“World’s Fastest Indian” to be Memorialized with 2017 Bonneville LSR Run by Munro’s Nephew

Lee Munro on Indian Scout Streamliner

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro’s iconic land speed record, Indian Motorcycle is teaming up with Kiwi road racer Lee Munro, Burt’s great nephew, to recreate the historic run at Bonneville on August 13. (Jeff Alan Photo)

It’s been 50 years since Burt Munro took his Indian Scout Streamliner to the Bonneville Salt Flats and made history – a story immortalized by the feature film, The World’s Fastest Indian, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins. As a result, Munro’s legacy transcends motorcycles and symbolizes the much broader drive to push beyond conventional limitations to experience or achieve what is seemingly impossible. Burt Munro is now a household name among “gear heads” across the globe and the ultimate example of the gritty, adrenaline-fueled pastime of expanding the limits of speed at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Munro’s iconic land speed record, Indian Motorcycle is teaming up with Kiwi road racer Lee Munro, Burt Munro’s great nephew, to recreate the historic run at Bonneville on August 13.

“Motorcycling is about shedding boundaries and limitations to go beyond the norm, and there is no better example of that than Burt Munro,” said Reid Wilson, Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director. “Driven by unparalleled determination and a legendary passion for the pursuit, Burt Munro embodies the spirit of Indian Motorcycle, and we couldn’t be prouder to honor his legacy with an updated version of his historic record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in August.”

Indian Scout Streamliner with a modified powertrain. (Jeff Allen Photo)

Indian Scout Streamliner with a modified powertrain. (Jeff Allen Photo)

For the updated record attempt, Lee Munro will pilot a modern Indian Scout with a powertrain modified by the Indian Motorcycle engineering team in an effort to become the world’s fastest modern Indian motorcycle. The attempt will not break Burt’s record, but instead will honor his storied legacy in the world of motorcycling. Fueled by their own ambition to push beyond boundaries, Indian’s team of engineers volunteered to be a part of this historic attempt, working on the project “after hours.” The team will undergo several test runs in El Mirage, Calif. before Lee Munro takes to the Salt Flats of Bonneville.

“My uncle Burt was a significant inspiration for my own racing career, and his appetite for speed is clearly a part of my DNA” said Lee Munro, the grandson of Burt’s first cousin. “What Indian Motorcycle is doing is fantastic, and I couldn’t be prouder to partner with them and pilot my own Scout at Bonneville in honor of my Uncle and the 50th anniversary of his historic record.”

Born and raised in Invercargill, New Zealand, the same town as his great uncle Burt, Lee Munro first began his life on two wheels via the high-adrenaline sport of downhill mountain biking. After winning many local races, even finishing fifth in the 2002 New Zealand Championship, Lee entered into motorcycle road racing. He won his first race and captured numerous titles on every road and street race circuit in the South Island of New Zealand. With plans to race the Isle of Man, Lee attended the Manx GP in 2016 to gain knowledge of the track and better prepare himself. Most recently, Lee won the vintage class at the Methven Street Races earlier this year on a 1941 Indian motorcycle.

Indian Scout Streamliner at El Mirage

Lee Munro will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro’s record-breaking run by piloting a special Indian Scout on the Salt at Bonneville. (Jeff Allen Photo)

Indian Motorcycle Adds Four New Colorways to Chieftain Limited

Indian Chieftain Limited White Smoke

Indian Chieftain Limited White Smoke

Indian Motorcycle Expands Chieftain Limited Colorways

Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, announced an expanded range of paint color options for the new Chieftain Limited. Since launching just over a month ago, the Chieftain Limited has become the fastest-selling bagger in Indian Motorcycle history.

Joining the Chieftain Limited in Thunder Black are four additional paint color options, including Silver Smoke, White Smoke, Star Silver over Thunder Black and Wildfire Red over Thunder Black. Priced in the U.S. from $24,999 to $25,699, the Chieftain Limited’s new colorways will be available at U.S. and Canadian dealerships starting in the middle of June.

“With Chieftain Limited, our aim was to deliver a more modern version of the Chieftain with a bit more attitude than its predecessors, and the response from the market has shown that the new design has resonated extremely well with our customers and dealers,” said Reid Wilson, Director of Marketing for Indian Motorcycle. “Considering the significant demand we’ve experienced, the expanded new colorways couldn’t be coming at a better time.”

The Chieftain Limited features a new lower-profile, sawed-off open front fender and new ten-spoke 19” contrast-cut front wheel and matching 16” rear wheel. Both perfectly complement the powerful dual 300mm floating front rotors with 4 piston calipers. The calipers feature the Indian Motorcycle script logo for a unique custom touch. A color matched headlight bezel and streamlined leather saddle complete the sleeker, aggressive look.

As with other Chieftain models, the Chieftain Limited features the industry leading Ride Command seven-inch infotainment system and powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine with 119 ft-lbs of torque. The Chieftain Limited also packs a wealth of premium features, including keyless ignition, remote locking saddlebags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), 100-watt premium audio system, power adjustable windshields, and just enough chrome to highlight all the attitude the custom-inspired bagger has to offer.

