There’s a recent UCLA study that concludes that riding a motorcycle can actually be a stress reliever. Harley-Davidson did pay for the study, so there’s that. The iconic brand is in fact the first brand that comes to the American mind when someone mentions motorcycles.
While Harleys are certainly iconic, they aren’t the only stateside manufacturer of burly bikes. Or the oldest. Indian Motorcycle has been making two-wheeled pieces of art since 1902. That damn near 120 years of master craftsmanship, if you were having trouble with the math.
And boy are they beautiful. An Indian has a distinct look that is both new and familiar at the same time. The retro lines – which are taken to glorious extreme on newer models – really set their bikes part from the better-known Harley-Davidson line. If given a choice, we would take these eight little, nine little, ten little Indian bikes over a Harley any day.
10 Black Metal Brand
Starting at nine grand and weighing a paltry 550 pounds, the back-to-basics 2020 Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber Sixty is the “most obtainable” bike in the brand’s line-up. An aluminum frame, 1000 cc engine, and an expertly balanced ride make this moto an excellent machine choice for the newbies looking to get their kicks. Other cool features include dual exhaust and closed-loop fuel injection. As for the color, we hope you like Thunder Black, because it is the only one on the menu.
9 War Is Not A Dealer Installed Option
It’s a story as old as time itself. A man buys a motorcycle, then decides he wants to customize it, showing off his interests and creativity. So, why not go with a design that reminds everyone of one of the worst periods in world history? OK, so the leather baggage may also be a metaphor. Either way, this throwback WWII theme looks fantastic, right down to the ammo case on the front fork. Reports that French people walk right up to the bike and surrender are exaggerated.
8 Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom
If the Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom can be described in one word, that word is nimble. Or perhaps sporty. One of those two. It weighs a lot less than the Scout Bobber and has nearly double the horsepower. What’s not to like? Much of the design is “borrowed” from the FTR750 race bike. Of course, color options start with (wait for it) Thunder Black, but there are many options to accessorize, as shown in the photo above.
7 Do We Ride It Or Dust It For Prints?
This showstopping American V-twin tourer is known as the “Murdercycle” and it comes courtesy of Indian Motorcycle Daytona Beach, which claims to be, “The World’s Largest Indian Motorcycle Dealership.” The custom 2019 Indian Chieftain is already sold, so don’t get your hopes up, cyborg from the future. The 2019 Chieftain gets criticized for dropping the heritage styling and adopting a look similar to that of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide, although this one not so much. Wow.
6 Scout’s Honor
Not much is known about this stout Indian Scout Bobber except that it is spectacular. The subtle graphic treatment really brings it together nicely. Take another step back and it reveals itself to be a street bike that wants to be a dirt bike, thanks to the knobbiest tires seen since WWII film reels. We’re not too sure about that seat… that catcher’s mitt crotch support doesn’t look too comfortable on the old’ baseballs if you are picking up what we’re putting down.
5 Scout, Scout, Let It All Out
This custom 2016 Indian Scout was featured by American Iron and boy is it a stunner. It was built by New Jersey’s Sam Kiley over a nine-week period as part of the 2016 Project Scout Dealer Contest. Mr. Kiley, you did a fantastic job. There are too many custom parts to list, let’s just say the thing is definitely one-of-a-kind. “The bike is nimble and light to ride,” according to Kiley, who eventually sold the rad ride to someone else.
4 Barrels Of Fun
The 2019 Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse will set you back $30,000. But if your two favorite things are drinking and driving (hopefully not at the same time), then perhaps this is the collector’s bike if for you. A tasty Heavy Metal Crystal and Thunder Black Vivid Crystal paint scheme tops Indian’s “first-ever straight-from-the-factory” Thunderstroke engine. Cue the AC/DC. Extras include LED lighting, custom Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel logos, and an engraved Montana Silversmith badge. Only 177 produced.
3 Improving Cafe Race Relations
What’s not to love about this cafe racer conversion of an Indian Scout Bobber by amateur builder PJ Grakauskas as featured as part of the “The Wrench Scout Bobber Build Off” promotion on the manufacturer’s website. Grakauskas, who’s out of Cleveland, Ohio, and a full-timer over at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), got a free bike and $10,000 out of the deal. But the real prize is the perfect choice of colors and swooshing lines on this design which needs to go into full production immediately.
2 A Bike Builder Emerges Post WWII
This is a prime example of a 1947 Indian Chief. The manufacturer was into its second year making bikes after a full return to motorcycle making. 1947 was also the last year of a limited showroom menu which started the previous year. Bowing to pressure in the marketplace, the company felt it wise to compete with lighter weight foreign offerings, so in 1948 they launched the Indian Arrow and Indian Scout models. The motorcycle world has never been the same.
1 Calling All Steampunks
A little piece of motorcycle magic. This 1946 Indian Chief 4 was a once-in-a-lifetime barn find. The note-perfect patina and wear is so perfect, it looks like Hollywood magic. What a very cool look, indeed. This was the the only model offered by Indian post-WWII, as the bike builder spent 1940-1945 manufacturing items for the Allied cause. Thank you for that, Indian. By 1953, the company stopped making motorcycles stateside only to rise again by 1960.
Sources: Cycle World, Indian Motorcycle, American Motorcyclist Association, American Iron
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