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Texas Hill Country
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw an interview with Polaris CEO the other day. He was being asked about the future of Indian in particular and the future of Polaris in the global heavyweight motorcycle market. Fascinating stuff. So much information so fast that most of it when in one ear and out the other.

Pretty soon the interview rolled around to the U.S. market and the competition....like you knew it would.

The statistic that stuck in my mind?
80% of new Indian riders came off of Harley Davidsons.

WOW.

I've thought about that for a couple of days now...cause I'm not real quick on the uptake and slow to draw conclusions. I mean when you think about it....makes sense. If a guy has the disposable income for a Harley Davidson then he can simply uproot it and transplant an Indian in the same garage slot...right? So it seems like a supportable statistic of their research...Ok, not supportable, because I'm sure it is supportable by facts, but BELIEVABLE.

So I have no trouble at all in accepting this statistic as valid....but then....let's explore why Indian owners seem so happy with the new Indian TS111.
When you read the forums it is pretty plain that our "problems" and "concerns" are pretty small. Things like sun glare from the chrome dashboard. Sure, it's still early in the game and a lot can change.....but....I'm ecstatic with my Indian. THE best motorcycle I have ever owned.

Remember, 80% of us came off Harley Davidsons....including me.

I'm going to respectfully suggest to you that after coming off of a Harley Davidson, we have been dumbed down to the point that this was an EASY home run for Indian to hit.

All they had to do was deliver on about 75% of what they promised and they would have left HD in the rear view mirror. We were used to being marketed one thing, ended up buying the marketing, only to find out that we had to resort to Screamin Eagle products to finally get the motorcycle we paid for in the first place. Everything geared toward the "upgrades" instead of a decked out base model.

Decades of motorcycles with known product defects that went unanswered by the factory. Standing at the service counter hearing that "they all do that" to a myriad of problems. Every year, the engineering problems from an old antiquated engine design were given a shiny coat of the new color paint for that year and called good to go.....the same ole same ole....year after year.

Gentlemen, what I'm respectfully suggesting for your careful consideration......Those 80% of us who came off of Harley Davidsons came into this with VERY VERY VERY low expectations. Harley Davidson did a piss poor job at setting the bar high. They didn't have to. They were the bully of the block and they could and did get away with it for decades.

All Indian needed to do was make a truly "good" motorcycle to blow us away. All they needed to do was "give us" the chrome parts on the stock bike that we had been used to buying from the Screamin Eagle. Give us an engine that didn't roast your chestnuts. "Give" us the warranty that we had to pay extra for from Milwaukee. Then wrap all of that up and make it look like an Indian should look.

All Indian had to do was exceed our expectations.....our low expectations. Expectations formed from decades of putting up with Harley Davidson because it was a Harley.....:cool:
 

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I'm also part of the 80%. Sold my HD softail to buy a Indian. I was about to buy a 2014 Street Glide for the new riding season until I happened to walk into a Indian dealership while on vacation. After doing a little side by side comparison went for the vintage. Nothing against HD, I owned them for years and received many years of riding enjoyment from them, but it sure feels good to have a choice.
 

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I can do nothing else than agree with you guys. I've had about 8 Harleys and was happy with them. I bought my first HD in '91 and at that time it was something special, even with only a few modifications, one had something special. Isn't that also one of the reasons why we wanted HD?
Nowadays, you see a HD on every streetcorner and if you've your bike completely stock, the HD scene is laughing with it...
But now... we own a better and more exclusive bike for less money! Of course our bikes are also more beautiful and provide a smoother ride, they vibrate less and give a much better feeling!
Also nothing against HD, but Indians are the best choise... for us.

Adler
 

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I agree, I was happy with my prior Harleys. Never had any major issues, lots of great rides.

But the looks of the Indian, quality and fit, and great reviews won me over.

Very happy I took the leap
 

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Texas Hill Country
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Spot on Adler.

HD marketing has created a whole culture centered around their dealerships (profit centers). Things like HOG Chapters and free grey hotdogs on Saturday afternoon. They have planted and cultivated the belief that we "need" a dealership at every highway exit ramp to provide "support" for touring. And yeah, probably a good idea if you are on a Harley and plan to tour on it.

This brings a smile when a Harley guy is talking about buying an Indian and mentions the current thin Indian dealer network. The idea of having a motorcycle that doesn't require a dealership within 15 minutes has NOT EVEN OCCURRED to them....ingrained beliefs of what the "norm" should look like.

All of these traits manifest in $25,000 Harley Davidsons being hauled around on trailers instead of being rode to that distant rally. In this alternate universe they have created, it's not the trip but the destination that is important....not riding there. It is a culture about the dealership (profit center) and not riding on the open road.

