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Those that know the history of Indian are all to aware of the golden years of the Harley - Indian Wars. Both of the bikes had incredibly loyal followings and both have made their mark over the past century. However, the fact remains that HD resided in the "2nd place" position for many of those years. I have the feeling that we may be on the brink of a "resurrection" of that war as Indian prepares to release the Scout in the next several days. Why do I think the "war" will revive? In live in the midwest, the Chicagoland area. I routinely ride up near the Milwaukee area with friends and this part of the midwest is Harley's backyard. Since riding my new 2014 Vintage I have become aware of a couple of things:
1- When Harley guys first noticed my bike their jaw drops, then they make a point to hammer the throttle and haul away as fast as they can.
2- Know of a guy on a new Vintage that rode into a Harley dealer with his friends riding HD's. His bike grew a small crowd in the parking lot quickly with admirers. After a short "gawking" period he was asked to leave by one of the dealerships employees and was told "we wouldn't even change a tire on that thing".
3- There's a ton of of BS being spread on forums and at dealerships about the new Chiefs. Their not "real Indians... That throttle has real issues... The bikes won't hold their value... It's a fad and will die like the previous Indian re-starts... yada, yada,yada....
4- I know someone that has a friend who works for HD. He admitted that the "motor company" has real concerns over the Indian revival and what it may do to it's market share.

Harley should be concerned. That's what happens when you keep offering the same old piece of candy in a shiny new wrapper each year. The Thunderstroke 111 ought to be enough to give them concern, and the fact that it's being built right in their backyard is an added nudge to the ribs. After all, they are using a motor that still drives its primary with a chain and mylar tensioners.

I've owned a lot of Harley's over the years, Road Kings, Softails, and an Ultra Classic. They were decent bikes and I enjoyed them. However, they came and went. Indian has upped the game here in the true form of their heritage. Try to get a stock HD with 1 1/4" internally wired handlebars, chrome switch housings and all the other chromed out parts that Indian has put on the new Chiefs. It won't happen, get out their catalog and your wallet if you want to go that route. The fact is Harley has been the 800 pounds gorilla in the room for too many years and Indian has finally risen with a bike that's true to it's heritage. Harley - Indian Wars??? Bring it on... The competition will be good for all of us no matter what we choose to ride. That choice, that rivalry will be good for the American V Twin industry. So if you happen to ride up to an HD loyalist on your new Indian and they give you a scowl, just look over at them as say. "How ya doing tin pusher?" Because as they said during the golden years... "If you're a Harley Davidson rider your a tin pusher, because all you ever so is ride em' on out, and push em' back in...
 

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You had a good post until the last two paragraphs, they sound more like hate than balance. Many of us can do better. Life is too short Indian4ever, don't let the hate turn you into just a cranky old man.

Burt
 

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love Hogs, i have one thing to say, Harley years ago should have went to a gear driven primary drive instead of chain, would have made a world of difference in the Harley Davidson line up....
 

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"Indian prepares to release the Scout in the next couple days". This could possibly be the worst kept secret this year! LOL

I was looking at a Fat Boy before I bought my Indian. I heard the same thing from the Harley dealer, untested, fad, etc., etc. I recently read that 48% of Indian buyers were once Harley owners. The powers that be at Harley would be stupid to ignore what's going on in Spirit Lake.
 

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I traded my heritage for my Chieftain. After riding the Indian, I did not even want to sit on my Heritage. I do realize that these are two very different bikes, but as ease of riding goes, there is no comparison.

I also stopped by the HD dealer yesterday looking for some accessory mounting hardware. I saw one guy give my bike the evil eye and say something to his wife/gf. I couldn't hear what he said, but his tone was not very nice. I just smiled as they got on their Heritage and rode off.
IMO, people who will disrespect anyone or any other bike (or lot of other things) based purely on brand loyalty are not people who I bother with. They are simpletons and not worth my time.
I know people who ride HD, Triumph, Honda, Suzuki, etc and we can have friendly rivalry and admit that each bike has certain things that are better than others.
 

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Shuje Sunge;11749I was looking at a Fat Boy before I bought my Indian. I heard the same thing from the Harley dealer said:
Yes, because sales people are supposed to promote their competition when trying to make a sale. LOL

How many Hayabusa owners are trading for Indians? Over 90% (92% I think) of Harley owners put less than 1800 miles a year on their bikes. Those owners aren't buying the bike for performance, they are buying a statement. Do you think Indian owners are different? Up until now Harley really was the only bike in its class. Now that Indian is on the scene, of course Harley owners are going to be the majority of the Indian buyers. They are the demographic for Nostalgic American Iron.

Burt
 
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I live in Milwaukee. Surrounded by HDs it's fun to be different. Seen one other Indian in past three months. Owned a 1977 Electra-Glide in mint condition for twenty years. Like HDs but just like new Indians better.
 

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How many Hayabusa owners are trading for Indians? Over 90% (92% I think) of Harley owners put less than 1800 miles a year on their bikes. Those owners aren't buying the bike for performance, they are buying a statement. Do you think Indian owners are different? Up until now Harley really was the only bike in its class. Now that Indian is on the scene, of course Harley owners are going to be the majority of the Indian buyers. They are the demographic for Nostalgic American Iron.

Burt
That is why I said the powers that be at Harley would be stupid to ignore what's going on in Spirit Lake.
 

