The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Co.

Over on Facebook, I take request for articles, stories, and such. The challenge is enjoyable, and the knowledge is priceless. The question was from Greg Henderson. He would like to know how the company, and bike got the names.

Challenge accepted! Here you will find the answer to Greg’s questions, and more. This is basically a complete histroy of Indian, up to today.

Thanks for the request, Greg! This gives me a big opportunity to cancel some myths, and tell some histroy. There is a lot of confusion in the American motorcycle histroy. This will answer your questions, and shed some light on some facts.

First, the name. By today’s standards, we’ll some people of today’s standards, it should be deemed as racist. That is wrong. Indian motorcycles took the name Indian after the American Native, at the time, known as the American Indian. This was the only name for the entire first people of America.

Beings the Native were first, and Indian was America’s first motorcycle company, they honored them with the names. The Scout was the biggest and baddest of the 1920s, and made up a lot of the Pacer and Cafe racer scene. So, it was a fitting name. I scout hunted down their pray, and so would this bike.

A lot of people think Harley was America’s first motorcycle company, this is not true. Indiand was built in 1897 by a man named George Hendree loved to race. He met a racer who had built his own pacer. Hendree would take the racer, and bike, back to Hendree Bicycle company, and Indian would be born. By 1901 the Indian Motorcycle would be in production. It would be another 3 years before the first Harley Davidson rolled off the line.

Hendree loved to race, and would build his bikes to be the best. By 1911, just ten years after opening his doors, he had become the top of the Isle of Man TT Races. He would have three top finishers, and win the race.

We’re people really small enough for that little bike to carry three of them? By 1912 Indian had became America’s first motorcycle sold around the world. They would continue to be “America’s ” motorcycle until July 11, 1914.

Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Co. Would join the war efforts, along with Harley Davidson, and many other Americans motorcycle manufacturers. This is not to say that Indian was the first War Bike.

Harley Davidson invented the first Murdercycle. The United States Military would use it in 1916. They would force Panco Villa back into Mexico with it. Harley was the first American military motorcycle.

1916 would also bring a great change to the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Co. I like to think he was a racer, and a biker. He knew the freedom we feel, hell, he made it American, and could not watch his company go to war. Racing and riding isn’t about these thing. So, in 1916, after carrying his company to the top, George Hendree retired.

Indian Motorcycles would enter into WW1 ready for war. They would fight in Europe. Because they were shaft driven, unlike Harley, they would fight in the Desert Theaters of World War 1.

Another advantage over the Harley was the foot shifter. The Harley of the time had a handshift. Freeing up hands in war is a smart thing.

Government money is good money, but never forget where you came from. Indian Motorcycles would do just that. As Hendree left, they turned all their attention to the war efforts. They would build the bikes, and start schools to train soldiers to repair them.

Harley Davidson would also join the war efforts, but eould not forget where they came from. Unlike Indian, they would continue to focus on customer sells, and products for the public. Unfortunately for Indian, the war would only last 4 years.

After the war, Indian would find it hard to get back the dealers, after they left them out to dry. They would get some back with the Scout, but not many. Harley had picked up a lot of them, and took care of them during the war. Harley Davidson had started to become the American Peoples’ Motorcycle.

Lucky for Indian, one of the best motorcycle riders of the time, to hear Hollywood tell it, road their motorcycle. In 1927, Steve McQueen would ride Indian back into American hearts and minds. He would continue for some time.

In the 30s, Indian started designing for style and comfort. They designed a lot of the looks and styles people remodel bikes to, today. This is a bobber, by today’s definition. I am personally finishing up a bike in this style. The styles of these bikes are why we are talking about them, now. Then old Indians have the looks…

Throughout the 1930s, Indian would regain their popularity with the American people, and knock a decent dent in Harley. But, as you know, in 1942, we went back to war.

Indian would go on to repeat the same mistake. They would quickly retool their factory for their new Murdercycle. They would call it the Indian 841. This bike eould basically be the end of Indian Motorcycles Manufacturing Co. At least the first nail.

Let me introduce to you, the 1940 Harley Davidson Model UL Murdercycle! Hatley learned a lot during WW1. Things like there were two markets for motorcycles. One civilian, one government. Indian retooled the same factories. Another nail.

