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I have a numbered Chieftain as many of you have out there. The dealer where I bought my bike suggested a numbered bike would retain more value than one that is not..How do you all feel about his statement ??
 

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My honest opinion?
Ok, it's just an opinion that's jaded from years of exposure to Harley Davidson marketing techniques. A special, collectors edition, anniversary model every 5 years and yeah, they are numbered too. Rare and collectable? Ask the guys who bought the 100th anniversary bikes in 2003.

You didn't pay a premium for a numbered bike? Because mine has a number too....it is just not 1901 or below. So if you and I went back to the dealership to trade in our bikes, yours numbered and mine not...which would be worth more? I believe the dealer would match us dollar for dollar on trade in value but then probably jack the price of your rare, numbered edition, when he went to sell it.

The ONLY hope that this might play out differently is if these "special, rare, collectable" bikes are never done again....ever. If next year they do the same thing and number the bikes out to 1902.....ya know, to commemorate the 2nd year of production....well, you see where I'm going with this. It is a "special value" that they have created and have marketed....but once they sell it? What exactly is their financial motivation to preserve that special status for little old you? Especially if they can do it every year to create revenue over and above.

The classic question is always "What is MY motorcycle worth"?
It always depends on what someone is willing to pay for it....doesn't it?
But that is an entirely different question from "What is my motorcycle worth to ME".
That is where YOUR value comes in. It is special and rare to you....not a darned thing in the world wrong with that.

Now, I don't have a "numbered" bike. This is not sour grapes, just my opinion. On the day I bought mine? If there was a "numbered" bike there exactly like my Red Vintage? And I had the chance to buy it? For the same money? Of course, I would have chosen the "numbered" bike over the "regular" one.....I mean, why not? But if there was ANY difference in price?....nope. I would not have bought into it.

Here is another thing to think about too....At this early stage of year one production.....Suppose you bought a 1956 Bel-Air? Cool. How about a 1958 Bel-Air? uh, not so cool. But either way, you would have missed the opportunity to buy the iconic 1957 Bel-Air. The problem is that we didn't know that in 1956 or 1957 did we? We didn't have tha advantage of hindsight and retrospect.....ala 1963 split window coupe....So what will hindsight and retrospect play on the 2014 Indian? Will it be the primo year or a year fraught with problems?
Will the 2015 come along and blow it out of the water?....ya know, in hindsight and retrospect as it relates to collectable value in the future.

The great thing about this discussion is that you can't lose....you have a beautiful motorcycle!
 

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I think the dealer is right. The numbered bikes will all ways demand a slight premium. The older the bike gets the more the premium. Lets face it in 50 years if you found a 2014 Indian in a barn it would be a huge score if it was a numbered bike. If you found that same bike next year it wouldn't make that much of a difference. Have to agree with Big Daddy. If Given the choice on the dealership floor I would take the numbered bike, but not worth it for me to pay more money for it. With that being said it would be nice to own a numbered.
 

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I think the numbered bikes will NOT be any more valuable than a non-numbered bike. This was certainly true with the Victory brand where I have owned both one of the original V92Cs numbered and one of the 10th Anniversary Visions. The V92C is not worth any more than the non-numbered bikes now and the 10TH anniversary is retaining some value because only 150 were made but I expect in a couple of years, it too will be worth the same as any other Vision of that vintage.

Hippo
 

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I agree with Big Daddy that the bike is only worth what someone is willing to pay. I have a numbered Classic and thought it was cool to get a numbered bike for the same price. Also you are suppose to get a clock and badge from the manufacture when you get a numbered bike but have not seen that. Anybody else with a numbered bike get theirs?
 

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Hey, here is another idea that came to me, once I got thinking about it.

A little trick I learned from watching The Antique Roadshow....

There is a French word....Provenance.

This process involves the gathering of all available documentation on an antique to authenticate it. Like if you had a baseball signed by the Babe, it would be more valuable if you had a newspaper clipping with a photo of him signing that ball.

So in your case, with this numbered bike?
Gather and maintain all of your factory provided documentation, like the ownership certificate, your bill of sale, maybe even obtain a factory build sheet on the day your bike was produced. You could even go on a factory tour and have these documents signed by some big shots at the factory. Then collect every numbered pin, button, and patch that you can find or even have made.

