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I think, in short order, the motorcycle needs to be something that is accessible to a wider audience.
In looking at the Chief, like it's HD counterparts, it's very niche and only so many will purchase one each year. In time, I'm sure Indian will offer some form of
ultra-deluxe model for the factory custom enthusiast.
However, that's catering to a smaller market.

Then there's the Scout.
The Scout is doing the opposite of what the Chief is doing. It appeals to a much broader market than the Chief, in part, due to it's price range and, in part do to it's no nonsense practical
design that offers something akin of a capable sport cruiser. Massage the engine a bit, and tune the suspension and it may become something of a super-cruiser, as "IF" it were Indian's
answer to Ducati Diavel, which has been described as being a cruiser with a genuine sport bike pedigree. Nevertheless, the Ducati Diavel, as beautiful a mechanical masterpiece it might
be, is still an exotic. Even it's Monster cousin is something of an exotic in the sea of Big 4 crotch rockets and street fighters.

Sport bikes will always appeal to younger demographics and Cruisers will naturally appeal to the older demographics. The rest, (Sport Tourers, Dual Sport/Adventure, Classic Retro)
will find their place as well. Of course trends will change with the passage of time.

That's the gist most any rider will understand.

The trend towards more riders on bikes in the US will have more to do with cost of living and cost of transportation colliding with lifestyle.
To be perfectly honest, most Americans are kind of looney-tune when it comes to personal transportation. Everyone has a million choices.
A car? A pickup? An SUV? A van? A motorcycle? Often, they buy what they like and when they are financially able, not necessarily the vehicle they actually need.

I personally happen to be very experienced in traffic jams. The worst was when I used to commute 125 miles to and from work each night between
San Diego and Gardena, which is near LAX.
I would then drive a truck, pulling a set of doubles, half-way to San Francisco and turn and burn and come back. IF I didn't leave the yard by 6:30 am,
I'd be screwed alllll the way back home. Shudders. Regardless the traffic, I was always driving 600 miles a day, affording maybe 4-6 hours max. sleep.
From a professional truck drivers' point of view, people truly DON'T know how to drive. I don't care if they are driving a car or riding a bike, I've seen more
than I care to know. I've come to the conclusion that not everyone is meant to be behind the wheel, just the same as not everyone is meant to be a doctor.

Nevertheless, I think more and more 2 wheelers will find their way on the road some time in the future.
If anyone has ever paid attention to Asian society, when presented on tv, they will likely have noticed the number of bikes on the road over there.
IF Americans don't start producing again like they had in the past, some day, bicycles may be the luxurious means of transportation this side of a horse and carriage.
Which by the way, might be a rare sight considering that there seems to be a trend of horses being slaughtered for human consumption.

Ehhh... :p

Oh yeah...

When the age of motoring draws to a close and the bicycle age comes to a close and man is forced to walk again.
The focus will be on shoes.
 

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Why all the talk about what a Scout could be? It is what it is. If I wanted a Diavel I'd be over on the Ducati site. One of the attractions of the Scout is that it doesn't have all the traction control, electronic gee gaws and the need to control your power settings. For a cruiser there is nothing I've ever ridden that runs like the Diavel but for me I wanted a down to earth get on and ride water cooled belt drive. I guess we get dated when we like bikes that don't need gear indicators and gas gauges. Indian has captured the spirit of the old ride with modern technology. Less is more. Enjoy the journey.
 

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I guess we get dated when we like bikes that don't need gear indicators and gas gauges. Indian has captured the spirit of the old ride with modern technology. Less is more. Enjoy the journey.
Yup, you must be ancient... ;) But Mycool and I would still ride with ya! :cool:
 

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Right off the bat:

"Ever wondered why you don't ride a motorcycle? It's not because your mom says they're dangerous. It's because no one's ever demonstrated their advantages to you in a way that matters, then offered you the one you want."

Horse pebbles. It's cause the advantages of a motorcycle include danger and weather, which our zeitgeist incites terror of both.

... and his thinking goes steadily downhill from there.

What do you hear when people marvel that you arrived by motorcycle?

"I had a bike, but the old lady pussy whipped me into selling it soon as we had a child" (not in those words).
"I can't believe you rode that here in the rain."
"I had a friend died on a motorcycle."
"Don't you get cold?"
"I couldn't trust traffic not to run over me."
"I have to dress nice for work." (a popular variant for the weather objection.)

