Indian Motorcycle, with the financial and full knowledge support from Polaris, the Indian Motorcycle engineering team has designed and built a tree new motorcycles in just a few days short of 26 months, sharing a brand spanking new 1811cc V-twin engine, coincidentally the same displacement as the most expensive Harley-Davidson. And also, as you might expect, they made the new range of Indian Motorcycles complementary to rather than competitive with the existing Victory Motorcycle range, which is also owned by Polaris..
The main difference between the Victory Motorcycle and Indian Motorcycle range is that the Victory motorcycles are designed more as performance-oriented cruisers, while Indian motorcycles are the luxury long-distance offerings, though the two actually do crossover at the top end of each range on price and purpose.
So on the face of it, it was not a bad idea for Polaris to purchase Indian Motorcycle. Polaris already has expertise in designing a line of motorcycles from scratch, so doing the same thing again, albeit with a different take, should have been a relative easy job. And the fact it only took a bit over two years suggest as much... In some ways, the job was made much easier by buying the Indian trademark; it meant the designers could go back over all the previous variants, and come up with something modern retro and with which to evoke all that heritage.
If we compare the general Victory Motorcycle line with Indian Motorcycle we can say that the Victory motorcycles are lighter and quicker, stop a little better, and they rev a bit higher, but they are also a tad coarser because of hard mounting – you feel more of the road and engine vibes through the handlebars – and you need to time shift with engine revs more precisely. The Indians feature extensive rubber mounting so are largely vibe-free and shift beautifully, being less particular about matching engine revs to road speed...