Learn more about Indian Motorcycle and the 2017 Chieftain Limited by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.

Indian Chieftain Limited Wildfire Red

Indian Chieftain Limited Wildfire Red

Indian Chieftain Limited Silver Smoke

Indian Chieftain Limited Silver Smoke

Indian Chieftain Limited Star Silver Thunder Black

Indian Chieftain Limited Star Silver Thunder Black

Bill Dodge ‘Blings’ Out an Indian Scout

Bill Dodge 2016 Indian Scout custom

For the 2016 Indian Scout he customized Bill Dodge only kept the Scout’s engine, instruments, frame, gas tank, and some of the wiring harnesses.

By Greg Williams / Photos By Pam Proctor

When Indian announced its 2016 custom-build program called Project Scout, Jason Foster of Mission City Indian in Boerne, Texas, got involved. Jason needed a little assistance, though, and for that he approached Bill Dodge of Blings Cycles.

“He asked for my help,” Bill says from his Daytona Beach, Florida, shop. “I thought Jason wanted me to make a couple of pieces, but the next thing I knew the Scout was in my shop.”

This Indian is Bill’s first experience with the machines rolling out of the company’s Spirit Lake, Iowa, production facility. Bill’s been around the custom motorcycle industry for quite a few years. He was shop foreman at West Coast Choppers, and in 2005 he opened Blings Cycles in New Jersey. The shop moved to Kentucky, and soon after, Bill finally landed in Daytona Beach, a location that puts him at the epicenter of Daytona Bike Week events.

“Since the late 1980s I’ve been modifying Harley-Davidsons,” he tells us. “From Knuckleheads to Evos, I build everything.” Of his particular style, he adds, “I just like to make things different.”

And that’s how he approached the brand-new 2016 Indian Scout. For this build, Jason’s only stipulation was the motorcycle had to have mid-controls. That was it. Everything else was up to Bill’s imagination.

“I wanted something that looked like a racer, but not a flat tracker,” Bill explains. “And people kept telling me Indian Scouts were cumbersome at low speeds, so I wanted it to handle better than stock.”

In order to make that happen, the Scout was immediately taken apart. A pickup truck full of Indian pieces was sent back to Jason, as Bill kept only the Scout’s engine, instruments, frame, gas tank, and some of the wiring harnesses.

Bill Dodge triple trees and GSX-R1000 front end on custom Indian Scout

Dodge grafted a Suzuki GSX-R1000 front end to the Scout’s frame and machined his own aluminum triple trees to fit the neck and the GSXR tubes.

Bill started by grafting a Suzuki GSX-R1000 front end to the Scout’s frame. As Bill produces his own aluminum triple trees, he machined a set to fit the neck and the GSXR tubes. Meanwhile, he added a frame-mounted steering damper to the lower tree for extra stability. The rake remained unchanged, but Bill shortened the overall length of the bike by 1/2″ in the trees. The stock instrument cluster was cut away and welded into a set of Bill’s risers, and these clamp down a ProTaper handlebar. Bill made the grips, and the clutch lever was sourced from a Honda CR500 dirt bike. A custom bracket holds the fly-by-wire throttle control, and the front brake lever and master cylinder came from an ATV. A Hella headlight complemented the de-cluttered style of the front end.

To give the Scout an aggressive stance, Bill opted for his Blings Cycles R9 wheels, 21″ up front and 18″ at the rear. The swingarm was not shortened, but it was shaved of a few brackets, however, in order to help clean up the lines before a pair of Fox shocks were bolted into place. All brake rotors are matching Blings Cycles R9 items, but the dual front calipers are stock Suzuki, and the rear is a product from Indian.

In order to provide Jason with the mid-controls he desired, Bill worked with a local machinist to CNC a unique primary cover on the left side, and a right-side engine cover incorporates what Bill calls Blings Cycles Slash Controls and footpegs in one piece. He hopes to soon have these components in regular production.

Dispensing with Indian’s belt final drive, Bill machined down the stock front pulley. He then opened up a 25-tooth Harley-Davidson Shovelhead sprocket, and pressed the two together before permanently welding them up. That rear sprocket is from Blings Cycles, too.

While Bill is proud of his wheels and the use of his triple trees to mount the GSX-R fork, it’s the tail section that is his favorite part of the build. “I just step back and eyeball the bike, and in my opinion the Scout needed more style in the rear; it has cool lines, but they get lost, so I think my tail section helps reveal them and radically changes the bike,” he says.

Working with sheets of aluminum, a wooden hammer, and leather metal-forming shot bag, Bill hand-shaped the tail section. He also made the seat pan from aluminum and had Duane Ballard stitch a custom leather cover. The pan connects to the tail section before it all gets bolted to the rear subframe with four fasteners.

Duane Ballard seat on custom Scout by Bill Dodge

Talented leather craftsman Duane Ballard stitched up this great looking seat for the Indian Scout Bill Dodge customized.

