This fall, Polaris will introduce a redesigned Indian motorcycle — the 112-year-old iconic American brand it acquired in 2011.
Arturo Eguia-Welch, co-owner of Indian Motorcycle of the Twin Cities, is so thrilled to sell the iconic American bike that he set up his St. Paul dealership like a museum, featuring models from 1949 to today.
Soon, Eguia-Welch, the only Indian dealer in Minnesota, will have two new models to sell.
This past weekend, Polaris Industries introduced the 2013 "Indian Chief Vintage Final Edition" at the International Motorcycle Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The limited edition bike is the last one to be based on designs from the previous owners in Kings Mountain, N.C., and only 25 will be made.
But come fall, Medina-based Polaris — which bought the 112-year-old company in 2011 — will unleash hundreds of its closely guarded, fully redesigned 2014 Indian. By year end, the new generation bike will roar out of the factory in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and onto showroom floors at new dealerships set up across North America.
The launch is important for Polaris. Steve Menneto, the company's vice president of motorcycles, said Polaris has invested "tens of millions of dollars" to get Indian just right so it can compete with Harley-Davidson.
If successful, Polaris will revive a struggling but much-beloved motorcycle brand that broke racing records in the '60s, birthed the 2005 Anthony Hopkins movie "The World's Fastest Indian" and survived predecessors' bankruptcies and weakly funded relaunches