Indian's Still-Born 2004 Motorcycles

The new Indian motorcycle line that apparently won't ever be. By _ Art Friedman.

It seems unlikely they'll be produced, but here are photos of the 2004 Indian motorcycles from the press kit. (If you missed this story last week, Indian encountered unexpected financial problems last week and shuttered its factory. The company's future seems quite doubtful, though there are a few shreds of hope that it may be revived.)

These were given to us on the condition that they not be shown before the dealer meeting, but that meeting will not occur now, so here they are. A few early production models may have been built and presumably will be sold through the dealer network or perhaps at auction to pay off the company's debts.

The 2004 Indian models seem to be the most refined and proprietary machines Indian would have produced. Changes aimed at improving the engines' reliability and ease of assembly reportedly also improved power considerably. A new Powerplus 92 engine had been created for the Scout and Spirit series. That engine, shown here, claimed 67 horsepower at the rear wheel and a 76-foot-pound torque peak. A new airbox and exhaust system contributed to the 35-percent horsepower increase.

The Spirit series also got new Brembo brake systems, 41mm Paoli fork legs, new hand and foot controls, new floorboards, and a contemporary chromed cast-alloy front fender ornament in place of the lighted Indian head. Below are the three Spirit models. The Springfield's price was now #17,795, the CST was to be $18,795, and the Roadmaster $18,995.

The big news in the Scout line was to be the Scout Two-Ten, featuring a fat rear tire, which according to company spokesfolks actually improved handling. It would have sold for $17,995. The standard Scout was to be priced at $15,995, the lowest price ever for one of the company's bikes. The Scouts were to get the same control, brake and fork upgrades as the Spirits, as well as 60-spoke wheels. These are the Scouts.

The changes for the 2004 Chief power train, which retained the 100-cubic-inch engine, included a redesigned crankshaft, a new camshaft with matching valve springs, vacuum-advance ignition, new cylinder-head castings with 9.0:1 compression, one-piece rockers, internal-bypass lubrication, and a new exhaust system, that reduced emissions and accommodated a catalyst for California models. These were claimed to provide a 7 percent horsepower increase and 14 percent more torque. The Chiefs' 170 changes also included Brembo master cylinders, the prettier hand and foot controls, new floorboards and lower saddle. The four Chief models aslo saw price cuts, with the Vintage now $23,995, the Roadmaster $22,495, the naked CST $20,995 and the solo-saddle Springfield $19,995.

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