Will Polaris build a modern Indian Four?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by chiefrider, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. chiefrider

    chiefrider Chrome won't get you home

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    If Polaris/Indian gets around to reviving the Indian 4, they should look at building one to the overall scale of the early examples. This '31 Four weighs about 445 lb/200 kg.
    Indian, please craft us a "naked" sporting version with 600cc and 1000cc sportbike-spec motors. Maintain the motor in the original fore-to aft layout. Keep the lines clean and simple. Equip it with weight, power and suspension commensurate with modern Japanese and European sport bikes. Make the design versatile enough to allow standard bars, drag bars or clipons, rearset, midset or forward controls. Give a choice between belt and chain drives. Figure away to allow fitment of factory hard, waterproof panniers with out-of-sight mountings when they are detached. Craft the frame so a center stand can be attached. And finally, give customers quick detach wheels.
    The last thing the cruiser market needs is yet another 900 lb/400 kg monstrosity. Most men riding the huge bikes are getting old. Young men have little interest in the huge bikes.The current naked standards are all quite cluttered style-wise, with the mechanical appeal of a washing machine motor.
    I wish I had the photoshop skills to render an image of what it could look like. Anybody want to give it a shot?
    Tom in Salem Indian Four 1931 2.jpg
    #1
  2. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Wouldn't sell for the price they'd charge to be able to make a profit. Nice to daydream though. Although going down the well trodden path the Rocket 3 blazed just might work.
    #2
  3. PeterTrocewicz

    PeterTrocewicz Been here awhile

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    I've sometimes wondered if they'd bring back the L4. I pictured it more like the Roadmaster though. An engine like that would be awesome in a chassis like the the Scout, or a new chassis that's more sporty.
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  4. n8mandy

    n8mandy PadreN8

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    That would be so great. I like your ideas, but think it needs 100 less lbs, 10 more horsepower and $1k less than whatever number you had in your head.
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  5. Offcenter

    Offcenter On The Road Again!

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    I've mentioned this to several of my friends over the last few years.
    When will Indian revive the Indian Straight Line Four?
    I'd love to see them do it.
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  6. Gordon Bennett

    Gordon Bennett Just you wait

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    No, because it would have to be liquid cooled, have a big radiator up front, cost more than a Harley CVO and very few people would buy one.
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  7. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

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    Absolutely 100% correct.
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  8. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

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    Plus it would weight more than twice the 445 lbs. that started this thread.
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  9. alienbogey

    alienbogey Been here awhile

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    Take that frame and stuff in a battery pack that mimics the shape of the Indian 4. Electronics where the fuel tank is. Hub motors front and rear that look like drum brakes.

    LED headlight and turn signals integrated into a round headlight pot like the above. Ditto the rear brake lights/turn signals. Linked hydraulic brakes via right foot brake pedal only ==> no levers or reservoirs on the bars. Regen braking via twist fly-by-wire throttle. Cleverly hidden mount that uses your phone as the dash (phone recharges in the mount and talks to the bike via bluetooth). Toggle between motor and ride maps via the depicted shifter, but mount it on the left.

    Suspension - hmm, how to keep the hardtail and not rattle the fillings out - let's say front and rear suspension tbd. Ditto the seat suspension.

    Optional hidden speakers to broadcast actual Indian 4 engine/exhaust music as desired to confuse the hell out of people.

    Since this is a fantasy give it 200 mile range at 75mph, 20 minutes to fully recharge, and cost the same as a Scout. I'd put down a deposit today.

    You're welcome.
    #9
  10. DirtyRoadie

    DirtyRoadie Been here awhile

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    070215bottom.jpg



    It doesn't have to weigh 900lbs.
    #10
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Indian could just go buy the Iron Duke from Chevrolet and fit it in the frame!
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  12. Backlund

    Backlund Been here awhile Supporter

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    We bought a Ford Fusion new in 2013, it had the 1.6 liter turbo 'Ecoboost' four cylinder, 180 or so hp and mongo low-mid range torque for it's displacement. I often thought that this engine would make an interesting bike motor, especially when pulling a small housetrailer or bass boat.
    #12
  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Interesting, the Iron Duke old school Chevy engine is still done as a marine engine. Just an old school engine would be interesting, but not likely to meet emissions. It would be great if they could pull off what they did with the look they achieved with their flat head illusion. Something kind of steampunk.
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  14. MHaz01

    MHaz01 I Used To Be Faster

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    Short answer: No.

    The design reference to historical engine/frame configurations is attractive, but also not appealing to a large enough market to justify the investment in design, engineering, and manufacturing.

    Indian built a parallel two-cylinder engine in 1949 called the Indian Warrior. It would be far easier to make an investment case for re-introducing that configuration than for a longitudinally mounted inline four.

    Here's a link to an article about a nicely restored Indian Warrior. http://cyrilhuzeblog.com/2016/06/20/custom-parallel-twin-indian-scout/
    #14
  15. shupe

    shupe Been here awhile

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    Yes, but the Warrior was a failure and sunk the company.
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  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Yep, no where near the bike that the Triumphs and BSAs were.

    If they can build the 200 single use FTR750s for flat track they could certainly build the in-line four, and hardly put a dent in the bottom line. If Triumph can sell that triple they make I'd think Indian could see a much cooler looking four. But really, they won't.
    #16
  17. MHaz01

    MHaz01 I Used To Be Faster

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    True. And current Triumphs are far superior to old Triumphs just as a new Indian parallel twin would reflect the design, engineering, technology, and manufacturing of this era, should Polaris introduce one.
    #17
  18. chiefrider

    chiefrider Chrome won't get you home

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    I know a bit about that Warrior. It was rushed to production and was plagued with electrical gremlins. Among old Indians, it's the redhead stepson of the models. People have restored these bikes and sorted the electrics. They were powerful for their time and fairly good handlers.

    Nonetheless, with the development and manufacturing acumen at Polaris, I believe they could engineer and market a competitive, lightweight four cylinder performance naked bike that would have it's unique look among the other sportbike nakeds, a look that would hearken back to Indian's glorious past.

    Such a bike could have a drive train layout somewhat similar to the watercooled BMW twins, with the primary drive and clutch hung off the front of the motor, but with the transmission below the motor. The original motors were low-revving long stroke 1265cc mills. A smaller displacement short stroke motor would not be so tall, and the transmission could nicely fit underneath. Where the old bike carried it's transmission aft of the motor could be where needed modern bike exhaust system volume could be gained. A four cylinder motorcycle in this configuration could be as narrow as a single cylinder bike.

    Oh, for a compact, USA made high performance bike that beautifies and glorifies the motor and it's exhaust header!

    Still looking for someone with photoshop skills to render this vision.

    This is the proper proportion and scale.

    Indian/Polaris, are you listening?

    [​IMG]
    (not me)

    Tom in Salem
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  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Yeah but it would still just be a vert twin among a bunch of other vert twins. Polaris should dare to be different as they somewhat have with the FTR and with their version of the classic Indian Chief with the skirts and the flat head look. Doing an in-line four like the old style would be way cool and might just sell enough to make it worth it. Heck, Honda built the CBX, the VF750F, the VFR750F, the RC30, the RC51, the Valkyrie Rune, the NR750 oval piston, and most recently a road legal MotoGP RC213V-S... so what's Indian done lately? :lol3
    #19
  20. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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