By Guido Ebert
This month, two years after Polaris Industries’ purchase of the Indian motorcycle brand, the Minnesota-based company plans to begin deliveries of three all-new Indian models: the Chief Classic cruiser, Chief Vintage soft bagger and Chieftain hard bagger.
MMM visited Polaris’ motorcycle assembly facility in Spirit Lake, Iowa, in mid August and was lucky enough to ride away with a Chief Classic colored in Indian Motorcycle Red and powered by what turned out to be a stellar performing 111 cu. in. (1819cc) air-cooled fuel-injected triple-cam V-twin engine.
More about the engine and bike later. First a little Indian history.
Indian motorcycles were manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company in Springfield, Mass., initially known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company but renamed the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company in 1928.
Deliveries began in 1902, and in 1904 the company introduced the deep red color that would become the brand’s trademark. Racing and record setting were hallmarks of Indian’s success, and during the 1910s Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world, with production rising to a peak of 32,000 units in 1913.
Market Snapshot: Dual Sport Motorcycles
By Guido Ebert
The motorcycle segments most impacted during the sales downturn caused by the Great Recession included Off-Road models, Mid-Size Cruisers and Sport models. However, despite continuing woes for some of those more popular motorcycle segments, Dual Sport sales have actually grown roughly 22.5% from 2010 through 2012.
While still representing only about 10% of the total two-wheeler market (less than Scooters) the Dual Sport market has held its own by attracting new and experienced riders of multiple age groups who seek an on/off-road bike that harbors a wide range of prices and offers a standard operator position and utility effectiveness.
by Bruce Mike
When I started riding motorcycles as a kid there were maybe five different types of bikes. We had mini bikes, scooters, street bikes, enduros and dirt bikes. At one time or another I have owned and ridden all these types of bikes. As time went on I was introduced to sport bikes and choppers which were part of the street bike classification. With these new introductions the standard street bike was created. I realize none of this may be historically accurate but in my mind this is how it went.
Now it’s 2013 and we have so many bike classes I can’t keep track of them all. Here’s my best shot at listing them. Mini bikes, scooters, maxi-scooters, sport bikes, choppers, standards, multi-purpose, hyper-motards, dual sports, adventure bikes, moto-cross, cruisers, touring and sport touring bikes. I’m sure I’ve missed some but you get the idea. I’m guessing all the classifications are born out of marketing. We seem to be living in a more complicated and specialized world with each passing day.
by Thomas Day
My two days on the Yamaha Super Ténéré were eye-opening. There is an incredible amount of technology in that bike, just like the list of technology inside Yamaha’s R1/R6/FZ1/FZ6 bikes or Honda’s VFR1200F or Kawasaki’s ZX-14R or Suzuki’s Hayabusa or Ducati’s anything or BMW’s top-line sportbikes.
The downside is that I cannot imagine myself needing any of those motorcycles for what I do with a motorcycle. I ride to work. I take one or two trips a summer to semi-remote places. I saddle up and do day trips on paved and unpaved public roads, trail ride, or single-track the boonies just for the fun of it. I do not race anyone, ever. I never need the capability of exceeding 90mph, ever. A motorcycle that can do 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds is interesting, but unnecessary. I can no more consider the price tag for one of these giant-killers (or Monsters) than I can afford an evening with a supermodel. Superbikes are for rich kids. I’m not rich or a kid.
by Paul Berglund
Not a lot of things improve with age, unless you count the ability to grow hair in your ears, and your riding skills may dim with the passage of time. The joy of riding might be fading, too.
That’s what was happening with me; until I found trail riding. I got a new bike, new gear, learned new skills and went new places. The joy was back and my road riding improved. Intrigued? Want to try? It’s simple really. Here are a few easy steps.
By Jesse Walters
Northern Minnesota hosts outdoor opportunities like nowhere else. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, camping, kayaking or bird watching, you can probably find it in Superior National Forest. In my view, dual sport motorcycle riding
compliments almost any outdoor hobby. What better way to arrive at a hiking trail or fishing hole than via motorcycle? Two hobbies, one stone, beautiful.
A quick introduction, I’m Jesse Walters, a resident of Little Marais, MN, and an all-around North Shore enthusiast. Little Marias is a former fishing and logging community on the Lake Superior North Shore, just outside Superior National Forest. I’m relatively new to the area but in short order I’ve come to cherish and respect what the forest has to offer, as well as the people that call it home. From old growth white pines, to relics of CCC camps, logging communities, lakes and rustic taverns tucked in the forest, there is a lifetime of exploring to be had in these parts. And, of course, it’s a perfect place for dual sport motorcycles!
By Carl Adams
192 Pages, 2008
By Victor Wanchena
The riding doesn’t stop where the pavement ends. Dual sport riding offers adventure, and is attracting a lot of new riders. Carl Adams’s book, The Essential Guide to Dual Sport Motorcycling helps answer the dual sport rider questions and sets them on a course of enjoyment in this growing segment of motorcycling.
As the motorcycling has evolved the machines and the riding gear has followed suit. Dual sport riders no longer no longer are saddled with just street bikes fitted with knobby tires and high pipes or open face helmets and logging boots. Today’s dual sport rider faces many bewildering array of choices for machines and gear. Navigating those waters is tough and trusted advice can help riders make the most with of their time and money.
By Guido Ebert
Some examples within the impressive new Scooters! exhibit include a rare Salsbury from the late 1930s, the Doodlebug, Argyle and Egley made in Iowa, the Harley-Davidson Topper, a stunning all polished aluminum Rumi scooter made in Italy, plus a wide variety of models from some of the better known classic scooter brands.
Suzuki’s Big Scoot –
the Burgman 650 ABS
The Suzuki Burgman 650, launched in 2002, helped introduce the Maxi-Scoot to the U.S. market.
The latest version of this comfortable grand touring scooter comes in the form of the 2013 Burgman 650 ABS. Massively overhauled from its predecessor, it receives updated styling with new bodywork, a slimmer rear section, redesigned lighting and instrument cluster, a new exhaust system featuring a triangular section muffler, updated floating disc brakes and a refined transmission.