Indian Motorcycle has filed a trademark application for name “Indian Raven” as a potential name for a new model. The application was filed today with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for the intended use of the “Indian Raven” mark for a “motorcycle and structural parts therefor.” We expect a similar filing to come with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the next week. UPDATE: As expected, a trademark application for “Indian Raven” has also been filed with the USPTO, also for “motorcycle and structural parts therefor.”
The trademark application reveals very little details, beyond Indian’s intent to use the name. That leaves us to speculate on what the Indian Raven could be, based on what we know of Indian’s current model lineup and nomenclature. The trademark filing was for the words “Indian” and “Raven” together, so we can probably rule out a Scout variant, otherwise the filing would be something along the lines of “Indian Scout Raven.” Likewise, we assume the name is for a new Chieftain variant, otherwise it’d be something like “Indian Chieftain Raven.”
It’s possible the new model could be a bagger or a tourer like the Springfield or Roadmaster, but the Raven name hardly conjures up images of a heavyweight motorcycle. The use of a bird, especially a relatively small one like the raven, would suggest something much smaller and lightweight. That leaves us with the FTR1200.
We know from Indian’s patent filings that the FTR1200 was just one configuration of what was conceived as a new modular design. The patent describes a compact arrangement for an airbox above the engine and an underseat fuel tank that can be used in different configurations.
The patent showed multiple variations on the trellis frame and side pivot plates, accommodating engines with different mounting points. According to the patent, the modular design could be used for different setups, from cruisers to standard motorcycles, and possibly even sportier bikes.
Yes, an Indian-branded sportbike isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Speaking with MCN, Ola Stenegärd, Indian’s director of product design, mused about the possibility of a sportbike, saying: “A race bike is probably the best way forward because Indian have never done a supersport bike. There’s no heritage to fall back on, no icon to refer to – but maybe it’s a V-twin and you go into that kind of territory and the engine provides the heritage.”
What’s interesting about Stenegärd’s statement is that we usually picture Indian as a brand tied to its rich heritage; that is, after all, the biggest thing that separated Indian from Victory. Stenegärd is saying that Indian can venture into waters without history being an anchor. Stenegärd comes from a background in customs and choppers, but before he joined Indian, he worked for BMW and was one of the key figures behind the S1000RR. Still, a raven doesn’t convey the sense of speed or aggression you’d expect for a sportbike. What’s interesting about Stenegärd’s statement is that we usually picture Indian as a brand tied to its rich heritage; that is, after all, the biggest thing that separated Indian from Victory. Stenegärd is saying that Indian can venture into waters without history being an anchor.
No, the more likely answer is the Raven will be another cruiser, blacked out to reflect its namesake, but hopefully with a sportier side, a competitor to the Ducati Diavel perhaps. A streetfighter is also possible, again with a blacked-out theme.
All of this is, of course, just speculation, and we won’t know for certain what Indian has planned for the Raven until we hear something official or more clues come to light.
UPDATE: On Jan. 8, 2019, Indian filed another trademark application for the name “Indian Renegade”. And in February, Indian filed new trademark applications with the USPTO and the EUIPO for a stylized “R” logo (see below). This may be related to either the Raven or Renegade names, or possibly both if our theory that the two may share a common platform holds true.