If you don’t know that the new-generation Indian is coming later this year, then you’ve been living under a rock. Polaris, owner of Victory Motorcycles and Indian, has launched a drip-feed PR campaign this year, gradually unveiling bits of information about the coming bike.
The biggest unveiling was the release of the 111-cubic-inch (1818cc) engine.
And what a great piece of ambush marketing that was for the venerable 111-year-old American brand: In the year Harley celebrates 110 years of continuous production Indian decides its V-twin engine will have a capacity of 111cu i to reflect its heritage. Also, in an obvious case of one-upmanship it has 1 more cubic inch than Harley’s biggest engine found in their Custom Vehicles Operations models or CVOs (a bit like HSV is to Holden).
Before the world unveiling of the new Indian at the Sturgis Rally, South Dakota, in September, and long before the bike ever shows up here in Australian showrooms at $28,995 rideaway, Polaris (or Indian Motorcycle Australia) has launched the official range of apparel in a Melbourne CBD store which will become an Indian dealership.
It opens this weekend at 544-554 Elizabeth Street followed at the end of the month by the Sydney store at 554 Parramatta Road, Ashfield.
There is no confirmation yet, but it is believed the Brisbane Indian dealership will be Rollies Speed Shop in Ross St, Newstead, which is also the Brisbane Victory dealership.
I’ve seen and touched Indian merchandise and bought an Indian cap at the recent Ulysses Rally in Maryborough where they launched the engine in Australia. The merchandise is every bit as high quality as Harley’s goods and you can expect a lot of references to the 2005 Hollywood movie, The World’s Fastest Indian starring Anthony Hopkins.
The gear should appeal not only to riders, but also non-riders who want to associate with the brand. The range includes casual wear, riding gear, gloves and personal accessories.