Speaking of the frame, Bill says nothing was changed on the Indian cast aluminum chassis. “Those pieces are coated from the factory in something that doesn’t like to come off,” he adds. He tried a high-quality chemical stripper; it only made the coating soft without removing it. Sandblasting wouldn’t touch it, either. Bill resorted to hand-sanding every nook and cranny to reveal the aluminum and had it all made shiny by Perfect Polishing Inc. in Daytona Beach.

The 69″ Indian Scout engine is stock, but changes include an air cleaner from Cory Ness and a Dynojet Power Commander. The exhaust is a custom piece of work. Bill cut and welded together stainless pipes to make the two headers and the collector that moves gases through a heavily modified SuperTrapp canister. The aluminum can was shortened about 8″, and the internals have been dissected and replaced to give the Indian a distinctive sound.

The paint on the Scout’s tank, swingarm, and tail section is a classic deep black with contrasting White Diamond Pearl applied by Chad Chambers of Chad Chambers Customs in Daytona Beach. The gold leaf Indian script is also Chad’s work.

To get the Scout to run cleanly after the air and exhaust modifications, Bill enlisted tuning wizard Zach Johnson of Kendall Johnson Customs. “I’d ridden the bike around a little bit, kind of pampering it before I decided to really get on it,” Bill says of the finished Scout. “When I did, it put down a 60′ strip of rubber in first gear. When I shifted into second, it put down another small strip before going right into a wheelie.”

Bill is more than happy that he was involved with Jason’s Scout from start to finish. Although it didn’t clinch a title in the Project Scout program, it did earn first place in Modified Custom of the US championship round of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Competition at the 2016 Progressive International Motorcycle Show—pretty good for the first Indian Bill has ever laid hands on. – AIM

This story was originally featured in American Iron Magazine Issue # 347 along with a plenty of other great stories like a father and son who race against each other on supercharged street bikes, Billy Lane’s feature on the 1915 Harley board tracker he built for Buzz to race on, and a review of Harley’s 2017 Road King Special. To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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Polaris Motorcycle Division to Exhibit & Showcase 2018 Models at 2017 AIMExpo

Indian Motorcycle & Polaris Slingshot to Showcase its Model Year 2018 Lineup at American International Motorcycle Expo in Columbus, Ohio

The Polaris Motorcycle Division announced it will make its American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) debut in September at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The appearance of both Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, and Polaris Slingshot, the bold three-wheeled roadster, will allow the motorcycle industry and consumers alike to be one of the first to view each brand’s full 2018 model year lineup.

2017 Indian Chieftain Elite and 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited

Produced by the Motorcycle Industry Council, AIMExpo is the single most important event of its type in the North American market and has international impact within the motorcycle and powersports industry. Polaris Motorcycle Division’s support of AIMExpo further demonstrates the company’s continued support to grow and expand the motorcycle industry. In addition, the AIMExpo provides an ideal platform to reach consumers and entertain dealers.

“The AIMExpo provides both Indian and Slingshot the ideal platform to reach and engage the North American market and to showcase each brand’s new model year lineups,” said Steve Menneto, President, Polaris Motorcycle Division. “Additionally, the city of Columbus is strategically situated within the sweet spot of our consumer base, as well as our dealer network, making it an ideal location to showcase our products to key constituencies.”

Polaris Motorcycle Division to Exhibit & Showcase New Model Lineup at 2017 AIMExpo

The AIMExpo’s purpose is to serve as the catalyst to bring together industry, press, dealers and consumers in a single arena that creates a grand stage for motorcycling and powersports in the U.S. and North America. AIMExpo delivers an efficient and energetic market-timed expo platform for B2B and B2C in the powersports industry.

“We’re excited to welcome Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Slingshot to the AIMExpo for the first time,” said Larry Little, Vice President & General Manager, MIC Events. “Both brands bring a unique story unlike any other brand – with Indian’s historic place in motorcycling and Slingshot’s category-creating design. We fully expect both brands to be well received from attending industry professionals and consumers, and believe Indian and Slingshot will help contribute to make this the best show yet.”

Indian Launches 1st Eyewear in Spring/Summer 2017 Apparel Line

Indian Motorcycle Co Entry Sunglasses

Indian Motorcycle Co Entry Sunglasses

2017 Offering to Include Company’s First Line of Performance Eyewear

The Spring/Summer 2017 range of Indian Motorcycle apparel and gifts continues to grow with the introduction of new products and categories for the Indian Motorcycle rider and enthusiast. Now available from North American Indian dealers and via www.indianmotorcycle.com, the range includes the following:

Liberty Jacket (MSRP $849.99):
* The US-made jacket has a classic styling and is made from hardwearing horsehide that naturally repels water.
* With a relaxed fit, the jacket includes CE certified shoulder and elbow protectors, a removable red contrast thermal lining, front and back hidden ventilation panels and side seam adjustment.

