is a market for such a machine...Liam
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The introduction of an Indian four would be intriguing, but I don't think I want to look at the bare EcoTec bloc in my bike. They build those engines a short distance from me and I've been through the factory. It's an impressive engine, but not what I'd call a "beauty".

What I'd rather see Indian introduce next is a "light-heavy" weight cruiser. A bike sandwiched between the Scout and Chief/Chieftain. I've had motorcycles in that near 1/2 ton class and I just don't want to deal with that anymore. I think there might be another thread dealing with that idea, but wanted to react to Randall's question. Now if Indian can downsize an inline 4 or V-4 into a "light-heavy" cruiser, I'd be tempted...
Ok, so maybe the Eco-Tec is a bit of an industrial lump, but if Polaris can engineer the good looking Scout liquid-cooled twin does anyone doubt they could build a sweet hi-po in-line four? Not that I want a four, I'm a confirmed big twin man, but there's plenty of folks out there raised on multis who might find such a machine appealing.

As for taking on "The Motor Company", Big Daddy, look at all of the innovative products Polaris Industries has brought out across their extensive motor sports product line in the last two years. I'd say they're up and comers.

--- Randall
 

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Uh yeah but every year Harley Davidson does a complete retooling after extensive marketing research.
They don't settle for just one new engine or one new model.
They revamp the entire T-shirt line every year.

They also add at least one new color every year.

How do you think Indian can compete with a track record like Harley has built up over the last three decades?
Hilarious!!!
 

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Texas Hill Country
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Ok, so maybe the Eco-Tec is a bit of an industrial lump, but if Polaris can engineer the good looking Scout liquid-cooled twin does anyone doubt they could build a sweet hi-po in-line four? Not that I want a four, I'm a confirmed big twin man, but there's plenty of folks out there raised on multis who might find such a machine appealing.

As for taking on "The Motor Company", Big Daddy, look at all of the innovative products Polaris Industries has brought out across their extensive motor sports product line in the last two years. I'd say they're up and comers.


Randall, I'm confident that Indian is going to continue to amaze. We are going to see all kinds of engineering feats from them. The Scout is just a peek of what the are capable of doing. Over and above being an innovative design, it demonstrates that Indian will not be bound by convention and tradition.
 

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Uh yeah but every year Harley Davidson does a complete retooling after extensive marketing research.
They don't settle for just one new engine or one new model.
They revamp the entire T-shirt line every year.

They also add at least one new color every year.


How do you think Indian can compete with a track record like Harley has built up over the last three decades?

Easy Now BD, LoL! You once loved the motor company.
 

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Uh yeah but every year Harley Davidson does a complete retooling after extensive marketing research.
They don't settle for just one new engine or one new model.
They revamp the entire T-shirt line every year.

They also add at least one new color every year.


How do you think Indian can compete with a track record like Harley has built up over the last three decades?



Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?:p
 

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Texas Hill Country
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Since we are in a thread about the inline 4....
Let me just say that I expect Indian to bring us one....uh...
I'm pretty sure Indian will be first to market with the design.

If the past is any indication, we can look for another ten years of under the sink plumbing jobs from the other guys.
 

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The introduction of an Indian four would be intriguing, but I don't think I want to look at the bare EcoTec bloc in my bike. They build those engines a short distance from me and I've been through the factory. It's an impressive engine, but not what I'd call a "beauty".

What I'd rather see Indian introduce next is a "light-heavy" weight cruiser. A bike sandwiched between the Scout and Chief/Chieftain. I've had motorcycles in that near 1/2 ton class and I just don't want to deal with that anymore. I think there might be another thread dealing with that idea, but wanted to react to Randall's question. Now if Indian can downsize an inline 4 or V-4 into a "light-heavy" cruiser, I'd be tempted...
My 750 Honda Magna is a V4 (not inline, but still) and it weighs in about 750 lbs. wet.

My first thought on an inline four is that it is expensive to produce a new motor like that, but I guess it's no different than the 69 CI engine they have in the Scout. I am curious to see when they introduce this rather than "if" they do. It is almost as iconic as the Chief itself.

Hell, I wouldn't mind seeing a jockey shifter, even. You know, keep it a bit old school in different areas and keep reviving some of that nostalgia. I have even thought of putting a jockey shifter on my 2015 ( when I get it ). I would want to put the clutch lever right on the shifter rather than on the left foot control as some have done.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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We I think it's a helluva idea, after all the Excelssior/Henderson 4 wins the Cannonball bike race every year. I know Jay Leno has a couple of 4's and did a video on Jays garage on youtube. That was very interesting. Well I went to cannonballwebsite and found a Harley had won and what it came down to was winners age as 10 entrants had perfect scores, but 3 of the 10 were Excelsior 4's a 1912 and a1913, I think the bikes have to be 100 years old, geez can you imagine that.
 

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I see that ones been sitting a while. Somebody would still pay big $ for it though. Just not me.
 
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