Basically all Indian could put out was a badass bobber, painted green. Harley, on the other hand, they were in the business of war machines, and had been for most of the companies life. Indian’s was not able to compete. Nail…

On September 2nd, 1945, after the napalm was lit, and the atomic bombs were dropped, the war ended. The bombs America dropped, they were not only overseas. As the war ended, Indian would count their losses.

During the war, Harley Davidson sold 88,000 motorcycles to the war effort, making millions. Indian had no chance. They had shaft driven bikes, that is all. The machine gun side car won the war, for Harley.

Indian, being a shaft driven bike, still had a place in the war. Unfortunately it was a very small place. They only sold 1000 motorcycles. Harley was officially the American Military motorcycle.

Indian would fight hard over the next few years. Their late 1940s product line would include some of the most beautiful bikes ever made. They would even go back to their roots, and try to get into racing.

Still, after the war profit and losses, Indian stood no chance. Harley was able to keep their dealerships during World War 2. Indian failed at this, by chasing government contracts. Nails…

By the 1950s Indian was struggling to make it. They were redesigning everything they could. This made a lot of the 50s models unwanted. Those nails…

That’s a beautiful bike, but that seat? Indian was losing their touch, races, and customers. Sales slumped. People wanted Harley. It had nothing to do with performance, or looks.

Do you know what happens to military surplus when it no longer has a use? It is sold to Hollywood. This mass influx of Harley Davidson motorcycles caused the mass influx of biker movies. Indian lost McQueen to Harley back in the late 30s. They had no place anymore. Yes, I know the picture is from 1963, but it shows my point. The final nails…

In 1953, Indian would take their last swing at a motorcycle for the American people. Unfortunately, their chosen path would not allow the to make it. They failed at keeping up with the people. They failed at engineering for the military. 1953 would be the final nail. Indian would close their doors, ending the first American motorcycle company.

They would go bankrupt. Those nails, it wasn’t a coffin that we built. We built a resting place, a place for Indian to hibernate. For almost 60 years, Indian would sleep. Waiting for someone to come and wake her up. Some tried, but they all failed.

As AMF did for Harley Davidson back in 1969, and Hero Motorcycles is doing for Harley in India, someone stepped up to carry Indian into the future.

In 2011, Polaris closed their own motorcycle line, Victory Motorcycles. They would bring back the American classic, Indian Motorcycles. If Indian is lucky, one day they might, once again, stand as their own American company. AMF worked for Harley. Maybe Polaris will work for Indian.

That’s all I got for today! Thanks, Greg, for the idea, and thank you all for reading!

Introducing our First Leather Gear!

And ladies,  as always, you are first. Please let me show you our new pony tail holders! They are all handmade by Kris Kay!

Now that is biker lady style! See, Kris was raised by his mother and sister. He was taught crafts, make up, and even how to do hair! He finds himself paying attention to the fashion that he is around.

Look at that, he made it so you could wear it two ways! That’s good designing! After setting off on ride after ride, Kris started noticing pony tail wraps, and other products.

He seen this as a leather tube sock, stuck in a lady’s hair. He did not find this appealing.  So, Kris started thinking. How could he change the cocksock looking wrap?

Kris has always been into fashion. As a teen, he would work all week, delivering pizza, and would spend it all on one pair of pants! He has always cared about how he looks, and even those that he dates, even going as far as to shop for her clothing.

Kids these days… Their nose rings. Their crazy colored hair. What are they thinking? Whatever it is, Kris was thinking it 20 years before them.

20 years is a long time. Kris found himself on many adventures in life. Music played a large part. Concerts were something he loved. It didn’t matter if it was Luke Bryan, or Mushroom Head, he noticed that leather crosses all lines.

Then, he seen this vacuum house end that someone stuck in this pour lady’s hair! You can tell man designed this horrid article of clothing. Kris thought about his life. He thought about he how he designed clothing for men, has artist making leather products being designed for men, but had nothing to offer the ladies.

Seeing the terrible attempts at styles, and the rubber band, pony tail holder, he decided he would sit down and desisomwthing nice enough for a lady to feel pretty wearing.