Indian Motorcycles Liberty Jacket

Indian Motorcycle Co Liberty Jacket

Drifter Mesh Jacket (MSRP $199.99):
* New mesh riding jackets provide further options for summer warm weather riding.
* Lightweight construction with full mesh panels to the body and arms, providing maximum air-flow.
* Distinctive black, grey and ecru color combination with bold applique and embroidered branding to the back and chest with an Indian headdress embroidered patch to the arm.
* Inside the jacket is a lightweight windproof lining that provides protection when the temperature drops.
* CE certified shoulder and elbow protectors and side seam adjusters are further standard features in this jacket.

Drifter Mesh Jacket – Women’s (MSRP $189.99):
* The women’s version of has its own distinctive styling to set itself apart from the men’s version, but still includes the important motorcycle riding features, such as CE certified protectors and removable wind-proof lining.

Shadow Mesh Jacket (MSRP $189.99):
* While the Drifter Mesh has a bolder design, the Shadow mesh is a subtler style with black on black branding and all black color-way.
* Maximum airflow is achieved, thanks to the full mesh body and arms, while the jacket also includes a removable wind-proof liner, CE certified protectors and side seam adjustment.
Indian launches its first performance eyewear range with a collection of 4 designs to provide varying degrees of performance for use on and off the motorcycle, each of which have been CE certified.

Entry Sunglasses (MSRP $29.99):
* The first of the line include scratch resistant, anti-fog, shatter resistant polycarbonate lenses that have 100% UVA and UVB protection.
* The TR90 polycarbonate frame is lightweight and strong and includes non-detachable EVA foam eyecups that help to reduce peripheral light and wind when riding.

Lifestyle Sunglasses (MSRP $29.99):
* Made for riding with a low-profile polycarbonate matte black frame that will fit under your helmet.
* The lenses are shatter resistant polycarbonate and are also scratch resistant with anti-fog coatings and UVA/UVB protection.
* This style is also prescription ready.

Semi-Pro Sunglasses (MSRP of $59.99):
* The frame is a premium TR90 nylon that is strong and lightweight.
* The lenses are shatter resistant polycarbonate with anti-scratch and anti-fog coatings as well as UVA/UVB protection.
* The detachable EVA foam eyecups provide addition protection from peripheral light and wind when riding, and can be easily removed when not riding.
* This style is also prescription ready.

Performance Sunglasses (MSRP $99.99):
* High-quality RochFlex design frame, which is lightweight and durable.
* The photochromic polycarbonate lenses react quickly to changes in light, transitioning from light to dark in around 60-90 seconds. This means the wearer can wear these sunglasses all day, from dusk to dawn, and they will react to the conditions.
* The sunglasses also feature easily removable PU foam eyecups to provide maximum protection against peripheral light and wind.
* This style is also prescription ready.

Indian Motorcycle jersey Spring/Summer 2017 Apparel

Indian Motorcycle Co 183 MPH Tee

In the casualwear range, for men and women, the Indian collection continues to grow, offering new graphic tees, shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts. Two new tees in the men’s range include the World Tee and 183 MPH Tee, both inspired by Burt Munro and his land speed record attempts. The UV Protect Long Sleeve Tee provides UV SPF50 protection with thermal control, dry fast and high wicking properties, thanks to the cotton and bamboo charcoal fabric construction.

For the home, garage and man-cave, Indian offers new ranges of products. From the US-made woollen throw, large home-rug and numerous sizes of metal signs, these products make perfect gifts for any Indian rider and enthusiast. Learn more about Indian Motorcycle and it’s new range by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.

Indian Motorcycle & Veterans Charity Ride Announces 3rd Motorcycle Therapy Adventure to Sturgis

Veterans Charity Ride rolls out of Red Cliffs.

Nomination Program to Award Post-9/11 Veterans With Epic Adventure via “Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime”

Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, has again joined forces with “Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis,” a nine-day journey that provides veterans a chance to use motorcycle therapy as a way to decompress from the challenges of post-war life. Through the “Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime” program, well deserving veteran heroes can be nominated to join the ride from now until May 21.

Rolling out of Los Angeles on July 28 on Indian motorcycles, trikes and Champion Sidecars, the ride provides participating veterans the opportunity to work toward overcoming their post-war challenges while out on the open road. Riding through the most scenic back roads of the western United States, veterans will not only experience the great outdoors and the beauty this country has to offer, but also make stops to meet with other veterans, supporters, riders, and participate in various adjacent adventures. Upon arrival in Sturgis on August 5, the group will be treated to a special “Heroes Welcome” before taking part in a week of activities that further solidify the brotherhood and sisterhood formed during the ride.

“We’ll spend over a week riding on America’s most beautiful roads, getting to know each other and helping each other through Motorcycle Therapy,” said David Frey, Veterans Charity Ride Founder. “The shared experience of serving brings us together, veteran to veteran, to help each other heal.”

Twenty deserving veterans and veteran mentors will join the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis in 2017. Additionally, organizers are offering two post-9/11 veteran heroes the chance to participate in the ride via the Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime program, which enables the public to nominate these two veterans. One space will be given to an ambulatory veteran motorcycle rider (proof of motorcycle license endorsement and sufficient riding experience required) and the other space will be given to a severely wounded or amputee veteran to ride as a sidecar passenger (no motorcycle experience required). Submissions are now being accepted online (here) with the selections to be announced July 4.