This pursuit alone would make for an interesting hobby. How about a copy of the daily newspaper from Spirit Lake Iowa that was published on the day your bike was born?

All of this stuff would document your bike and it would be fun while you were doing it. Later, if you ever wanted to enter the bike in a show, it would make for a wonderful display. You could put all of this stuff in a scrap book for your grandkids too.....To me? This kind of stuff WOULD add value to the bike in years down the road.

Who knows? You could make such an interesting hobby out of this that the bike takes on intrinsic value, to the point that what the bike is worth is irrelevant because you would never sell it anyway.....ya know?

Suppose your whole family gets involved in this effort and you make it like a world wide Scavenger Hunt?.....Wow, now, that would be a hoot and something that your family would never forget....the stuff that legends are made of......you get all of this stuff rolling and after a couple of years.....get back to me and let me know the value you put on your numbered edition motorcycle......

Really, that's the direction I would be looking if I had a numbered bike
 

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I look at it from a historical perspective related to Indians. Look at the Limited Edition 1st year "1 0f 1100" 1999 Chiefs. Not worth anymore than the 2000/01 Chiefs. Same can be said for any of the 1 of 50 custom painted flavors either. Silver Clouds 1 of 226 once someone F's them up with their idea of what is good looking to them they drop in price.

Lets put it another way the Original 1901 needs to remain unmodified and in original condition with low miles to retain said "Limited Edition" value to a collector. You throw on exhaust, custom "Dealer" paint, after market accessories depreciates the value of the investment.

IMO buy it, ride it, enjoy it
 

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I agree with Big Daddy that the bike is only worth what someone is willing to pay. I have a numbered Classic and thought it was cool to get a numbered bike for the same price. Also you are suppose to get a clock and badge from the manufacture when you get a numbered bike but have not seen that. Anybody else with a numbered bike get theirs?
Yep, I have a Vintage (#246) and I got a clock, a patch, and a belt buckle. It was a few months after I bought my bike but still a nice surprise when the swag showed up. On the subject of "is a numbered bike worth more", it is (to me), but probably not to anyone else if I tried to sell it. The point is, I don't want to sell it.
 

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Yep, I have a Vintage (#246) and I got a clock, a patch, and a belt buckle. It was a few months after I bought my bike but still a nice surprise when the swag showed up. On the subject of "is a numbered bike worth more", it is (to me), but probably not to anyone else if I tried to sell it. The point is, I don't want to sell it.
Thanks adirep. I purchased mine in February but have not seen anything yet. I will have to check with my dealer. I think everyone is on the same page here. We didn't buy a number but a great bike to ride and enjoy!
 

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Would I have bought a 2014 Chieftain if I couldn't get a numbered one? YES.
Would I pay more for a numbered one? NO.
Are numbered bikes worth more now? NO
Will numbered bikes be worth more in later years? YES. How many years before we see a significant value increase? I don't know. Probably more than I will be around for. There are only 1901 of them, so they are rare in the scheme of things. How many will be wrecked/scrapped in 25 years? and how many will still have the matching badge and frame numbers, and still stock configuration? How many will be restored, and how many will be true survivors? Many have been changed and repainted already. A few have been wrecked already. If there are 1/2 left in 25 years, they will be more of a rarity and more valuable to collectors. Some vehicles were never recognized (by the general public) as collectors until 30 to 50 years later. When I sell mine I will probably too old to ride and will hope the value is there so I can pass it on to my family. But nothing I own is worth a dime until it is sold, used for collateral, to deter whanabe buyers, or used for bragging about.
 

