Indian Motorcycle Corp. announces it will complete its journey back into the marketplace this year with the introduction of the 2002 Chief, outfitted with the first Indian-designed engine in 45 years.
The new 100-cubic-inch V-twin was engineered at Indian's headquarters in Gilroy, Calif.--near Monterey--and is being built by a custom-engine manufacturing contractor in Livonia, Mich.
The new Chief, due in dealerships this spring, will be the flagship of Indian's line, which includes the sport-styled Spirit and the cruiser-styled Scout. Both models will continue using the 88-cubic-inch engine Indian has been buying from Wisconsin motorcycle engine maker S&S Cycle Inc.
Indian, headed by former HBO Video President Frank O'Connell, is a resurrection of the original Indian Motorcycle Co., which built the first American-made, mass-produced motorcycle in 1901 and went out of business in 1953.
The new Indian was started in 1998 and began selling motorcycles in 1999.
By using an engine of its own design, Indian regains the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) status that went to the grave with its predecessor.
The new Powerplus 100 engine replicates the design of the original Indian V-Twin, with rounded cylinder heads and serrated rocker covers, but uses modern technologies such as computerized electronic ignition.
So much for completing the journey, someone must have forgot to fill the tank because this version of the Indian Motorcycle Corporation went into bankruptcy and ceased all production operations in Gilroy on September 19, 2003. 50 years since the original ceased production.