Indian was a leader in early motorcycle design, registering many patents on components still used today.
The Indian VIN List is an attempt to help people identify the make and model of their Indian - it will cover all models, all manufacturers.
The "Indian" brand has been held by no less than eight companies since 1901. Although most people think of the Springfield Indian motorcycles built between 1901 and 1953 when someone says "Indian" (namely, the Indian Chief and Indian Scout), many forms of vehicle have been placed under the "Indian" brand - including Go-Karts, mopeds, and dirt bikes!
1901-1953: The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company of Springfield, MassachusettsEdit
The original Indian first appeared in 1901, predating Harley-Davidson by two years. Noted for the Indian Chief and Indian Scout motorcycles, powered by the distinctive Indian V-Twin engine.
1954-1962: English Brockhouse CorporationEdit
British owned distributorship selling imported Royal Enfield cycles painted and labeled as Indians.
- Chief (1959-1961)
- Fire Arrow
- Hounds Arrow
1960s: Pierce Reconstructed IndiansEdit
Californian Sammy Pierce custom assembled "Indians" using factory Indian components but with custom frames. Only about 50 were ever made, and most of these have been re-cannibalized for restoration work on pre 1953 Indians.
1968-1970: The Clymer IndiansEdit
Floyd Clymer imported mini cycles and larger models (few were sold, and were mixtures of various brands of engines/frames/etc).
1972-1977: Newman IndiansEdit
Floyd Clymer died in January 1970, and his lawyer, Alan Newman, acquired the Indian brand. Alan Newman Indian Motorcycle Company.
Greatest success since the original Indian company, minicycle and lightweight maker/importer. Aspired to bigger cycles but never to be. Company went into bankruptcy Jan 1977.
1977-1982: American Moped AssociatesEdit
Imported Chinese/Taiwanese 4 stroke moped labeled as Indian Four Ami Chief 50 and Ami 50.Sold to Carmen DeLeone in 1982.
1982-1984: DeLeone/Derbi GoKartsEdit
DeLeone/Derbi bought the moped line and name, sold off the moped supply, and relabeled Manco go-carts as new 4-stroke Indians.
1982-1999: The Non-Existant RevivalEdit
1980s thru 1990s Indian branded jackets,shirts and other wearables supposedly would help finance a new Indian cycle.