You will even hear these excuses from someone who owns a motorcycle, but puts on 1200 miles a year, cause his Hardley Ableson is just his pirate poseur toy, not his vehicle. Not a one of them whatever will say: "You know, no one ever demonstrated the advantages of a motorcycle then offered me the one I want." Period.
 

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Did you buy the Indian Scout grandpa?

No, I bought the aluminum siding.

(Thanks to HD for the ad)
 

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Why all the talk about what a Scout could be? It is what it is. If I wanted a Diavel I'd be over on the Ducati site. One of the attractions of the Scout is that it doesn't have all the traction control, electronic gee gaws and the need to control your power settings. For a cruiser there is nothing I've ever ridden that runs like the Diavel but for me I wanted a down to earth get on and ride water cooled belt drive. I guess we get dated when we like bikes that don't need gear indicators and gas gauges. Indian has captured the spirit of the old ride with modern technology. Less is more. Enjoy the journey.
Ray, Let's broaden our minds. Ok?
Richard-Christoph-1.jpg

CW: What was your design goal as far as making this a modern Scout?
RC: It may break away from the early Scout technology-wise, but it doesn’t break away from it spirit-wise, as far as the legend of the Scout goes. When the Scout came out it was so well received because of its performance. The Scout is all about performing well in all of its environments and scenarios. Its power-to-weight ratio, how a rider feels and interacts on it, a very spirited ride, a competent machine, multifaceted in its disciplines, and in what the rider asks from it. That is the Scout mentality. We carried forward Scout’s identity and impression on the riding public. It captures the spirit, the essence of what Scout was.

CW: How do you answer to those who might have been hoping for an air-cooled 45-degree pushrod engine?
RC: If you want to carry forward the performance, if you want to carry forward with a well-balanced, confident chassis, there are certain avenues you’re going to take. You’re going to focus on weight, on power-to-weight ratio, on the stability of the chassis, on ergonomics, and what you’re asking from it. So I think we answered, and still dedicated this bike to the Scout and didn’t follow the Harley way of thinking to just make it look old, keep it air-cooled, try not to offend the customer, keep it simple. But you know what? The future of the motorcycle industry needs to be pushed. This is the first step in the right direction. Harley’s going to respond, and we’re going to respond, and BMW and everybody’s going to respond. Friendly competition will evolve the industry. The more you think about it, the more sense it makes for the longevity of the brand. Pushrod technology and air-cooled is great for some applications, but not for this one.

CYCLE WORLD INTERVIEW: Richard Christoph, Indian Scout Design Team Leader
So tell me, what is the "Spirit Of The Scout"? It sure as hell wasn't just a "cruiser". No, the Spirit Of The Scout was about performance. Rich Christoph CLEARLY points that out.


Listen to what Gary Gray had to say about the future of the Scout:
In closing, since Indian released four different models based on the same platform over the past year, we asked Gary Gray the obvious question: Where is this new engine and chassis going to take the company? While he predictably kept his cards pretty close to his chest, we’ll just let him have the last word while we imagine the possibilities:

As we concepted this vehicle, there are five, 10 other vehicles we can build off of it, but some of them, certainly, as most things do, will go away. We started at the sweet spot with this one, and there’s lots of room to go many directions from where we’re at.”

Source: 2015 Indian Scout First Ride Review
They came up with at least 10 other vehicles! Indeed some of them were probably redundant. But I can see a full compliment of Scouts The Cruiser, Standard Roadster, Cafe Racer, A Dual-Sport/Scrambler/Adventurer, A Sport Tourer, and
possibly, a future bike that turns out to be a direct competitor with the Ducati Diavel.
I can see it plain as day.

People, don't limit yourselves. There are a world of possibilities. But limit yourselves and you'll never realize your full potential.
That being said, if someone wants a Cruiser, they got one, if the want something else that is part of the same brand and model line, by golly give it to 'em.

I'm not saying, nor ever was saying, build the bike this way then replace it with something else. I advocate a full line of different Scouts. Where there is something for everyone.

Nothing wrong with less is more.

Oh, and sorry to inform you but no Kick Start. Less is more. ;)


I say people should ride what they like. If it only goes 35 mph. More power to them... uhh no pun..... If they want bare bones old school, go for it and if they are like Ray, here, who is happy with the Scout, as is, no problem.
Just.... understand that I also support the guy who wants his gear indicator and gas gauge and Essence of Pepperment Schnapps Cologne and a honey on the pillion checked off in the options menu. Seriously, I have no
problems with it. Why should I? Why should anybody?