The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was conceived and developed by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero of Full Vision Productions, leveraging the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans.

Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis 2016

Primary sponsors of the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis include Indian Motorcycle and Champion Sidecars & Trikes, with additional sponsorship and support provided by Monster Energy Drink, Cycle Gear, Nordic Components, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, and the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.

“Indian Motorcycle has been a proud supporter of the Armed Forces dating back to its role as a military supplier during WWI,” said Reid Wilson, Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director. “It’s an honor to give back to our military veterans through our relationship with the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis and the incredible experience this ride provides.”

“Supporting our veterans by donating sidecars to accommodate amputee veterans in a safe, comfortable manner is something near and dear to our team and to me personally,” said Craig Arrojo, President of Champion Sidecars. “We are honored to be associated with such a worthy event, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Veterans Charity Ride for years to come.”

To follow the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis, support our veterans, donate and hear their stories, visit IndianMotorcycle.com/en-us/veterans-ride and VeteransCharityRide.org. To nominate a post-9/11 veteran for the Hero’s Ride of a Lifetime program, visit VeteransCharityRide.org/Heros-Ride/.

Indian Ups its Bagger Game: 2017 Chieftain Limited & 2017 Chieftain Elite First Look

2017 Indian Chieftain Elite and 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited

2017 Indian Chieftain Elite and 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited

Ten-Spoke 19” Front Wheel, Open Front Fender and a Host of New Design Accents Offer Riders A More Attention-Grabbing Look Than Ever Before

The new standard in bagger design and style is here. That’s what Indian Motorcycle accomplished with the new custom-inspired 2017 Chieftain Limited and 2017 Chieftain Elite. For these bold new Chieftains, Indian Motorcycle’s designers added tons of style with a variety of features that provide a more sleek, meaner look than ever before. The new offerings represent a bold evolution of the Chieftain line and pave the way for nothing less than legendary riding experiences.

“Our goal was to evolve the award-winning Chieftain platform with new models that elevated the overall style of this bike significantly, while still staying true to the signature design qualities that Indian Motorcycle is known for,” said Reid Wilson, Director of Marketing for Indian Motorcycle. “There’s no doubt these bikes have a more commanding presence combined perfectly with the flowing lines and signature details that make them 100% Indian.”

Every detail of these two bikes demands attention. A new lower-profile, sawed-off open front fender showcases Indian Motorcycle’s new front wheel – a ten-spoke 19” contrast-cut behemoth, paired with a matching 16” rear wheel that perfectly complements the powerful dual 300mm floating front rotors with 4 piston calibers. The calipers feature the Indian Motorcycle script logo for a unique custom touch. A color-matched headlight bezel and streamlined leather saddle complete the more sleek, aggressive look.

For those who demand the best of the best, the Chieftain Elite steps to the plate as a limited-edition bike that’s as close to “custom” as possible. It features custom Fireglow Red Candy with Marble Accents paint, all completed entirely by hand at Indian Motorcycle’s custom paint facility located in Spearfish, South Dakota. It takes a small, specialized team over 25 hours to hand paint each bike and since no machines are used, no two Chieftain Elites look exactly the same. The Elite also comes with a wealth of premium accessories, including Pathfinder LED headlight and driving lights, a flare windshield, billet driver and passenger floorboards, and a 200-watt premium audio system. Only 350 will be made available for sale globally.

Both bikes come stacked with all the features that make the Chieftain line the most respected bagger on the road. Along with the industry leading Ride Command seven-inch infotainment system and powerful Thunderstroke 111 engine with 119 ft-lbs of torque, the Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Elite have a wealth of features including key-less ignition, remote locking saddlebags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), chrome front highway bars, power adjustable windshields, and just enough chrome to highlight all the attitude these bikes have to offer.

Indian Motorcycle upped the ante on style with the Chieftain Limited and set a new standard with the Chieftain Elite. Both are designed and engineered to lead any pack. What follows in their wake will be legendary.

Learn more about Indian Motorcycle and the 2017 Chieftain Limited and Chieftain Elite by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.

Indian Motorcycle’s Gary Gray Talks Flat Track & Early Success of the FTR750

Jared Mees Daytona TT 2017

Jared Mees on his way to the first victory for the new Indian Motorcycle Racing team at the Daytona TT.

To say Indian Motorcycle Racing has exceeded expectations so far in the 2017 American Flat Track season is an understatement. Two races, two wins. Five out six podium positions. Be it TT or short track, the FTR750 has been a dominant force so far regardless of what type of track it’s competing on.

As the season begins its first swing to the longer half-mile and mile-long tracks, we caught up with Indian Motorcycle Co.’s Product Director Gary Gray to talk about the team’s early success and the keys to that success.

AIM: Based on what you’ve seen in the first two races, why do you think the FTR750 has done so well?

Gary Gray: I think our riders. Luckily we’ve got Bryan, Brad and Jared who when they found out we were working on the new bike they came to us and said hey, we want to help, we want to do something new and exciting for the sport and bring some energy to the sport and we were more than excited to get those guys.

