I went to an Indian motorcycle demo ride in Madison Wisconsin a few weeks ago. I’ve been on a lot of demo rides in my time. But this was the most attended one to date. It was jammed! I got to give credit to Polaris for creating that kind of hype around a brand new product. I mean they really did a good job. Even though I registered about a half-hour after the demo ride started I still had to wait two hours to get on and Indian motorcycle.
The one thing that is starting to bother me about the Polaris’s Indian motorcycle brand is its attempt to link it with the Indian motorcycles of the past. According to Wikipedia all production of all Indian motorcycles stopped in 1953. Five years before my introduction to this planet. There have been several attempts to resurrect the Indian brand none have been commercially successful to date.
There was one individual who used the Indian brand name without actually purchasing the rights to sell minibikes. I guess you can’t blame him for trying. So all I really know in my time on this planet is a bunch of Indian knockoffs and the products produced by Harley-Davidson continuously from 1903. So technically I have no reference of the Indians before 1953 and probably have a bias towards the product in favor of Harley-Davidson.
I know Polaris wants to create street credentials by using the Indian brand so they can go toe to toe with Harley-Davidson brand. So basically that’s where the problem begins for me. On their demo truck they have in big letters”America’s First Motorcycle Company.” It’s their truck so they can write what ever they want on it. But to me it sends the wrong message.
Yep, the original Indian motorcycle company did start manufacturing motorcycles before Harley-Davidson did. Okay, I’m cool with that, if you’re first in line, your first in line. But the idea that some other company can purchase a brand name to link the present and past products is a little bit unnerving and a falsity for me. Sorry, that’s just the way I’m wired.
I don’t want you to leave with the idea that I’m a Polaris hater. I’ve said this over and over on my YouTube channel and previous blogs that if I didn’t own a Harley my ass would be sitting on a Victory. Also, the new Indian motorcycle is way cool to ride so don’t get me wrong about the product. But their marketing ploy seems like shenanigans to me. So I guess I rode an Indian motorcycle, or I think I did?