Ad Slogans:
Less Is More... Walk Barefooted.

During the Winter Snows, Less is More Cold.
 

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I took a HD street 750 on a demo ride the other day. When it was initially announced I thought it would sell a bunch of units. After the demo ride I am not so sure. The engine was strong and it ran well, but it is made for a small person. I'm 5'10" and with the mid controls it was very uncomfortable. The hard core HD crowd running the demo ride we're not impressed with it either, but would not really put it down. One of the comments I heard from them was that "it's just not an old school Harley". I think they were trying to hit a different market segment than the old school Harley crowd, but I'm not sure it will happen as they planned. The Scout on the other hand seems to appeal to a large cross section, except for the "old school Harley crowd"
 

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I took a HD street 750 on a demo ride the other day. When it was initially announced I thought it would sell a bunch of units. After the demo ride I am not so sure. The engine was strong and it ran well, but it is made for a small person. I'm 5'10" and with the mid controls it was very uncomfortable. The hard core HD crowd running the demo ride we're not impressed with it either, but would not really put it down. One of the comments I heard from them was that "it's just not an old school Harley". I think they were trying to hit a different market segment than the old school Harley crowd, but I'm not sure it will happen as they planned. The Scout on the other hand seems to appeal to a large cross section, except for the "old school Harley crowd"
The irony here is that, in my mind, Old School, when applied to bikes, are typically WWII and older, with a residual up to 1950. For Indian The Original IMC bikes are "Old School". Unfortunately, the new ideas that came out
in the late 40s early 50s with regard to the Parallel Twin were simply Indian looking over the horizon. Indian saw what was coming but unfortunately, it's customer base apparently simply wasn't ready.



Consider this '50sh Indian Warrior

warrior.jpg
Looks kinda like the Triumph Bonneville T120, below, don't it?

1280px-ZweiRadMuseumNSU_Triumph_Bonneville.JPG
Source: Triumph Bonneville T120 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indian was looking ahead, back then, and unfortunately the contemporary American market didn't get it. And Indian would fold.

It is not commonly known that Soichiro Honda once owned and rode an Indian 101 Scout. He would go on to develop a motorcycle company that
had pushed the limits of innovation. In 1969, the Honda CB750 Four would be released to the world and turn it on it's head with what is considered
today as the first Super Bike.

What a masterpiece!
HONDA_DREAM-CB750FOUR.jpg
Source: Honda CB750 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indian was an innovative, competitive and forward thinking company.
Considering the language used by Rich Christoph and Gary Gray, it sounds to me that Polaris/Indian, today, plan to push the envelope.
No telling what's in store for Indian's future models.

That being said, old school hard core Harley guys will never be satisfied with anything but the same thing HD has done all along.
 

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Wow, regret reading that drivel. Sorry we have some freedoms here and us old bastards think Harleys and Indians (and Vinnies and Squariels And Trumps And Snortons and....)are cool. As far as choice in bikes? You can buy almost anything for almost any purpose with two or three wheels. Well engineered stuff too. Boy, your daddy have a tractor? Well,go home and...
 

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The irony here is that, in my mind, Old School, when applied to bikes, are typically WWII and older, with a residual up to 1950. For Indian The Original IMC bikes are "Old School". Unfortunately, the new ideas that came out
in the late 40s early 50s with regard to the Parallel Twin were simply Indian looking over the horizon. Indian saw what was coming but unfortunately, it's customer base apparently simply wasn't ready.

Oh, America was ready, though the new parallel twins were a departure for Indian, but when the incompletely-developed and tested twins started grenading their engines that kind of put a damper on things. I doubt Polaris will make that mistake.

As for the dweeb who penned the article that kicked this thread off, he's pretty full of himself. Its easy to play the identity politics game and make broad, disparaging generalizations about folks you don't know and can't be bothered to get to know, easy to stuff people in boxes. In 42 years of riding, and being in the motorcycle business for 15 years, one of the things I've enjoyed the most are the interesting and individualistic people you meet in the motorcycling community. I don't know of any group of people I like better.
--- Randall
 

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The irony here is that, in my mind, Old School, when applied to bikes, are typically WWII and older, with a residual up to 1950. For Indian The Original IMC bikes are "Old School". Unfortunately, the new ideas that came out
in the late 40s early 50s with regard to the Parallel Twin were simply Indian looking over the horizon. Indian saw what was coming but unfortunately, it's customer base apparently simply wasn't ready.