Yeah, I think they’re a big part of it and I think the development that we’ve put in, the time that’s being put in to not just build a bike but go out and test it and make it better. We’ve tested at Atlanta, we’ve tested at Charlotte where we’re going to be next week. Obviously we couldn’t test at the TT track (Daytona TT was still being smoothed out day of the race) but we did TT testing before Daytona. So Ricky Howerton and Kenny Tolbert, they’re the best in the business. Kenny’s won year after year and Ricky, in my opinion, is the only guy that’s taken a non-Harley engine and done great things with it. There’s a lot of people trying with other motors and it’s tough but Ricky figured it out with the Kawi and he’s helping us out with the Indian. So it’s good, and the bike’s pretty good. We built the bike but it had to beat an XR on the short track and a Ninja on a mile, so we’ll see what happens on the half-miles and miles.

AIM: In your wildest dreams did you expect you’d win 5 out of 6 podium positions right out of the gate?

Gray: No. No way. I mean, everybody here, the goal is to win a championship at some point. I didn’t think it would be possible in the first year. I set my expectations, my realistic expectations were that we would get on the podium this year. I mean, there’s 18 races, so some time in those 18 races we would get on the podium. And we’d place top five in points somewhere. You look at Bryan last year who won the championship, he only won four races all last year. Flat track is not like pro sports where the New England Patriots win 75-80% of their games. There’s 40 guys that want to beat you. You don’t podium every week, but you’ve got to get points almost every week and that leads to championships. My honest opinion was maybe sometime this year we would podium and we would do well in points because we’d have three really reliable bikes and three really great riders. Top three, top five in points by the end of the year but no, not what’s going on right now. It’s crazy.

Jared Mees takes a victory lap at Atlanta Short Track.

AIM: Especially considering the bike itself is what, a little over a year old?

Gray: Yeah, it’s a year-and-a-half that we started and the bike started running less than a year ago.

AIM: When did the wheels start churning as far as Indian contemplating returning to flat track?

Gray: It would have been two Septembers ago we started talking about it. In October of 2015, we kicked the program off and serious design on the engine started in December of 2015. And then spring of last year we were still designing the chassis and had running bikes by June of last year.

AIM: Did American Flat Tracks decision to run the Twins on all the tracks factor in to the decision to return?

Gray: Yeah, it was critical. Michael Lock at American Flat Track is doing a great job of improving the sport and making it make sense for the manufacturers and making it make sense for customers. It was kind of weird honestly before when one race Brad Baker’s riding a Twin from one brand and the next race he’s riding a Single from another brand. It’s like, what is going on? People still want to follow Brad but there’s some people that want to follow a team and a bike, like NASCAR, Chevy vs Ford vs Toyota or whatever. It’d be kind of weird if they were jumping from brand to brand and type of car. He straightened that out and had it make sense to the fans and it’s showing. Attendance is up and people are excited. We were pretty adamant that if we’re coming back, that’s gotta be the way it is and Michael got it done.

We wanted to give something back to the sport. We bought the brand, Indian Motorcycle, in April of 2011 and came out with bikes in 2013 and have a decent lineup of bikes and things are going well and we’re growing year-over-year. And we said, we’ve got our feet on the ground, let’s give something back to the sport. What better place to do that when our heritage is based on racing with Hendee and Hedstrom actually meeting at a racetrack. They were racers and founded America’s first motorcycle company and so what better way to give back to the sport than do something that would make our founders proud and come back and race. And flat track is a big part of our history and we hope what we’re doing gets people excited and gets people back in the stands and gets them excited about racing and gets people excited about motorcycles.

Indian Motorcycle Co.'s Product Director Gary Gray

Indian Motorcycle Co.’s Product Director Gary Gray has played a vital role in the company’s return to racing. 

AIM: The big three. Did you ever think that you’d land all three considering their past successes with different brands?

Gray: No. Jared, when we started working on the bike, Jared found out and called Michael Lock who put him through to us. He talked to us about his history, which we’re pretty familiar with before us (big laughs) and yeah, we signed him up to test and then signed him for this year. A few years his contract is. And then Ricky, Ricky Howerton, Michael Lock also sent his contact information. Ricky was calling Michael about what we were up to. He was curious so I called Ricky and we started talking and like I said, there’s a lot of great people out there, but he’s the one guy who took something non-Harley and made it work. I think well, we probably need someone like that to balance out Jared and Kenny and so he came on and brought Bryan, which was amazing. It was also amazing that we wouldn’t have to race those guys as well. Or Jared.