You also see the vestiges of this trained and ingrained behavior patterns in ex-Harley owners when they start talking about adding noise maker mufflers and power commanders to their new Indian....this too brings a smile. Some even bemoan the lack of flashy metalflake paint in the Indian line up. They miss the point that the new Indian is true and accurate in reflection of the 1948 Chief styling....Maybe next year?....Wouldn't hurt my feelings, but I think I will just hold pat with my classic Indian Motorcycle Red paint and say, thank you very much...but no thanks.
 

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I have only one bone to pick with you, Big Daddy, otherwise, I agree. I will probably haul my Indian some. Not because the bike won`t take it, but because I can`t. I`m almost 70 and Arthur wont allow it. In 1969 I rode a 350 Honda across country and I never got tired or sore, but those days are gone. I think the reason a lot of H-D`s are hauled is because once they get over 10,000 miles on them, they are much harder to sell for a reasonable price. As of now, I don`t care how cheap they get, cause I`ve owned my last one.
 

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My last three bikes have been Road Kings and have owned a lot of Jap bikes since the 70's...after riding my new Chieftain the first 1000 miles, I am sold on it. Just waiting for Mustang to come out with a seat (heard from their sales dept that it would be around the end of May) and the slip-ons coming from V&H in July sometime. (indian.vanceandhines.com) Nothing against HD, I just wanted to be a little different...
 

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Well said Big Daddy and Adler.. I agree with the sentiments. I came off of a Harley Road King, and previously a Victory Cross Roads.. both good bikes, but my new Indian just hits the spot for me. Value, power, looks, the nostalgia... and with history of Polaris engineering and build quality of their other products, I'm very confident it will do what I need it to do for many miles. We have a new Indian dealership here in St. Charles, MO, basically on the same lot as a long standing HD dealer. Its kinda cool watching the prospective HD buyer walk over to Indian and start the comparing. I get to talk to many of these folks, and I'd venture to say I've already convinced many HD riders to consider making the switch.. but really the Indian's are selling themselves. They definitely hit a home run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Horseman-

Believe me...I'm getting older too...at some point I will not be able to ride like I do now. I can say that with certainty, because I can't ride today like I used to either. lol

I'm really not trying to be critical of what other folks do. If a guy wants to bring home his new Harley and leave it in the garage to dress up...that's his trip. I hope he has a blast doing it.

But an individual bike on the trailer of a rider with good reason is way different than "I rode my bike to trailer week" mentality.

I can't buy into the "saving" of a motorcycle mileage to preserve resale value though. Not when I knowingly take a tremendous kick in the teeth in depreciation as soon as my new bike rolls off the dealers lot. My Indian will NEVER be worth what it cost me to buy it....Even if i only rode it for 15 minutes. My 96 Road King had over 300,000 miles on it when I traded it in on my Indian. Would it have been worth more if it had fewer miles....yeah, maybe. But then, to be realistic, I try to think back to the trips that I should have skipped in the effort to hold down my miles....nope. Even the worst trips were better than a day in the office.

There ARE plenty of Harleys on the sale block with less than 10,000 miles on them. Did the riders take an active tack to "save mileage" or did they just not ride them? Harley IS betting that the bikes they sell don't get rode. With their known defects, a rapid cycle of early replacement of low mileage bikes is what they are banking on. Let the warranty run out on time and not mileage.

They still sell the image of Harley holding resale value and rebuild ability....neither true today.

I'm with ya, I've owned my last Harley too.
 
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In 1969 I rode a 350 Honda across country and I never got tired or sore, but those days are gone. I think the reason a lot of H-D`s are hauled is because once they get over 10,000 miles on them, they are much harder to sell for a reasonable price. As of now, I don`t care how cheap they get, cause I`ve owned my last one.
hm, cb350's. rode mich to tex in the 70s. since then have had most my fillings replaced. but it worked. As for Hardleys and mileage and resale value.. tho it be true,, I find it difficult to comprehend that anybody buys a depreciating non asset for the purpose retainng most, some, any of its cost.. I just buy bikes to ride the holyshit outa them and enjoy every last smile they got in em b4 passing it along to another for the purpose of doing the same.. but hey thats just me. others must buy bikes to enhance their portfolios? poncho
 

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I was a gold wing guy having owned 2 that were made in the USA. Was considering a new one until I found out that Honda moved everything back to Japan. They make good bikes, but my money is staying here in the USA. My next bike was possibly a Harley until I talked to a couple of owners who said some of the parts are made in China. Then I found out Polaris was making New Indians all in the USA. I looked into all the pros & cons of the new Indians & pulled the trigger for a Red Chieftain #1706. This is a GREAT MOTORCYCLE, not with out some minor faults, but a real blast to ride with a great warranty.
The pros out weigh the cons by a large margin. Polaris did their home work on this bike & we can expect more great things to come. As far as depreciation goes, who cares as long as the bike puts a smile on your face & gives you good dependability & a safe ride.
 