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As soon as Polaris releases an entry level machine, one that competes with the Sportsters and the Japanese light cruisers, the race will really be on. Right now they are filling a niche market. They need to successfully cross over into a broader market, like HD does, with a line up not completely derivative of 50 year old design elements. HD has a much broader canvas to play with when it comes to designing new bikes and vintage styled bikes so Polaris has a challenge to overcome that. Indian's brand image still comes off the full fendered Scout from Springfield. Now everyone sees that as an element of the Chief as well as the brand. The real test will be the sophomore release by Polaris of a new bike.
 

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Here's my take, some Harley owners won't acknowledge that we exist, I would say it's a 40/60%. But some are willing to look at other alternatives. I did the demo ride in May and will be doing it again in august at Tytler's in depere wi. I would dare say 60% of the people (249) were HD riders, the comments I kept hearing over and over, was how much better it handled and how much better it rode than theirs. I had a women whose husband test drove a Indian, but she refused, I think it's because A she was afraid she would like it B. She would have to buy a whole different wardrobe, and C. She would lose some of their Harley friends or would no longer be welcome to ride with them. Would it really come to that, I am thinking yes it would. And it could be vice a versa as well. I am not that way, you ride your alright in my book until proven otherwise. I have some other theories, but I will keep them to myself for now, just my little observations when I have been out and about.
 
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I wear my Harley-Davidson riding boots while riding my Chieftain! But I won't wear any of my T-shirts. LOL
 

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Funny I am cooking a hog for the Hog (harley dealer) shop this Saturday, kind of funny a Indian owner cooking a hog. The harley shop here is well known, they sell a lot of bikes, the Indian dealer is 6 hours a way. I am going to park my Chef Vintage in their parking lot, at least the Harley people can look a beautiful bike for a change.
 

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The way I look at this, most manufacturers make good products and some are no so good. The HD Heritage I had was one of the not so good.......5700 miles, no mods, abuse and serviced at all intervals with synthetic.....toasted engine. Repair bill +$5,000.00. Called the Harley Motor Corp and asked if they would do anything.....explicitly said that I was not looking for full coverage just some help. Yes it was out of warranty but ONLY had 5700 miles. They elected not to help so I elected to change brands......Welcome Indian and a Springfield Blue Chieftain!!
Very happy with my choice and when I am asked how I like my Indian...Great !!...and they usually get the Heritage story also.
 

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Do you know why Harley riders don't wave back when you're out riding?
Because they are afraid they'll drop their tools.

I ride to a place called cook's corner on the weekends. It is Harley's as far as the eye can see. Part of the reason I got my indian was to not look like every other bike in the parking lot. There are a lot of good looking Harley's put there. Some are riding pieces of art. I have been called an "Indian lover" jokingly, and have had a few people criticize and compliment my classic. I don't encounter too much hostility. Mostly friendly jibes. But I wouldn't ride anything else than my chief.
 

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Seems to me that good old American competition is good for all brands. I'm with Indian because it's a better bike for me. If it makes HD and others better too while Indian presses to build a better machine for less coin great. I haven't experienced anything more than respect and occasional mild ribbing from my HD friends but most confide they hope it pushes Harley to be better. :)
 

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good comments from all of you. i ride a Harley now but am seriously looking at a Indian now that i want converted to a Hannigan trike. My set back is the total lack of dealers as there are totally not enough of them. i know there are more and more dealerships every year but until there are many , many more like Harley dealerships, to get service, parts and accessories i will just wait and see what happens. i want to be able to pick the dealer to buy and get my ride serviced , not the only one within 300 or more miles. Example, there is a Indian Dealer within 10 miles of my home but i would not take a bicycle to them to have work done on it as all they do is put in many more parts than needed to get the job done and when you question them they say some BS about it needed them and i know it did not. they also charge about $25.00 more per hour than the Harley dealers in the area as they know they are the only game in town and if you don't like it , they tell you to go someplace else. so , in the meantime i will just have to wait and hope i don't get to old before this needed change happens. Harley knows as of now they really do not have any serious competition , so they will continue to put out the same product as they have for the last 40 years.
 

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Example, there is a Indian Dealer within 10 miles of my home but i would not take a bicycle to them to have work done on it as all they do is put in many more parts than needed to get the job done and when you question them they say some BS about it needed them and i know it did not. they also charge about $25.00 more per hour than the Harley dealers in the area as they know they are the only game in town and if you don't like it , they tell you to go someplace else.
Bummer Capt. Dan, sounds like you've already had some bad dealings with your local Indian dealer. Did they work on your Harley?

I was at a function this weekend and a friend of a cousin was there and he had a HD shirt on. Went over and started the bike talk with him and told me all the upgrades and mods he had done to his Fat Bob, lots of money and work he put in on his bike. He asked if rode and what I had, told him about my Indian and he said "oh, that's cool" and excused himself. LOL

I just don't get people like that?
 

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Example, there is a Indian Dealer within 10 miles of my home but i would not take a bicycle to them to have work done on it as all they do is put in many more parts than needed to get the job done and when you question them they say some BS about it needed them and i know it did not. they also charge about $25.00 more per hour than the Harley dealers in the area as they know they are the only game in town and if you don't like it , they tell you to go someplace else. so , in the meantime i will just have to wait and hope i don't get to old before this needed change happens. Harley knows as of now they really do not have any serious competition , so they will continue to put out the same product as they have for the last 40 years.
What bike did you have serviced at this Indian dealer? Your harley?
 

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we actually had my daughter's Suzuki serviced there. i do most of the service needed on my wife's and my Harley's unless it is something i do not feel comfortable with doing or do not have the equipment (tools). they do not work on Harley's as far as i know and if they did none of my buddies would take them there anyways as they are rip offs. i personally think they took on the Indian dealership because their sales were slipping and they needed to do something to attract a new crowd of bikers (God help them)
 
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