Tag Archives: Indian Motorcycle

Indian issues 2nd Scout recall on brakes

Indian Motorcycle has issued a global recall on 2019 Scout and Scout Bobber motorcycles for a possible problem with the brakes.

The brake fluid on some bike might not have been filled to the manufacturer’s quality standards which could allow an air bubble which would affect braking efficiency.

This is a follow-up to the 2018 recall for a brake issue on the Scout which advised owners to do an “urgent pre-ride inspection” to ensure the brakes were working properly.

An official Australian Competition and Consumer Commission notice has not yet been released, but Indian Motorcycle Australia says owners have been contacted.

We publish all recall notices in case ownership changes hands and the distributor is not notified.

Inspect brakes

Since the official notice has not been released, we suggest riders check their brakes before riding and arrange an inspection.

The original notice advised riders to do the following urgent pre-ride inspection before riding the bike straight to the dealership:

  • Press down on the rear brake pedal. It should move freely and smoothly. The pedal should feel firm and continue to feel firm until released.
  • Release the pedal. It should return to its rest position quickly when released.
  • Repeat Pre-Ride Inspection for the front brake lever. Ensure the lever feels firm and that it returns to rest position quickly when released.

“If either the front or rear brake fails to perform as stated or travels too far before beginning to engage the brake, please contact your Indian Motorcycle dealer directly,” the 2018 notice said.

It’s always a good idea to do this sort of inspection with any bike as part of your usual pre-ride check.

It is believed the new notice invites riders to make an appointment at their Indian dealership for the brake fluid to be flushed and replaced, free of charge.

The manufacturer confirmed that no components of the brake system needed to be replaced.

We will update this article with the official notice if/when it is released along with the VINs of affected vehicles.

Indian Scout Bobber pricing rapid brakes
Indian Scout Bobber

Even though manufacturers and importers usually contact owners when a recall is issued, the bike may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle and scooter recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• New Zealand

• Canada

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian unveils fifth Jack Daniels model

While throttle and bottle don’t usually mix, Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniels have formed a close relationship that has yielded five years of fast-selling, limited-edition models.Jack Daniels Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse Jack Daniels Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse

This year it’s a Roadmaster Dark Horse and if you have to ask the price, maybe you can’t afford it.

In the US, this model sells for $US38,999 which is $US900 more than the standard.

In Australia, the standard Roadmaster Dark Horse sells for $A41,995 ride away, so this edition should cost more than $A50,000.

But the limited-edition model comes with a host of extras and special cosmetic features.Jack Daniels Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse

Most obviously they include custom two-tone Whiskey Pearl paint and Oakwood ceramic engine finishes, Gentleman Jack engraved floorboards, custom Jack Daniel’s branding on the seat, tank and lowers, and Montana Silversmith badging.

It is the first model to come with the new ClimaCommand Rogue heated and cooled seat.Indian Motorcycle develops hot/cold seat

The seat has a proprietary thermoelectric module to pump heat away from the rider, a ducting system and graphene covering which is a highly conductive and flexible material that optimises the distribution of heating or cooling.

You can also buy the ClimaCommand seat as an aftermarket accessory for $A1995 ($US1199.99) for their 2014-2019 Thunderstroke-powered models and 2020 models without Ride Command.

You can manage the heating and cooling settings via the Ride Command infotainment system which also comes with Apple CarPlay tomorrow your phone screen and some apps.Apple CarPlay Indian motorcycle

It also has an upgraded 600-watt PowerBand audio system, heated hand grips, an adjustable flared Klock Werks windscreen, and remote-locking saddlebags and top box.

Each Jack Daniels Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse will come with a custom Montana Silversmith Belt Buckle in a display case. Each bike will be built to order as a model year 2021 with delivery starting late this year.

The Jack Daniels Limited Edition Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse is available to order through your local Indian Motorcycle dealership now.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Motorcycle joins move to Apple CarPlay

Indian Motorcycle will join Honda and Harley-Davidson in offering Apple CarPlay to owners of 2020 Chieftain, Roadmaster and Challenger models with navigation.

Honda Goldwing was the first with Apple CarPlay in 2018 and Harley followed a year later with the software update to its Boom! Box GTS Infotainment Systems on their Touring models.

Harley-Davidson was the first motorcycle company to offer Android Auto in March and now Honda has added Android Auto to its Goldwing infotainment system.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow riders to access some phone apps such as access Google Maps for navigation, traffic and weather reports, as well as some other apps such as Spotify.