We never, never in a million years, we wanted Brad of course, but didn’t even call him because we’re like, who would leave the factory job, the number one ride at the time, nobody’s going to leave that job. There’s no way. And Ricky said, hey have you ever thought about Brad? Well, yeah, but he’s not going to leave. He’s like, well let me talk to him. And he was going to talk to him on Saturday and that Wednesday, Brad called us and said hey, you know what, I heard what you guys are doing and I’m interested. So honestly, all three called us. We wrote out a list of who we would want but were like well we’re not getting these guys, and then all three of them called us and we’re like hell yeah, we would love for you to be a part of it. They just wanted to be a part of it. They said we’re great at what we do, obviously, and we can help you and we’re like we need all the help we can get trying to bring a bike from zero to something. Yeah, it’s awesome. All three of those guys are amazing, their crew chiefs are amazing. Just like the 1-2-3 finish, we wrote it down on paper and thought this will never happen, but it happened.

Indian Motorcycle Racing swept the podium at the Atlanta Short Track.

Indian’s formidable Motorcycle Racing team swept the podium at the Atlanta Short Track. (L-R) Brad Baker, Jared Mees, Bryan Smith 

AIM: So I saw you up there on the podium with Mees and Smith at the Daytona TT? How were you feeling at that moment?

Gray: Probably one of the top three happiest moments of my life. It’s kind of funny. I’m a pretty calm guy, I’m pretty mellow. I don’t jump around and yell and scream and my team knows me as that. Well, I guess there’s some things that can get me jumping around and that was one of them. It was unbelievable. Half-way through that race, I mean three-quarters of the way when Vanderkoi popped I literally just put my face in hands and said I can’t believe this is happening, I can’t believe this is happening. 1-2, this is unbelievable. And then watching Atlanta, this is crazy. When Sammy went down, did that just really happen? Come on guys, you gotta get a good race start, and they did, they got a good race start. Bryan fended off the number four guy and history was made.

Indian Motorcycle Racing Team Celebrates at the Daytona TT

The Indian Motorcycle Racing team celebrates after going 1-2 in its first official race at the 2017 Daytona TT.

AIM: How do you think the FTR750 is going to fare on the bigger tracks seeing how we’re headed to the Charlotte Half-Mile followed by the Arizona Mile?

Gray: I think OK. Half-mile, for sure, it should be really, really strong. Last year at Santa Rosa on the mile, couldn’t be happier. I mean, Joe Kopp was wheelieing down the back stretch in the lead in the main, so that looked pretty good. So, I don’t know, the competitors make a lot of horsepower so I guess you never know. I’m nervous, but honestly I was more nervous about the TT and the short track. I wasn’t sure whether we’d do really well in those races and we did really well. So who knows. Knock on wood, I might have the opposite problem when we get to the half-mile and mile. I hope all goes well.

Our competitors aren’t going to lay down and if you sit still between two races you’re going to go slower. A lot can happen but I feel better about those than the short stuff and the short stuff worked out well so we’ll keep knocking on wood and hope it keeps going well.

And the Winner of Indian Motorcycle’s “Project Chieftain” Is…

Show-Stopping Indian Chieftain Customs From Hollister Powersports, Coastal Indian Motorcycle of Murrels Inlet & Indian Motorcycle of Central Massachusetts Claim Top Honors

Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, proudly announced the three winners of its Project Chieftain custom motorcycle contest during Bike Week in Daytona Beach. Hollister Powersports’ (Hollister, CA) “Tequila Sunset” claimed top honors, with “America Proud” from Coastal Indian Motorcycle (Murrels Inlet, S.C.) and “Barnstorm” from Indian Motorcycle of Central Massachusetts (Worcester, MA) taking 2nd and 3rd place honors respectively.

Hollister Powersports Tequila Sunset Indian Chieftain

Hollister Powersports “Tequila Sunset” won top honors in Indian Motorcycles’ “Project Chieftain” contest. 

Following the success of the 2016 ‘Project Scout’ build contest, Indian renewed the competition for 2017, this time focusing on its popular hard bagger, the Indian Chieftain. The three-month contest invited Indian Motorcycle dealers to build a custom Indian Chieftain or Chieftain Dark Horse model using any theme, style or budget, as long as it incorporated at least three authentic Indian Motorcycle accessories.

“The collection of unbelievable customs that were produced for ‘Project Chieftain’ are a powerful testament to the significant customization capabilities of the Chieftain platform,” said Gary Gray, Indian Motorcycle Product Director. “It’s always such a pleasure to see the creativity and craftsmanship of our dealers, while showcasing for the rider how far one can go to make our bikes more personal to them.”

‘Project Chieftain’ kicked off on October 10, 2016, with the entry period closing on January 13, 2017. Fans voted online for eleven finalists during a two-week period from February 1-15, and the three winning bikes were on display during Daytona Bike Week. The dealers took home cash prizes of $20,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place.

Tequila Sunset, the winning motorcycle designed by Hollister Powersports of Hollister, Calif., features the following modifications: a 23” custom front wheel, stretched front fender, raked triple trees, custom gold metallic paint, custom made side covers, custom made air cleaners, and frenched in turn signals in the saddle bags.

“America Proud” from Coastal Indian Motorcycle

“American Proud” by Coastal Indian Motorcycle, took second place in “Project Chieftain.”

American Proud, the second place winner designed by Coastal Indian Motorcycle of Murrells Inlet, S.C., honors the American men and women that created Indian in 1901 and recognizes the team that resurrected the brand. It also pays homage to the service men and women that protect our freedoms.

