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The Indian company has released the first American motorcycle in 1901. Founded the company George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom in 1900, the company was then called Hendee Manufacturing Company. Indian is developing rapidly and already in 1915 became the largest company in the production of motorcycles in the world.
The number of motorcycles manufactured reached 32 thousand, which in those days was a huge number. Indian Motorcycles became a legend not only in America but around the world, they were known in all countries. Despite the fact that in the 20s of the last century leadership in the production of motorcycles Harley-Davidson (Manuals page) intercepted , Indian remained popular and respected brand.
But by the early 50s Harley-Davidson almost completely supplanted the Indian market, sales fell, and in 1953 Indian motorcycle production was halted, the company actually ceased operations.
With Indian motorcycles connected with one unique case, the motorcyclist Burt Munro, a fan in 1967 set a world speed record on a motorcycle Indian Scout - 296 km / h. In this case, the motorcycle was released in 1920 (the production model was the speed limit of 90 km / h) and more than 40 years Munro reworked and improved it, dreaming about making his bike was the fastest. On the basis of these events, the film "The Fastest Indian" (Anthony Hopkins in the title role).
In 1999, the California Motorcycle tried to revive the brand Indian, was released a few models of motorcycles, but the model was not appropriate, and even used engines eternal rival and opponent - Harley-Davidson. The attempt failed, in 2003 California Motorcycle declared itself bankrupt. The second attempt of revival of the legendary brand was made by the British company Stellican Ltd. In the revival of Indian motorcycles invested a lot of money, developed a completely new motorcycle Indian Chief, which does not purchased units.
The new owners plan to make Indian Motorcycles of us sort of Bentley in the automotive world - the company for the production of luxury motorcycles. Let's see what they come out, perhaps, the history of Indian is not finished yet. For everything there is a demand, but whether it will be enough to make a profit and the further development of the company ...
Indian company was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts. The founder was George Hendy who had there own production of bicycles. Later, he had the idea to start producing inexpensive motorcycles. To accomplish this it was necessary ideas man well versed in it. This man became the Oscar Hedstrom, engaged while construction equipment for racing. Signed an agreement on co-operation resulted in the emergence in 1901 of the first project of the company.
In 1917, after the US entry into World War I, the company sent all its forces to the creation and production of motorcycles for the army.
After the war, the company returned to Indian Hendstrtom and joined Charles Franklin, TT racer class. Franklin later became vice-president of the company and insisted on the continuation of the company's involvement in motorcycle racing.
In 1927, the Indian company acquired Ace, the chief designer of which was Arthur Lemon, who engaged in the development of engines for motorcycles Indian their engines.
In 1927 was released a new model of Indian four-cylinder. But, unfortunately, this bike was unsuccessful because of an awkward design of the engine and exhaust pipe. As a result, the bike was not in demand among buyers and manufactured in such a short time. It was decided to upgrade the design, and in 1928 was released a new, more successful motorcycle.
During the Second World War, the company started to manufacture over Indian military equipment. Trained motorcycles mainly supplied by the US and Canadian troops.
By the early 1950s the company Harley-Davidson almost completely supplanted the Indian market, the company's sales fell steadily. One of the last motorcycle company in 1948, became the Indian Appoy motorcycle with 220 cc engine and motorcycle Indian Scout with 440 cc engine. After that, the company was bought by Matchless AJS Norton (Manuals pages) and soon closed. Have been repeated attempts to revive the legendary brand, but all of the attempts were unsuccessful.
An incredible thing happened to one of the motorcycle company. One of the fans of Burt Munro, in 1967 set a world speed record on a motorcycle Indian Scout. Fantastic record was 296 km / h, despite the fact that the standard motorcycle developed in 1920 only 90 km / h. More than 40 years Munro reworked and improved it, dreaming about making his bike was the fastest in the world. On the basis of these events, even for the film title "Fastest Indian".
In 1999, California Motorcycle attempted to revive the legendary brand of Indian, and even a few models have been released. But the new model of the company were not considered. In addition, it was decided to use the engine's main competitor, the company Harley-Davidson. This attempt to revive the brand failed, as well as other attempts. In 2003, California Motorcycle declared itself bankrupt.