Motorcycles

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The human passion towards motorcycle is obvious since ages. Their passions were made realistic by few companies in the market. The competition of these companies predominate the rise and fall of many companies. In this course work, we focus on a motorcycle company, which was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world during the early to mid 90's.

The "Indian Motorcycle" which had reputation throughout the world was manufactured from 1901 to 1953 by a company inSpringfield, Massachusettsinitially known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company. However, the company was renamed to Indian Motorcycle manufacturing company. The change in the new name was due to the resemblance of the road rash caused by the bikes and a classical 'Indian sunburn.' The first motor cycle produced was a 1.7 Bhp, single cylinder engine. The sale of this motorcycle dramatically increased during the next decade as it was a successful product. The Indian Motorcycle manufacturing company dominates all the motorcycle throughout the world since the mid 90's.

The innovations brought by other motorcycle companies throughout the world since 1950's conquer the market by their new marketing techniques and strategy. These innovations finally results in the bankrupt of the Indian Motorcycle company. The coursework looks over the old and new marketing strategy of the Indian motorcycle company which start production on 2006.

During 1901, the company introduce two successfully build production units which were tested and designed using prototype. The first motorcycle had innovative features such as streamlined styling and belt drives for manoeuvre. The product was sold to public during this period. By 1903, their first motorcycle set a world record on motorcycle speed at 56mph. The success of the first motorcycle made more innovations during the next period by introducing a new engine in a diamond frame single seat ride. The motorcycle was given red colour which later becomes a trade mark for the Indian Motorcycle company. The production was over 500 motorcycle which shoots to 32,000 during 1913.

The Indian Motorcycle company comes with their first V-Twin engine in 1907. This motorcycle made many long distance records in the following years. Indian set its world record by cruising across San Diego to New York in 11 days, 12 hours and 10 minutes. In the subsequent years, the company mound some changes and introduce Power plus. Power plus, a 1000 cc, side valve, 42 degree V - Twin was introduced on 1916. The power plus was more efficient, powerful and quicker that the previous model of Indian Bikes. The features eventually made power plus highly successful and remained in market until 1924.

The rapid growth of the Indian motorcycle was their key backbone structure of competition success, spurred technical innovation as well as the reputation made in the result of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy during 1911. The Indian factory team took over the first three places. The Indian Stars also set several speed records across America and England which estimated around 900 races of board track and dirt racing.

Scouts, Chief and Fours

By early 20's, the Indian motor introduce scouts and chief V-Twins which become the most successful models. The Scouts and Chief shares a middle weighted 42 degree V-Twin engine layout. Both the models gained reputation for their strength and reliability which led to the old Indian saying "You can't wear out an Indian Scout, or its brother the Indian Chief. They are built like rocks to take hard knocks; it's the Harleys that cause grief."

In 1930, Indian Motorcycle Company and DuPont motors merge together. DuPont motors mainly focused their company production and resource for Indian Motorcycle Company by ceasing all production by DuPont automobiles. DuPont's paint industry offered 24 colour option in 1934. Models of that era featured Indian's famous head-dress logo on the fuel tank. The marketing of Indian Motorcycle Company gave more priority to the native American imagery and their huge spring field factory which is known as Wigwam.

The Indian Chief and Scouts were the most important models during 1922 to 1940's. Many improvements have been made since the launch of Chief and Scouts. Large skirted fenders were fitted in all models of Chief which later becomes the trademark for the Indian Motorcycle. Chief also had a new sprung frame which was superior to the rival Harley's unsprung at the back end. The handsome and comfortable Chief of 1940s was capable to do 85mph in factory settings and 100 mph when tuned and altered. However, their increased weight was a serious drawback for acceleration. By 1950, the Chief had an update to 1300cc with telescopic front forks. But the financial problems led Indian to built a very few bikes and the production of Chief ended in 1953.

The Scout had a great reputation in the market of Indian Motorcycle Company. The first build Scout was the most famous version which featured amazing handling and comfort. During 1932, as a part of cost cutting, The Scouts led to use heavier Chief frame, which was not successful. This caused a deep impact on the market. To overcome this impact, 1934 came with the new Sport Scout with a light frame, girder forks, improved calibration and alloy cylinder head. This Sport Scout also won Daytona 200 in 1937.

World War II and Post-War

During World War II, Chief and Scouts were used by United States Army for various purposes. Harley- Davidson was the main competitor for Indian Motorcycle Company at that time. As per the request of the United States Army for an experimental motorcycle design for desert fighting, Indian Motorcycle Company design and built the 841. The 841 was heavily inspired by the German Army's BMW R71. The competitor of 841 was Harley- Davidson XA. However, unlike the XA, the 841 was not identical as the BMW R71. The shaft drive, tubular frame and the rear suspension was similar to BMW R71 but 841 differs BMW R71 in many aspects such as the inclination of crankshaft at 90 degree longitude, V-Twin engine and the girder fork. Both Indian 841 and Harley-Davidson XA were tested by the Army. However, neither the motorcycle was adopted by the military for wider use. The Army claims jeep are more suitable to posses the mission which motorcycle had been intended to perform.

In 1945, the controlling interest of the Indian Motorcycle Company has been purchased by a group headed by Ralph B. Rogers. Under Roger's control, Indian Motorcycle Company discontinues the famous Scouts and began to produce lightweight motorcycles like 149 Arrow, Super Scouts 249 and the 250 warrior. These bikes were of poor quality and suffer lack of development and refinement.

The production of Legendry traditional Indian Bikes was extremely limited in 1949. No Chief of 1949 are known to exis

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