Barnstorm, the third place winner designed by Indian Motorcycle of Central Mass., was modified to elevate the aspects of Chieftain performance. Power output was increased with Indian Motorcycle performance cams, intake and a handmade stainless exhaust. Those modifications, paired with aggressive styling and stunt-inspired bars and controls bring the bike to an unprecedented level of power, agility and aesthetics.

“Barnstorm” from Indian Motorcycle of Central Massachusetts

“Barnstorm” by Indian Motorcycle of Central Massachusetts rounds out the top three in the “Project Chieftain” contest. 

Baggers with an undeniable presence, the 2017 Indian Chieftain and Chieftain Dark Horse are powered by the Thunder Stroke 111 engine and feature a 100 Watt premium audio system, TPMS, ABS, fairing with integrated driving lights and power windshield, cruise control, remote locking hard bags, keyless ignition, and much more. Plus, with more than 300 Authentic Indian Motorcycle Accessoriesavailable, they are easy to make your own.

Available in Thunder Black Pearl, White Smoke, Silver Smoke and a pair of two-tone palettes, the Indian Chieftain starts at $23,999 and comes standard with the highly lauded all-new 7” Ride Command infotainment system. The Chieftain Dark Horse, starting at $21,999, sports a premium 100W audio system and an ominous nose-to-tail matte black finish with minimal chrome for a menacing presence.

Learn more about Indian Motorcycle by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels

Limited Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Chieftain Sells Out in 10 Minutes

Limited Edition Jack Daniel's Indian Chieftain

Iconic Brand Collaboration Drives Record-Setting Demand for Show-Stopping, Custom-Inspired Bagger, Designed by Brian Klock

Last Monday at Noon Eastern, Indian Motorcycle dealers began accepting pre-order deposits for the company’s recently unveiled Limited-Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Chieftain. By 12:10 p.m. Eastern, pre-order capacity of 100 units was filled.

The new limited-edition offering is the latest collaboration between America’s first motorcycle company and the iconic Tennessee whiskey distillery. In 2016, the collaboration produced a Limited-Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Springfield and Indian Chief Vintage with pre-order capacity of 150 units filled in merely 8 hours. This year it only took 10 minutes.

“This overwhelming level of demand is an incredible testament to the power of these two iconic American brands,” said Steve Menneto, President of Motorcycles for Polaris Industries. “Without a doubt, this brand collaboration and motorcycle are tapping directly into a deep sense of patriotism and American pride. We couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.”

The custom-inspired Chieftain marks the second year the two iconic American trailblazers have collaborated to design and manufacture what is ultimately a unique V-twin-powered celebration of American craftsmanship. Both brands have long shared a mutual commitment to independence, originality, and ingenuity. Ultimately, that’s what the resulting limited-edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Chieftain represents. Based on the consumer response, it’s clear that these brands, and the principles they stand for, deeply resonate with American motorcyclists.

“Last year, we were blown away when we filled order capacity in eight hours. Clearly, we have tapped into something truly special, but to fill pre-order to capacity in 10 minutes is nothing short of incredible,” said Dave Stang, Director of Events and Sponsorships for Jack Daniel’s. “Ultimately, it’s critical to us that our partnered responsibility message of “Bottles & Throttles Don’t Mix” is heard as loud and clear as the roar of the 111” V-Twin motor that powers these Indian Chieftains. These incredible bikes are an important platform in carrying that message to consumers.”

The individually numbered motorcycles offer a wide array of custom details, highlighted by a one-of-a-kind white and black crystal paint job with charcoal colored accents inspired by Jack Daniel’s unique charcoal-mellowing process. A host of Jack Daniel’s “Old No. 7” logos and custom badging are interspersed throughout the bike, including logoed billet driver and passenger floorboards, leather tank pouch, aluminum tank console with motorcycle number, and unique cam, primary and air intake covers. The crowning detail is a handmade, pure silver Jack Daniel’s horn cover badge, hand-crafted by the team at Montana Silversmith, exclusively developed and produced only for this motorcycle. The bike also carries an inscription of Jack Daniel’s “Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix” mantra to remind riders that drinking and riding are meant to be enjoyed separately.

In addition to the bike’s unique custom-branded accents, the Limited-Edition Jack Daniel’s Indian Chieftain also features a 19-inch, contrast cut front wheel with an open fender and a host of premium touring amenities including LED headlight and driving lights, power adjustable flare windshield, gloss black front and rear highway bar, 200-watt premium audio system with fairing and saddlebag speakers, and Indian Motorcycle’s proprietary Ride Command infotainment system.

Only 100 of these show-stopping Limited Edition Indian Chieftain’s were available globally, each coming with a commemorative American flag handmade from Jack Daniel’s barrel wood. Each flag is customized to include the owner’s name, motorcycle number and VIN. The individually numbered bikes carry an MSRP of $34,999 (California models add $250 for California emissions) and a Canada MSRP of $42,499. Each comes with a two-year unlimited mileage factory warranty and free membership in the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group for one year.