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Polaris Industries Inc. today announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycle. The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited (“IML”), a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”

With this acquisition, Polaris adds one of motorcycling’s legendary brands to its strong stable of Victory cruiser and touring bikes. Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian and managing director of Stellican. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”

Novator Partners LLP is a London based alternative investment firm founded and led by the investor Mr. Thor Bjorgolfsson. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Bjorgolfsson said “After a troubled past, our goal was to bring the legendary Indian bikes back on the roads. The initial phase of that project is done and now our great partners at Polaris will carry on the work to realize the full potential of this classic American brand.”
 

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Did Stellican sell off Chris Craft? I don't remember.

Indian is a great brand, but I'm not sure how this one is going to work out. Expensive bikes in a down economy? Hmmm...
 

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You have to wonder if the the Vic components like engines, frames, etc. are going to begin appearing in the Indians. Or, will the bikes continue to be built as they are today; virtually custom, with a super-high price.

Seems to me there's very little value left in the Indian name itself, although I did meet a guy in Daytona who was raving about the big-fender styling. It's hard to see how Polaris can make any serious money with this venture, but maybe the aquisition will give the dealers a bike that will generate new traffic.
 

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Hell yes, Ken! Indian will become the Cadillac of the division and turn Victory into the Pontiac performance division.
Makes perfect sense. I told the guys at the "new" Indian that they should have hired Eller and put in his Rousch build motors, but NOOOOOO they didn't listen.
 

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Another "Indian" story!

Gawd, please make it stop!

Maybe they can name the bikes, starting with 'Big Horn,' after Indian Victories. Get it?


And Ken, there hasn't been anything 'custom' about Indian bikes for years. Other than the parts with the Indian(TM) Logo on them, you can buy the whole bike out of a Custom Chrome(R) catalog.
 

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Victory sales numbers have been up, percentage-wise, especially compared to HD. Did Polaris purchase Indian just to get the "iconic" name? Most likely. Was that necessary? I don't think so. But with Polaris' resources behind them, Indian will have a much better chance of surviving, and even improving their product. I guess we'll find out what happens.
 

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And Ken, there hasn't been anything 'custom' about Indian bikes for years. Other than the parts with the Indian(TM) Logo on them, you can buy the whole bike out of a Custom Chrome(R) catalog.
Kirk, that was true with the very first iteration of Indians. They had S&S engines that were HD Evo clones, and all the aftermarket stuff like Baker trans, PM brakes, etc. However, the second generation had their own engine, called the "Bottle Cap" engine, and a lot of other proprietary parts. The third gen, which is what Polaris bought, is using the Bottle Cap engines, their own body parts, and (I think) frame.

So, will Polaris put in their engine etc? It will be interesting to find out.
 

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Kirk, that was true with the very first iteration of Indians. They had S&S engines that were HD Evo clones, and all the aftermarket stuff like Baker trans, PM brakes, etc. However, the second generation had their own engine, called the "Bottle Cap" engine, and a lot of other proprietary parts. The third gen, which is what Polaris bought, is using the Bottle Cap engines, their own body parts, and (I think) frame.

So, will Polaris put in their engine etc? It will be interesting to find out.
The Bottle Cap engine is hardly original though. It's based on the Evo from days gone by. So it's kinda not a clone but really kinda is.
 

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The Bottle Cap engine is hardly original though. It's based on the Evo from days gone by. So it's kinda not a clone but really kinda is.
A clone? A CLONE? Are you nuts? It has ROUND CYLINDERS for crissakes.

A clone, he says...
 

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I still chuckle about the dude on the new Indian giving me the stink eye at a light, then trying to show me what a real bike can do when he instantly hit the rev limiter and I short shifted into 3rd and left him for dead.

To the Gentleman on the Yellow Indian getting onto 101 in SF in the dark hours of the morning about a decade ago, I thank you for the comic relief. Its truly been the gift that kept on giving.
 

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Lets see..."jumped the shark"......'screwed the pooch"..."dorked the Spaniel"...."killed the cat"..."f*cked the duck"..."flogged the log"....."humped the mutt"....."Beat a Dead Horse".....How many more ways can you say it?

RIP Indian, 1901~1953. For Gods sake let them rest in peace......
 
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