Oh, America was ready, though the new parallel twins were a departure for Indian, but when the incompletely-developed and tested twins started grenading their engines that kind of put a damper on things. I doubt Polaris will make that mistake.

As for the dweeb who penned the article that kicked this thread off, he's pretty full of himself. Its easy to play the identity politics game and make broad, disparaging generalizations about folks you don't know and can't be bothered to get to know, easy to stuff people in boxes. In 42 years of riding, and being in the motorcycle business for 15 years, one of the things I've enjoyed the most are the interesting and individualistic people you meet in the motorcycling community. I don't know of any group of people I like better.
--- Randall
You're correct, America was ready, but not necessarily the Indian crowd. I think Ralph Rogers era Indian's mistake was basically dumping what worked while dumping a new product on the market that, as you put it, grenaded itself. And yes,
that would dampin' things. Another problem was the mil surplus of bikes, then the British pound thing that made the British bikes (among other products) so cheap. Pretty hard to argue against some good products when they cost less. We need not look too far in China's direction.

Something I noticed, though, is one difference between Indian and Harley Davidson is that the HD was managed by the founders and second and third gens. I think that helped HD along. In Indian's case, The founders left hardly 15 years
after they started the company. If my recollection of the facts, are correct, Indian was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world 100 years ago. Then, Hendee and Hedström left the company. Then there was Charles Franklin, the
father of the Chief and Scout. Hendee was the Bicycle Racer/businessman, Hedström was the machinist/inventor, Franklin was the Racer/Designer.

I think those three men embodied what Indian was originally all about and are the force behind the reason Indian came to become the world's largest manufacturer and how the Scout and Chief became the legends they became.
A man can have all the money in the world, but if he doesn't have the passion, the skill, the vision and the competitive drive, marketing intuition, and overall sound business sense he isn't going to succeed in his venture. I think
that that may have been the case for Ralph Rogers. He had the money, he had passion, he had vision but he obviously lacked something.
The 149 Arrow, the 249 Super Scout and the 250 Warrior were good ideas that didn't get the design shake-down they obviously needed. At the same time, the proven Scout had been dropped and according to various sources,
the Chief wouldn't even be made in 1949 (some source, I forget where, said only 15 were made). When loyal Indian fans of the Scout and Chief saw their beloved models dropped and toyed with like that. I don't think they were
too happy about that. At the same time, those that bought the replacement models had their negative experience. All the while, the British were coming. (it's from this background knowledge I spoke of "Americans weren't quite ready".)
Prior to Rogers' stewardship, there was the 841 development for the Army. Due to the GP (Jeep), that bike was canceled, so it has been said. Harley's competing model was also dropped. But
the army decided to just continue to purchase the WLAs for their inventory and it seems they basically order some 30,000(?) Indians (741s, militarized Scouts, I think).

Before the 741 and 841 there was the Super Scout, which proved to be popular but only after another let down came when, in response to the Great Depression and economic reasons, the 101 Scout was replaced by a hybrid
heavier Chief frame Scout engine arrangement which was a letdown to the fans of the now legendary 101 Scout. That was in 31, I believe. Franklin would die in '32. Turns out Franklin also assisted Arthur O. Lemon in the
development of the ACE four which was the brainchild of William Henderson, founder of THAT Henderson motorcycle, who had left Excelsior-Henderson following differences of opinion with Excelsior. Henderson had been hit by a car and never regained consciousness. Nevertheless, the ACE four would go on to become the property of Indian Motorcycle, and no doubt, in part, because Franklin was instrumental in the bike's development and Franklin may have had influential
swaying power with the board of directors when ACE came up for grabs.

All that to say this:
With the "differences of opinions" between founders and corp heads, something's gonna give. It had to have been pretty awful for the founders. And for the corporate heads? Karma is a bear.

In a way, it becomes clear that when the money men in suits in fine offices and conference rooms start meddling with the actual design team's efforts who have that passion, and know what what they are doing,
things can, sometimes, start to go bad. Rogers may have been such a one and Indian's cookies crumbled before his eyes.

Polaris looks like a pretty top shelf company and I think it has to do with businessmen who actually have a passion for their products and respects the work of their capable engineers and marketing staff.
Everyone has a weakness. Let's hope Polaris doesn't reveal theirs. But if they do, let's hope they can cleanup their mess on the pronto.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to HD when Willlie G is gone.
 
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