After a few tries, and asking around, Kris found a style and design ladies enjoy! So now A Biker’s Life For Me has its first installment into our leather line! Not all of them will be this way! We have three other designs, waiting to be finished up! We will be offering pink stones, rose buttons, and other great designs!

Thanks for reading! I hope you are looking forward to seeing what we all have to offer! Stay safe, and have a blast!

HELP STOP DUSTIN LINDSAY!

It really is time to stop Dustin from scamming people. Since I wrote the first article, because he got me for $60, it has been constant. I get messages from every type of builder, not just motorcycle builders.

Either the article stopped them from sending money, or they find it too late. I have done my work, and tracked him down. Sending him to jail, wasn’t something I enjoy doing to people. It was $60. I’ll write an article for $60.

He got me 2 months ago. Every week I get another message, from another building brother, who was already struggling to get parts. Motorcycle guys, ATV, 4×4, trucks, lowriders. They come from the entire wrench turning family. All of us builders.

I have reported him, and so has everyone that I talk to about Lindsay. They do nothing. So, it is time we seek justice. If you have been scammed by this guy, contact me. Facebook, abikerselife@gmail.com, anyway you can. We are set are going to show him the hard side of life.

Dustin, you know I tracked you down to your front door. I know who your whole family are. I know who your friends. You know, because I contacted them all. You got me, yeah, you did, but you can’t sleep because you think about me.

Dustin, I told you I was the wrong one. Then I showed you. You didn’t stop. The messages from you scamming people, or trying, roll in. Nah man, I’m done with it. All of us are done with you. We are putting you in prison. I told you, you got me, but I would get you. Gotcha, Bitch.

You know, when you build your own stuff, you get to make the decisions.

There is one thing that people does that I dont like, and you wont find on my bikes. I mean if you like it, go ahead.

Fake oil tanks. I dont like the look. I dont the idea of adding weight. I want to look through the bike. I want to find ways to hide my wires, that haven’t been done.

Here are two of my ways. The below bike is a 1998 Suzuki Intruder. It is a bobber, obviously. I really don’t like anything else. If you look behind the muffler, you will see the battery. It is well hidden, and factory. That is a plus.

You run the wires up the center of the frame, and to the bottom of the seat. The factory Intruder seat, is awesome. It is what you see. The bottom sits up on two plastic legs, about 3 inches. You hide everything electrical under this seat, leaving the hole to see through, and not adding weight. You can add a pan under the seat and bolt to that, of drill and tap the bottom of the seat to hold your electronics.

Above is a 92 Shadow 600. Most people add a fake oil tank, a big ugly box, or leave the factory set up. For me, that is not what im after. Bobbers are empty. They don’t have fake metal parts, added. There is no point in doing this.

By adding your own coolant bottle, you can hide all of your electronics. Look behind the chain. Do you see the coolant over flow? It is the off white box. You can barely see it.

It just so happens, that is a little bit bigger than a battery. A nice 9mm bolt, bolts into the frame at this spot. You can make a thin metal box, thin is light, that bolts up, and hooks over the bar that runs across, and hide all of your wires. The box is safe, if the plastic coolant tank can make it. This will leave the large hole, which I prefer, in your bike. It will be as hard to see as the factory coolant tank.

Doing these bikes this way, in my opinion, is a cleaner, faster, look. It sticks to the idea of a bobber having all the extra removed, and not adding. I like the oil tank look on bikes that need an oil can. For me, modern bikes shouldn’t have them.

Soon, we will have an article about building this battery box out of an ammo can! Thanks for reading! Please give us a ahare!

Have you ever heard of a 1978 Nova?


Not that Nova, this is a motorcycle project. The Novas pictures below. These are the Novas Im talking about.

The V twin bolted on it, is designed and built by Porsche. They are either 4 cylinder or 6, from 550 to 1000ccs. I mean Porsche built it. I should not have to tell you that it was built for speed and performance.

A Nova bike, when you order parts, you ordered parts for a Nova, and the year it was built. Almost every part was interchangeable, all the way down to the crank case, with all the bikes. This would change the entire bike market. Parts would be easy to find, and cheap.

Nova was a game changer, in so many ways. A Porsche motor on my 1978, the year I was born, Bobber. Why hell yes, I want that. I want a super fast cruiser that I can sling around some curves!

