Prototype and two production units successfully designed, built and tested.


First Indian Motorcycle®, featuring innovative chain drives and streamlined styling, sold to public.


Indian Motorcycle® co-founder and chief engineer Oscar Hedstrom sets world motorcycle speed record (56mph).


Indian Motorcycle® releases first American production V-Twin after several years of development and testing; 101 years later V-Twin remains most popular cruiser-motorcycle engine design.

George Holden and Luis J. Mueller ride an Indian Motorcycle® from San Francisco to New York City in 31 trouble-free days, breaking the existing record by over 18 days.

A 1907 Indian Motorcycle® Twin wins the first English 1000-mile reliability trial.


Crimson Steed of Steel paint scheme introduced; Indian Motorcycle® wins Gold Medal for Mechanical Excellence at St. Louis Exposition.


New York Police Department selects Indian Motorcycle® for first motorcycle police unit.


Indian Motorcycle® "loop frame" positions gas tank on front horizontal frame member, other makers eventually follow suit; basic configuration still used by virtually all motorcycles.



Indian Motorcycle® riders hold every American speed and distance record. Indian Motorcycle® sweeps top three positions in first Isle of Man Mountain Course Race.


First swingarm and leaf-spring rear suspension in the industry is introduced.


Over 3,000 employees work on a 7-mile-long assembly line in Indian's 1-million-square foot Springfield, Massachusetts plant. Indian Motorcycle® debuts world's first motorcycle with electric lights and starter; Cannonball Baker sets cross-country speed record on an Indian Motorcycle® V-Twin.


Racing activities are suspended as the company supplies the war effort with 41,000 machines. The 61-cubic inch Powerplus® side-valve engine is introduced.


An overhead cam, four-valve-per-cylinder Powerplus® racing motorcycle tops 120 mph.



It's a decade of growth for the Indian® model line, starting with the revolutionary 1920 Scout® and followed by the 95-mph Chief®, the even more powerful Big Chief®, the lightweight Prince, and the awesome 4-cylinder Four.

First use of semi-unit construction is utilized in the introduction of the Indian® Scout®.


Indian® Motocycle becomes first company in America to use "leakproof" aluminum primary cases; competition retains leaks for decades.

61 cubic inch Indian® Chief® is introduced.


When motorcycles began to appear in the late 19th century, there was some uncertainty about what to call them. Some journalists used "motocycle," some used "motorcycle." The Hendee Manufacturing Company chose "motocycle,” changing the name to Indian® Motocycle Company.

74-cubic-inch Big Chief® V-Twin introduced.


Four-cylinder Indian® Ace introduced.


101 Scout® becomes the machine of choice for “wall of death” stunt riders.



The Art Deco era hits the Indian Motorcycle® adorned in a full range of Duco colors, two-tone designs, pinstriping, and decals.


Two new lightweight models debut – the Motoplane and the Pony Scout®.


“Iron Man” Ed Kretz, aboard a Sport Scout®, laps the entire field in his win at the 1937 Inaugural Daytona 200. Indian® introduces first motorcycles with dual carburetors.


With the onset of World War II, focus again shifts to providing the War Department with motorcycles. The government of France orders 5,000 Chiefs with sidecars.


Indian Motorcycle® pioneers use of "plunger" (spring coupled to an oil-dampened shaft) rear suspension; introduces trademark full-skirt fenders (aka valences). Production during the war years is mainly military and police vehicles.


Indian Motorcycle® begins production of advanced shaft-drive, four-speed military motorcycle.


Indian Motorcycle® wins Army-Navy Production Award.


The company is sold and consolidated into the Torque Engineering Company. Later the company is divided with manufacturing going to the Atlas Corporation and distribution to The Indian® Sales Corporation.


Johnny Spiegelhof wins the Daytona 200 aboard a Sport Scout®.


First Daytona 200 held on new beach/road course won by Indian® rider Floyd Emde on a 648 Scout.



Following the war, Indian Motorcycle® struggles with re-entry into the public market. The Chief®, dropped for a year, is re-introduced in 1951 as a mighty 80-cubic-inch model, but sales continue to decline and Indian is forced to halt production in 1953.


Herbert "Burt" Munro rides his self-modified 1920 Scout® to an under-1000cc land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Forty years later, Munro and his Indian's record still stands.



A complex web of trademark rights foil numerous attempts to revive the Indian® name until several formerly competing companies merge to become the Indian Motorcycle® Company.


Manufacturing begins, but the venture proves unsuccessful.


The company's final model year.



Stephen Julius and Steve Heese, after resurrecting the struggling Chris-Craft® Boat Company, turn their attention to Indian Motorcycle®. They acquire trademark rights and intellectual properties. Chris Craft® is a registered trademark of CC MARINE BRAND AQUISITIONS LLC.


Production begins and 2009 Indian® Chief® motorcycles start rolling off the assembly line in Kings Mountain, NC.



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


Final year the Kings Mountain Chief® platform is produced.


A new era of Indian Motorcycle® is born, starting with the reveal of the Thunder Stroke™ 111 engine at Daytona Bike Week in March and the unveiling of the 2014 Indian® Chief® at the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally in August.


American Luxury rolled onto the open road in late July when the all-new Indian Roadmaster™ was introduced. Christened with a historic Indian Motorcycle model name, the Indian Roadmaster carries riders into a new generation of luxury touring. It is equipped with comfort and convenience features that deliver an incredible ride experience; ample storage space, including a large, lockable trunk; and advanced electronics such as premium audio and Bluetooth® connectivity.

EXPLORE THE Indian® Roadmaster™

In mid-February, the Indian Chief Dark Horse was introduced in Chicago in conjunction with the Progressive® International Motorcycle Show (IMS). Despite freezing temperatures, a ride-in was held involving several local riders and several Indian Motorcycle employees riding the new blacked-out cruiser, which attracted large crowds when displayed at the Chicago IMS.

EXPLORE THE Indian® Chief® Dark Horse

The year 2016 marks 115 years since George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom started working together to make Indian motorcycles. In 1897 George Hendee was already manufacturing push bikes with some of these called ‘American Indian’. In 1900, Oscar Hedstrom joined the firm and both he and George were former bicycle racers. Together they decided to build a motorised bicycle to use as a pace bike for cycling races. A prototype and two production units were built in 1901 and the first Indian motorcycles were sold to the public. In 1923 the Indian motorcycles were selling so well that George’s 'Hendee Manufacturing Company' changed its name to 'The Indian Motocycle Company' – no “r” was used in motocycle back then – but the “r” has since returned into the modern-day brand name.