Reality Check for Indian Motorcycle

We've had a stormy relationship with the new Indian Motorcycle Company, or, more accurately, their fans. Not sure what to make of this newest incarnation of Springfield Iron (now located in North Carolina) we left them out of our buyers guide (MC Feb. '09), reckoning them to be closer to boutique manufacturers like Big Dog than mainstream ones like Victory. Seeing as we left out several other new manufacturers from Asia, we deemed it only fair.

What we failed to anticipate was that Indian fans are-how do we put this lightly?-nuts. It doesn't matter if the mostly long-fendered bikes are made in Springfield, MA, Cupertino, CA, Phoenix, AZ, or now, Charlotte, NC, these rabid consumers of all things Injun are all over their brand like flies on, um, ice cream.

So to make it up to Indian aficionados, we published here in BTL (MC May '09), a full breakdown on the new Indian lineup. Our reporter, Mark Masker, did question the validity of releasing $30k+ bikes in this economy in what was basically a tarted-up Evo-era Harley-Davidson Softail. We don't know if you read our shootouts, but modern Softails with counterbalancers and a better motor get slammed for feeling a little too old-school, so we stand by our skepticism.

Naturally, Indian's "braves" wanted our scalps, so to speak. So when news surfaced recently that Indian's flagship store in Charlotte was dropping prices for the base-model Chief Standard by $5000 (short fender version) and $2500 (long fender version) to $25,999 and $28,999 respectively. We felt a little vindicated. Now that they're merely in the price range of Big Dog, who makes a really distinct, premium product (Chopper Challenge, MC July '09), we'd say their chances of survival went up by a factor of three. Go ahead, send the hate mail, we can take it.