Unfortunately, dreamers get old. They retire, and some people replace them with people that only care about profit. They would end the Harley Davidson’s Nova program before a bike was even built. The Nova would be pushed aside for less performance and luxury. A comfortable cruise. They guy who got the job, was scared to go fast, if you ask me. They also didn’t like the shaft drive or small tanks.

So what do yall think? Could Nova had pushed Harley up, instead of the constant drop in market they have seen? Now, all I see saving Harley is a new market. Everyone with a Harley wants a Harley trailer. They want a Harley side by side. The want a Harley 4 wheeler. Almost every other motorcycle company has car factories. HD doesn’t have car money. They need something else. What do yall think it should be? Maybe it is the new super charger!

Thanks for reading! Please give us a ahare!

Let’s talk about that Bucket List ride!

Let’s talk about that Bucket List ride! For me it is Miami at 3am, headed down the interstate on a Ninja. Just blasting… 150mph, 160mph, the speed tears begin to run down your face, 170, 180. The Ninja, she screams her cry of war.

Not this ninja…

190, the vibrations leave, the world tunnels. 200, the street lights become a solid beam. 210, silence, but the laughter of death in the wind. Everything is at peace.

Micro burst… 215… 220… You are at the limits… Nobody has went faster on a street bike tire… Life is a fleeting memory. Death is now chasing you, and losing the race. The lights of the cars look like tracers from Akira…

That is my Bucket List ride. What is your’s? Drop a comment! Thanks for reading! Give us a share!

Were yall excited about the Bagger racing?

Were yall excited about the Bagger racing? I am. I dont care if Harley makes it. Im American, and unfortunately only the strong survives here. If you dont believe that this is how it works here, let’s go to Detroit. Ill show you 47 automobile factories, and only two that builds cars. Harley can go the way of Pontiac, and so many others. If I had the money, it would be invest in a Put against Harley, which means as they lose money, I would make money.

Harley is an American icon. I dont want to see them fail. I want them to be here well after all of us. These races are failing them, or Harley is failing these races. Look at the picture. Harley is there, most of the bikes are Harley. Did they win? 2nd. Did they spend any money, no! They should be sponsors, but sponsored nobody!

They should be running this. There should be a series, not one race. I know mass amounts of people that would love to race their bagger. I GET PASSED BY MOTORCYCLE CLUBS FULL OF THEM. They want to show up. They want to go fast. I would build a bagger to race!

I want to show up with my big group of friends, with our Harley, and race! There is nothing more that I want to do! If I can’t do that, im racing a sports bike, if I can’t do that, im putting this bobber in dirt track races.

How do you save Harley? How do we help? We take it from them. Right now Harley Davidson’s (HOG) stock is down another dollar and a half. It is $28 a share. We cant all afford the bikes, but we can afford part in the company.

We have to own Harley Davidson. We, the riders, even us metric riders, have to take it from those that killed projects like the Nova project. That one project, instead of EVO, would have made Harley the super power we all want.

We have to force them to drop the prices. We have to force them to give us bikes that will replace these metrics. We need interchangeable parts. The only way “We” are going to be listened to, is by buying the company.

If we want Harley to be part of our world, we must own it, as we do the streets. We must run it. We must have a say. It is the bike most bikers want, and it is time they provide the bikes that we want.

These races, which are mostly Harley bikes, needs to be more than one race a year. We need to see Harly logos all over them. We need to see young men racing them, and building a new dream for the next generations, not rich movie stars riding with training wheels.

We need to revisit and renew the Nova project. We need to be able to fire CEOs and presidents, until Harley is once again affordable, and strong. The only way to get anything, buy Harley from those that are killing her.

We are bikers. We are outlaws. We are rebels. We do things we are not supposed to do. We go into places they don’t want us in. They expect us to buy bikes, not stock. We need to rebel, and buy the company. It is time that we walk into board rooms. We need to do everything we can to put a biker back on top of Harley, not the bike, but the company.

Am I wrong? I got like $60 to spend, that is two shares. Yall with me?

What really happened to Harley in India.

Was Harley going to close the doors? Yes. After the third quarter of 2019, HD lost over a hundred million dollars in the Indian market place. They had no choice, when India was dragging them down to under a billion dollar company.

