Motorcycles

Indian Motorcycles returns to racing after six-decade absence

Indian Motorcycles returns to ...
AMA Grand National flat track champion, Jared Mees, will pilot a purpose built Indian (not pictured) in the company's re-entry into racing this year
AMA Grand National flat track champion, Jared Mees, will pilot a purpose built Indian (not pictured) in the company's re-entry into racing this year
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AMA Grand National flat track champion, Jared Mees, will pilot a purpose built Indian (not pictured) in the company's re-entry into racing this year
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AMA Grand National flat track champion, Jared Mees, will pilot a purpose built Indian (not pictured) in the company's re-entry into racing this year
The start of the Springfield Mile in 1953
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The start of the Springfield Mile in 1953
Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman of the Indian wrecking crew
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Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman of the Indian wrecking crew
Bill Tuman leads the pack in the 1951 Richmond 10 mile national
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Bill Tuman leads the pack in the 1951 Richmond 10 mile national
Jared Mees will be the first professional to race an Indian in flat track since the 1950s
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Jared Mees will be the first professional to race an Indian in flat track since the 1950s
The 750cc, purpose-built engine that will power the new Indian flat tracker
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The 750cc, purpose-built engine that will power the new Indian flat tracker
A closer shot of the liquid-cooled, 750cc proprietary engine that will power the Indian flat tracker in the AMA Pro series
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A closer shot of the liquid-cooled, 750cc proprietary engine that will power the Indian flat tracker in the AMA Pro series

The last time Indian Motorcycles raced any kind of bike was in the 1950s with its infamous flat track wrecking crew. That will change with the announcement of a purpose built flat tracker that will begin racing in the AMA Pro Flat Track series this year.

Details are thin at this stage, with Indian saying only that the bike will be powered by a proprietary liquid-cooled 750 cc V-twin built mounted in a specially built chassis.

Indian also announced that Jared Mees, multi-time AMA Grand National Champion, will be the test rider for the Indian Motorcycle Racing Team. He'll begin piloting the new bike in races this year in preparation for a full race schedule in 2017. There are eight AMA Pro Flat Track races left for this season, but the company declined to say which races it would participate in this year.

Bill Tuman leads the pack in the 1951 Richmond 10 mile national
Bill Tuman leads the pack in the 1951 Richmond 10 mile national

In the 1940s and 50s, Indian Motorcycles dominated the sport with legendary riders like Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman. The company's re-entry into flat track racing will also reignite the racing rivalry it had with Harley-Davidson at the time.

Since purchasing Indian Motorcycles in 2011, Polaris continues to pay homage to the brand's rich history with its model names and lineup like the Springfield and Scout, and now Indian's re-entry into flat track racing.

Source: Indian Motorcycles

The last time Indian Motorcycles raced any kind of bike was in the 1950s with its infamous flat track wrecking crew. That will change with the announcement of a purpose built flat tracker that will begin racing in the AMA Pro Flat Track series this year.

Details are thin at this stage, with Indian saying only that the bike will be powered by a proprietary liquid-cooled 750 cc V-twin built mounted in a specially built chassis.

Indian also announced that Jared Mees, multi-time AMA Grand National Champion, will be the test rider for the Indian Motorcycle Racing Team. He'll begin piloting the new bike in races this year in preparation for a full race schedule in 2017. There are eight AMA Pro Flat Track races left for this season, but the company declined to say which races it would participate in this year.

Bill Tuman leads the pack in the 1951 Richmond 10 mile national
Bill Tuman leads the pack in the 1951 Richmond 10 mile national

In the 1940s and 50s, Indian Motorcycles dominated the sport with legendary riders like Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman. The company's re-entry into flat track racing will also reignite the racing rivalry it had with Harley-Davidson at the time.

Since purchasing Indian Motorcycles in 2011, Polaris continues to pay homage to the brand's rich history with its model names and lineup like the Springfield and Scout, and now Indian's re-entry into flat track racing.

Source: Indian Motorcycles

3 comments
c w
So now there's two newer V-twins and one parallel twin in flat track now. BMW, you are on the clock. All two-piston engine configurations are welcome.
KirkHarrington
It would not surprise me if RSD developed the frame since Sands designed the 156 frame. Indian/Polaris already have access to the best suspension products and you don't use brakes on the front of a flat rack bike. I would suspect HD is pretty nervous about all the R&D Polaris is putting into they new racing efforts.
MichaelHoward
Maybe Indian was absent from racing because the company had gone bankrupt and ceased to exist for long periods of time between new owners who tried (unsuccessfully) to resurrect the brand. Polaris may be the best thing to happen to "Indian" since the original company shut down but they (Polaris) can take credit for only the last five years.