Indian Motorcycle Australia & New Zealand National Marketing Manager Tom Mendey says the free update for Aple CarPlay is available now for owners with the 7″ Ride Command system.Apple CarPlay indian motorcycle

“It’s free to do at home via the website provided and a suitable USB device or can be taken into a dealership for the update,” he says.

To use the device, the phone must be plugged into the bike via its charging cable.

The screen will mirror the phone, allowing riders to access it through the touchscreen, Google Assistant voice control or a handlebar control.

It will also allow riders to stay up to date with the latest vehicle information; plan and track routes; share rides with others; and keep maintenance records.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson and Indian sales flop

America’s two major motorcycle companies have reported a flop in motorcycle sales for the second quarter.

Harley-Davidson reported a 27% decline in sales to 52,700 and a $0.87 billion flop in revenue.

Sales were down 26.6% in the USA, -30.3% in Canada, -29.8% in Europe, -51% and Asia-Pacific -10.2%. The latter includes Australia where sales were down 10.7%.

Meanwhile, Polaris Industries says motorcycle sales (which includes Indian Motorcycle and the three-wheeler Slingshot) were down $141.3m or -28% with profit down from $23m in the same quarter last year to $4m.

In Australia, sales were up an impressive 40.2% while the road bike market was down 4.2%.

Flop turnaround

Both companies report a turnaround in sales in June as riders came out of lockdown keen to hit the road.

Polaris CEO Scott Wine says they overcame a “near complete shutdown of both our dealers and the US economy early in the quarter to capitalise on unprecedented retail demand for our off-road vehicles and motorcycles through May, June and now July”.

He says the new liquid-cooled Challenger model helped buoy sales.

Indian Challenger flop
Challenger

Both companies shut down production for about a month and inventory is now scarce.

However, Polaris plans to ramp up production while Harley has notably decided to keep a lid on production to make their bikes more exclusive and to avoid discounting.

Harley strategies

Jochen Zeitz with LiveWire rewire shares
Jochen Zeitz with the electric LiveWire

With Harley experiencing a sales flop in the first half of the year of -28% from 121,00 to 93,200, CEO Jochen Zeitz has outlined a streamlining of production as part of his Rewire strategy.

The five main strategies are:

  1. Reorganisation of the company structure and a new marketing strategy toward freedom, led by Hollywood action star and Harley fan Jason Momoa;
  2. Cuts in model lines and 2021 models delayed from September to early 2021 (click here to read more);
  3. More emphasis on merchandise and bike accessories;
  4. Pulling out of some international markets (click here to read more); and
  5. Cutbacks on production to promote exclusivity and avoid discounting.

“A total rewire is necessary to make Harley-Davidson a high-performance company,” Jochen says.

“Building on our strong brand legacy, we are reinvigorating our core profit driving business – powered by our strongest dealers, most exciting products and careful inventory management, while focusing on the most important opportunities for future expansion.”

He says the company will build on their “strong brand legacy” with a shift in marketing to “the brand, heritage and great product”.

“The first brand building approach will be shown in the social media campaign directed by Jason Momoa, celebrating the shared journey and unrelenting spirit of our Harley-Davidson Community during these challenging times, and strengthening the positivity and freedom we all find in riding motorcycles,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

More Indian Challenger liquid models coming

Indian Motorcycle last year launched their fixed-fairing, liquid-cooled Challenger bagger aimed squarely at the Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

Now, patent drawings show the new 1770cc Powerplus engine will also be fitted to more models in the range targeting Harley’s Street Glide and Ultra.

The new drawings show the “ugly” blunt nose with double headlights has been replaced with a more traditional or Harleyesque single headlight and “batwing” fairing with a large touring screen.More Indian Challenger liquid models coming

They also show a shorter rear fender, but no bags. However, it would be expected the bike would come in a variety of tourers and cruisers with and without panniers.

The current Challenger range consists of the Limited at $A39,995 ride away and the matte black Dark Horse at $39,995.

Features include LED headlight, 19-inch cast front wheel and 16-inch rear 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, cruise control and keyless ignition.

The Limited has Smart Lean Technology with 6-axis Bosch IMU, Dynamic traction control, ABS with cornering control, and Drag Torque Control.