What is Harley going to do? They sold out the name to Hero. Harley will be leaving India, but India will still be able to buy a “premium” Harley Davidson, except from Hero. The idea of doing India like they do America, build overly expensive, under powered bikes, and force them onto the market, failed them.

Hero will now be building a knock off Harley Davidson, with real Harley badges. The bikes will be cheaply made, in a less than satisfactory factory. This will, by all rights, be a money run on the Indian market, with a inferior product, at a premium price.

If these Hero products will make it to America, is unclear. Harley Davidson has not said anything about this. With the change of leadership in America, you might.

Thanks for reading! Please give us a share!

Zeitz’s new plan!

During October of 2020, a lot of things happened at the quarter’s HOG earning report meeting. Zeitz drove in some coffin nails on large chunks of Harley Davidson. He turned their focus to the network of owners, who want profits.

Really, this could go either way. Riders in America, you are getting the focus of the entire company. They are coming back to try and rebuild. Most of the world is losing out, for the US.

Harley Davidson has left 40 world markets. They are bringing those resources home. All that extra money will be spent here, on dealerships, and other things that will only turn a profit.

This will be pretty decent, if you use Harley for service. They will be speeding the process up, and improving turn around times. It is pretty good to see some positive focus on the riders, but everything comes at a price.

Zeitz goes on to talk about that price. A new Harley comes at a hefty price. They have come to notice the value of their used bikes. Harley will now turn their focus on this market.

A big blow to riders, do not expect to see any more premonitions, or discounts. You wont be getting anything else for the cheap. You will pay full price for everything you buy from them.

They plan to increase the value of used motorcycles. If you own a Harley, this is an awesome deal for you. If this works, your bikes’ resale value will go up.

What will future prospective Harley buyers see? Well, it is obvious that the price of used Harleys will go up. The price of new bikes will follow. Over the last three months, HOG gained 22% back to their market value. They did it with used bikes. The future better have a deep pocket.

The plan to drive up that price, it is simpler than you think. 30% of Harley Davidson’s line-up will be cut. See, when you are Harley Davidson, and you can control the market, you do just that. By limiting the styles and numbers of bikes being produced, the value of a used Harleys will go up. I think that is going to push people to Indian or metric bikes, who do not make many dash for cash moves.

Next, they might have given the name for use to Hero in India, but a lot of others are going to lose it. HOG parts will now be made by HOG. The shirts and other merchandise will come directly from Harley. I mean, just now?

Another big change, the fiscal year. Harley will now release new bikes before their best quarter
This will be near the end of winter, when the new riders start buying in. I have been unable to find the exact release date. Of course, ill write about it when I do.

Next up was the change to E-Bike. The bike will be changed to the “Series 1” powered by Harley. Series one will now build these bikes. These resources will be put back into motorcycles.

The market is a fun ride, just like the bikes! Thanks for reading! Stop by and give my group a like, or stay where you are, ill be around! Keep your elbows pointed to the sky!

Super Charged Harleys, or the way of Nova?

In 2019, Hatley Davidson applied for a patent. This patent was to be able to add a super charger to Harley engines!

Tucked in over the crank case.

If you have been paying attention to HD lately, you would know about management changes, and refocusing on the company. This has caused Harley to refocus on used bikes. New management proved that new bikes wouldn’t sell.

Belt driven.

Unfortunately, this project is left over from the old management. Like the Nova project, which would have made almost all HD bikes parts interchangeable, they could crush it. But, the design of this super charger, is something new!

The belt is geared into the crankshaft.

This super charger bolts right on to the crankshaft, with no modifications. Harley has not said if it will be available for used bikes, or if it will be at all. Another strange feature is the belt tensioner.

Air…

On most belts, you must tighten the tensioner. On this one, you will never tighten it. This super charger rides on two slide rails. When you go down the road, you tighten the belt. There is no belt tensioner. It doesn’t matter how old, or stretched, the belt gets, it slides good enough to keep it tight!

Springs also help hold the super charger back. Will this project come to fruition, or will it be scraped? This are questions that Harley has not answered! It might come out on new bikes, and it might end up with Screaming Eagle? We will have to wait to see!

Thanks for reading! Please give us a ahare!