Ask a child to draw a motorcycle and chances are it will look like an American-style cruiser. Ask any Kiwi who our most famous motorcyclist is, and there’s only one name: Burt Munro aboard his 1920 Indian Scout.
While a certain 2005 film starring Anthony Hopkins stimulated interest in Munro and India’s history, it wasn’t until 2014 that the Indian Motorcycle brand started selling new bikes again. in shops.
Indian has a strong, if troubled, history. Founded in 1901, it quickly became a dominant force in the American motorcycle industry. However, after World War II the company fell on hard times and closed in 1953.
After various attempts to revive it, Indian finally found a solid home under the umbrella of powersports giant Polaris Industries in 2011. Now offering five distinct families of American-made motorcycles – plus the small FTR-Mini suited to kids – Indian is on the right track. .
With a line of modern cruisers aimed squarely at removing much of Harley-Davidson, Polaris went all out by shutting down its own Victory brand in 2017 to focus fully on Indian.
While sales volumes don’t quite match Bar and Sheild’s here, perhaps in part due to the vast lineup Milwaukee brings to the fight, the Springfield-based Indian Motorcycle company has come a long way since then. the revival of the brand.
Indian’s current lineup starts with the $19,995 FTR. Taking inspiration from Indian Motorcycle’s dominant American Flat Track bikes, the FTR delivers naked sport riding with an array of technologies.
Built around a steel trellis frame and a high-performance 89kW 1203cc V-twin, the FTR is currently the only American-made naked sport on the New Zealand market. Early examples sport a 19-inch front wheel in line with its flat-track heritage, but newer models now roll on 17-inch wheels that offer a wider tire choice.
Scout, Scout Bobber and Scout Rogue
The entry point to the traditional Indian Motorcycle lineup is, and always has been, the Scout family. With a price starting at $22,995, the Scout range is powered by a liquid-cooled 1133cc
V-twin and now consists of four different sub-models, including the Scout Bobber and the new Scout Rogue.
When Indian Motorcycle was first born, it was led by the Chief line of cruisers.
Recently updated, the Chief maintains its position as the entry point into the high-capacity (and downright stunning to look at) Thunderstroke engine family with an all-new chassis and lower price.
Now priced at $26,990, the Chief line offers raw American cruiser styling with plenty of scope to tailor the ride to your liking.
Chef and Roadmaster
Continuing the Thunderstroke family of engines are the touring-focused Chieftain and Roadmaster. Both retain the same chassis, but now sport larger capacity motors and more technology.
Indian’s glove-friendly Ride Command infotainment system is included with the Chieftain and Roadmaster, which enables full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Challenger and Pursuit
The latest machines to join the Indian lineup ditched the Native American-inspired naming convention as well as air-cooled Thunderstroke engines.
Priced at $41,495, the soon-to-be-arriving Challenger and Pursuit feature the latest in Indian motorcycle design language, technology, and the all-new, liquid-cooled 1768cc PowerPlus V-Twin engine.