We expect these new Challenger models will have similar features and model designations.More Indian Challenger liquid models coming

Liquid cooled

They will be fitted with the same liquid-cooled 1770cc Powerplus motor which is smaller than the current 111-cube (1811cc) Thunderstroke V-twin that powers the Chief and Roadmaster models.

However, with 91kW of power (122hp) and 178Nm of torque it is more powerful than the Thunderstroke with 58kW/161Nm.

It also meets coming stringent Euro5 emissions regulations thanks to the liquid cooling.

And with lower fairings, the liquid motor’s radiator will be a little less obvious!

Even though the patent drawings were filed in 2017, they are only now publicly available.

So the production bike shouldn’t be far away!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian opens in two Queensland dealerships

Indian Motorcycle Australia has announced two new dealerships in Queensland to replace the company dealership in Brisbane.

The opulent two-storey Fortitude Valley dealership will close on 24 July 2020.

Motorcycle industry dealer showroom deal stores
Brisbane Indian Motorcycle dealership is in a mainstream motor vehicle retail area

Existing dealerships

It will be replaced by joining two existing multi-brand dealerships.

One will be a TeamMoto dealership in Moss St, Springwood, south of Brisbane, and the other an Ultimate Motorbikes dealership on Lawrence Drive, Nerang, on the Gold Coast.

In January, the company surprised its customers when it announced it would close its four company-owned dealerships in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Sources told us it was part of a long-term plan to move from company-owned dealerships to independent dealerships.

In February, they signed an agreement with TeamMoto, the biggest dealership network in Australia. Its owner, MotorCycle Holdings has 48 franchises operated from 31 dealerships and eight retail accessory locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and The Australian Capital Territory.

The deal did not preclude the company from signing on more dealers as this latest announcement shows.

Ultimate Motorbikes also has dealerships in Springwood and Ipswich.

TeamMoto will also sell Indian motorcycles at Penrith and Auburn in western Sydney, and Keilor East and Dandenong in Melbourne.

A statement on a dealer for Perth is yet to be made.

stores Victory-Indian-Perth-Dealership-Artistic-Render.jpg
Perth store opened in 2016

An official Indian Motorcycle Australia statement says the new dealerships will include:

  • Indian Motorcycle trained sales staff;
  • Full model lineup of Indian Motorcycles;
  • Demo fleet for test rides;
  • Indian Motorcycle trained technicians for all service and warranty work;
  • Large range of accessories and apparel on display; and
  • Shop rides and events (when possible).

“The expansion of our dealership network and moving out of the central city locations will give our customers greater and easier access to our dealerships nationwide and provide more than one location in each of the state capitals, providing more options for our customers,” they saids back in February.

“We have very high standards when it comes to how and where the Indian Motorcycle brand is represented and the level of service our dealerships offer our customers.”

Their statement said parent company Polaris was working with MCH to keep current staff employed at the new dealerships.

No other market around the world had experienced the luxury of palatial company-owned Indian dealerships which offered a heightened customer service for the revived brand. 

Many in the industry and in the company, as well as customers, acknowledged that it was an excessive and unsustainable business model.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian develops ClimaCommand seat

Indian Motorcycle is looking after your backside with its patent-pending ClimaCommand thermoelectric technology that both heats and cools the seat.

Indian says the seat costs $A1995 ($US1199.99) and is available for their 2014-2019 Thunderstroke-powered models and 2020 models without Ride Command.

Many luxury cars have heated and cooled seats and there are motorcycles with heated seats, but none has yet introduced a cool seat to their production bikes.

Honda has also applied for a patent for a seat that blows cool air on to the rider’s derriere, but it has not yet added it to their fleet.

The Indian seat is a lot more elaborate with a surface that is actually cold to the touch, rather than just pumping cool air through perforations in the surface.

That would be great when you hop on your bike after it’s been sitting in the sun while you’ve been sipping your latte.

And it would look much nicer than an ugly lambs wool cover.

The ClimaCommand Classic Seat has temperature controls on the side and has three key elements:

ClimaCommand hot cold seatTemperature controls

  • A proprietary thermoelectric module that pumps heat away from the rider
  • A patent-pending ducting system for cooling the thermoelectric module
  • Graphene, a highly conductive and flexible material that optimizes the distribution of heating or cooling while maintaining superior comfort

Indian Motorcycle spokesman Ross Clifford says the thermoelectric technology paired with graphene material is “truly a game-changer”.

