6. The Rebirth of Indian Motorcycles


This past year marked the triumphant return of the storied Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company, with an all-new lineup of motorcycles built around the Thunder Stroke 111 49-degree V-Twin engine. Now under the auspices of Polaris Industries, the Indian Motorcycle brand has secured its stablest footing in decades with the financial clout to grow beyond being a niche brand.

The 2014 Indian lineup, consisting of the Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and Chieftain, maintain the brand’s signature features including valanced fenders and the “war bonnet” front fender lamp, while offering modern engineering. Polaris could have taken a shortcut by employing a Victory Freedom V-Twin engine, but the company deserves credit for designing a brand new powerplant claiming 119 ft-lb. at 3000 rpm.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of brand’s revival is that it took just 27 months for Polaris to produce the new Indian motorcycles.