May 1, 2007 America's Indian motorcycle is back... Again, and this time with a taste for fine bubbly. In what could be viewed as an unfortunate pairing, Moët & Chandon have teamed up with the brand to produce a preview model of the much-anticipated 2008 Indian Chief, complete with a built-in champagne cooler compartment (!) and a disclaimer against cruising under the influence.
Fans of the iconic brand that once challenged Harley-Davidson for the title of America's biggest-selling cruiser will get their first glimpse of what direction the company's new owners are taking when press pictures are released this coming Saturday. This will be the second Indian revival in recent years; the company lay dormant from 1953 until 1999 - only to close again, bankrupt, in 2003.
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Despite its lack of recent success, the Chief is still an iconic American brand, and after a three-year hiatus, collectors such as George Clooney and Laurence Fishburne are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2008 Chief series and will have the opportunity to see the first-ever revealed image of the highly anticipated bike at this weekend's Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance.
It's unclear why Indian would choose a co-branded one-off as the first exposure of the new bike; Moët & Chandon claim the bike is customised "to celebrate the fabulous life" - but in my experience, the average motorcyclist would recoil from anything described as "fabulous," and would generally view champagne as something to be sprayed over grid girls rather than something they need to holster on their bike.
Nonetheless, the bike will be up for auction in the autumn.
Legend of the Motorcycle is a unique celebration of the art of motorcycling. This second annual international luxury event takes place at the ocean-side Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California, just south of San Francisco. Tickets can be purchased and more information can be found on the official website.