How it worksIndian Motorcycle develops hot/cold seat

Here is the official statement from Indian which explains how it works:

To accomplish conduction heating and cooling, a thermoelectric module located within the seat directly regulates the temperature. Electricity is applied by a thermoelectric module to the graphene material, causing one side of the material to absorb heat and the opposing side to dissipate heat. By reversing electrical flow, the hot and cold temperatures alternate sides. A graphene material, which is a nanomaterial created from 100% carbon atoms, is then used to ensure the heating and cooling is dispersed throughout the entire seat.

The well-cushioned ClimaCommand Classic Seat delivers unprecedented comfort with Thunderstroke models. Independent rider and passenger controls (low, medium, high) allow the rider and passenger to remain in command of their heating and cooling levels. With no perforations, the seat’s vinyl cover is highly-durable and water and UV-resistant. Passengers can add more comfort with Armrest Pads and a Trunk Backrest Pad, both designed and developed to seamlessly pair with the new ClimaCommand Classic Seat.ClimaCommand hot cold seat

It’s important to note that the ClimaCommand Classic Seat is not Ride Command-integrated. However, Ride Command-integrated versions of the ClimaCommand Seat will be available for the 2020 Chieftain and Roadmaster later this year.

The ClimaCommand Classic Seat is now shipping to dealers and available at IndianMotorcycle.com.

In addition to the all-new ClimaCommand Classic Seat, Indian Motorcycle is introducing an array of new parts and accessories for Scout and FTR 1200 models. New Semi-Rigid Scout Saddlebags allow Scout riders to pack for the long haul, while FTR 1200 riders can select from high or low mount carbon-fiber Akrapovič exhaust options, several new airbox tank cover options, new billet aluminum Rizoma mirrors, and a carbon fiber nacelle to enhance the high-performance design of the FTR 1200.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Motorcycle plans electric EFTR

Indian Motorcycle has filed a trademark application for the name EFTR which suggests it is an Electric Flat Track Racer, with the bike possibly unveiled as early as next year.

The model name EFTR indicates it is likely to be styled on their current popular FTR 1200 model.

Indian FTR 1200 Race Replica discountsCheck out our FTR 1200 Race Replica review

This would not be the first electric motorcycle from Polaris which is the owning parent company of Indian Motorcycle.

In 2015, Polaris bought Brammo electric bikes and rebadged them as the Victory Empulse TT which I rode in Colorado that year. 

Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle benefits smaller automatics altaMBW rides the Victory Empulse TT electric bike at its launch in Colorado in 2015

When Polaris pulled the pin on Victory Motorcycles in January 2017 to concentrate on Indian, they dropped the Empulse TT.

However, then vice-present of motorcycles Steve Menneto confirmed at the time that they would produce an electric Indian within five years.

That timeline means the EFTR could arrive in 2021.

EFTR range and price

We doubt the EFTR will be a resurrected Empulse TT, but it could have some of the same technology. (Out of interest we have included the 2015 tech specs for the Empulse TT at the end of this article.)

When he made the electric Indian announcement, Steve said their electric bikes would have up to 225km of range which is much higher range than the Empulse TT at about 140km.

Interestingly, the Empulse TT had manual transmission in an effort to make motorcycle riders feel more at home than with a twist-and-go throttle like most electric motorcycles.

we expect much the same with the EFTR.

Obviously it is too early to speculate on price, but the Victory Empulse sold in the US from $US19,999 (about $A28,500).

That is much less than the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire which sells for almost $US30,000 overseas and could cost more than $A40,000 when it arrives in Australia late this year.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways short circuitMBW riding the LiveWire at its launch lats year in Orgeon

2015 Victory Empulse TT tech specs

Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycleVictory Empulse

  • Price: $US19,999 (about $A30,000)
  • Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
  • Service: only when brake and hydraulic fluids are needed
  • Motor: Internal permanent magnet AC induction
  • Power: 40.2kW
  • Torque: 82.7Nm
  • Transmission: 6-speed gearbox with multi-plate, hydraulic activated wet clutch
  • Battery: 10.4 kW-hr Brammo Power Lithium Ion
  • Battery life: 15,000 cycles from nothing to full charge
  • Voltage: 103.6 volts / 117.6 volts (max)
  • Charge times: 2.0 hrs (Level I / 20 to 80% SOC); 3.5 hrs (Level II / 0 to 100% SOC); 8.0 hrs (Level I / 0 to 100% SOC)