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Most agree with Big Daddy,,,I have rode Harleys for 30 years and the MINUTE I saw the new Indians last year I knew that HD and I were going to part company as soon as we had a dealer here in Maine. Got the call from our new dealer last week and have a Chieftain waiting for me this week. Couldn't believe the performance from the test ride. Have never ridden a motorcycle that handled and rode as nice. Can't wait to get her home.
 

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I previously rode BMW's starting in 1982 on an R65LS, K100RS, R100GS, K75S, R1100RS and currently have a R1200RT and R1200C Phoenix in the garage next to the Chieftain. Have almost 300k on BMW's. For me it was a combo of lame assed smug Harley dealers especially when there were waiting lists and dealer gouging along with a snails pace of engineering advancement. I really thought they might use the V-Rod motor in something other than a repli-drag racer but Harley appears to afraid to do that. Lets remember that Harley paid Porsche to design the V-Rod motor too.
Throw in the Indian level of engineering, included content with classic styling and the great warranty and it was for me a no brainer. I am so happy that Indian has been brought back by a strong US company.
 

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I have to agree with all of you. I'm one of the 80% crowd. Off a Harley and onto an Indian. Best move I made bike wise. I even used to work for a Harley stealership. The retail mark up was staggering. I'm sure they all do it but everything from Harley was labeled Made In China. Now they have a factory in india and they say it is only for the Asian market (wink-wink). Now the electric motorcycle that gets a whole 53 miles on a charge. Wow. Wouldn't that be a great ride?:mad:
 

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Interesting comments so far. In my case, I have never owned a Harley, just couldn't see buying into the apparent lifestyle. I've owned Hondas, Suzuki, Kawasaki's, 7 different BMWs (the best bike I ever rode was the BMW1200LTi, but wow was it ever top heavy in the parking lot). Then I swapped out a BMW1200RT for a Victory Vision (quite a switch) and never looked back. The Vision was great, but then I took a test ride on a new Chieftain and it just appealed to me, I suppose some would say it is taking a step down, but I think of it more as taking a step sideways. Motorcycles represent cheap psychotherapy for those who have been in the wars we have fought. I love the feeling of riding just for the sake of solitude and time to reflect and this new Chieftain of mine sure rides nice. Then again I enjoy being on something a little different than most other bikes and I like the retro look as I am getting older. Bottom line though is I have enjoyed every motorcycle I ever rode.
 

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I saw an interview with Polaris CEO the other day. He was being asked about the future of Indian in particular and the future of Polaris in the global heavyweight motorcycle market. Fascinating stuff. So much information so fast that most of it when in one ear and out the other.

Pretty soon the interview rolled around to the U.S. market and the competition....like you knew it would.

The statistic that stuck in my mind?
80% of new Indian riders came off of Harley Davidsons.

WOW.

I've thought about that for a couple of days now...cause I'm not real quick on the uptake and slow to draw conclusions. I mean when you think about it....makes sense. If a guy has the disposable income for a Harley Davidson then he can simply uproot it and transplant an Indian in the same garage slot...right? So it seems like a supportable statistic of their research...Ok, not supportable, because I'm sure it is supportable by facts, but BELIEVABLE.

So I have no trouble at all in accepting this statistic as valid....but then....let's explore why Indian owners seem so happy with the new Indian TS111.
When you read the forums it is pretty plain that our "problems" and "concerns" are pretty small. Things like sun glare from the chrome dashboard. Sure, it's still early in the game and a lot can change.....but....I'm ecstatic with my Indian. THE best motorcycle I have ever owned.

Remember, 80% of us came off Harley Davidsons....including me.

I'm going to respectfully suggest to you that after coming off of a Harley Davidson, we have been dumbed down to the point that this was an EASY home run for Indian to hit.

All they had to do was deliver on about 75% of what they promised and they would have left HD in the rear view mirror. We were used to being marketed one thing, ended up buying the marketing, only to find out that we had to resort to Screamin Eagle products to finally get the motorcycle we paid for in the first place. Everything geared toward the "upgrades" instead of a decked out base model.

Decades of motorcycles with known product defects that went unanswered by the factory. Standing at the service counter hearing that "they all do that" to a myriad of problems. Every year, the engineering problems from an old antiquated engine design were given a shiny coat of the new color paint for that year and called good to go.....the same ole same ole....year after year.