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I agree with Big Daddy that the bike is only worth what someone is willing to pay. I have a numbered Classic and thought it was cool to get a numbered bike for the same price. Also you are suppose to get a clock and badge from the manufacture when you get a numbered bike but have not seen that. Anybody else with a numbered bike get theirs?
I got my Non Numbered 2014 Vintage (#1942) a year ago and I got a clock, patch, and buckle at various times in the mail from Indian. I also got a $100 gift card in the mail from Indian this past summer.
Oh yeah, and they swapped out that labor intensive "Distressed Brown" leather for all new black leather for me at no charge a couple of months ago. (-:
 

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Here's how it's going to work guys... if you own a # bike and you sell then it will be worth what it's worth. But if a dealer takes a # bike on trade then they will put a higher price tag on it because they can afford to hang on to it longer to get that higher price. The number will be useless for the consumer but the dealer will try to use it as leverage to get more money out of it.
 

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Where are you guys getting the number? I bought a bike made in 2013, it is a 2014 Vintage. Got it as a repo with 1174 miles on it. Dealer never brought it up during the internet sales deal I made.
???
 

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The patches, clocks, buckles, IMRG cards, anything with your serial numbers on it, etc. for the first year numbered bikes will and can also determine the value of the bike down the road. The original documentation tells the story of the bike. The more documentation you have 25-50 years down the road, the more your bike will be worth. It's only original once. When you paint it, or restore it.....It actually loses value.
When I was 20, I found a barn find fully dressed 1947 knucklehead in original condition. 20 some years later I was still going back to try and buy it. It was never for sale and finally, it was given to a relative of the owner.
I would have disassembled it and cleaned it, only fixing what was needed, and been careful not to destroy the patina. I would have reassembled it and repaired only as needed with correct parts for that bike to make it safe to operate. I would not have repainted it.
He took it all apart and repainted everything, and had parts chromed. In my opinion, he destroyed around $10,000 worth of value. Now it is just another knucklehead. If I just wanted a knucklehead, I can now buy all the parts in aftermarket and not have a Harley part on it, and it would be built better, be more reliable, and a majority of people would never be able to tell the difference.
The original paint is important to the high dollar collectors, whether it is shiny or not. So is the original paperwork.
When I got the original title for my bike with the Indian script on the top. I photocopied it because I knew I would get a new title from the state and never that original title again. That was actually disappointing.
 

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I didn't purchase mine to sit in the garage with the others.Ride it and enjoy the few yrs I have left ,hoping to ride another 10/15 yrs .maybe even buy one more to enjoy.My chieftain is a numbered bike to me as the first indian I have owned.One more would be welcome to the collection the will just go to the kids,and grand kids if they want them.
 

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Here's how it's going to work guys... if you own a # bike and you sell then it will be worth what it's worth. But if a dealer takes a # bike on trade then they will put a higher price tag on it because they can afford to hang on to it longer to get that higher price. The number will be useless for the consumer but the dealer will try to use it as leverage to get more money out of it.
All the numbered ones was for a marketing ploy to kick start the hype it made people start thinking WOW I have one of the first ones & good luck to them as well because it is a feel good thing to let all your mate know check out my numbered bike
 

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Evening Folks,
I wouldn't have paid extra for a numbered bike, and it doesn't make me anything special, but I'm having fun with it. My red Chieftain has a kind of mechanical presence and majesty that a steam locomotive has; it'll be kind of fun to refer to "Old No. 873" someday.
--- Randall
 

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My friend has the # 7 bike which is the lowest non Polaris executive owned bike out there. Before all this collecting mania took over a old bike was just what it was an old bike. Will his ever be worth more money ? Hmmmm only if someone is willing to pay it. Kind of like a Vincent black shadow in the 60's you could pick them up for a couple of hundred, so I have been told, now 100k is more like it. They were the fastest bike in their time, what is an Indian going to be, well to me just a low numbered bike and that doesn't differentiate it from the rest. They didn't make any major changes, it hasn't won any major racing events or any for that matter. I am just looking at it from a collecting standpoint and I would say not that much, unless they do radical changes and go away from current style. When Yamaha came out with the RZ 350 they sat on dealer showroom floors for years, and they were a great bike, but now they have a little cult following and they don't build road going two strokes anymore. If Polaris went under today then 10, 20 years from now they would be collectable and the lower the # the more collectable. And it would probable get bought by some millionaire from Japan or China. I just reread Vincent in the barn where Dale Walksler bought an Inidan prototype built by Hendee many years ago, now that's a rare bike.
 
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