    Victory Empulse TT electric motorcycle boardEmpulse TT battery

  • Emissions: None
  • Brakes: Dual 310mm Brembo floating disks with twin 4-piston radial Brembo callipers (front); Brembo single disk with dual piston hydraulic Brembo brake calliper
  • Top speed: 161km/h-plus
  • Suspension: Adjustable 43mm inverted forks, Adjustable direct-acting rear shock
  • Dry weight: 213 kg
  • Clearance: 185.4mm
  • Length: 206.5cm
  • Rake/Trail: 24° / 3.8”
  • Seat: 800mm
  • Wheelbase: 1473mm
  • Tyres: Continental Sport Attack II 120-70 ZR17, 58W / 160/60ZR17 69W
  • Wheels: 17” x 3.5” / 17” x 4.5”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Replica of first Harley-Davidson in historic sale

A replica of the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle ever made is being offered in a sale of historic motorcycles through Heroes Motors in Los Angeles.

The genuine first Harley sits in a glass case in the Harley museum in Milwaukee and would cost millions.Historic Harley

This replica of the 1905 model is a comparatively cheap $US120,000 (about $A180,000).

It was made in the mid-1990s by a group of artisans who ensured it was technically correct.

They included such details as the early engine’s case studs, and the thread and pitch of various fittings.

The engine has never been started but was planned to be fully operable.Historic Harley

Cosmoline has been applied to the internals to protect the finishes from the expected long-term storage in a collection or museum.

The bike is one of several historic models being offered by the prestige LA motor showroom.

Historic trike

Another is a 120-year-old De Dion-Bouton tricycle built by Jules-Albert de Dion who won the world’s first motor race, in 1894, run over a distance of 122km from Paris to Rouen. He was actually the only entrant!

This original 1900 De Dion-Bouton tricycle showing VIN 157 and engine No. 15568 comes from Sweden, where it is the oldest street-legal registered bike.

It features a 2.75hp motor, correct and original mechanical details and will set you back a whopping $US145,000 (about $A218,000).

1904 IndianHistoric Indian

Heroes Motors also have a 1904 Indian Hedstrom Camelback for sale at $US90,000 (about $A135,500).

It is essentially the same bike that Oscar Hedstrom built to show George Hendee as the first prototype for the fledgling Hendee Manufacturing Company in 1901.

This clean, black example of the early Indian models features the famed “Hedstrom Improved Carburetor” on the 260cc single-cylinder motor that serves as a stressed member of the cycle’s frame.

The direct-drive chain Indian used from the start was more reliable than the tensioned leather belts of other cycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Pursuit and Guardian coming soon

Indian Motorcycle has applied for the trademark for the model names Pursuit and Guardian which should be coming in about six to seven months, possibly as police bikes like the Victory models above.

In April 2019, Indian applied for the Challenger trademark and in October they unveiled the water-cooled Challenger tourer to take on Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide.

Indian ChallengerChallenger Limited

Given a similar time frame, we should expect to see the Pursuit and Guardian late this year, although that timeline could be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for what they could be, we are not so sure.

Interestingly, this time the trademark filing was in the Australian intellectual property office which could simply be to throw moto-journos off the scent.

Police Pursuit and Guardian bikes?

To us, the name Pursuit sounds like a high-speed sports tourer that might be used by police.

So maybe they are going to challenge bikes such the Honda ST1300 and Yamaha JFR 1300.

If so, it could be powered by the liquid-cooled 1770cc Powerplus engine from the Challenger. A civvy version surely wouldn’t be too far behind.  

Secret planPowerplus Engine

It is believed the quad-valve Powerplus was originally developed as the Victory Freedom V2 before Polaris axed the brand in 2017.

In a sports tourer it could possibly have more power than the quoted 91kW (122hp).

Daytona Beach Police on Victory MotorcyclesDaytona Beach Police on Victory Motorcycles

Similarly, Guardian sounds very authoritarian like a police bike.

It would make sense that Indian Motorcycle chase the police market which has been dominated in the US by Harley-Davidson.

After all, sister company Victory Motorcycles did very well with its police specials.

Victory police motorcyclesVictory police motorcycle

And it should be noted that Victory Motorcycles sponsored the 2015 police Wall to Wall ride in Australia to remember fallen police officers.

Perhaps there is a certain synergy there with the Australia trademark filling!

Whatever the Pursuit and Guardian turn out to be, we shouldn’t have too long to wait.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com