Gentlemen, what I'm respectfully suggesting for your careful consideration......Those 80% of us who came off of Harley Davidsons came into this with VERY VERY VERY low expectations. Harley Davidson did a piss poor job at setting the bar high. They didn't have to. They were the bully of the block and they could and did get away with it for decades.

All Indian needed to do was make a truly "good" motorcycle to blow us away. All they needed to do was "give us" the chrome parts on the stock bike that we had been used to buying from the Screamin Eagle. Give us an engine that didn't roast your chestnuts. "Give" us the warranty that we had to pay extra for from Milwaukee. Then wrap all of that up and make it look like an Indian should look.

All Indian had to do was exceed our expectations.....our low expectations. Expectations formed from decades of putting up with Harley Davidson because it was a Harley.....:cool:
Excellent post! Well said and well written.
 

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(mileage) this is a great topic and you guys seem to be hitting it on the head. if you live in the south like i do,Florida, you get to ride a lot more than the riders up north so more than likely you will put on more miles. all bikes need maintenance and if it is done regularly the mileage is not really a big issue. i would rather buy a bike with more mileage that has been professionally maintained than a lower mileage bike with a poor maintenance record. the perfect scenario is to find a low mileage, well maintained bike and they are out there you just have to be patient and look really hard and be willing to travel.
 

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I have owned HD for over 40 years and even had a brain fart where I spent a few years on a Goldwing thinking I was getting too old to do any distance riding on the HD. When I went looking at the Indian lineup, it was to see certain things. I needed a bike that was as technologically advanced as HD was lagging. We have to be honest, except for some minor changes, HD has not changed much since the late 40s. I needed a bike that I did not have to pay $24K only to stick another $5 - 10K worth of options on to make it like it should have been off the floor.

My 2014 Chieftain doesn't even need aftermarket pipes...I think it sounds fine to start with. I have added the drivers and passengers backrests, the majority of the cost was covered by my $1K veterans kickback, some highway pegs (that were in my garage from my 99 HD Road King Classic), and I have yet to buy the much needed cup holder for the long runs.

My impression of the Indian is as follows:

After riding over 200 miles on day 1, the seat does not need to be replaced. It seems to be of good quality, full grain leather that is comfortable enough for a distance ride.
The pipes have a good note without paying another $1K for aftermarket pipes. The have a damn good tone that can be heard.
The handling is amazing. Every HD I have owned seemed to be left side heavy. The balance was just not as good as I would have expected. The Indian does not have that issue. Lower center of gravity lets me really throw it into a turn.
The Indian throws off engine heat equally on both sides of the bike and during a hot summer (in TX), I just added the highway pegs to defeat the issue. HD still cooked my right thigh even with my feet on my pegs.
The Tire Pressure Monitors, radio, information center is great although illegible in sunlight and wearing your sunglasses. Ride only at night? Nope...don't think so.
The service prices are online with HD but as soon as I get this 500 mile one out of the way, Indian will not see me for about 20K miles unless an issue exists.
The back shock for 2 up riding is so much better than the HD it is amazing. My wife says she enjoys going out for a ride with me again but would like to have floorboards as opposed to the pegs. Will be changing that!
Still getting used to the toe shifter only. Been using my heel for way too long. I now see they are available from Aeromach. Another thing to consider.
I seem to get getting in the lower to mid 40s for fuel economy with my Indian so again, comparable with my HD experience but I do have almost a 400cc larger engine on the Indian.

Overall, I am very pleased with my Chieftain. It looks and feels good on the road. I will be going on the 'Run for the Wall' again in 2015 and am looking forward to finding out if my old butt can do the miles one more time.

Ride safe.

Semper Fi,
DrZ
 

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DrZ, i agree with you about Harley's lack of change but if you are the only game in town , why change? i really do hope Indian gives Harley all they can handle as far as competition is concerned but they have a long way to go. their problem is lack of dealers and lack of accessories available to their buyers and yes, you can buy aftermarket stuff but original is best. when you have a lack of dealers and have some issues on the road you have big problems ,as right now you may be 500 miles from the nearest one. yes there are more and more coming every year but nowhere near enough yet as Harley dealers are around every corner of the U.S. hopefully i will live long enough to see Indian dealers as plentiful as Harley dealers and maybe have them both on the same block as then and only then will you be able to barter with them and get a good deal on a purchase. the way it is now is, they tell you the list price and you either buy it at that price or you walk and they do not seem to care. when you go to purchase a auto or truck the sales people do everything in their power to get you to buy a vehicle at a good price, not that way with bikes. needs a change
 
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